Walsh published Barrett’s sonata without its wind parts, and seems to have meted out the same treatment to John Eccles’s charming suite written for Queen Anne’s coronation in 1702. It clearly needs a trumpet in some of the movements. The work was presumably played by court musicians during the banquet in Westminster Hall that traditionally followed the coronation service. An engraving of the 1685 coronation banquet shows the musicians crammed into a small gallery with no keyboard instrument. There are no figures in the printed bass part of Eccles’s suite, and no sign that he intended a continuo, so we have recorded the work just with strings. It has several delightful movements in a variety of rustic styles. No 2 is certainly in the Scots style and No 5 seems to be an English jig; if No 7 is intended to be an Irish jig, it may be that Eccles intended the suite to represent the different musical idioms of Queen Anne’s kingdoms.
from notes by Peter Holman © 1995