Marchand, Louis



Known principally for his wild, extravagant life and his connection with Sebastian Bach. He was born at Lyons, became organist at the Cathedral of Nevers in 1684, later at Auxerre and at the Jesuit Church in Paris, and at other churches. He became very popular at Paris and soon attained to the position of organist at Versailles. His wild, dissipated life and a quarrel with the King ended in his exile in 1717. He then went to Dresden and again sought royal favor. The King of Poland wished to make him Court organist, but his Court chapelmaster, Volumier, strongly disapproving, had Bach come from Weimar in order to outdo M. Marchand. Bach challenged the Frenchman to a contest, but it proved too much for Marchand's courage, and

he failed to appear. He then returned to Paris, as his sentence of banishment had been removed. There he became organist at St. Honore, and was very popular as a teacher. He charged enormous prices for his lessons, but the money he received was not sufficient to pay his numerous expenses, and he died in poverty at Paris. He wrote an opera, Pyramus and Thisbe, which was never produced; and harpsichord and piano music. His works on the whole are poor and insignificant.