Cathedral Music, Volume 3 (William Boyce)
The last of 3 volumes
Publication date and place: 1773 in London, by subscription.
Editor: William Boyce
Size: 40cm high × 30cm wide.
Pages: 312 with additional end papers.
Critical note: Boyce made extensive changes to the works he edited to adjust them to mid 18th Century taste.
This is similar to that shown in Cathedral Music, Volume 1 (William Boyce), save for the volume number and publication date.
When I first undertook this Work, I had not sufficiently considered the length of time necessary to complete it, which occasioned my proposing to deliver the Volumes much sooner than it was possible for me to effect: However, I hope it will appear by the execution that this has been the single instance in which I have not fully performed my engagement.
It may easily be discerned in the perusal of this collection, that the pieces which were composed between the Reformation and Restauration are in a more grave style than those written since; a gravity in Church Music having been particularly ordered by Authority in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, with intent to distinguish it from every other Species, calculated for secular purposes; but on the return of King Charles the Second from his long exile in Foreign Countries, where a lighter kind of Church Music prevailed, and which better suited the gay disposition of that Monarch and his Court, the Musicians of his Chapel found it their interest to deviate in some measure from their former plan, by adding a variety and liveliness, especially in their Anthems, which had not been customary before: Yet, notwithstanding this alteration of Style, they still preserved a solemnity and learning in their Compositions which have rendered them lasting monuments of ingenuity and expression.
Nor have the more early writers been wanting in expression, although it is not so particularly marked, for their music being generally full, and composed of many parts, they seem to have aimed at giving each of these an equal degree of sweetness, as may be conjectured from the elegance and purity of the several melodies; and, it must be confessed, that their skill in the joining and intermixing them in the formation of harmony, are indubitable testimonies of their indefatiguable application, and eminent abilities. The anthems of TALLIS, TYE, BIRD, and GIBBONS, with the Morning Service of FARRANT, &c, abound with admirable examples of this kind of art and expression.
HAD I not been under a restriction by the last Will and Testament of the late Dr. MAURICE GREENE, I should have inserted some valuable pieces of his, particularly his Service, a very learned and judicious composition, and highly deserving of preservation: There are also Three ancient Services by NATHANIEL PATRICK, ADRIAN BATTEN, and ALBERTUS BRIAN, with Two by the late Mr. CHARLES KING, Almoner, and Vicar Choral of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London, the one in the key of Ffaut, the other in B flat, which I would willingly have found room for, could it have been done without omitting what appeared to me to claim the preference.
I AM truly sensible how much I owe to the goodness of Providence in granting me health and perseverance to labour through this very difficult, and tedious business, and it will be a most grateful reflection to me hereafter, that I have been enabled to do justice to these excelent productions of my Countrymen, by conveying them to Posterity in a more respectful and accurate manner than hath yet been experienced in any other musical publication whatever.
I CANNOT finally quit this undertaking without acknowledging my obligations to those members of our Choirs who have kindly assisted me with copies to forward it, and in particular to my worthy Friends the Rev. Mr. WILLIAM GOSTLING, of Canterbury Cathedral, Mr. JAMES KENT, Organist of the Cathedral and College at Winchetter, Dr. WILLIAM HAYES, Music Professor in the University of Oxford, and Dr. SAMUEL HOWARD, of London, they all having been materially usefu; in the progress of the work, more especially the last-mentioned, who by his friendly zeal and assistance left nothing undone in his power, to lessen my trouble in it, and to render the task easy and agreeable to me.
- WILLIAM BOYCE
Includes biographies of the following composers: