Nicolas de Grigny / Biography...
De Grigny (baptized September 8, 1672 – November 30, 1703) was a organist and one of the leading French organ composers of his time. Contrapuntally more complex than most (if not all) music
of the era, Grigny's work stands at the pinacle of french baroque organ music. His only rivals
in terms of both musical science and religious inspiration
were François Couperin and Louis Marchand.
He was born in Reims in 1672 into a family of musicians: his grandfather, one of his uncles and his father were all organists at different churches of Reims. Grigny studied with Nicolas Lebègue and in 1693 he became organist at Saint Denis, near Paris. He got married in 1695 and subsequently
had seven children. In 1696 he returned to Reims, where, a year later, he became organist
of Notre-Dame de Reims. He occupied the position until his untimely death in 1703,
when he was only 31 years old.
Grigny's only surviving work is a large volume of organ works, Premier Livre d'Orgue - Paris, 1699.
(full title: Premier livre d’orgue contenant une messe et les hymnes des principalles festes de l’année). It contained several mass settings and five hymns in several parts:
Veni Creator (5 parts),
Pange lingua (3),
Verbum supernum (4),
Ave maris stella (4)
A solis ortus (3).
Johann Sebastian Bach admired Grigny's work
and made a copy of it for his personal use.