9th Biennial Conference on Baroque Music


Trumpet music in John Walsh's Harmonia Anglicana

Alexander McGrattan

Between 1701 and 1710 the London music publisher John Walsh published around fifty suites of act music for four-part strings in the series Harmonia Anglicana or the Musick of the English Stage. The majority of these comprised the act music from theatrical productions presented at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. From 1705, Walsh issued a complementary series, from plays presented at the Queen's Theatre. Concordances have been made between two of the publications in these series, the overture to the play 'Tunbridge Walks' by John Barrett (1703) and 'A new Set of Tunes for the Theatre' by William Corbett (1708), and works by the same composers which include solo parts for trumpet: Sonata No. 1 by Barrett in Lbl. Add. MS 49599 and the 'Overture and Aires' from Corbett's Six Sonatas with an Overture and Aires (London & Amsterdam, c.1708). Significantly, Walsh did not issue the trumpet pieces as arrangements for four-part strings, but merely supplied the string parts of the full versions, while omitting the trumpet parts.

In this paper, I will identify other suites published by Walsh in these series that appear to have been issued incomplete and which may have originally contained parts for one or more trumpet. The implications of the publication of these pieces for contemporary performances will be considered, and recorded audio extracts of a realisation of the overture to one of the plays will be presented.

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Last updated on 22 March 2000 by Yo Tomita