Prelude in E minor, IWB 19 (Babell, William)

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Editor Grant Colburn (b. 1966)
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General Information

Work Title Prelude in E minor (Bergamo)
Alternative. Title Prelude in E minor
Composer Babell, William
I-Catalogue NumberI-Cat. No. IWB 19
Key E minor
Movements/SectionsMov'ts/Sec's 1 prelude
Year/Date of CompositionY/D of Comp. 1711-23 ca.
Composer Time PeriodComp. Period Baroque
Piece Style Baroque
Instrumentation keyboard

Misc. Comments

This prelude is from a manuscript in the Biblioteca Musicale Gaetano Donizetti, Bergamo. The Bergamo manuscript contains eleven toccatas, two suites, seven preludes, a single allemande and a fragmentary arrangement of Henry Carey's 'Sally in our alley'. Several concordances suggest Babell’s authorship of most if not all of the music in the manuscript: three of the toccatas are entirely or partially concordant with preludes in Babell’s Suits of Celebrated Lessons, his portion of British Library, Add. MS 71209, or another manuscript in his hand, Foundling Museum, London, Coke 1257. Toccata 11, complete with its short fugue, is the Prelude from the ‘Third Set’ in the Suits, the first movement of Toccata 2 is the Prelude from the ‘First Set’ in the Suits, while Toccata 1's prelude is included in the Babell portion of Add. MS 71209 with a modified ending for the first section. Three of the seven preludes are also concordant or partially concordant with preludes in Coke 1257. Another reason for attributing this music to Babell is its musical style, including its virtuoso passagework, and harmonic and structural characteristics. (Information kindly supplied by Andrew Woolley.)