Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

What happened after Elisabeth Jacquet left the royal court in Versailles and returned to Paris. She married before composing a sung balled and her first set of suites.

As part of Radio 3's celebration of female composers marking International Women's Day, this week Donald Macleod explores with Mary Cyr, the life and music of Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, hailed by scholars as one of the most successful women in the history of French music.

1684 was the year that Elisabeth Jacquet left the royal court in Versailles, and returned to Paris. She married Marin de La Guerre who was an organist at the Jesuit church of Saint Louis. The following year, at the age of only twenty, she composed a sung ballet, now lost, to be performed at court. A few years later in 1687, aged only twenty-two, she published her first set of Suites for Harpsichord, including the Suite No 4 in F major, which she dedicated to King Louis XIV.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

    Trio Sonata no. 3 in D major

    Choir: Camerata Moderna.
    • MDG: 6058072.
    • MDG.
    • 1.
  • Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

    Jacob and Rachel, from Cantates francoises, Livre premier

    Performer: Francoise Bloch. Performer: Brigitte Haudebourg. Performer: Guy Robert. Singer: Sophie Boulin.
    • Arion: ARN268012.
    • Arion.
    • 4.
  • Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre

    Cephale et Procris - Act IV extract

    Ensemble: Musica Fiorita. Director: Daniela Dolci. Singer: Emil Rovner. Singer: Alex Potter. Singer: Achim Schulz. Singer: Raphaele Kennedy. Singer: Daniel Issa Goncalves.
    • ORF: CD3033.
    • ORF.
    • 11.
  • Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre

    Suite in F major for keyboard [from "Pieces de clavecin", 1687]

    Performer: Elizabeth Farr.
    • Naxos: 8557654.
    • Naxos.
    • 1.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.