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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » B » Balbastre, Claude-Benigne

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Claude-Benigne Balbastre (1/22/1727 - 5/09/1799)

Balbastre was born in Dijon and received his earliest instruction in music from his father Bénigne, a church organist. He probably also studied with Jean-Philippe Rameau’s brother, Claude, whom he succeeded as organist at the Cathedral of St Etienne in 1743. His large manuscript of 75 pieces in various genres, primarily for harpsichord or organ, comes from this early period and is dated 1749.

In 1750 Balbastre went to Paris to study composition with Jean-Philippe Rameau and organ with Pierre Février. He became organist at St Roch in 1756, and his performances there, as well as those at Notre Dame and the Concert Spirituel (Parisian concert series), were extremely popular and well attended. He was reviewed in the prestigious Mercure de France and described glowingly by the famous music historian Charles Burney in his The Present State of Music in France and Italy (1771). Balbastre’s arrangement of movements from Rameau’s opera Pygmalion comes from this period, performed in 1754 at the home of Le Riche de La Pouplinière, Rameau’s music patron.



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