François Benoist (10 September 1794 – 6 May 1878) was a French organist, composer, and pedagogue.
Benoist was born in Nantes. He took his first music lessons under Georges Scheuermann. Benoist studied music at the Conservatoire de Paris and won the Prix de Rome in 1815 for his cantata Œnone. In 1819, he became organist (organiste du roi) and professor of organ at the Conservatoire; he held the latter post for half a century. His students included César Franck, Camille Saint-Saëns, Charles Lecocq, Georges Bizet, Louis Lefébure-Wely, Léo Delibes, and Adolphe Adam. As composer, he was comparatively unimportant, but he wrote two operas, four ballets, one Requiem Mass, and numerous works for organ. He died in Paris.
I came across the name of Benoist the other day, and was thinking that he must have be an excellent teacher and influence upon hi students, many of who were much more famous then he was.
"Sortie in F Major" is found in his "Bibliothèque de l'organiste", of which there are twelve volumes. This work is the fifth piece in the eighth volume.
I suppose it would be called "typical" of the time, and that's true, but it would make a useful postlude, and is the sort of piece that would sound good and grand on most organs, especially if the instrument has some power, and if the acoustics of the room are favorable.
It's quite heroic on the 1855 Cavaillé-Coll of St. Omer.
The score is attached below, as well as a photo of François Benoist. Pictures of him seem to be quite rare.
Also attached is the MIDI file of the piece.