The music of William Boyce has always retained a special place in the English repertory, it being written of him that, 'there is an original and sterling merit in his productions, founded as much on the study of our own old masters, as on the best models of other countries' (Burney). This recording is of the Twelve Sonatas for Two Violins with a Bass for the Violoncello or Harpsicord, published in 1747, and three unpublished Trio Sonatas edited from a manuscript in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. These particularly attractive works boast a wide range of stylistic features and forms and for many years held centre-stage in England as masterpieces in the genre. The performances are divided between a solo quartet and the full Parley of Instruments, so ensuring over two hours of varied and inspiring listening.
The works, large and small, have an air of sweet reasonableness. The fugues are warmly greeted but never aggressively attacked; the string tone in the slow movements is very appealing, sweet and well blended. The two solo violins carry on an urbane and charming dialogue, their voices twining in and out of each other like those of a long-married couple who can anticipate what the other will say. In the final Gigues everyone lets their hair down for an end-of-concerto romp. Attractive music performed with skill' --BBC Music Magazine
Yet another treasurable document of England's musical heritage' --Gramophone