Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

Today is the 346th birthday of Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre. Born in Paris March 17, 1665, was a child prodigy who, at the age of five, gave a harpsichord concert for King Louis XIV. She continued as a court musician until her marriage in 1684, but continued to give concerts and teach, becoming a well respected educator and composer in Paris. She died in 1729 in Paris, but left numerous compositions – most of which were published in her lifetime.

Her compositions include works for harpsichord, chamber pieces vocal works, and two operas one of which is still extant. Her trio sonatas are some of our earliest examples of French sonatas. She continues to be recognized as one of the most accomplished women in the Baroque period; recordings of two of her works for keyboard are available through the WPA store.

Here is an example of her vocal writing: