Benjamin Hely (?-1699)
Six Sonatas for two Violas da Gamba and Basso Continuo
or three Violas da Gamba
Editor: Günter and Leonore von Zadow, publication date: 2017-10, continuo realization: Dankwart von Zadow, source: GB-Ob Mus. Sch. C.78 a-c etc.
The Englishman Benjamin Hely was a viola da gambist, who was active until his death in 1699. He is known to many viola da gambists through his suites in The Compleat Violist , a viola da gamba method that was printed in London in 1699. Hely’s Six Sonatas for two violas da gamba and basso continuo, which also can be played by three viols alone, display compositional similarities to Purcell’s trio sonatas. Hely wrote idiomatically for the viola da gamba, so that with three bass viols a pleasant, rich, and harmonious sound results, such as that we know, for example, from the sonatas of Michael Nicolai.