Due to N. Gorenstein’s exciting book on the French post-classical organ (see below), Benoist’s organ works have comeout of shade. Benoist (1794 † 1878) got a more complete training than that of his collegues, won a Grand Prix de Rome in 1815, became organist of the Tuileries Chapel (successively under the reigns of Louis XVIII, Charles X and Napoléon III), and above all was the first important organ teacher at the Paris Conservatoire, where he had many pupils who became famous later, as Lefébure-Wély and especially Franck, who owes him a lot ; many Franck’s formulas and strokes of inspiration are in fact already in Benoist’s music.
Benoist started its career in the heart of post-classical period, and experienced the great alterations gradually introduced by Cavaillé-Coll. His music, admirably written and very elegant, reflects the esthetical transformations and includes the new available processes (Reeds ventils, swell box, new tones).
His fourteen masterpieces gathered in this volume demonstrate that he actually is the real founder of the French symphonic organ.
Several works of Benoist were recorded by Nicolas Gorenstein on a double CD (first - and only, up to now - world recordings), produced by Syrius and the Cultural Agency of the Ville de Paris, available in every good record-dealer and also at Chanvrelin. See in our catalogue : CD The Parisian post-classical organists or get straight to the detail of it.