New Release of the Week: William Boyce: 8 Symphonies

Feb 6, 2017

 

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields has established a reputation as one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras. Since their first performance at their namesake church in 1958, the ensemble has produced dozens of beloved albums, with highlights including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and the soundtrack to the film Amadeus.

In 1995, the ensemble celebrated the British composer and church musician William Boyce (1711-1779) with William Boyce: 8 Symphonies, a recording of Boyce’s entire symphonic output. Last month, this classic album was re-released on the Capriccio label.

 

Boyce’s symphonies were first published in 1760 by John Walsh (who also published George Frederic Handel’s music). The eight “symphonies” were actually all repurposed odes and overtures that Boyce had composed over the past two decades.

This re-released album serves as a tribute to the Academy of St Martin in the Fields’ founder, life president, and longtime music leader Sir Neville Marriner, who passed away in October 2016. Today, the ensemble is under the leadership of musical director and violin virtuoso Joshua Bell and director Tomo Keller.