Music from the Hertzberg guitar book
This book belonged to Johanne Christine Hertzberg (1708-1801). She was
from Denmark and moved to Kristiandsand in Norway in 1727. In 1732 she
married a priest and moved to Ullensvang in Hardanger in western Norway.
Later it belogned to her grandson Nils Hertzberg (1759-1841). He and other
family menbers wrote poems and greetings on the blank pages of the book in
1829 and 1830. Then the book disappeared for 156 years and was found in
the attic of the mansion Bjerkely in Oslo in 1986. The Hertzberg family
are still alive and it is thanks to them that we know the story of
The music in the book seems to be of high quality. It consists of eight
sarabandes, seven menuets, five gigues, four gavottes, four passacailles,
four sonatas, seven ouvertures, fifteen aires, seven marches, one
fantasie, one chaconne, twenty one german chorales and eight variations on
the folia. Of the most interesting works are a "Chaconne de Gallatee" and
an "Ouverture de la Grotte Versailles". These pieces are by Lully and
exists in versions for theorbo by de Visee. There is also an "Echo de la Grotte Versailles".
The book begins with an "Ouverture de Wedelsburg" and a few pages later
there is an "Ouverture de Friderichs Holm".
The only piece in the book with a clear indication of the composer is an
"Allemand de Lully". Maybe the most interesting work in the book is a
sonata in C-major for two guitars. It has the movements
Adagio-Allemanda(allegro)-Adagio-Gigue-Menuett. This sonata should be a
nice contribution to the small repertoire for two baroque guitars!
Many of the pieces can also be found in a manuscript in Denmark called Princess Charlotte Amalie's Music-book.
The book is very beautifully decorated, almost like a piece of art in
itself. The handwriting is very clear and easy to understand. The pieces
are arranged according to key, but they do not seem to make up suites.
The music seems to be mainly french. It must have been quite "old
fashioned" already when it was written down. I know the clavichord was
still common in Norway around 1850, so maybe the baroque guitar was played
very late as well here in Norway?
(written by Are Hansen)
Overture de Wedelsburg
Overture de la Grotte Versaille
Gavott: en Boure:
Sonata for two guitars: