François BENOIST (1794-1878)

Critics

PBM 26.96   Pieces for Organ. Volume I (out of print) PBM 29.99   Pieces for Organ. Volume II (out of print)

Complete works for Organ (4-volume). 2nd edition.

PBM 43.07-SMF19 07.09   Volume I. Bibliothèque de l'organiste. Suites 1, 2, 3, 4 35,00 €

Offertoires 1-7, Grands Chœurs 1-2, Élévations 1-4

A volume 310 x 225 (landscape format). 134-page. Edition N. Bertrand, T. Nordström and F. Sabatier.
Presentation in French, English.

Contents:
Bibliothèque de l'organiste. Suite n° 1: Offertoire n° 1 in C major; Offertoire n° 2 in F major; Grand Chœur n° 1 in E minor. Suite n° 2: Offertoire n° 3 in B b major; Offertoire n° 4 in C major; Grand Chœur n° 2 in C major. Suite n° 3: Offertoire n° 5 in E b major; Offertoire n° 6 in F major. Suite n° 4: Élévation n° 1 in D major; Offertoire n° 7 in C major; Élévation n° 2 in E b major; Élévation n° 3 in B b major; Élévation n° 4 in G major.

François Benoist was a musician who, thanks to his versatility, exerted an influence of French musical life from the late 1820s to the mid-1860s. As a composer, he produced not only church music but also works for the stage. His posts as court organist and professor of the organ at the Paris Conservatory during an exceptionally long period (1819-1872 at the Conservatory) placed him in an unique position in comparison with other organists in Paris. He and A-P-F Boëly were often mentioned together by the critics as “the two excellent exemplars” or representatives for “the good school”.

Volume I of this second edition was made after the two available sources: Bibliothèque nationale and Conservatoire. It contains the Suites 1-4 from Bibliothèque de l'organiste ou Suites de Pièces pour l'orgue, now presenting them in their right order.

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Élévation n° 2
 

PBM 50.10-SMF19 10.14   Volume II. Bibliothèque de l'organiste. Suites 5, 6, 7, 8 35,00 €

Offertoires 8-9, Pièces 1-12, Élévations (4), Grand Chœur, Introduction, Sortie, Rentrée de procession (2)

A volume 310 x 225 (landscape format). 140-page. Edition N. Bertrand, T. Nordström and F. Sabatier.
Presentation in French, English.

Contents:
› Bibliothèque de l'organiste. Suite n° 5. Pièces de différents caractères (1841) : Pièce n° 1 en ut majeur; Élévation n° 5 en ut majeur; Élévation n° 6 en ut majeur; Pièce n° 2 en ut majeur; Pièce n° 3 en sol majeur; Pièce n° 4 en sol majeur; Grand Chœur en ré majeur. Suite n° 6 (1842) : Pièce n° 5 en sol majeur; Pièce n° 6 en sol; Pièce n° 7 en fa majeur; Pièce n° 8 en ut; Pièce n° 9 en ré majeur; Pièce n° 10 en si b majeur; Introduction n° 11 en sol majeur. Suite n° 7: Offertoire n° 8 en ut; Offertoire n° 9 en ré majeur. Suite n° 8 (1859) : Rentrée de procession en mi b majeur; Élévation n° 5 en ut majeur; Rentrée de procession en sol majeur; Élévation n° 6 en ré majeur; Sortie en fa majeur; Pièce n° 12 en si b majeur.

It may be impossible to fix Benoist's élévations and character pieces to a certain instrument but one thing is sure: the idea of the expressive organ is present in his music. The great offertoires and grands chœurs ask for an organ with even up to five manuals. In the offertoires of grand chœur character known from the first Suites, Benoist strictly uses indications of manuals in order to indicate dynamic changes, then he gives up that old praxis in favour of another, introduced in the Élévations of the 4th Suite, using all kinds of dynamic marks: pp, ff, sf, fp, etc.

