Christopher Herrick plays the Noëls of Louis-Claude Daquin
at the organ of St Rémy, Dieppe
(Claude Parizot 1736 – 1739, then reconstructed to its 1739 state by Dupont of Caen in 1992, with only the addition of a soubasse in the pedal.)
The programme notes by David Ball indicate that the romantic “improvements” made to the instrument were not so radical as to make any part of the rebuild guesswork.
Reviewed by Peter Wilding.
- To Christopher Herrick; you have excelled yourself, my friend.
- To Paul Niederberger, recording engineer; 10 out of 10.
- To those who presently maintain the organ; high compliments.
- To the authorities of St Rémy; congratulations for keeping the acoustics bright but not overwhelming.
- To Helios (CDH5319); well done for the release of this fine, well-balanced package. The programme notes meet the needs of organ buffs.
Readers familiar with the RNZ Concert’s weekly competition for CDs may well have heard excerpts from the disc played over five days, as two copies were on offer as the prize earlier this year.
I feel that many of those who like organ music will be compelled, like myself, to play parts of the disc over and over again. Indeed, so rhythmic and lilting are some of the Noëls that I would have jumped up and danced to them had I been able!
Some interesting comparisons may be drawn with other organs and organists.
The date of the St Rémy organ is exactly the same as that of the great Haarlem instrument in the Netherlands, so some of the contrasts between the French and Dutch organ building ideals of the 1730s can be heard.
Then, to show how tastes have changed somewhat since 1964, there is Noel Rawsthorne at the huge Liverpool Cathedral organ playing Noël Number 6 in a truly romantic manner with a big sound in cavernous acoustics. It was this recording, along with that of Gillian Weir playing the Couperin Masses, that confirmed my love of the French baroque in all genre, when I was a great deal younger.
So, from me, all bouquets and no brickbats.
Peter Wilding, 2008