Marchand, Louis

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Marchand, Louis

Marchand, Louis, French organist, harpsichordist, and composer; b. Lyons, Feb. 2, 1669; d. Paris, Feb. 17, 1732. At the age of 14, he was made organist at Nevers Cathedral. He went to Paris in 1689, and in 1691 he received the post of organist of the Jesuit church in the rue St. Jacques; he was also organist at other Parisian churches. In 1708 he was named an organiste du roi, in which capacity he earned a considerable reputation, and in 1713 he made a major tour of Germany. Marchand’s name is historically connected with that of Bach because both were scheduled to meet in open competition in Dresden in 1717; however, Marchand failed to appear and Bach was deemed the superior virtuoso by default. He subsequently was organist at the Cordeliers in Paris. See T. Dart, ed., Louis Marchand: Pièces de clavecin (Paris, 1960) and J. Bonfils, ed., Louis Marchand: L’OEuvre d’orgue édition intégrale (Paris 1970 et seq.).


Pièces de clavecin, livres 1-2 (Paris, 1702); (12) Pièces choisies pour l’orgue (Paris, after 1732); also 42 organ pieces in 4 books in MS and vocal works, including various airs in anthologies (1706–43).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire