Louis Marchand (1669 – 1732) was a French Baroque organist, harpsichordist, and composer. Born into an organist's family, Marchand was a child prodigy and quickly established himself as one of the best known French virtuosi of his time. He worked as organist of numerous churches and, for a few years, at the French court. Marchand had a violent temperament and an arrogant personality, and his life was filled with scandals, publicized and widely discussed both during his lifetime and after his death. Despite his fame, few of his works survive to this day, and those that do almost all date from his early years. Nevertheless, a few pieces of his, such as the organ pieces Grand dialogue in C and Fond d'orgue in E minor, have been lauded as classic works of the French organ school. He was born in Lyon and was a child prodigy and may have become organist of the Nevers Cathedral when he was just 14 years old. Titon du Tillet also states that ten years later, at the age of 24, Marchand obtained a similar position at the Auxerre Cathedral, but contemporary sources seem to indicate that the biographer was wrong and that Marchand settled in Paris before he turned 20. He married a Parisian, Marie Angélique Denis, in 1689, and worked as organist in numerous churches until 1707–8, when he became one of the King's organists at the court. Between 1713 and 1717 Marchand went on a long concert tour of Germany; after he returned, he settled in Paris once again and worked as organist at Église des Cordeliers until his death, augmenting his income with teaching
Perhaps the most famous anecdote about Marchand is the account of the competition he was supposed to have with Johann Sebastian Bach in Dresden in September 1717. If you do not know that story, or wish to read an excellent account of it, here is a link:
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