Suites of Lessons, Book 2 (c.1730)
edited by Michael TalbotPlaying score
Music example Suite 1 (pdf)
Music example Suite 2 (pdf)
Music example Suite 3 (pdf)
Music example Suite 4 (pdf)
Music example Suite 5 (pdf)
Music example Suite 6 (pdf)
John Sheeles (1695–1765) published two books of harpsichord suites, in 1724 and c.1730 respectively. These basically follow in the tradition of Restoration composers such as Purcell and Croft, but more recent influences, such as those of Corelli, Handel and even Domenico Scarlatti are also discernible. Sheeles has a distinct gift for melody and for developing musical motives intensively and inventively, while always treating the keyboard in a highly varied and idiomatic manner. Each of the thirteen suites, all containing between three and five movements, follows an individual plan, mixing lengthy and sometimes ambitious movements with shorter, simpler ones. This is their first modern edition, and one that promises to win Sheeles's music many admirers.
The printing is clear and well laid-out with careful attention to page turns, very few being needed in mid-movement; would that all publishers were so considerate of the player. The introduction provides a short biography and dedication details, and the editorial method and textual notes which follow the music, particularly the paragraphs on ornamentation, should be read thoroughly. Being more advanced in their writing and technical requirements than the first set, these suites may require more careful study than the latter, but will also prove invaluable material for teaching, recitals and recreation.
The British Clavichord Society Newsletter
Suites of Lessons, Book 2 (c.1730) hh463.sol · ISMN 979 0 708146 72 8 · ISBN 978-1-910359-69-3