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Berceuse de Noël, Op.25, No. 3

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (12/25/21)
Composer: de Saint-Martin, Léonce
Sample Producer: Inspired Acoustics
Sample Set: Esztergom
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Early 20th century
Léonce Marie-Joseph de Saint-Martin-de-Paylha, born on 31 October 1886 in Albi (Tarn) and died on 10 June 1954 in Paris (Ile-de-France).

As the successor of Louis Vierne in 1937, he was organist at Notre-Dame de Paris until his death in 1954.

Saint-Martin was heavily attacked for his appointment to Notre Dame by the Cathedral chapter, since it was done without competition. Saint-Martin was also mainly self-taught, and did not enter the conservatory, and thus was deemed to be an amateur organist. These accusations were easily seen to be false by eye-witnesses, such as Pierre Cochereau, who took Saint-Martin's place as titular organist after the latter's death. An example of his fine skill can be seen in his organ compositions, filled with emotional and spiritual writing. Saint-Martin was also a pious man, as he stated "but whatever the Good Lord wills is fine by me" concerning his death. His virtuosity can be seen by the fact that he played Marcel Dupré's op. 7 to the satisfaction of Dupré's wife, Jeanne Pascou, at a time when Charles-Marie Widor stated that these pieces were unplayable.

On the 10th anniversary of his death, the association "Les Amis de Léonce de Saint-Martin" was created on February, 27th of 1963.

"Berceuse de Noël, Op.25" was published by Editions Combre c. 1940. It is the third of three "Pièces pour Noël" It is dedicated: "a ma petite amie Douce de Fraguier", and is definitely an "unusual type" of Christmas cradle song!

The mood is dark, and the registration is unusual. I chose the Esztergom, since the registation and vast acoustic most closely approximates the Notre Dame organ that the composer played. The music is hypnotic, and lulls the mind and spirit, despite the fact that it is certainly different than most Christmas lullabies.

The score is attached below, as well as photos of Léonce de Saint-Martin.

It is my plan to upload a work each day, concluding with the Epiphany on January 6th.

Peace and all blessings of the season!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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