Following in Queen Elizabeth I's finger steps!

The fascination is in wondering whether Queen Elizabeth I's fingers traced the notes before him.


Harpsichordist David Pollock offers The Queine Of Inglands Lessoune in a recital in Pagham on January 28 – a piece almost certainly written for the first Queen Elizabeth.

“She was known to be an accomplished player, and this piece was very probably written for her to play. Lesson was a name that was often used as a try-out piece. It didn’t have a connotation of an elementary study that it has gained since. It is also a fantastically-good piece. It becomes increasingly elaborate as it goes on. It attains very high levels of virtuosity towards the end, and it becomes a real work-out for the fingers.”

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David played it in Scotland in October: “I had to do it at short notice, and I was attracted to the title. I am building my programme around it now. There will be some Scarlatti in there as well.

“It will be a one-off for Pagham, but I would like to take the programme elsewhere. I usually try to tailor my programmes for wherever I am asked to do it. I try to hang the programmes on some hook that is unique.”

The recital will be in St Thomas à Becket Church, Church Lane, Pagham, on Saturday, January 28 at 7.30pm. Tickets are £12.50 and £10 concessions, available on 07758 657775 and in church; also available on the door.

The full programme will be:

Henry Purcell (1659-1695): Air, Round O, Sefauchi’s Farwell, Riggadoon, A New Irish Tune and Ground in Gamut.

Duncan Burnett (fl 1614-1652): The Queine of Inglands Lessoune.

François Couperin (1668-1733): Prelude 7 from L’Art de Toucher le Clavecin, Les Baricades Mistérieuses.

JS Bach (1685-1750): Contrapunctus [14] from The Art of Fugue.

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757): Sonatas in D K 177, 178, 511, Sonatas in E flat K 252, 253

François Couperin: La Ténébreuse, La Favorite.

William Byrd (c.1540 - 1623): Echo Pavan and Galliard, Will Yow Walke the Woodes soe Wylde.

As for future plans, David will be finalising a recording he has made with Hazel Brooks of works by the Moravian Baroque composer Godfrey Finger.

“He is little known, but he wrote the first violin sonatas in England in the 17th century. They are very fine pieces of music, but they have scarcely been recorded. We have just received the first edits and we will be working on the master. The edits seem fine, but my colleague Hazel will have her own idea. We will go through the takes and work out a finished master. If all goes well, it could be out this summer, and we would hope to do concerts on the back of that.”

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