The Englishman Benjamin Hely was a viola gambist, who was active until his death in 1699. He is known to many viola gambists through his suites in The Compleat Violist, a viola da gamba method that was printed in London in 1699. These two suites for viola da gamba solo form the first section of this volume, which appears in our series Für den Unterricht (For the lesson). They are made up of the usual sequence of almand, courant, saraband, and jigg, are written idiomatically for the viol, and frequently display arpeggiated chords in the manner of the style brisé. This volume additionally includes a six-movement suite by Hely for two violas da gamba. These simple duo movements follow a rather old-fashioned contrapuntal pattern and are certainly welcome exercises for viol pupils.
Editor: Günter and Leonore von Zadow.