Mstation Classical Reviews

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Mon, 30 May 2005

Boyce, Eight Symphonies

William Boyce
Eight Symphonies, Op. 2
Aradia Ensemble
Kevin Mallon
LP, Naxos

William Boyce (1711-1779) was a chorister at St. Paul's Catherdral before being apprenticed to Maurice Green to study the organ. He is known for his church music for the Church of England and also this collection of symphonies.

Handel was the, pardon me, big noise at the time and it was only after the great man's death in 1759 that Boyce began to get official engagements such as an anthem for the death of George II.

While Boyce's master, Greene, had a long running disagreement with Handel, Boyce himself appreciated his work and said of his borrowings that he took other men's pebbles and turned them into diamonds.

Boyce's work in general lacks the flourishing grace of Handel or the thematic strength but it is very pretty nevertheless.

The ensemble that brings us this collection is from Toronto, Canada and they make a good fist of it although I'm not sure that all the nuances haven't been a little steamrollered. (Count K)

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