"William Boyce: A Tercentenary Sourcebook and Compendium" is published in celebration of the three-hundreth anniversary of the birth in 1711 of England's leading eighteenth-century composer. It is the first book to be devoted to a musician who more ...
than any of his contemporaries carried the flag in the broadest sense for English music during a period that was inevitably dominated by the towering figure of Handel, who was then resident in London. By the late 19th century, however, Boyce had become generally known only as a composer of anthems and the national song, "Hearts of Oak", and as the editor of a monumental historical anthology of English anthems, "Cathedral Music", which was still in use at that time. The emergent "Baroque revival" led to a gradual broadening of awareness of Boyce from the 1890s onwards. Yet it was only following the initiatives inspired by the bicentenary of his death in 1979 that a significantly wider public appreciation of the quality and range of his achievements came about. Previously neglected works were revived, new recordings made, scholarly articles written, and new editions of his music began to be published. This book brings together diplomatic transcriptions of all the most significant contemporary documents relevant to Boyce's personal and family life, his career as a composer, editor, theorist, teacher, conductor, "Master of the King's Music", and the reception history of his music. They are accompanied by critical commentaries whenever necessary. The range of sources drawn on includes memoirs, histories, diaries, letters, poems, concert programmes and related press reports, chapel royal, court and parish archives, prefaces to Boyce's own publications of his music and those edited by others, advertisements for performances of his works and related press reports, details of his subscriptions to musical and literary works, and materials that throw light on his character and professional relationships with the poets, playwrights, churchmen and other musicians with whom he collaborated within the vibrant, burgeoning, and sometimes colourful, English musical culture of his time. The book's 'Catalogue of Works' constitutes the first comprehensive listing of Boyce's musical output to have been published, and the select, historical 'Discography' is the first catalogue of recordings to have been devoted to the composer's works.
Number of pages: 370
Date of publication: 01/03/2011
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