Tuesday, April 8, 2014

William Boyce: Symphony #4

Notwithstanding the name "Symphony," this is theater music.

From the YouTube post:
This "symphony" is one of eight by Boyce - all of which are really overtures for various theatrical productions. - It was composed in 1751 for a musical entertainment called "The Shepherd's Lottery".
To my ear, Boyce is the most Handel-like composer other than Handel himself: the lines are spacious; the voicings mostly open. Boyce is a few years later (1711‑1779) but clearly he made no attempt to be on the cutting edge of style for his time. This performance by "The Consort of London" (to all appearances, not the group once led by the late lamented David Munrow) is neither spectacular nor deficient. It's cheerful, rollicking English baroque music; grab yourself a drink and a snack, imagine you're sitting in a theater, lean back and enjoy the "play"!

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