Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/279

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
BOWLEY.
267
BOYCE.

he laboured incessantly to promote its welfare and advance its reputation, and instigated most of the steps which have tended to place it in its present high position. The scheme of celebrating the centenary of the death of Handel by performances of his music on a scale of unprecedented magnitude, and which eventually led to the establishment of the Handel Festivals at the Crystal Palace, was originated by him. In 1858 he was appointed General manager at the Crystal Palace, in which post he proved himself to be undoubtedly 'the right man in the right place,' and where he remained till his death, August 25, 1870. The energetic and self-devoted manner in which he discharged his duties will be long remembered by all who were associated with him.

[ W. H. H. ]

BOWMAN, Henry, published at Oxford in 1677 a thin folio volume bearing the title of 'Songs for one, two, and three voyces to the Thorow-Bass. With some Short Simphonies. Collected out of some of the Select Poems of the incomparable Mr. Cowley, and others, and composed by Henry Bowman, Philo-Musicus.' A second edition appeared at Oxford in 1679.

[ W. H. H. ]

BOYCE, William, Mus. Doc., was born at Joiners' Hall, Upper Thames Street (of which company his father, a cabinet maker, was beadle), in 1710. He became a chorister of St. Paul's Cathedral under Charles King, and, on quitting the choir, an articled pupil of Maurice Greene, then organist of the cathedral. On the expiration of his articles he obtained the situation of organist of Oxford Chapel, Vere Street, Cavendish Square, and pursued his studies under Dr. Pepusch. While yet a young man Boyce's hearing became much impaired, a calamity the greatest that can befal a musician, but which, in his case, did not lessen the ardour with which he pursued his studies. [App. p.560 "in 1734 he set Lord Lansdowne's masque of 'Peleus and Thetis.'"] In 1736 he gave up his appointment at Oxford Chapel upon obtaining the post of organist at St. Michael's, Cornhill, which had become vacant by the removal of Joseph Kelway to St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. On June 21 in the same year he was sworn into the place of Composer to the Chapel Royal in the room of John Weldon, then lately deceased. He most ably discharged the duties of this office by the composition of many fine anthems and services, several of which are still, and will long continue to be, in use 'in quires and places where they sing.' In 1737 he was appointed conductor of the meetings of the Three Choirs of Gloucester, Worcester, and Hereford, which office he held for several years. In 1740 [App. p.560 "1736"] he composed the music for John Lockman's oratorio 'David's Lamentation over Saul and Jonathan,' and had it performed at Covent Garden Theatre [App. p.560 "and it was given by the Apollo Society, and subsequently, in 1740, at Covent Garden Theatre"]. About the same time he set two odes for St. Cecilia's day, one written by Lockman, the other by the Rev. Mr. Vidal, undermaster of Westminster School. In 1743 he produced the serenata of 'Solomon,' written by Edward Moore, which was eminently successful, and one song in which ('Softly rise, southern breeze,' for tenor voice with bassoon obligato) retained its popularity for upwards of a century, and is still occasionally heard. In 1749, on the erection of an organ in the church of Allhallows the Great and Less, Thames Street, Boyce was chosen organist. In the same year he was selected to compose the music for the ode written by William Mason for the installation of Henry Pelham, Duke of Newcastle, as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. The ode, with Boyce's music, was performed in the Senate House, July i, 1749, and on the following day, being Commencement Sunday, an anthem with orchestral accompaniments by Boyce, was performed in Great St. Mary's Church, as an exercise for the degree of Doctor of Music, which the University then conferred on him. Both these compositions were soon afterwards published together. In the same year Boyce appeared as a composer for the theatre by setting [App. p.560 "reviving (Dict. of Nat. Biog.)"] Lord Lansdowne's masque of 'Peleus and Thetis' (introduced into his lordship's alteration of 'The Merchant of Venice,' entitled 'The Jew of Venice') and Moses Mendez's musical entertainment, 'The Chaplet'; the latter of which met with great success. [App. p.560 "In 1749, when the Masque of Lethe was revived at Drury Lane, Blow wrote new songs for Beard."] In 1750 [App. p.560 "1751"] he set another piece of the same kind, also written by Mendez, called 'The Shepherd's Lottery.' On the death of Dr. Greene, in 1675 [App. p.560 "1755"], Dr. Boyce was appointed his successor as master of the king's band of music, and conductor of the annual festivals of the Sons of the Clergy at St. Paul's Cathedral. In the former capacity he was required to compose music for the new-year and birth-day odes of the poet-laureate; in the latter he voluntarily composed two fine anthems with orchestral accompaniments, besides additional accompaniments and choruses for Purcell's Te Deum and Jubilate, written for St. Cecilia's day, 1694. In 1758, on the death of John Travers, Boyce was appointed one of the organists of the Chapel Royal, upon which he resigned his places at St. Michael's, Cornhill, and Allhallows, Thames Street, and, his deafness still increasing, he gave up teaching, and removed to Kensington, where he employed himself principally in the collection and editing of the materials for the work by which he is best known—'Cathedral Music, being a collection in score of the most valuable and useful composisitions for that service by the several English masters of the last two hundred years.' This work was projected by Dr. Greene, who had commenced collections for it, but, finding his health failing, bequeathed all his materials to Dr. Boyce, with a request that he would complete the work. The 'Cathedral Music' was published in three volumes, the first of which appeared in 1760 and the last in 1778. This valuable publication, which redounds so much to the credit of its editor for diligence, judgment and scholarship, produced him little else than fame, its sale yielding but little beyond the expenses of production. [App. p.560 "Boyce's last theatrical work was Garrick's pantomime, 'Harlequin's Invasion,' 1759."] On Feb. 7, 1779, the