Johann Sigismund Kusser: 6 Orchester Suiten, Band I
Composition de Musique, Stuttgart 1682
Composition de musique by Johann Sigismund Kusser (* 1660 Pressburg; † 1727 Dublin) was published in Stuttgart in 1682 immediately after Kusser had completed his six years of study with Jean-Baptiste Lully in Paris. It is a collection of six suites in French style, each consisting of an overture followed by various dance movements. The work thus numbers among the earliest German publications of overtures (suites) in the style “suivant la méthode françoise.”
The indication “Six Ouvertures de Theatre” is indeed found on the title page of the original edition, yet there is nothing that would preclude a performance today in a concert hall. All the Suites are composed in six parts (Premier Dessus, Second Dessus, Haute Contre, Taille, Quinte, and Bassus), whereby the upper two Dessus parts, with the exception of several airs “à 2 Dessus,” almost always remain in unison.
It is obvious that this work served as the model for Philipp Heinrich Erlebach’s VI. Ouvertures (Nuremberg 1693; edition offenburg ER 6041-1 and -2), since the order of the keys of the six suites is the same in both prints. Did Erlebach want to prove to the widely traveled Kusser that he too could compose in the French style even without having been in France?
First complete modern edition, Edited by Hans Bergmann