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Hyperion Records

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The Virgin and Child by Angelo Bronzino (1503-1572)
Track(s) taken from CDA66816
Recording details: May 1995
The Church of St Rémy de Dieppe, France
Produced by Paul Spicer
Engineered by Paul Niederberger
Release date: September 1995
Total duration: 64 minutes 40 seconds

Nouveau livre de noëls
composer
1740

Noël en Duo  [5'17]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
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.

Many of the Noëls employ a cumulative variation technique in which the figuration becomes increasingly rapid as the piece progresses, producing an effect of ever greater brilliance. Stunning echo effects are achieved, as in Nos I, VI and X, by hopping from manual to manual (grand orgue, récit, écho). The pedal-writing in Nos II and IX implies a wide compass similar to the viola da gamba; this is accommodated by using the 4-foot flûte on its own.

from notes by David Ball © 1995

Other albums featuring this work
'Christmas through the ages' (NOEL1)
Christmas through the ages
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