Daquin: Douze Noëls

Daquin: Douze Noëls

Christopher Herrick (organ)


Daquin’s Noëls are described on the title page as being for ‘organ and harpsichord, most of which could be performed on violins, flutes, oboes, etc’. There is no doubt that they are written with the sonority of the French Classical organ in mind, but many could be played on one or two harpsichords, and the simpler ones on other combinations of instruments. Almost all the melodies are known from other sources, but often with a variety of texts. Christopher Hogwood, in his 1983 edition, has tentatively given a title to all but one, but notes that our knowledge is too thin to be able to read any but the broadest programmatic meaning into the settings. The mood varies from the boldness and brilliance of No I to the tenderness of No VII (with its lilting melody over a chromatic bass) and the final overwhelming weight of No XII, with its use of the great pédale de trompette.

Newsletter Sign Up