6 Suites of Lessons for Harpsichord - John Loeillet

Gerald Gifford
Loeillet 6 Suites of Lessons for Harpsichord (Gifford)
024210, 24210, 9780193732353
Allegro Music
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John Loeillet 1680-1730
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Clavecimbel (Cembalo) Oxford
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6 Suites of Lessons for Harpsichord - John Loeillet

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Jean Baptiste Loeillet [‘John Loeillet of London’] was born in Ghent in 1680 and died in London in 1730. He settled in London in about 1705, where his surname was often rendered more or less phonetically as ‘Lullie’ or ‘Lully’, and he anglicized his first name to John. He is mentioned in 1707 as a member of the Drury Lane orchestra, and a year or two later he appears as principal oboist (and flautist) in Heidegger’s list of the opera band at the Queen’s Theatre, Haymarket. In 1710 or soon after he started weekly concerts at his house in Hart Street, Covent Garden, where, on a famous occasion (probably in December 1714), Corelli’s Op. 6 Concerti Grossi op.6 were first played in England. Loeillet became a celebrated master and teacher of the harpsichord. There is a tradition, which may well be true, that he was chiefly responsible for introducing the transverse flute as a fashionable instrument in England. In 1722, with Handel, Croft and others, he tested a new organ at St Diony's Backchurch. Later in his life Loeillet moved to East Street near Red Lion Square, where he died. John Loeillet of London’s nine suites of lessons for harpsichord or spinet are in the English keyboard tradition and include such characteristically English movements as the hornpipe and cibell. Loeillet’s keyboard style is assured and idiomatic, and the figurations used often reflect a keen awareness of resonance and sonority. Loeillet cultivated a tuneful manner, and the expressive melodies of the slow movements frequently remind us that the composer was also a celebrated flautist and oboist. All the dances are carefully and sympathetically characterized, and the Italianate influence is unmistakable: the Correntes are buoyant, the Arias lively and engaging, and the Gigues brilliant and rhythmical. Contents: Suite I in G minor, Suite II in A major, Suite III in C minor, Suite IV in D minor, Suite V in F major, Suite VI in E-flat major.

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