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G 12.028 CoverWilliam Topham (fl. 1701–1709)
Three Sonatas

for alto recorder and basso continuo
Edited by Martin Nitz
Realization of the thorough bass by Martin Nitz

Girolamo G 12.028, score and 2 parts, € 20,00
ISMN 979-0-50084-047-3

sample page

G 12.027 G 12.029





Little is known about the life of William Topham. A birth certificate exists of a certain "Wm. Topham" 1669 in Steeton, Yorkshire. Neither is there proof that this is our composer in question nor do we know for sure if he is the "Wm. Topham" who obtained a Magister Artium in 1693 in Cambridge and was ordained deacon the same year in York.

Until now merely his op. 1 and 2 remain as complete works from his œuvre. Both works enclose six sonatas for alto recorder and b.c. and were published around 1701 (op. 1) and 1706 (op. 2) in London. His op. 3 dating from 1709 (sonatas for violins, wind instrument and b.c.) is incomplete (the string parts are missing).

In the sonatas selected in this edition the abundant use of syncopations in the fast movements is striking. The movements are either in a 6/4 or 6/8 beat and it is of interest that the succession of "minim-crotchet-crotchet-minim" or also "crotchet-quaver-quaver-crotchet" rarely bears the role of a hemiola. (Upper and bass part often "contradict" each other!)

The editor's aim for this edition was to establish a score (the original is in parts that are kept in the British Library, London) and to harmonize the richly figured bass. Obvious printer's errors in the master copy have been corrected discreetly. For doubtful cases please see the audit report.

Translation: Julia Whybrow

Hamburg, November 2010, Martin Nitz

– Sonata F major, op. 2/2
– Sonata d minor, op. 2/3
– Sonata C major, op. 2/5