Daquin: Livre de Noëls

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Les variations pour orgue sur des chants de Noël populaires furent très prisées en France au XVIIe et plus encore au XVIIIe siècle. On n’imagine pas aujourd’hui ce qu’a pu être la popularité de Louis-Claude Daquin, virtuose adulé de la noblesse et de la bourgeoisie de Paris.

Les variations sur des Noëls se prêtaient admirablement à faire valoir le talent de Daquin, à qui l’on reconnaissait « un caractère bouillant » et « une précision inaltérable dans la plus grande rapidité du jeu », ainsi qu’un don de coloriste usant de jeux nouveaux et de sonorités pittoresques.

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Canadian organist Vincent Boucher returns with the Livre de Noëls, a collection of carols for organ by French composer Louis-Claude Daquin on the Beckerath organ at St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montréal. In the 17th century, and even more so in the 18th, organ variations on well-known noëls (Christmas carols) were much appreciated in France. Today, it is hard for us to realize how popular Louis- Claude Daquin (1694-1772) was, however he was lionized by noble and bourgeois Paris during his lifetime. Between September 2011 and June 2012, Juget-Sinclair organ builders of Montreal disassembled, cleaned and restored every component of the 1960 Beckerath organ in the basilica. The integrity of the instrument’s sound was scrupulously preserved. This mechanical-action instrument is composed of 5811 pipes, forming 78 stops organized into six divisions: the Positive, the Great, the Bombard, the Swell, the Echo and the Pedal. The console has five keyboards and a pedalboard corresponding to the six divisions of the organ.

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