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Review: Early Keyboard Author(s): Howard Schott Source: The Musical Times, Vol. 125, No. 1693 (Mar.

, 1984), pp. 159+161 Published by: Musical Times Publications Ltd. Stable URL: . Accessed: 31/05/2011 13:44
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is somewhatvariable,a few pages being a little smudgy while others seem inadequatelyinked. The facsimile itself, however, is handsomely presented. Blow and Purcell between them provided about a quarterof the works in the collection. The othercomposersrepresented arenot of their stature,but their music not only providesa context in which the achievements of Blow and Purcellcanbe betterunderstood,but frequently displaysconsiderablecharmand tunefulnessof a distinctively English character.This project as a whole, as well as makingavailablesome attractivemusic, shouldenableus to becomemore awareof an importantaspectof our oftenunderrated heritage. MARGARET LAURIE

Early keyboard
John Ward's edition of the 30 secular 16thcenturykeyboard pieces in MsD.3.30/i in Trinity College Library, Dublin, was originally published almost 30 yearsago. It has now been completely re-editedand far more handsomely producedin a new version(Schott,?7) thatdoes full justiceto this importantsource,datingfrom c1570. Happily, the original note values have been restoredbecause'the reducedvaluesof the earliereditionsgavethe musicoveralltoo jaunty an appearance, andobscured stylisticdistinctions between genres'. One hopes that this salutary returnto sound principlesof transcriptionwill be widelyimitated.The criticalapparatus, which adds many cognateworksto the anthology,has been expandedandtakesfull accountof the most recentscholarship.This importanteditionwill be welcomein its new improvedformby players and scholars alike. In the late 16th and early 17th centuriesthe courtof the SpanishNetherlandsat Brusselswas the focus of great musical activity, much of it connected with the Tridentine liturgy. Christ Church (Oxford)Music Ms 89 is a vast collection of keyboard pieces, dating from c1620, believedon circumstantial evidenceto havebeen copied in Brussels, possibly by RichardDeering, and virtuallyall for liturgicaluse. Most of the piecesareunattributed. The new well-edited and clearlyprintedcollection (SpanishNetherlands KeyboardMusic, vol.i; Brennan,?3.75) offers one creditedto Peter Philips (a ten-verse setting of Venisanctespiritus)andtwo to Pieter Cornet (four long versets on Reginacaeliand a fantasia)to whom its editor, RichardVendome, also ascribesthe unsigned final incomplete Te Deum on stylistic grounds. In spite of their intended use as liturgicalorganmusic, the pieces soundwell on stringed(i.e. secular) inkeyboard struments;indeed, the Philips work impresses as a kind of extended cycle of galliards. The notion of a keyboard anthology put together merely to exemplify contemporary fingeringsin varioussources may strike one as bizarre,if not downrightcrankish.But it is instructiveto workone'swaythroughthe 14pieces of Early KeyboardFingerings:an Anthology,

