Most of the information we have about Charles Noblet, composer, organist and harpsichordist in the France of Louis XV, originates from the recent studies and publications by the scholar Érik Kocevar - see "Charles Noblet (1715-1769): musicien du Roy en son Royalle Académie de Musique", PhD Thesis, 1990 - and other items released in the following years.
In addition to the typical duties normally accomplished by any regular musician of his time, such as the composition of organ music for the churches situated between Abbeville and Paris, as well as the intense and appreciated teaching activity, Noblet joined the Opera as the principal harpsichordist since 1739, a position he held almost until his death. Unfortunately, very little of his music has survived until our days, and, except for the collection of pieces for the harpsichord, the remaining known compositions do not seem to present particularly original ideas.
The harpsichord suites - published in Paris, 1757 - are generally considered as superlative compositions, whose style is reminiscent of certain composers from the old school, mainly Rameau and Forqueray. However, the collection also exposes other pieces of great lightness and modernity, like the "L'orgueilleuse" where Noblet seems to evoke the atmosphere, familiar to himself of the operatic "bel canto". And what about the suggestive "La Tricoteuse" - a piece to be played in a not-so-fast tempo as should be for any French Giga - whose dancing and highly contrapuntal character is close to many pieces by Handel?
This recording by Fernando De Luca, has been selected among the best of his contributions recently submitted to the non-profit project "saladelcembalo.org", and now also commercially available for downloading!
Recorded in Rome: 2012 May 26-27 & 29-30
The instrument: a copy of a french harpsichord built by C. Caponi (1985) after Blanchet (1754)
In the cover: Nicolas Lancret, Dance in a Pavilion, 1730-35 - Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin.