Louis-Claude Daquin (or d'Acquin), (1694 -- 1772) was a
French composer of Jewish birth writing in the Baroque
and Galant styles. He was a virtuoso organist and
A child prodigy and a student of Louis Marchand (not to
mention godson of composer Elisabeth Jacquet de la
Guerre, who gave him his first keyboard lessons),
Louis-Claude Daquin first attracted attention at age
six, when he played the clavecin for King Louis XIV.
Descent from a line of Jewish intellectuals did not
impede his early professional progress. At age eight he
conducted his own Beatus vir at Sainte-Chapelle in
Paris, and by age 12 he had become organist at the
convent of Petit St.-Antoine, where the faithful
flocked to hear the wunderkind organist as much as to
attend religious services. In 1727 he triumphed over
Jean-Philippe Rameau in a competition for a position he
would hold for the rest of his substantial life,
organist at St.-Paul. In 1732 he added to his duties
organist of the Cordeliers, succeeding Marchand. As if
this weren't enough, in 1739 he found himself appointed
-- this time without competition -- as organist of the
Chapelle Royale. Furthermore, he was given one of the
four organ posts at Notre Dame in 1755. He also
performed as a guest at several other venues. Just as
conductor Herbert von Karajan held so many important
simultaneous posts in the twentieth century that he was
called the "music director of Europe," Daquin was the
principal organist of Paris.
Daquin was a celebrated improviser, but he also wrote
widely for publication; his most famous composition is
the twittering bird piece Le Coucou. Christmastime
always brings performances and recordings, particularly
in France, of his Noėls pour l'orgue ou la clavecin.
His other major publication is the Livre de pičces de
clavecin, first published in 1735. Some of his pieces
are strongly influenced by Couperin, but many are quite
original; some are obsessed with a single, unvaried
melodic unit, while others take an up-to-date, fully
fleshed-out sonata form.
Although originally written for Harpsichord, I created
this arrangement for Flute Trio.