LOUIS XIII One Note Prelude
LOUIS XIII One Note Prelude

One Note Prelude curated by LOUIS XIII Cognac

January 2020

One Note Prelude curated by LOUIS XIII cognac is an innovative project inspired by the toast’s sound of two LOUIS XIII cognac glasses

LOUIS XIII cognac has been present at many celebratory moments throughout time – from royal coronations and presidential inaugurations to being served on board the maiden voyages of the Orient Express in 1929 and the SS Normandie in 1935, and by individuals toasting momentous achievements or milestone anniversaries the world over.


Each decanter of LOUIS XIII cognac contains a meticulously selected blend of up to 1,200 eaux-de-vie, representing the lifetime achievements of generations of Cellar Masters, making it the perfect drink with which to toast a special occasion.


In recognition of this, LOUIS XIII embarked on a journey that brings music, technology and design together as a tribute to the extraordinary power of one single drop of LOUIS XIII.

A distinctive sound
A distinctive sound

A distinctive sound

In order to showcase the complex flavours and aromas of LOUIS XIII cognac, in 2008 we produced a bespoke crystal glass, in collaboration with renowned French designer Christophe Pillet. When two of these delicate glasses are clinked together in a toasting action they produce a very specific sound – a pitch-perfect G-sharp note.

‘Tasting LOUIS XIII cognac is all about the aromas, the depth of flavours, the texture and, of course, the sound,’ says LOUIS XIII Global Executive Director Ludovic du Plessis. ‘When you toast two glasses together you get this long, drawn-out note, which is part of the overall experience.’

Exploring One Note
Exploring One Note

Exploring one note, expressing one note

Taking this G-sharp sound as the inspiration, LOUIS XIII commissioned talented French-Israeli pianist Yaron Herman to compose an exclusive symphony, with the challenge of creating a piece of music using only the G-sharp note.

The composition, entitled One Note Prelude, begins with the distictive G-sharp chime of two LOUIS XIII glasses making a toast, which then develops with Yaron playing the note on the piano, then joined by a string quartet also playing the G-sharp note, but at different octaves and using contrasting timbres and rhythms.

‘The symphony has a complex simplicity,’ says Yaron. ‘It’s just one note, but with many dimensions – and many revelations. The idea that one note can evolve over time and reveal itself was something that I found fascinating.’

Each individual instrument brings texture, structure and harmony to this sensitive composition, just as each aged eau-de-vie from the blend brings something different to LOUIS XIII cognac.

LOUIS XIII Looking for the future
LOUIS XIII Looking for the future

Looking to the future

The ever-evolving blend of eaux-de vie is a reflection of the past, but also represents a commitment to the future, as we lay down stocks for future generations to draw on. Always thinking a century ahead, we wanted to incorporate state-of-the art technology into this project, which is why we turned to robotics.

Alongside the piano and string quartet, the One Note Prelude performance features a pair of specially choreographed robotic arms, which have been programmed to make the perfect toast.

The imposing arms, move gracefully in time to the music while holding two delicate LOUIS XIII glasses. The glasses are then brought together, at exactly the right moment, to produce a clear G-sharp chime that starts the performance in spectacular fashion.

‘We went in search of perfection. The robots are going to give you precisely the right angle and the right speed to make the toast, and to get that sound,’

Ludovic du Plessis. (LOUIS XIII Global Executive Director)