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William Boyce (1711-1779)

William Boyce's reputation has been enhanced greatly by the recent series of four superb recordings of Royal masques and odes by Graham Lea-Cox et al. on ASV. A student of Maurice Greene, Boyce's musical style was much closer to the styles of Handel and Greene than to the more modern styles of his European contemporaries such as Pergolesi, Jommelli and Gluck or even Thomas Arne. Only a small fraction of Boyce's surviving music has been performed or recorded.

Recordings

William Boyce. Eight Symphonies, Op. 2. Naxos 8.557278 (1 CD, April 2005). Kevin Mallon, Aradia Ensemble. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. Pindar's Ode (Dublin Version, 1741) & Ode for the New Year (1774). ASV Gaudeamus GAU 232 (1 CD 2001). Details. Graham Lea-Cox, The Hanover Band (Director - Caroline Brown), The Choir of New College, Cambridge (Director - Edward Higginbottom). Patrick Burrowes, boy soprano; Andrew Johnson, boy soprano; Christopher Josey, high tenor; Charles Daniels, tenor; Michael George, bass-baritone. In this final recording in the series, Christopher Josey, a haute-contre, sings the extremely high music written for Dublin's John Church, who was described as a tenor. On the earlier CDs, Church's parts were performed by a falsettist. Church's music was even higher than performed here at a=415, as Haynes has made a persuasive case that opera/oratorio pitch in London had already reached a=424 (Handel's tuning fork) by 1733. I wonder about tuning the keyboard instruments in equal temperament, which was not a common temperament for keyboard instruments during the period. (I don't mean to single out these recordings for criticism, since some of the best-known "authentic" directors routinely get the pitch, temperament, orchestration, ornamentation, cadenzas, etc. wrong.) US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. David's Lamentation Over Saul and Jonathan (Dublin version, 1744 with selections from the London version, 1736) & Ode on St. Cecilia's Day "The Charms of Harmony Display" (1737-8?). ASV Gaudeamus GAU 208 (1 CD 2000). Details. Graham Lea-Cox, The Hanover Band (Director - Caroline Brown), The Choir of New College, Cambridge (Director - Edward Higginbottom). Patrick Burrowes, boy soprano; Andrew Purefoy, alto; Andrew Watts, countertenor; Richard Edgar-Wilson, tenor; Michael George, bass-baritone. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. Ode on St. Cecilia's Day "See Famed Apollo and the Nine" (1739). ASV Gaudeamus GAU 200 (1 CD 2000). Details. Graham Lea-Cox, The Hanover Band (Director - Caroline Brown), The Choir of New College, Cambridge (Director - Edward Higginbottom). Patrick Burrowes, boy soprano; Andrew Purefoy, alto; Andrew Watts, countertenor; Richard Edgar-Wilson, tenor; Michael George, bass-baritone. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. The Secular Masque & Overtures to King's Ode for the New Year (1772), Ode for St. Cecilia's Day (Lockman) & Birthday Ode for George III (1768). ASV Gaudeamus GAU 176 (1 CD 1998). Details. Graham Lea-Cox, The Hanover Band (Director - Caroline Brown), The Choir of New College, Cambridge (Director - Edward Higginbottom). Judith Howarth, soprano; Kathleen Kuhlmann, mezzo-soprano; Charles Daniels, tenor; Timothy Robinson, tenor; David Thomas, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Music for St. Paul's. Boyce, "Lord, thou hast been our refuge". Hyperion CDA 67009 (1 CD 1998). Details. Also contains: Handel, Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilante. (HWV 278 & 279, London 1713), and Blow, "I was glad when they said unto me". John Scott & Peter Holman, The Parley of Instruments & St. Paul's Cathedral Choir. Julia Gooding & Sophie Daneman, sopranos; Robin Blaze, countertenor; Rogers Covey-Crump & Mark Le Brocq, tenors; Andrew Dale Forbes, bass. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. Peleus & Thetis (before 1740), Florizel & Perdita (1756), Corydon & Miranda (1750) including Overture from Ode for the King's Birthday (1758) & The Dirge from Romeo & Juliet (1750). Hyperion CDA 66935 (1 CD 1996). Details. Peter Holman, Opera Restor'd. Julia Gooding & Philippa Hyde, sopranos; Robin Blaze, countertenor; Joseph Cornwell, tenor; Andrew Dale-Forbes, bass; Jilly Bond & Jack Edwards, narrators. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. Select Anthems. CRD 3483 (1 CD 1994). The Choir of New College, Cambridge (Director - Edward Higginbottom). Also 10 Voluntaries. Gary Cooper, organ. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. Solomon (1742). Hyperion CDA 66378 (1 CD 1990). Details. Peter Holman, The Parley of Instruments. She: Bronwen Mills, soprano; He: Howard Crook, tenor. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. Trio Sonatas. Chandos CHAN 0648 (2 CDs 1999). Details. Simon Standage, Collegium Musicum 90. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. Trio Sonatas. Hyperion CDA 67151/2 (2 CDs 1999). Details. Peter Holman, The Parley of Instruments. US | UK | DE | FR | CA
Boyce. Symphonies Op. 2. L'Oiseau-Lyre 436 761-2 (1 CD 1994). Details. Christopher Hogwood, The Academy of Ancient Music. US | UK | DE | CA

Reissued on Decca 473 081-2 (2002) in the British Music Collection. UK | DE | FR

William Boyce. Eight Symphonies, Op. 2. DG-Archiv 419 631-2 (1 CD, 1987). Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert. US | UK | FR | DE | CA | JP

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