edited by Mark Lindley and Maria Boxall (Schott, ?4.50). Some are presented in two or three versions, and it is curious to observe the varying degree of consistencyin the fingerings given in pieces of differentnationalschools and periods,composedwith a varietyof instruments in view. Whetherit is desirablefor a harpsichordist to discardmoremodernand, by now, autoin the attemptto achieve maticfingeringpatterns an 'authentic' techniquebasedon whatwas written into some keyboardmusic of the time is debatableif only becausetoday's playersmust dealwith so wide-ranging a repertory. Emphasis ought to be placedon musical ends ratherthan means, after all. The editors' annotationsare useful and the graphicpresentation,using normal black staves and notationfor the principal source and a lighter grey shade for secondary ones, is ingenious. ChristopherKite's new edition of Purcell's music (Chester,two vols., ?4.85 each) keyboard with its unusuallylargeandclearlyprintednotation is sureto simplifythe player'stask.The text is virtually identical to that established by HowardFergusonin his 1964edition.The editor does not attempt to match his predecessorin discussingthe sourcesandhe doesnotofferquite so manyalternative versionsof particular pieces, which is regrettable sincetheyoftensuggestways in which repeatsmay be stylishly varied. The 'Preludeforthe fingering' recentlyrediscovered is includedin the undogmaticand practicaldiscussion of the subjectin the introduction.The editoralso offerssound and sensiblecounsel on ornaments, tempo, rhythmic conventions and harpsichordtouch. But why did he feel compelled to includethe incipitsof five organpieces in an edition of Purcell'scomplete harpsichord music?And to printWilliamCroft'sGroundin C minor(theopeningmovementof his Suiteno.3 in the editionby Ferguson andHogwood)among the 'pieces of doubtful authenticity'with only the barestmention of the well-foundedattribution to Croft is strangerstill, especially after listing 'a number of spuriousworks associated with [Purcell's]namethathavenot hadthe good fortuneofJeremiahClarke'sTrumpet Voluntary in being restored to theirrightfulcomposer'(the reference,of course, should be to Clarke's The Princeof Denmark's But, in spiteof such March). minorflaws,the new editionis eminently serviceable and highly recommended, especially for teaching purposes. Three innocentlittle piecesby Richard Jones, extractedfromhis fourthset publishedin 1732, are technicallyundemandingand thus suitable for use as novel and tasteful teaching material (ed. Gwilym Beechey;Banks,90p). The text is withoutalteration or additions butwith presented brief notes aboutthe composerand the original edition. Strangely,no mention is madeof StoddardLincoln's 1974 editionof Jones'scomplete keyboardmusic to which the playerof this tiny selection might well wish to turn if he knew of its existence.

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music was certainlylong Daquin's harpsichord overdue for reissue in a good modern edition;

except for the inevitable Coucou found in countlessanthologies,it has been undeservedly edition forgotten.An incompleteandinaccurate that appearedin France60 and moreyearsago, was quite deservedlyforgotten,even by Christopher Hogwood, the diligent editor of a new printing(Faber,?7.95), who makesno mention of it. Whenoriginally issuedin 1735,the volume was optimistically called Daquin'sPremier livre declavecin but it remainedhis only one. depieces The introductory matterfromthat originalediin facsimile, tion, beautifully reproduced presents the originalFrenchtext. Idiomaticbut faithful English and Germantranslationsare also provided. The music is clearly engraved,but one wishesthatthe manyornament symbolshadbeen andblacker. printedsomewhat larger Hogwood's introductionis thoroughandhelpfullyinformative to a playernot yet fully conversantwith the performingconventions of Daquin's time. The Minkoff series of keyboardmusic facsimiles has long been deservedlypopular.Cleanly reproducedwith, one suspects, heightened graphiccontrast,they offerthe playera valuable opportunityto takein the music visually as did the composer's contemporaries.Once one is familiar with someof the notational conventions of the time, such as varyingclefs to avoidlegerlines, it is not difficult to play from facsimiles of this quality.The 13 piecesin Pancrace Royer's Piecesdeclavecin, livre(25 S fr.) of 1746 premier (another'premiervolume' that provedto be the only one) include some drawn from Royer's fromhis most operas,notablyLa Zaide,a rondeau successful stage work. But unlike Rameau's these keyboard versionsof operatic reworkings, tunes were the later of the two. In addition to pieces of more conventionalcut, there are two Le vertigo, almost deliciouslydecadent examples: in a class with Kalkbrenner'sLe fou, and La marche desscythes, a bit of pureclaveciniste camp. Since the facsimile edition issued in 1969, havebeenableto dispensewith the rather players cooked 1879 Pauer version of Arne's eight sonatas.But it now appearsthat this facsimile what ChristopherHogwood,in the reproduced introductionto his new edition (Faber,?3.95), describesas 'somethingof a "rogue"example' of the original 1756 print. So we should be grateful that these delightful, not over-taxing worksarenow available in modelform,beautifully engravedwith nary an awkwardpage-turn. The sonatasoffer Arne at his best, including a varietyof movementsin the prevailingcontempory moulds and even some quite respectable fugalwriting.Anyonein searchof music forthe recreationof the spirit need look no further. In addition to being an Americancomposer


of distinction, Vincent Persichettiis an accomplishedkeyboard player.Smallwonderthen that his Second HarpsichordSonata (Elkan-Vogel/ United, ?3.60) is expertly and knowinglywritten, qualities somewhat rare in contemporary worksfor the instrument.This four-movement sonata, quite classical in form, is composed in a sparselinearidiomthateffectivelyexploitstextures andthe differentregisters.Becauseof Persichetti'spenchantfor polytonality,manyof the chordalpatternsfeel familiarunder the fingers even if the tonal combinationsachieved sound quite freshandnovel. This sonatashould prove a welcome additionto the 20th-centuryharpsichord repertory. HOWARD SCHOTT

andsomerather Spagnain the Guide prettyduets in the Traite' designedto use all the ornaments. It shouldnot go unremarked thaton the lastpage Merchi is granted a copyright for some songs - to run for six years. MARY CRISWICK

The AssociatedBoardhas issued two volumes (?2.50 each)of C.P.E. Bach's keyboardworks, editedby HowardFerguson.Volumeiii contains five sonatas dating from various periods and volume iv the six sonatas(madeup of 18 'test pieces')publishedin the firstvolume of the Versuch (1753). Probably the greatest difficulty young pianists will encounteris the realization of the ornaments; all this has been explainedby For each the editor,clearlyandundogmatically. ornamental figurehe offersa suggestedinterpretation, togetherwith guidelinesindicatinghow far one may venturefrom it. The earlyauthentic printededitions of the sonatasseem to have been followed carefully except in one respect: in attemptingto makethe music easierto read, the editorhaschangedthe clefsandredistributed materialbetweenthe two staveswheneverboth the right-andleft-hand partslie veryhighor very low. Some performersor scholars may prefer to see the partsastheywereoriginally published, on the same staff, in which case the editions of Steglich andSchenker(whichduplicatemost of But the the sonatasin volumeiii) arepreferable. Associated Board have revitalized for young musiciansa repertoryof instructive,expressive and historicallyseminalworks in a thoughtful and attractiveedition. Each of the new 'performing editions' of Haydn's early sonatas (HXVI: 6, 46, 20, 23; Leduc/United, ?5.55 or ?7), edited by Paul comes with a booklet in three Badura-Skoda, the uninitiated to the problanguages introducing lems of tacklingthe repertory:ornamentation, thatseem phrasing,implieddynamics,cadenzas called for by the text, and so on. But the editor is not satisfied - and rightly so - with giving us yet another on Classical lengthyverbalpreface to an authentictext of keyboardinterpretation; the music(whichconflatesthe scholarly editions of Christa Landon and Georg Feder), printed in black,he has addeda largenumberof phrase and dynamicmarkings, pedalsigns, suggestions (oftenmultiple)for realizingornaments,fingerandotherremarks not oftenfound ings, cadenzas in Classical music ('piacevole', 'con fantasia', 'typical Haydn!'). These have been printed in bright blue and may be clearlyseen as editorial additions. The product is such a sensible and sensitiveblend of the scholarlyandthe practical that I warmlyrecommendthese editionsto anyone teachingHaydnto youngpianists.Onlyone small question about interpretationis left unif Badura-Skoda's answered: suggested dynamics (with which I generally agree) for a piece like the Partitain G (c1760) range frompianissimo to pififorte, with all gradationsin between and frequentuse of crescendoanddecrescendo, why are we so often remindedby Classicalscholars

