Claude-Benigne Balbastre: Music For Harpsichord

> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Lamarck
> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Berville
> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Lugeac
> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Suzanne
> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Genty
> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Malesherbe
> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Berryer ou La Lamoignon
> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Laporte
> Pieces de clavecin, Book 1 - La Morisseau
> Livre contenant des pieces de different genre d'orgue et de clavecin (excerpts) - Sonata No. 2 in F major
> Livre contenant des pieces de different genre d'orgue et de clavecin (excerpts) - Menuet I and II in A major - A minor
> Livre contenant des pieces de different genre d'orgue et de clavecin (excerpts) - Sonata in F major, "Coucou"
> Livre contenant des pieces de different genre d'orgue et de clavecin (excerpts) - Badine in A major
> Livre contenant des pieces de different genre d'orgue et de clavecin (excerpts) - Sonata No. 6 in F major
> Prelude - Prelude
> Marche des Marseillais et l'air Ca ira - Marche des Marseillais et l'air Ca ira

Album Summary

>Balbastre, Claude-Béninge : Pieces de Clavecin, Book 1
>Balbastre, Claude-Béninge : Livre contenant des pieces de different genre d'orgue et de clavecin
>Balbastre, Claude-Béninge : La D'Esclignac, for harpsichord
>Balbastre, Claude-Béninge : Pantomime de Pigmalion, transcription for harpsichord (after Rameau)
>Balbastre, Claude-Béninge : Prelude, for organ
>Balbastre, Claude-Béninge : La Marche des Marseillais
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

A celebrated keyboardist and composer under the "ancien regime", Claude-Benigne Balbastre survived the French Revolution only to die in poverty a decade later. His multifaceted musical legacy continued the strong tradition of French harpsichord music while embracing the innovations of Italian music, such as those of Scarlatti, and fashionable new styles which emerged for the salon. Completely charming and tuneful, his keyboard works are well served by the stunning Keith Hill instrument chosen for this recording. Other highly-acclaimed recordings featuring Elizabeth Farr are also available on Naxos.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Ploger Hall, Manchester, Michigan, USA (08/2008).



Reviews

Having a Bal-bastre
Probably best-known as an organist—Claude-Bénigne Balbastre’s charming noëls are most familiar—but his harpsichord music has enjoyed little acclaim. Balbastre (1727-1799) was a virtuoso organist known for his quirky improvisations during church services and also remembered as a friend to the aristocracy during the final years of the ancient régime. Balbastre taught Marie-Antoinette the harpsichord but fortunately dodged the guillotine blade when revolutionary murderers changed France forever. Fondly remembered by Charles Burney in his Present State of Music in France and Italy, Balbastre died in poverty. Thanks to the always excellent harpsichordist Elizabeth Farr for serving up this recording of Balbastre’s highly engaging music. Balbastre was certainly no Couperin or Rameau (with whom he studied) but there is plenty of excellent music to enjoy. Fairly typical of the period, Balbastre’s Pièces de clavecin is comprised of little character portraits. These are filled with an equal mix of wit and tenderness. La Castelmore opens with a delicious imitation of country pipers while its second part is marked by its gentle sweetness. The balance of the recording features a sampling of Balbastre’s Livre contenant des pieces de different genre d’orgue et de clavecin, a collection of 75 works for keyboard. Farr plays eight of the 24 works for harpsichord. She closes the program with the Marche des Marseillois et l’air Ça-ira, a set of variations on the revolutionary tunes la Marseillaise and Ça ira. It’s a kind of bittersweet snapshot of Balbastre’s place in revolutionary France. Farr plays a big Keith Hill harpsichord with two buff stops. Perhaps not exactly the harpsichord Balbastre would have played—French harpsichords with 16’ stops have not survived—but it sure sounds good. Big bass sound and tasteful use of the buff stops make this outstanding at every turn.
Submitted on 02/20/10 by Craig Zeichner 
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Works Details

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Pièces de Clavecin, Book 1
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1759

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Livre contenant des pièces de différent genre d'orgue et de clavecin :: Sonata no 5 in G major for ha
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Livre contenant des pièces de différent genre d'orgue et de clavecin :: Gavotte Rondeau in G minor for
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Livre contenant des pièces de différent genre d'orgue et de clavecin :: Sonata in G major for harpsich
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : La D'Esclignac, for harpsichord
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Pantomime de Pigmalion, transcription for harpsichord (after Rameau)
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Pièces de Clavecin, Book 1
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 1 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Written: 1759

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Livre contenant des pièces de différent genre d'orgue et de clavecin :: Sonata no 2 in F major for ha
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Livre contenant des pièces de différent genre d'orgue et de clavecin :: Menuet 1 and 2 in A major/A mi
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 24 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Livre contenant des pièces de différent genre d'orgue et de clavecin :: Sonata in F major, 'Coucou', f
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Livre contenant des pièces de différent genre d'orgue et de clavecin :: Badine in A major for harpsich
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Livre contenant des pièces de différent genre d'orgue et de clavecin :: Sonata no 6 in F major for ha
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : Prelude, for organ
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical

>Claude-Bénigne Balbastre (1727 - 1799) : La Marche des Marseillais
  • Performer: Elizabeth Farr (Harpsichord)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Classical
  • Form: March
  • Written: 1759-1792