Sheet music

Musical contribution - October 2015

bladmuziek met potlood

Introduction and Trumpet Tune (William Boyce) (1710-1779) London

William Boyce is considered to be the most important English-born composer of the 18th century. Music history scholars are still unsure whether he was born in 1710 or 1711, but we know that he starting singing in the choir of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London at an early age, and he remained loyal to the city for his entire life. His 20 symphonies, more than 60 anthems and hundreds of other works bear witness to a strong work ethic, as he composed all of them while working as an organist at the Chapel Royal, where he was charged with teaching and giving several concerts. Near the end of his life, he was forced to stop performing as he became deaf. Today, his music is seldom performed in public.

The Introduction and Trumpet Tune was published under the title ‘Ten Voluntaries for the Organ or Harpsichord’, and is therefore the first of this series. All ten begin with a calm opening segment, usually a Larghetto or a Grave, naturally played with a beautiful diapason on the ‘Great’. The second segment is a Vivace, in which the trumpet plays the main role, with crisp accompaniment by another keyboard. If you have the opportunity to play a Johannus organ with super solos, we recommend using the Baroque trumpet.

Remarkably, two of the 10 Voluntaries feature a two-part trumpet section, both of which are in D-major. In some publications, this two-part section has been brought back to one, but we have chosen to keep the two-part feature. This is the most familiar of the 10 works, but other arrangements are available for:

-Organ solo
-Strings and trumpet (1 or 2), with or without timpani
-Organ and trumpet (1 or 2), with or without timpani

In short, this is a multi-faceted composition by a composer whose music deserves more attention than it gets.

Musical regards,

André van Vliet