Saturday, December 25, 2010

Boyce: Overtures 1-9 - Cantilena, Adrian Shepherd

William Boyce
Overtures 1-9
Cantilena, Adrian Shepherd
Chandos CHAN 6531

A Penguin Guide * * * Recording.

Chandos reissues offer rare repertoire, including a collection of nine Boyce overtures unique to the CD catalogue. They come from a group of 12 published by the composer in 1770, their musical material deriving from various birthday and New Year odes, although the music, of course, is orchestral. Their late-baroque style is robust, with bright scoring for horns and trumpets and flutes and oboes giving added colour. There is a flavour of the Handel of the Water Music, but the flutes take the music forward in time. There are usually three or four sections to each piece, often with sub-divisions of tempos within movements, and the writing is attractively fresh and tuneful. The performances by Cantilena are full of character, yet spontaneously sprightly; the recording is excellent, although rather forward, but clean-timbred and full with a good ambience. Most enjoyable.

Gramophone Magazine

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