José Herrando – Tres dúos Nuevos a dos Violines / Three New Duets for Two Violins – Edition based on M/1455(2). Sheet music: preface in English and Spanish, score and parts in PDF.
There is little documentation about José Herrando’s life, although we do know that he was born in Valencia around 1720, he worked in several theatres in Madrid and he worked for the duke of Arcos, to whom he dedicates his treatise. He served as first violin at the Royal Chapel and his advanced skills are reflected in the great variety of compositions for violin that he wrote: sonatas, trios, duets, sonatinas for a five-string violin and the treatise – that includes very demanding examples. He died in 1763 in Madrid.
The three duets included in this edition show some of the virtuoso string playing in Spain at the end of the baroque period. The source used for this edition was published in 1760 most likely in Madrid and can be found in the Biblioteca Nacional de España and on its digital version on the following link:
For the edition of the present duets, we have relied on Herrando’s treatise which was published twice under the title:
Art and precise Explanation of the way of Playing the Violin with perfection and ease, being Very useful for anyone who learns, both Amateur and Professor, taking advantage the Masters in teaching their Disciples, with more brevity and rest.
These publications saw the light in 1756 in Paris and in 1757 in Madrid shortly before the duets. On the preface we will make references to the second of these publications that can be found in the National Spanish Library. Coincidentally, 1756 is also the year when Leopold Mozart publishes his Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule for the first time. The treatise is also available at the Biblioteca Digital Hispanica: