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Charles Dieupart

Three Harpsichord Suites from Manuscript Sources

ed. Andrew Woolley

Little is known about the French-born musician Charles Dieupart (?before 1667-c.1740) before he settled in England in 1703 or slightly earlier. Hawkins wrote that he was a 'fine performer on the violin and also on the harpsichord', commenting on 'his neat and elegant manner of playing the [violin] solos of Corelli', and the music he composed in England also shows that he adopted the Italian style. His harpsichord music, however, reflects the earlier stage of his career when he primarily cultivated French and Germanic styles. The Six Suittes de Clavessin, published in 1701, contains most of the pieces that are known, nevertheless two manuscripts are important sources of interesting alternative versions of those in the printed collection, and of movements not known from elsewhere. The pieces unique to manuscript include the first five movements of a hitherto unpublished suite in E major.

These pieces provide a welcome addition to the 17th-century keyboard repertoire; they are not overly difficult to play, apart from the gigues in E and F which have some tricky hand shifts, but practice is required to integrate the ornaments. The music is presented in landscape format with ring binding, the printing is clear and in quite large type, with three systems to a page. Andrew Woolley gives a concise explanation of his criteria for selecting these pieces, and a most readable account of the form of the pieces.

The Consort Summer 2010
Three Harpsichord Suites from Manuscript Sources
hh079.sol  ISMN 979 0 708059 90 5  ISBN 978 1 905779 40 6