Louis Couperin (c. 1626 – 29 August 1661) was a French Baroque composer and performer. He was born in Chaumes-en-Brie and moved to Paris in 1650–1651 with the help of Jacques Champion de Chambonnières. Couperin worked as organist of the Church of St. Gervais in Paris and as musician at the court. He quickly became one of the most prominent Parisian musicians, establishing himself as a harpsichordist, organist, and violist, but his career was cut short by his early death at the age of thirty-five.
None of Couperin's music was published during his lifetime, but manuscript copies of some 200 pieces survive, some of them only rediscovered in the mid-20th century. The first historically important member of the Couperin family, Couperin made seminal contributions to the development of both the French organ school and French harpsichord school. His innovations included composing organ pieces for specific registrations and inventing the genre of the unmeasured prelude for harpsichord, for which he devised a special type of notation.
His brothers both played an important role in the development of French Baroque music. No compositions by François (known as "The Elder") are known to survive, but his line of the family carried the name of Couperin into the 19th century. Charles Couperin (known as "Couperin-cadet") succeeded Louis as organist at St. Gervais and, in 1668, produced an only child, François Couperin le Grand, who became one of the most important French composers of the late Baroque era.
I think most of know this piece, and many of us probably play it in one manner or the other.
This arrangement/transcription by the great French virtuoso, Joseph Bonnet (1884-1944), makes a tremendous impact, and I have played it in full "cathedral-style," rather than attempting to be French baroque. The score is attached below, and I have followed Bonnet's registrations "in spirit."
Photos of Couperin, Bonnet, St. Gervais, and a manuscript are attached below.