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first violin part.
|The Third Part||Page count|
|Score (with figured, unrealized bass)||iv+109|
|Basso Continuo (viola da gamba, cello)||iii+33|
|Second treble (violin, flute, recorder)(flute)||iii+38|
|First violin (flute)||iii+40|
|The Fourth Part|| |
|Score (with figured, unrealized bass)||vi+91|
|Basso Continuo (viola da gamba, cello)||ii+18|
|Second treble (violin, flute, recorder)(flute)||iii+25|
|First violin (flute)||iv+35|
Nicola Matteis (?-1714?) was an Italian who made his mark in London. He published his Ayres for Violin in four separate volumes or parts. The first two volumes, scored for violin and basso continuo, appeared in 1676. The violin and basso parts occupied facing pages in the same book.
The other two volumes initially appeared in the same format in 1685, but 1687 saw the release of separate, "Second Treble" books for parts Three and Four, as well as several new pieces which were appended to Part Four. This chronology suggests that the second treble part is optional. It is clearly so in many pieces, functioning much as an extension of the continuo. But in others including some of the fugues it is a more equal partner.
The Third Part has 64 pieces. Matteis designated 33 of them as ``easy" and appropriate for the flute, and 24 others as "harder", with double stops and divisions (in the first violin part). By "flute" it is not obvious whether he meant traverso or alto recorder, but in any event these designations are somewhat misleading. Many of the "easy" ones go out of range for a one-key flute and even further for recorder, and some also contain double stops. In fact Nos. 22, 26, 57 and 58 make extensive use of double stops. Among the "harder" pieces only Nos. 5, 17, 18, 60, and 62 use double stops to any significant extent. In No. 26 Matteis asks the second treble not to play if the first violin plays double stops, but in the others leaves this decision up to the players. In this regard, among the nine pieces just mentioned, only in Nos. 58 and 62 do the double stops appear independent enough from the second treble to justify playing both.
The Fourth Part has 47 pieces. All but one have a second treble part. Only one, No. 24, has alternate second treble parts depending on whether the solo violon plays double stops or not. Double stops were usually notated with curious, dotted outline notes (see facsimiles on pp. 44 and 65), which here have been replaced by tiny notes. Ten pieces use double stops in any significant way. In three of these (Nos. 10, 14, and 33) the second treble part is very similar to the double stops so it would not make sense to have both at once. In the rest the double stops are independent of the second treble and may probably be regarded as optional, except possibly in Nos. 9 and 36 where they were printed as normal notes.
General Comments. These editions are designed for performance. The numbering of the pieces is for convenience and is not original. The scores are laid out to avoid any page turns in one- or two-page pieces. Extraneous reference marks have been kept to a minimum. Despite Matteis' protestations, there are some errors in the 1685 and 1687 publications. Most of these are obvious and have been fixed without comment.
Accidentals have been converted to modern usage. When there is any doubt about a possible error, an editorial accidental is placed above the staff. Cautionary accidentals, surrounded by parentheses, are all editorial.
Beaming. Because they may convey some information about phrasing and articulation, original beam groupings have been preserved, but beam and stem directions have not. It is unfortunate that the modern computerized typesetting system used to make this edition cannot duplicate or even simulate the elegant curves in the beams of the original engraving.
Figured Bass. Although Matteis did include figures in the basso continuo part, they were not especially precise. As would be expected for the period, he erred more by omission than commision. But one exception is at cadence points, which he regularly preceded with "4 3" on the dominant whether it fit the harmony or not. The figures in this edition have been revised and expanded extensively from the original, so they now provide an accurate description of the harmony.
Dynamics. There are very few dynamic markings. In the original, sometimes piano and forte were used instead of p and f, and the marks weren't always consistent from part to part. Here the marks have been made consistent in spelling and distribution among the parts.
Redondo Beach, 1999, 2003
Finding several written Coppies of this Booke scattered up and down that are false strancrib'd and full of mistakes by falling into the hands of persons that doe not understand Musick; to serve my friends I have resolved not only to cause them to be printed, but likewise to see them perfected and corrected that they may be more easily play'd with addition and some new Lessons in the end of ye Book with a Concert of three Trumpetts which may be playd with Viol or Flute.
Some Three or Four Years ago I presented severall Persons of Quality with written Copys of some of my Compositions, and I have now (at the Desire of Diverse Honourable Persons) Printed about a Dozen and a Half of them over again in regard that they are suitable to some of the new Ayres.
It is not my Business to entertain the World with ye Philosophy of Number and Tone; But rather to furnish Matter for Practice & Diversion, Not doubting but that ye Pieces which I have here Exhibited to ye Publique will stand all Tests of ye Severest Criticks. as well as ye lovers and Masters of Musique. It is for the satisfaction of my Friends and out of a Respect to ye more Curious and Judicious Patrons of this Noble Science that I have Exposed these Ayres to the Light. And when I shall have either Served or Pleased the better sort of Men, I have my End; and for ye Rest the Care is taken.
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