Born into a family of Italian origins, Louis-Claude Daquin (1694-1772) lived in France during the reign of Louis XIV, studied with Louis Marchand, and in 1739 was named organist of the Chapelle Royale. In 1755, he was also appointed organist at Notre-Dame Cathedral. The music for which he is now best known is the Nouveau Livre de noëls, a collection of variations on traditional French Christmas songs. The noël has a distinguished lineage in French musical history, as the nearest equivalent to the English carol, an expression of joy at Christmas-time. Thus they are popular songs, of simple form, memorable melody and often pastoral character, telling the story not only of the birth of Christ but of the shepherds who rush to see theRead more infant in the manger in Bethlehem. With the French Revolution the genre fell from favor but was revived in Paris in the late 19th century, with examples by Franck, Guilmant and Tournemire. The noels of Daquin remain pre-eminent, however, for their charm and vivacity. Adriano Falcioni has made several recordings for Brilliant Classics which have been warmly welcomed by the international press: among them substantial or complete collections of organ music by Couperin, Franck and Durufle. On this new set, recorded in July 2017, he plays the organ of l'Abbaye de Saint Guilhem le Désert in the Hérault region of France.
State of the Art sound, plus a fabulous organist. I can safely say that I never heard a better performance of Daquin’s “Livre de Noëls. Falcioni is in his element on this organ, and gets at such a height in creating a beautiful sound full of colours most exquisite, that I could play this the whole day without getting tired listening. And this organ, it has definitively a great WOW factor.
– Harry's Classical Music Corner (walboi.blogspot.com/) Read less
Exquisite French WineJanuary 3, 2018By Catriel B. (Toronto, ON)See All My Reviews"The organ in this recording sounds as if it were marinated in good French wine for 300 years. The French Baroque organ is substantially different from the more common German type; whereas the German (and most other) pipe organs use flute-type pipes, the French Baroque organ uses reed pipes, which give a reedy, nasal sound. The organ here is also tuned to perfect thirds mean-tone tuning, used in the Baroque. The organ is also different in that whereas the German organs have a full pedal board, and the English organs usually had no pedals, here there are only 5 pedals -- but they sound out magnificently! This is a wonderful recording of a standard French Baroque Christmas -- the sonics are captured faithfully in full rich audio -- this CD has become one of my "demonstration" CD's. The organist is fully trained in the French Baroque "agreements" (ornaments) and makes this a disc that is a must for listeners of this music. Each Noel is absolutely a delight. Put the CD on, crank up the volume to max, and sit back and enjoy this excellent French wine!"Report Abuse
Light on the pastDecember 31, 2017By Peter T. D. (Jersey City, NJ)See All My Reviews"Everyone knows Daquin's Noël. If not by name, by sound: it's probably the first French Baroque organ piece anyone hears, with its jaunty melody hopping around the registers and the manuals. This album is welcome for joining it with its eleven brethren in the Nouveau livre de noëls (was there an earlier book of them? The uncharacteristically full, for Brilliant Classics, booklet doesn't say). The album is even more welcome for allowing us to hear an instrument from the 1780s that has remained essentially unaltered for more than 200 years (a Positif division was added in the early 1970s to fulfill the plans designed by the original builder, Cavaillé, grandfather of the famed organ-builder Cavaillé-Coll). The limited compass, a little over four octaves in the manuals, only 18 notes in the pedal, has not been extended; the original console -- with ebony natural keys and bone sharp keys -- and even the original paper labels on the stops have been preserved. Twice the pipes were saved from being melted down for war matériel. As for the music, it's a varied collection of variations on a dozen Christmas carols, some of the melodies still familiar today, played with a variety of registrations surprising for an instrument with only 17 stops (original) and 9 more in the added division. There's even a very loud "bird-call" stop that seems to be unmentioned in the registration list provided (it only appears in one track). The one "everyone knows" is No. 9 here, but it doesn't sound as it does when we usually hear it -- because it is a "Noël sur les flûtes" -- not intended to be tossed around a big organ's entire complement of reeds. A very welcome disk!"Report Abuse
Baroque Holiday BonbonsNovember 29, 2017By Ralph Graves (Hood, VA)See All My Reviews"Excerpts from Daquin's Livre de Noëls often turn up in Baroque Christmas music releases. They're short, appealing gems of French Galant writing. Hearing all twelve of these pieces in one sitting, though, made me revise my impression of them. Daquin was a virtuoso organist, and his settings of these French Noëls shows the extent of his talent. There's nothing routine about these arrangements. Every one exploits some aspect of keyboard artistry, and each one does so in an original fashion. Daquin was also mindful of the overall effect of these Noëls. Heard in sequence they form a charming suite of Christmas classics (of their time). My only complaint about this release is the lack of liner notes. It sounds like Adriano Falconi is playing an organ voiced for the French baroque, but I can't be sure. Nevertheless, Falconi does a fine job with this material. And the instruments, wherever it is, is well-recorded. I particularly enjoyed Falconi's selection of stops, which include some bells and bird calls. Even if you're not familiar with the carols Daquin bases his music on, there's much to enjoy here. And now that I've heard all twelve Noëls together, I have a greater appreciation of Daquin's skill."Report Abuse