Thomas Vincent (1723–98), is remembered today as one of England’s leading oboists.In the mid or late 1730s started taking lessons from the Milanese virtuoso Giuseppe Sammartini (1695–1750), the most admired oboist active in London during the 1730s and 1740s. The cachet of having been Sammartini’s favourite English pupil served Thomas well, and he repaid his teacher by constantly playing his oboe concertos in public during the latter’s last years and for many years after his death.
Like so many prominent instrumentalists of his time, Thomas also composed a little to gratify patrons, pupils and colleagues and to enhance his public profile. The published collection by which he is already known is a set of six oboe sonatas published as his Op. 1 in 1748. These were popular at the time and remain so among players, existing in both facsimile and performing editions. In contrast, his similar set of two-movement keyboard sonatas, which he called by the traditional description of ‘lessons’ and identified as his Op. 2, have never been republished since they came out in 1755 and seem to have been totally ignored by musicians up to now. This is puzzling, since they share the tunefulness and structural solidity of the oboe sonatas (whose style they often recall in their wide melodic arcs), while at the same time displaying some thoroughly idiomatic writing for keyboard suitable for amateur players very comparable with that of Thomas’s slightly younger contemporary George Berg.