James Hartley

Hartley : Sonata no. 4 in E minor : illustration

Sonata no. 4 in E minor
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Six Sonatas for two Violins or German Flutes and a Bass. Composed (for his amusement) by James Hartley Gent. Late an Officer in His Majesties IX regiment of Foot. Revised, corrected and approved of by Thomas Augustine Arne Gent. London, 1758.

Hartley is believed to have served in the 9th regiment of foot as an ensign, between December 1752 and July 1757. His subsequent career is obscure, although he appears to have worked as a professional musician until the 1780s, and not to have been the gentleman player that his frontispiece claimed. A setting published under his name, c.1780, actually by James Oswald c.1745 (The Parting Kiss), inevitably prompts speculation (probably unfounded) that Hartley's name was one of Oswald's not inconsiderable portfolio of noms de plume.

The current edition presents the sonatas as string or wind (military band) trios; the figured bass has not been included.