John Jones - Eight Setts for Harpsichord (1754) | Glossa GCD921808

John Jones - Eight Setts for Harpsichord (1754)


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Label: Glossa

Cat No: GCD921808

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 2

Genre: Instrumental

Release Date: 10th June 2016



A fascinating insight into English instrumental music from the mid-18th century is Mitzi Meyerson's latest Glossa recording. A considered view of musical life in Baroque London is likely to overlook the presence of composers such as John Jones because of the dominance of Georg Frideric Handel. Yet, John Jones concurrently held three important London organ posts for 40 years, including at St Paulís Cathedral.

Alas, little of Jonesís compositional output remains except for these harpsichord Setts (or Suites), full of 18th-century inspiration and dance movements such as Sicilianas, Allemandes, Gavottes and Minuets. If Jones shows himself aware of orchestral scores by Handel, his music also nods Ė as Handel did Ė in the direction of CPE Bach. Such revelations in Jonesís music would amount to little if it werenít for the virtuosic brilliance provided by Meyerson, as she has demonstrated over recent years in forgotten gems by the likes of Gottlieb Muffat, Claude-Benigne Balbastre, Giovanni Battista Somis, as well as Richard Jones (probably no relation).


His name may not have the exotic twang of the more celebrated 18th-century harpsichord composers ... but John Jonesís music is irresitibly colourful and eclectic. Ornate French-style preludes usher in Germanic dances, lilting Siciliane, lyrical Italianate Ďariasí, Scottish folk ditties and English ceremonial marches. ... Harpsichord doyenne Mitzi Meyerson does not disappoint, and brings to these accounts improvisatory flair, expressive rhetorical gestures, balletic grace and agility.  Kate Bolton-Porciatti
BBC Music Magazine September 2016

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