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Laurent Desmazures
1714 - 1778
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L. Desmazures
Laurent Desmazures (20/12/1714 – 30/04/1778), a French organist and composer, born in Rouen. Youngest son of Charles Desmazures, one of the founders of program music which held the organ of the Major of Marseille, at the end of the 17th century and to whom we owe, in addition to a Mass for the Dead, a Book of Simphonie Pieces , Laurent was a student of the masters of the cathedral from 1721 where he received the teaching of Laurent Belissen. A virtuoso traveling through France, he touched the organs of Moissac, Albi and Dijon. In 1750, he joined the cathedral of Autun and left it, two years later to join the cathedral of Bordeaux, where he remained until 1755. In 1758, encouraged by the prestige of the Norman capital, he came to settle in Rouen to play the organ of Notre-Dame cathedral. Succeeding d'Agincourt in 1758 in the place of organist of the cathedral, he enjoyed great celebrity with justice. His execution was as quick as his ability to head. A talented artist, he loved hunting almost as much as music; this hunting ardor even nearly cost him dear; indulging one day in his favorite exercise, his rifle exploded and removed three fingers of his left hand. Our organist saw his position strongly compromised; luckily, a skilful mechanic, to whom he had recourse, found means of adjusting false fingers, ingeniously shaped; and, with the help of the work, he managed to use his mechanical fingers with as much ease and agility as he did the others. The authenticity of the fact is attested by La Borde, who had had the opportunity to see and hear the artist, after his accident: "if we had not seen the false fingers, we would never have believed it ". Desmazures had been exercising the functions of organist at the cathedral of Rouen for some time, when a new recruit arrived at the master's level, a young boy whom he was soon to make his pupil, and this without perhaps thinking that he was working to train his future successor, one of the best, if not the best of his pupils, Charles Broche, who was to succeed him in 1777. Fétis writes that it must be the same artist, Laurent Desmazures, who wrote the music for an opera-ballet in one act and a prologue, entitled Les Fêtes de Grenade, performed at the Dijon concert on January 12, 1752 .
Messe des Morts
Musical form:mass
Messe des Morts à grand choeur et symphonie.
Contributor:Tassos Dimitriadis