Claude-Béninge Balbastre


Born: January 22, 1727   Died: May 9, 1799; Paris, France  
Born in 1722, Balbastre, whose name was also spelled "Balbâtre," studied with the organist Pierre Fevrier, also taking composition lessons from Rameau. Having established himself in Paris in the 1750s, Balbastre was a respected composer, attaining international fame as an organist. In 1776, Balbastre became organist to Monsieur, King Louis XVI's brother (who later became Louis XVIII). Balbastre played an important role in the musical life of the Read more court of Louis XVI. In addition to serving as organist of the royal chapel, he gave harpsichord lessons to Queen Marie Antoinette. His students included the daughters of French and foreign notables, such as Thomas Jefferson. As an organist, Balbastre was enormously popular in Paris, and he drew huge crowds every year when he played his Noëls at Midnight Mass at the Church of St. Roch. Vexed by Balbastre's popularity, the Archbishop of Paris forbade him to play in 1762. Balbastre's career ended with the fall of the French monarchy, and he led a meager existence until his death in 1799, though he and his family kept their heads on their shoulders partly as Balbastre composed music in honor of the Revolution.

Balbastre's compositions include chamber works (sonates en quatuor) and music for keyboard. His elegant Pieces de clavecin, composed in 1759, successfully emulate François Couperin's sophisticated musical descriptions of certain characters and particular individuals. Essentially, Balbastre's music for keyboard reflects his versatility and familiarity with the dominant keyboard idioms of the late Baroque. While influences of such masters as Couperin and Scarlatti can be detected in his works, Balbastre nevertheless impresses the listener as a compellingly imaginative composer. In addition, Balbastre gained fame as an inventor, and contemporary sources credit him with the invention of a combined piano and organ, a single-keyboard instrument known as the "fortepiano organisé." Read less
Browse 26-31 of 31 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Yankee: Come Home! - Historic Organs Of Newburyport, Mass
    Label: Raven Recordings   Catalog: 190 Release Date: 11/01/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Christian H Rinck,  David P. Ruhl,  Dudley Buck,  Arthur Foote  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Ruhl Metson
    CD: $19.99
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  • 27.
    Spanish & French Organ Music / Jacques Van Oortmerssen
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 316 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude-Béninge Balbastre,  P. Carrera y Lanchares,  Jean Adam Guilain,  Antonio Mestres  ... 
    Performer:  Jacques Van Oortmerssen
    CD: $19.99
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  • 28.
    Masters In This Hall / Beveridge, Washington Men's Camerata
    Label: Gothic Records   Catalog: 49063 Release Date: 09/19/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Praetorius,  John Francis Wade,  Traditional,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Donald Sutherland,  N. Thomas Pedersen,  Rosa Lamoreaux,  Edward Newman
    Conductor:  Thomas Beveridge
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Washington Men's Camerata
    CD: $17.99
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  • 29.
    The Art Of Youra Guller 1895-1980 - A Legendary Pianist
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 5030 Release Date: 12/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Jean-Philippe Rameau,  Enrique Granados,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Youra Guller
    CD: $18.99
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  • 30.
    Carols for Organ / Marie-Claire Alain
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 45455 Release Date: 08/12/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude-Béninge Balbastre,  Louis-Claude Daquin,  Jean-François Dandrieu,  Pierre Dandrieu  ... 
    Performer:  Marie-Claire Alain
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 31.
    The Harmonious Blacksmith / Trevor Pinnock
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 413591 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Caspar Fischer,  François Couperin,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Trevor Pinnock
    ArkivCD $16.99
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