Boyce, William | Twelve Sonatas for two violins with a bass (1747)

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Instrumentation: 2 violins, violoncello, continuo (harpsichord)

Edition | Source: Facsimile (2018) | John Walsh, London, 1747

Notation | Clefs: G2, F4, figured bass

Paper | Binding: ivory paper, ivory card stock cover & golden metallic binding

Pages | Format: 4 separate parts, 158 pages - 21.6 x 27.9 cm [The cello part (without figured bass) was added to facilitate the musician's performance). It doesn't appear in the original edition.]

Weight: 350 g

About William Boyce (1711-1779)

"As was the case for most professional musicians at the time, the church shaped much of William Boyce’s early musical life. He sang at St Paul’s Cathedral in whose shadow he was born, before holding appointments as organist at a number of city churches and becoming Master of the King’s Music. Away from the church and the court, London’s entertainment scene was burgeoning. Boyce, along with his colleagues Arne (and of course Handel), wrote extensively for the theatre and found himself the subject of the intense rivalries that delivered such arresting theatrical music.

Boyce’s music was influenced by the directness and freshness of the popular song, but showed the craft and compactness of Corelli; his Sonatas for Two Violins and a Bass (on Corelli’s model) are recognised as the finest English contribution to that genre. Boyce’s music certainly has the ‘particular stamp of character’ recognised by contemporary critic Charles Burney. Another contemporary described Boyce as being ‘endowed with qualities of truth, justice and integrity…mild and gentle in his deportment.’ He was organised and hard-working and tireless in his efforts to publish the music of his predecessors." [Source: Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment]

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