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Anno 2010-05 / Issue 2010-05

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JOHN SHEELES
London, 1688-1761

sheetmusic Suites of Lessons (1725)

Lesson in c minor

Prelude: Allegro - Adagio (*)
Allmand
Corant
Jigg

Lesson in A major

Prelude: Slow
Corant: Allegro - Adagio
(*)
Gavott
Allegro
Minuet
Jigg

Lesson in e minor

Adagio (*)
Vivace
Minuet
Air

Lesson in F major

Preludio (*)
Allmand
Corant: Allegro - Adagio
(*)
Vivace

This World Premiere Recording is dedicated to Grant Colburn, one of the founders of Vox Saeculorum. He's well-known for his keyboard compositions in the style of Handel's English Contemporaries

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Lesson in g minor

Preludio (*)
Allegro
Andante
Jigg

Lesson in C major

Preludio (*)
Ground
with 26 var. (**)
Air
Minuet
Jigg

Lesson in D major

Overture: Slow - Vivace
Allegro
Adagio
Jigg

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(*) Ad libitum by F. De Luca
(**) The variations nos. 1 - 16, in major, are original pieces by Sheeles;
the additional 10 variations (and coda), in minor, are 'ad libitum' by F. De Luca

englishroom2

John Sheeles belongs to that body of English composers active in London in the first half of the 18th century, whose harpsichord tradition was based on Henry Purcell, William Croft and, more directly, on the taste for keyboard suites of the Anglo-German musician George Frideric Handel. Very little is known about Sheeles, other than the fact that he was an esteemed harpsichord teacher, having published two collections of “Lessons”, the first in around 1725 (of which the current recording is the worldwide premiere) and the second, in which he introduces new types of dance in stylized form, in 1730. He belonged to the original nucleus of the “Royal Society of Musicians” subscribed on 28 August 1739, and held the post of harpsichordist at the “Little Theatre” (Haymarket) until about 1755. The British Museum’s “Catalogue of Printed Music” lists a long series of his compositions (“songs”) published in the decade 1720-1730 and beyond. Sheeles knew the English poet Christopher Smart (1722-1771), who was noted for his religious themes. The two collaborated many times after their initial contact in the musical salons for the Vauxhall Gardens. In particular, Sheeles’s best known musical production using texts by Smart (not to mention Pope and others) was “The Skylark”, which included a series of hymns and sacred odes, published for the “Spectator”. William Stukeley (1687-1765), the noted English antiquarian (as well as one of the biographers of Isaac Newton), was a great supporter of Sheeles, who dedicated his 1725 volume for the harpsichord to his patron.

Compiled by Zadok
(Translation: Belinda McKay)

delucamay2902

John Sheeles appartiene a quel filone di autori inglesi attivi a Londra nella prima metà del settecento, la cui tradizione clavicembalistica si rifà allo stile di Henry Purcell, William Croft e, più direttamente, al gusto delle suite per tastiera del musicista anglo-tedesco George Frideric Handel. Di Sheeles si conosce molto poco, se non il fatto che fu un apprezzato maestro di clavicembalo, avendo pubblicato due raccolte di "Lessons", la prima attorno al 1725 (di cui la presente registrazione ne è la prima mondiale assoluta) e la seconda del 1730, nella quale introdusse nuove tipologie di danze in forma stilizzata. Egli appartenne al nucleo originario della "Royal Society of Musicians" sottoscritta il 28 agosto 1739 e tenne il posto di cembalista presso il "Little Theatre" (Haymarket) fino al 1755 circa. Il "Catalogue of Printed Music" del British Museum elenca una lunga serie di sue composizioni ("songs") pubblicate nel decennio 1720-1730 ed oltre. Sheeles conobbe il poeta inglese Christopher Smart (1722-1771), noto per i suoi componimenti religiosi, i due collaborarono a più riprese sin dalla loro iniziale frequentazione presso i salotti musicali dei Vauxhall Gardens. In particolare, la più nota produzione musicale di Sheeles su testi di Smart (nonché di Pope ed altri) fu "The Skylark", comprendente una serie di inni e odi sacre, pubblicati per lo "Spectator". William Stukeley (1687-1765), noto antiquario inglese dell'epoca (nonché uno dei primi biografi di Isaac Newton), fu un grande sostenitore dell'arte di Sheeles, il quale dedicò al suo protettore il volume per cembalo del 1725.

A cura di Zadok

englishroom3

Fernando De Luca, harpsichord

Enregistré à Rome

13-17 mai 2010

German harpsichord Christian Vater (1738)
built by François P. Ciocca, Riccia (IT), 2007

temp. Kirnberger III, A=415Hz

Enregistrement & montage numérique:

Fernando De Luca, Marco De Gregorio

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