Claude Balbastre was born in Dijon in 1724. His father was a church organist in Dijon. He received his first music lessons from his father, then became a pupil of Claude Rameau. He settled in Paris in 1750 and studied there with Pierre Février, whom he succeeded as organist of the Saint Roch church. He had a brilliant career and played at the Concert Spirituel until 1782, became organist of the Notre-Dame cathedral and of the Chapelle Royale, became harpsichordist to the French royal court where he taught queen Marie-Antoinette, and became organist for Louis-Stanislas-Xavier, Count of Provence, who later became Louis XVIII, King of France. Balbastre's fame was so great that the archbishop of Paris had to forbid him to play at Saint Roch during some of the services, because the churches were always crowded when Balbastre played.
In 1763, he married Marie-Geneviève Hotteterre, daughter of Jacques Martin Hotteterre and descendant of the famous family of Norman musicians. During the French Revolution, Balbastre's connection with nobility and the royal court might have endangered his life, but he adapted to the new political situation, playing the Revolutionary hymns and songs on his organ. He did lose his official jobs and, temporarily, his pension. He died in Paris in 1799.
This piece, the lesser of the two that I've posted is more "classical" in approach than the great French organ works of preceding years. It is still a colorful piece, although I've used the "usual" sounds of the period, but in a more "free" way. I'm sorry that I don't have the proper "French characters" to properly list the title, nor do I know the translation of the title. The piece is called a "Noel Bourguignon" and comes from the Second Book of Noels, composed in 1770.
I was so impressed and inspired by 24jpr's performance of the Daquin Noels that I felt "compelled" to do something "similar" in style! ;-)