[London]: Printed for & Sold by the Author, at his House in Hanover Street Hanover Square, [1777-ca. 1780]. Oblong folio. 18th century marbled boards with small decorative dark red rectangular title label gilt to upper: "Organ : Pieces : By. Handel : & : Keeble."
Part I: 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 1f. (Preface), 34 pp.
Part II: 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 35-69, [i] (blank) pp.
Part III: 1f. (recto title, verso blank), 70-99, [i] (blank) pp.
Part IV: 1f. (recto title, verso blank), [i] (blank), 100-135, [i] (blank) pp.
With the autograph signature of the composer to the title page of each part.
Part II is dedicated to The Vicountess Cranborne, Part III to Lord Viscount Fitzwilliam, and Part III to Miss Wilhelmina King. The title pages to Parts II-IV carry the printed notice that "These Pieces altho' Compos'd for the Organ, are equally improving and entertaining on the Harpsichord." Part I carries a price of "10s:6d." and Parts II-IV "10:6d." The volume originally also apparently contained music by Handel, as evidenced the inclusion of his name on the title label; there is also a contemporary pencilled annotation to the front pastedown referring the Six Fugues HWV 605-610.
Binding worn; corners bumped with some loss; crudely rebacked. Slightly worn and browned; small tears to edges of title of Part I; Keeble's signature to titles faded.
First Edition, Rare. BUC p. 566. RISM K222 (2 complete copies only in the U.S. and a copy of Part I only at the Library of Congress).
Keeble was an English organist, theorist and composer. "He trained as a choirboy at Chichester Cathedral under Thomas Kelway, he went to London, where he studied composition and Greek with Pepusch. He was appointed organist at Ranelagh Gardens in 1742, and in April 1744 he became assistant organist to Thomas Roseingrave at St George's, Hanover Square, sharing Roseingrave's salary until the latter retired to Ireland in the early 1750s..."
His four volumes of Select Pieces for the Organ (London, 1777–c1780) are in reality collections of multi-movement voluntaries that demonstrate his traditional concept of formal design. In his preface he refers to the ‘Obligato stile of writing’ of these pieces, drawing particular attention to the use of ‘Fuges, Inversions, Canons, Double Descants and the like’. He carefully marked the appearance of each subject to assist comprehension, and emphasized the cumulative effect of contrapuntal ingenuity. Although his stylistic approach was less commonly adopted by younger composers of voluntaries of the time, he strongly endorsed it as being ‘proper for the Church’." Stoddard Lincoln and Gerald Gifford in Grove Music Online. Item #28894
Price: $950.00 other currencies