New from the Viola da Gamba Society

I received three recent issues in mid-April. The most substantial is No. 239, which is quite expensive (£40.10), especially for those who already have the score in Musica Britannica, vol. 70. There are two sets – 28 for three strings and organ, followed by another 21 with no organ. There are no problems with the latter, which is not included here. But the work at issue requires an organ, even if it is rarely independent. If you want to play without organ, not too much is missing, and that can be done from the string parts available from Stainer and Bell: professional players aren’t going to play without the organ: better to use a harpsichord or theorbo than nothing! In addition to MB 70, we now have two complete sets of parts of the 28 Fantasias (including the Pavan, no. 18), both without the organ. For economical reasons, an organist is not likely to buy just the first of the two sets, since the second set doesn’t have one. Meanwhile, Stephen Peglar has produced quite an expensive edition that is distorted to squeeze in essential organ passages.

No. 240 (£7.20) comprises the last pair of six Divisions for treble and bass on a ground, with the composer headed as Anon. (John Jenkins?) No. 5 in in g, No. 6 in G. There’s no shortage of semiquavers and some demisemiquavers, while a budding organist should be able to place the chords in the right place. Andrew Ashbee is the editor, informed by Peter Holman.

No. 241 (£17.00) is a set of 10 Fantasies in 3 Parts for TrTrT & TrTrB by John Okeover. The top part is treble, the second part varies between G2 and C1, and the lowest part of the first four are for tenor, with the fifth having a compass from two octaves below middle C up to the 440 A; the other five have more normal bass ranges. Andrew Ashbee is again the editor.

Clifford Bartlett