WILLIAM BOYCE (1711 - 1779)
William Boyce is among the most important English composers of the late-Baroque period; he was 25 years younger than Handel, whom he outlived by 20 years. A rival of Arne, in 1757 he became Master of the King’s Musick. His works include a variety of music for both church and theatre.
Boyce’s instrumental music includes a set of Eight Symphonies in Eight Parts, published in 1760, compositions that reflect the changing tastes of the time. His set of 12 Trio Sonatas followed a fashion that had started with Corelli in the previous century and was now coming to an end. As an organist, he composed 10 Voluntaries for the instrument which were published posthumously.
Vocal and Choral Music
One of Boyce’s best-known songs is the patriotic Heart of Oak. His church music still retains a place in Anglican cathedral repertoire, strengthened by the appearance of his collected Cathedral Music.