LABELS: Chandos Chaconne
WORKS: Trio Sonata No. 1; Trio Sonata No. 2; Trio Sonata No. 3; Trio Sonata No. 4; Trio Sonata No. 5; Trio Sonata No. 6; Trio Sonata No. 7; Trio Sonata No. 8; Trio Sonata No. 9; Trio Sonata No. 10; Trio Sonata No. 11; Trio Sonata No. 12
PERFORMER: Collegium Musicum 90
CATALOGUE NO: CHAN 0648(2)
No English composer of the 18th century came close to rivalling the success of such foreign giants as Handel and Haydn, but of the many talents that managed to make a name, Boyce is among the most significant. ‘Master of the King’s Musick’, he was famed for his theatre music and the orchestral symphonies that derived from it. His engaging style is often marked by striking, sometimes angular melody and an overtly Baroque respect for counterpoint.
Collegium Musicum 90 have the measure of most of these twelve sonatas from 1747. They take the Handelian influence, notably in the central march of sonata No. 4, the opening Andante of No. 7 and the second movement of No. 8, on the chin. They also recognise the presence of a sensuous Italianate quality deriving as much from Vivaldi as Handel; nor do they neglect the real originality that surfaces in the bitter sweet quality of some of the minor-key movements, such as the opening of sonata No. 11, and in the robust, thoroughly English Gavotta of sonata No. 12. At no stage do they patronise this magnificently crafted music in performances that are at times a little rough hewn, but which certainly take Boyce seriously. Jan Smaczny