The Composer

Louis Marchand (2 February 1669 - 17 February 1732) came from a musical family, and was one of the leading keyboard virtuosi of the period. Having been a child prodigy (Organist of Nevers Cathedral, aged 14) may have affected his personality, as he was famously arrogant, unpredictable and scandalous. He was even willing to bandy insults with Louis XIV!

Marchand's name is probably best known today for having ducked a keyboard competition with Bach in Dresden in 1717. Nevertheless, his music and performances were widely admired, and De Château-Lyon even said that Marchand was a more natural, spontaneous musician than the great François Couperin.