Flemish Early Keyboard Music:
John Loeillet

Loeillet's dates: 1680-1730, a generation earlier than Boutmy. Loeillet was born in Ghent into a musical family. His name was actually Jean-Baptiste Loeillet, but he spent the later part of his life in London where he was known as John; however some Victorian publications confuse him with J.B.Lully.

He taught harpsichord and composed two sets of harpsichord music, published in 1712 and 1723.(see below). He also played and taught the flute, and wrote flute sonatas, duets, and sonatas for combinations of instruments including the flute.

His harpsichord music adapts very well for the piano. The bass lines are solid and confident, sometimes resembling those of Handel, and the right hand melody lines flow beautifully, occasionally descending into the bass. Ornamentation is not excessive, allowing the music to 'breathe'. The music is attractive and light, the writing is fluent and the texture transparent and uncluttered.

An edition of Loeillet by Eve Barsham (Ten Keyboard Pieces), published by the Associated Board, is a good introduction to his work.

Harpsichord compositions:
1. Lessons for the harpsichord or spinnet, c 1712. Twelve pieces of about a page (sometimes two). Pub. John Walsh, London.
2. Six Suits for the harpsichord or spinnet, 1723. Walsh. Roughly twelve pages per suite.

Available to order from the British Library Lending Service; also on the IMSLP website.

Nigel Deacon / Diversity Website

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