Louis-Claude Daquin

Religious music
by popularity
Livre de NoëlsMusette in G majorPièces de ClavecinRecorder Suite in C major
Louis-Claude Daquin (or D'Aquino, d'Aquin, d'Acquin; July 4, 1694 – June 15, 1772) was a French composer of Jewish ancestry, writing in the Baroque and Galant styles. He was a virtuoso organist and harpsichordist.
Louis-Claude Daquin was born in Paris to a family originating from Italy, where his great-great-grandfather took the name D'Aquino after converting to Catholicism in the town of Aquino. Louis-Claude's parents were Claude Daquin, a painter, and Anne Tiersant, a grand-niece of Rabelais. One of Louis-Claude's grand-uncles was a professor of Hebrew at the Collège de France, and another was the principal physician of King Louis XIV.
Daquin was a musical child prodigy. He performed for the court of Louis XIV at the age of six. He was for a while a pupil of Louis Marchand. At the age of 12, he became organist at the Sainte-Chapelle, and in the following year took a similar post at the Church of Petit Saint Antoine. In 1722 he married Denise-Thérèse Quirot.
Louis-Claude Daquin never lacked for work as an organist. In 1727 he was appointed organist at the Church of Saint Paul in Paris, ahead of Jean-Philippe Rameau who was also a candidate. Five years later, Daquin succeeded his teacher Marchand as organist at the Church of the Cordeliers. In 1739 he became organist to King Louis XV at the Chapelle Royale. In 1755 he was made titular organist at Notre-Dame Cathedral, succeeding Guillaume-Antoine Calvière.
By reputation a dazzling performer at the keyboard, Daquin was courted by the aristocracy, and his great expertise at the organ drew large crowds to hear him. He was known for his "unfaltering precision and evenness" at both the harpsichord and organ.
At the age of eight, he conducted his own choral work Beatus Vir.
Daquin's surviving music includes four harpsichord suites, the c.1757 Nouveau livre de noëls for organ and harpsichord (settings of Christmas carols, which include some of his harpsichord improvisations), a cantata, an air à boire, and manuscripts of two Masses, a Te Deum, a Miserere, and Leçons de Ténèbres. Among the most famous of his works are the Swiss Noël (Noël Suisse, No. XII from his Nouveau livre) and The Cuckoo (Le coucou, from his 1735 harpsichord suite, Pièces de clavecin, Troisième Suite).
Among technical innovations, his Trois cadences for harpsichord contains a triple trill.
For Daquin's twelve published Noëls, French organist Jean-Claude Duval has sourced the following old texts: