Little is known of the early life of Nicolas Bernier (1665 - 1734); at some time he studied in Italy, and was a pupil of Caldara. Returning to France, he established a reputation quite soon, for although he was unsuccessful in his bid for the post of maître de musique at Rouen cathedral in 1693, he won that position at Chartres the next year. In 1698 he was appointed to the prestigious Parisian position of maître at St Germain l'Auxerrois, the parish church of the Louvre. His big break came in 1704 when he succeeded Charpentier as maître at the Sainte-Chapelle, the chapel of the old royal palace in the Cité. This was the second most important musical post after that of sous-maître at the Chapelle Royale at Versailles. Then in 1724 the post at Versailles, where Lalande had reigned supreme for 9 years, was divided once more between four musicians; Lalande himself and three others, to wit Bernier and his friends Campra and Gervais. As well as the French cantatas, Bernier wrote many motets for small ensembles of voices and instruments, as well as Grands Motets for the larger resources of Versailles, as Lalande had done before him. Bernier was among the first to write French cantatas, together with Morin, Stuck ("Batistin") and Campra. Bernier's earliest published cantatas appeared in Paris in or soon after 1703.
Ber 1 Diane et Endimion
Ber 2 Motet pour La Sainte Vierge
Ber 3 Medée
Ber 4 Le Caffé