Early guitarmethods
Giacomo Merchi Le guide des 6coliers de guitarre;Trait6 des agr6mensde la musique Minkoff, 40 Swiss fr. There hasbeen someconfusionsurrounding the identity of the Merchi who was the author of these two treatises,forboth the brothersJoseph Bernardand Giacomowere activeas musicians. James Tyler's recent research(unlike his book on the early guitar and The New Grove)now points to Giacomo, who is credited in the Minkoffcatalogue.It is interestingto haveboth works presented together in facsimile as they reflectthe evolutionof the guitarduringthe latter partof the 18thcentury.The Guidewaswritten in 1761 and describes a five-course guitar (sadlynot illustrated),with the fourthand fifth coursesquite unambiguouslystrungin octaves, making for re-entranttuning; the Trait6,written in 1777, opts for a five-stringguitar.Merchi also rejectstablature,explainingthat those who use it only 'accompagnentde routine et sans mesure'.Right-handtechniqueis not discussed in detailin 1761, apartfromthe use of the annular (not auricular) finger steadyingthe hand on the table of the instrument;but in 1777 he advocates the newer 'thumb out' technique and remarks,as many have done before and since, that nails produce'des sons secs et disgratieux'. In both bookshe advisesthe use of the fingering pppim(thumbon the lower three strings,index on the secondandmedialon the chanterelle) but addsthatthe indexmaybe trailedacrossconsecutive stringsin batteries (arpeggiated accompaniments). Of more generalinterestis the sectionon ornaments, apparently rare at this time in guitar methods;amongthose discussedare(in modern mordents,trillsand terminology) appoggiaturas, vibrato.Merchi here makesthe fascinatingdistinction between upper- and lower-register vibrato. The former is made with a sideways movementofthe hand,but the latteris performed backandforwards across the fingerboard, equivalent to today's 'bending' of strings. The music providedin both volumes is not of the highest order but there are 30 variations on Folia di

thatHaydn'searliest sonatas werewritkeyboard ten for the harpsichord? Two new Urtext editions from Schott and Universalcomewith cheaplymadebut generally readable facsimilesof the autograph scores.The autographof Schubert'sImpromptuin A flat D935 (op..142no.2; ?2.30), describedas an 'extremely tidy fair copy', is interesting not only for the large cancellationswhich affected the registraldispositionof the opening theme, but also for the changes in the bass, which had the sarabande-like originallyreinforced rhythm of the other parts.Neither this change, nor the subtle cancellation of the alto e' flat on the downbeat of bar 3, nor even the renumbering of the impromptu is commented on by the editor, Paul Badura-Skoda. With 11 pagesof facsimilereproduction, compared with three for the Schubert, Mozart's Sonatain A minor K310/300d,edited by K. H. Fiissl and H. Scholz, representsfarbettervalue for money (?2.95). Here the editors have confronted the autograph'scentral and most vexthe interpretaing problem for the performer: tion of Mozart'sappoggiaturas. I generally agree with their recommendations but I cannotfollow their reasoning:nor am I in accordwith their analysisof the melody in bars9- 12 of the first movement in terms of consonanceand dissonance.Thoughthe editorsdo notdiscussit, it may be of some interestto Mozartians,particularly those who sensea falling-off in Mozart'sinspiration afterthe slow movementof this sonata,to observethatthe finaleis physically from separate the first two movements and written on a different paper type. As with his editions of C.P.E. Bach, Howard clearandthoughtfulnoteson the text Ferguson's and interpretation of Schubert'sfirst set of imBoard,?2.20) promptusD899op.90 (Associated will enablethe performer to makesensibledecisions in placeswherethe originalnotationis amcolbiguous. His interesting(thougharbitrary) lection andorderingof 32 waltzesand a minuet representsabout a fifth of Schubert'soutput of

Awards Appointments,
Guus Mostartis appointed artistic director deputy (to Sir PeterHall)at Glyndebourne. Sir Colin Davis has been awardedthe 1984 Prizein Hamburg for his services to Shakespeare music.
Violin Prize George Ewart won the SaschaLasserson

attheWigmore ElixabethWexler Competition Hall;

was second and Ian Humphries third. Erika Fox has won the Gerald Finzi Composition

Award forherworkKaleidoscope.

Laurence Jackson won the Midland Chamber Orchestra String Competition; Claire Miles was second and Helen Kamminga third. Peter Stadlen has received the Ehrenkreuz fUir Wissenschaftund Kunst (firstclass)fromthe Austrian Ambassadorin London.