Livre d’orgue contenant 5 messes suffisantes pour tous les tons de l’Eglise ou 15 Magnificats … et une Offerte, en action de grâce, pour l’heureuse convalescence du Roy en 1687 (Paris, 1688/R 1993 [with prefatory matter in Eng., Fr. and Ger.]), ed. in Archives des maîtres de l’orgue, ii (Paris, 1899/R) and Orgue et liturgie, nos.55–6, 58–9, 61 (Paris, 1962)
Second livre d’orgue sur les acclamations de la paix tant desirée … [auxquelles] l’auteur adjoûte plusieurs Noëls (Paris, 1714), ed. in L’organiste liturgique, nos.39–40, 43–4 (Paris, n.d.)
Raison’s music is characterized by rhythmic vitality, consistent use of imitative counterpoint and imaginative use of registration, often requiring the full resources of a four-manual French Baroque organ. Since Raison designed his first Livre d’orgue to assist secluded monastic musicians, its preface contains a wealth of valuable information about performing practice. His advice about observing the metre of each piece to determine which dance movement is implied is often quoted; however, it should not be inferred that Raison used dance rhythm more than his contemporaries, or that his music is unusually ‘secular’ in nature. The book contains detailed information on registration, ornamentation, notes inégales and fingering. A striking example of Raison’s didacticism and attention to detail is his early use of the double dot in the French overture-style offertory (see illustration). Raison’s influence is clear in Clérambault’s organ works; further it seems that J.S. Bach borrowed the theme of his ‘Christe: Trio en passacaille’ (Messe du deuxième ton) for his Passacaglia in C minor (bwv582).
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AMAZON: RAISON, A. - Messes d'Orgue