Louis-Antoine Dornel (ca. 1685 – 1765) was a French composer, harpsichordist, organist and violinist, who lived in Paris. He was probably taught by Nicolas Lebègue. He was appointed organist at the church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine-en-la-Cité in 1706, where he took over from François d'Agincourt. He was runner-up in the competition for the post to Jean-Philippe Rameau, who eventually refused the terms set by the church authorities. He occupied several organist posts in Paris over a period from 1714 to 1748. In 1719 he was appointed to the abbey of Sainte-Geneviève, following the death of André Raison.
From 1725 to 1742, Dornel was appointed successor to du Boussetto as the music master of the Académie Française. He was required to compose a large-scale motet for choir and orchestra to be performed by the Académie each year on the feast of Saint Louis, but none survive. Dornel's works for harpsichord and for organ were well regarded at the time, the Mercure de France stating that they were "fort estimées et de très facile exécution" (well regarded and easy to play). "Easy" in comparison with more complex works by de Grigny. Dumage, etc.
We know little more about the rest of his career, other than that his last surviving organ manuscript is dated 1756. This is the "Livre d'Orgue" from which this piece is taken.
As Dornel was not a salaried court musician, he had to respond to the tastes of the concert societies set up by the French aristocracy, and in particular to the popularity of the sonata form promoted by the Italian-educated Marc-Antoine Charpentier, as well as traditional suites of French dances.
In the collection mentioned above, there are 2 superb works, "Pièces en ré majeur". "Grand jeu - en rondeau" is the first. Marked to be played "Vivement" it is very ceremonial and would make a great wedding processional. I could not think of a better sound than the glorious thunder of St. Max!