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
Louis-Claude Daquin was born in Paris, to a family
originating from Italy (where their name was D'Aquino).
One of his great-uncles was a professor of Hebrew at
the Collège de France. Daquin was a musical child
prodigy. He performed for the court of King 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 the Petit St.
Claude Daquin never lacked for work as an organist. In
1727 he was appointed organist at the church of St.
Paul in Paris, ahead of Jean-Philippe Rameau who was
also a candidate. Five years later he succeeded his
teacher Louis Marchand as organist at the Église des
Cordeliers. In 1739 he became organist to the king. In
1755 he was made titular organist at the cathedral of
Notre-Dame de Paris, succeeding 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.
Daquin's surviving music includes four harpsichord
suites, a Nouveau livre de noëls for organ and
harpsichord (settings of Christmas pastorals, which
include some of his harpsichord improvisations), a
cantata, and an air à boire. Among the most famous of
his works are the Swiss Noel (Noël Suisse, No. XII of
his Nouveau livre), and Le coucou ("The Cuckoo") which
is from his 1735 harpsichord suite, Pièces de clavecin,
Troisième Livre. Among technical innovations, his Trois
cadences for harpsichord contains a triple trill.
Noël VIII is the eight in a series of short Christmas
pieces by Daquin and although originally written for
Organ, I created this arrangement for Bb Clarinet Trio.