I’m excited to announce that a new edition has been given the green light.

Way back before Covid, I spent many enjoyable hours in the Henry Watson Music Library in Manchester, looking at the manuscript known as ‘Anne Dawson’s Book’ (which, let’s face it, is a much catchier name than GB-Mp BRm710.5Cr71). One of the jewels in this particularly exceptional 18th-century musical crown is a set of solo keyboard arrangements of twelve of Antonio Vivaldi’s concertos, from L’estro armonico, op. 3, and La stravaganza, op. 4. Vivaldi is not known to have composed any original music for keyboard, so these arrangements are a valuable addition to the collection of any keyboard player who admires Vivaldi’s music (as I do).

Although next to nothing is known about Anne Dawson, she must have been an extremely gifted musician, if the contents of her ‘Book’ are anything to go by. While it was common for eighteenth-century students of keyboard or voice to compile their own collections of miscellaneous pieces for performance and private study, the change of medium is far less usual. What’s more, these arrangements are idiomatic and effective, and certainly bear comparison with Bach’s (with which there is some overlap). For me, exploring these pieces in more depth was one of the things that made lockdown bearable, and I’m thrilled that I will now be able to share them.

I’m currently in the final stages of cross-checking, proofing, and checking again. Anticipated release date is towards the end of December, but we’ve put them on pre-order now (which is helpful for planning the print-run). I’ll add some sample pages once they’re ready. In the meantime, my thanks to Ros Edwards and the team at the Henry Watson Music Library!