In 1726, Corrette entered into a competition for the post of organist at the Church of Sainte Marie-Madeleine in Paris, but was not selected. He then earned his living as a music teacher and in 1727 he published his first collections of sonatas for various instruments (flute, violin, brass, musette, and hurdy-gurdy).
On 8 January 1733, Corrette married Marie-Catherine Morize, with whom he had two children, Marie-Anne (1734 - ca. 1822), and a son, Pierre-Michel (1744 - 1801), who also became an organist.
In 1737, Corrette was appointed as the organist at the Church of Sainte-Marie in Paris - a position he held for 54 years until 1791. He also served as organist at the Jesuit College in Paris from 1758 until his dismissal in 1762. It is also known, based on annotations in his methodic pieces for double bass, that he traveled to England before 1773. In 1780 he was appointed organist to the Duke of Angoulême.
In 1791, he lost his longtime position at the Sainte-Marie Church due to the dechristianization of France during the French Revolution. Despite this, he took a keen interest in the events taking place in his country, and published several opinion pieces on the course of the Revolution, all now lost. Michel Corrette died in Paris, the city in which he spent almost all of his career, at the age of 87.
Corrette was prolific. He composed ballets and divertissements for the stage, including Arlequin, Armide, Le Jugement de Midas, Les Âges, Nina, and Persée. He composed many concertos, notably 25 concertos comiques. Aside from these works and organ concertos, he also composed sonatas, songs, instrumental chamber works, harpsichord pieces, cantatas, and other sacred vocal works. Most of his sacred works have not survived, some exceptions being the Laudate Dominum and Four Masses for Two Voices from 1788.
Despite living well into the Classical era (he outlived Mozart by four years, dying in 1795 just a few months short of 88), Corrette's musical idiom was very conservative, and he continued to compose in the Baroque style at least up to the 1770s.
Aside from playing the organ and composing music, Corrette organized concerts and taught music. He wrote nearly twenty music method books for various instruments—the violin, cello, bass, flute, recorder, bassoon, harpsichord, harp, mandolin, voice and more—with titles such as l'Art de se perfectionner sur le violon (The Art of Playing the Violin Perfectly), le Parfait Maître à chanter (The Perfect Mastersinger) and L′école d′Orphée (The School of Orpheus), a violin treatise describing the French and Italian styles. These pedagogical works by Corrette are valuable because they "give lucid insight into contemporary playing techniques."
- Corrette: Offertoire la St-Dominique, by Jean-Luc Perrot, organ Callinet, church Notre-Dame to Saint-Etienne Video on YouTube
- Corrette: Offertoire la St-Benoist, by Jean-Luc Perrot, organ Callinet, church Notre-Dame to Saint-Etienne Video on YouTube
- Corrette: Noël provençal, by Jean-Luc Perrot, organ Callinet, church Notre-Dame to Saint-Etienne Video on YouTube
- Corrette: Noël Je me suis levé, by Jean-Luc Perrot, organ Callinet, church Notre-Dame to Saint-Etienne Video on YouTube
- Corrette: Tous les bourgeois de Chastres
- Corrette: Noël provençal
- on YouTube.
- on YouTube.
- on YouTube.
- Michel Corrette (1707 - 1795), biographical sketch on Here of a Sunday Morning website.