Thomas Chilcot seems to have spent his entire working life in Bath. He was born around 1700 and became organist of the abbey in 1728. He developed a busy teaching practice in the city, and was active in concerts there and in other West Country towns; his two sets of keyboard concertos, published in 1756 and 1765, were probably composed for them. In the preface to the 1765 set Chilcot praised Handel’s organ concertos—‘that delightful species of Harmony … which has been deservedly esteem’d and approv’d by the Judicious’—but in fact his own keyboard concertos are not very Handelian. They are written for harpsichord rather than organ, use the three-movement Vivaldi pattern, and contain a good deal of brilliant solo writing in a forward-looking style, partly indebted to Domenico Scarlatti whose harpsichord sonatas were much imitated by English composers in the 1740s and 1750s. Unfortunately the string parts of the Op 2 set do not survive, but Robin Langley has made a fine reconstruction of the charming A major Concerto which we have used for this recording.
from notes by Peter Holman © 1994