152 pages, folio (37.5 x 24.5cm), 10-stave paper, eighteenth-century mottled calf, gilt spine in compartments, red-gilt title-label to spine, French provenance, first half of the eighteenth century, some splitting at joints repaired, sound 10 x 15 inches (25.5 x 38.3 cm).
The French composer, harpsichordist, and theorist Nicolas Bernier succeeded Marc-Antoine Charpentier as maître de musique of the Sainte-Chapelle, and later took a post as sous-maître de musique at the Chapelle Royale alongside André Campra and Charles-Hubert Gervais, succeeding Michel-Richard de Lalande. Highly influenced by Italian music, he balanced the French and Italian tastes in his cantatas, motets, and other choral works. Together with Jean-Baptiste Morin, he is seen as one of the creators of the French cantata genre, preceding composers such as Montéclair, Gervais, Jacquet de la Guerre, Boismortier and Mouret.
"Bernier, with 39 works, was one of the most prolific of French cantata composers. As well as using all the procedures found in Morin's cantatas, he included in his airs some of the earliest examples in French music of the new ritornello structure. His cantatas, often light and witty, are particularly attractive and include some of the finest early examples of the form."
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