Philidor, Andre Danican



Member of a family of French musicians, founded by Jean Danican, 16201679, to whose elder brother, Michael Danican, of Dauphine, a remarkably fine hautboy player, King Louis XIII. gave the name Philidor, because his playing resembled that of the Italian Filidori. Michael had no children but Jean, who was in the King's military band, had three sons; Andre, the eldest, and Jacques, 1657-1708, the youngest, being well known. Like all the rest of the family, Andre played the instruments on which his father and uncle had performed. He was also one of Louis XIV s chambermusicians. He composed a number of military marches, fanfares, bugle calls, divertissements, and masques in competition with Lully; and ballet operas, Le canal de Versailles, Le manage de la Couture avee le gross Cathos, La Princesse de Crete, La vaisseau marchand, Mascarade des Savoyards, and Mascarade du roi de la Chine. He was librarian of the Royal Musical Library at Versailles, and amassed a collection of all the music, both sacred and secular, that had been produced at the court since the reign of Franc.ois I. Part of the Philidor Collection has been lost, but the rest is still at the Paris Conservatory, the National Library, and the Library of Versailles. Andre died at Dreux.


His brother Jacques, also in the service of the King, had four sons who were musicians, Jacques, junior (1686-1709), Frangois II (1695-1726), Nicolas (1699-1769), and Pierre, the eldest and most important (1681-1731). Andre's children were more prominent. The eldest son, Anne (1681-1726), a fine flutist and oboist, was born and .died in Paris. He took his father's position in the King's band and chamber in 1702, and in the Chapelle in 1704. He published a number of pieces for flute, oboe, and violin; produced the pastoral operas, L'amour vainqueur, Diane et Endymion, and Danae; and conducted the Concerts Spirituels. Another son, Frangois (1689-1717 or 1718), was a player in the King's service, and composed a few pieces for the flute.