Lalande, Michel Richard de


Organist and church-composer, forty-five years of his life being spent at Court as director of music under Louis XIV. and XV. Born -in Paris lie studied under Chaperon and was a chorister of St. Germain 1'Auxerrois. He learned, almost alone, to play the violin, bass viol, and harpsichord. When his voice broke he sought employment for his violin. Being refused admission to Lully's orchestra he abandoned the violin and took up organ-playing. He made such a success of this that he was appointed organist to four churches, St. Gervais, St. Jean, Petit St. Antoine, and at the Church of the Jesuits, who also entrusted to him compositions for their college. Then on the recommendation of the Marechal de Noailles to Louis XIV. he was chosen musicmaster for the princesses who afterwards became the Duchesse d'Orleans and Madame la Duchesse. Later he became master of chamber-music for the King, and later superintendent of chapel-music. Though far superior to the composers of church-music of his time, he could not be compared to Handel and Bach, who were almost his contemporaries. He wrote no fewer than forty-two motets for chorus and orchestra for the chapel at Versailles, published elegantly at the King's expense. He composed a number of works for the Court Theatre besides many other compositions. He died in Paris.