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Pièce n° 12

Pièce n° 12
 

PBM 53.11-SMF19 11.17   Volume III. Bibliothèque de l'Organiste, ou Suites de Pièces pour l'Orgue.
PBM 53.11-SMF19 11.17   Suites 9, 10, 11, 12
35,00 €

Preludes, Rentrées de procession, Offertories, Communions, Versets, Prayers, Sortie, diverse pieces.

One volume 310 x 225 (landscape format). 142-page. Edition N. Bertrand, T. Nordström and F. Sabatier.
Presentation in French and English.

Content:
Suite n° 9 (1860): Rentrée de procession in C major; Solo for Oboe in C major; Moderato sempre legato in C major; Communion in F major; Rentrée de procession in G major; Verse in G major; Sortie in A major; Offertory in A major.
Suite n° 10 (1860): First Prelude in C minor; Second Prelude in C major; First Verse in C minor; Second Verse in C major; Duo in C minor; Offertory in C major; Prelude for 5 voices in D major; Andante in D major; Short Verse in D minor; Prelude in G minor; Amen in E b major; Communion in E b minor; Trio in E b major.
Suite n° 11 (1861): Communion in F major; Prayer in F major; Communion in F major; Verse in F major; Verse in G major; Prayer in G major; Offertory in G minor/major; Duo in G major.
Suite n° 12 (1861): Prelude in D mineur; 1st Verse in D; 2nd Verse in D; 3rd Verse in D minor; Communion in E b major; Prelude in F major; Communion in F major; Verse in G major; Cantabile in B b major; Prelude in C major; Communion in C major.

In the musical texture, we can observe the ability of Benoist to combine a homophonic and polyphonic method as well as his imaginative way of developing seemingly poor motifs. His frequent modulations are often third-oriented and, on the whole, enharmonic changes with common tones and chromatic glides play an important part ion the harmonic development. It is not uncommon for sequential episodes to contain features from Baroque music.
In contrast to Lefébure-Wely that mostly uses a strictly realized sonata form, Benoist uses a free monothematic form.

Solo de hautbois

Prélude à 5 Parties

Cantabile
 

PBM 61.15-SMF19 15.26   Volume IV. Pièces diverses. 30,00 €

One volume 310 x 225 (landscape format). 60-page. Edition N. Bertrand, T. Nordström and F. Sabatier.
Presentation in French and English.

Content:
La Maîtrise: Prière in E b major — Fac simile: Andante (Prière), arrangement by W.T. Best — Marche religieuse in C major — Premier Prélude in F major — Second Prélude in G major.
L'Athénée musical: Prière in E b major.
Répertoire de musique religieuse pour orgue ou orgue expressif: Offertoire in D major.
Recueil de 4 Morceaux pour orgue: 1. Andante in A minor/major — 2. Fugue sur le chant de Pange lingua in D — 3. Marche religieuse in F major — 4. Communion in G major.
Les Maîtres français de l'Orgue aux XVIe, XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles: Three Anthems. 1. Kyrie “orbis factor” (Chant in the Bass) — 2. Kyrie “orbis factor” (Chant in the Soprano) — 3. Ave maris stella.

The present volume contains later individual pieces. They are presented in chronological order of publication. As such — and in the absence of other pieces which may have escaped our investigation — the four volumes contain the complete organ works of François Benoist, indications for the execution of which can also be found in Volume 1, which also gives details of the instruments played by Benoist as well as contemporary registration practice.

The pieces reproduced here, from the most substantial compositions to the shortest verses, confirm all the points that we made concerning form, style and language. One will remember that Benoist makes use of a wide tonal palette and system of modulation which, it has already been observed, could have had a beneficial effect on Franck.

Without attaining the genius of Franck, the works of François Benoist bear witness to an appreciable sense of propriety and attention to detail that could not be applied to all French organists of the period.

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Marche religieuse

* Rates from January 1st, 2016