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The title of Differentes petites pièces signifies that the collection was drawn from assorted types – symphonies, operas, string quartets – and distinguishes it from the majority of anthologies of this period which were of single genre music (all quartets, all songs, all sonatas, etc.). And the pieces were certainly petites, most of them being much abbreviated from their original length; only the Adagio in F (no. VII) is an original and untruncated work.

In performance terms, the pieces are effective on any expressive keyboard and were designed to offer few technical challenges to the amateur or student. The lady in the title-page medallion appears to be playing a fortepiano (or possibly a very shallow harpsichord), although Clavier at this period was also regularly used to indicate the clavichord; “pour le clavecin ou piano forte“ (as found on both the Austrian and the English title-pages of these pieces) was a standard publishing rubric which covered all available types of domestic keyboard, although only the clavichord and the fortepiano could offer the dynamic variations required.

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