Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


Availability
CD: Soundboard Records

William CROFT (1678-1727)
Keyboard Music
Suite in G [6:43]
Suite in c minor [14:34]
Suite in F [3:26]
Suite in A [4:20]
Suite in d minor [9:33]
Trumpet Overture [7:03]
Suite in e minor [7:21]
Suite in g minor [4:36]
Suite in A [4:44]
Scotch Tune [1:21]
Colin Booth (harpsichord)
rec. 12 August 1998, St Alban's Church, Bristol
SOUNDBOARD SBCD 991 [63:44]

Experience Classicsonline

When I received this disc I looked into my record collection and searched my database to see whether I had any other music by Croft. I found one disc with vocal music - William Croft at St Paul's (Hyperion) - and several discs and vinyls with single keyboard pieces. But it wasn't exactly a rich harvest. It could well be that some discs with music by Croft are circulating in the UK which have never made it to the Continent, but even so, I think this disc devoted to Croft's keyboard music to be most welcome. Having heard it I can't find any reason why this music should be neglected.

William Croft isn't exactly a household name, so it makes sense to give some biographical details. He was born in Warwickshire and became a member of the Chapel Royal. After having studied with John Blow he became a Gentleman Extraordinary of the Chapel Royal. In 1707 he succeeded Jeremiah Clarke as one of the Chapel Organists, and the next year was appointed Master of the Children after the death of John Blow. Croft also took Blow's position as organist of Westminster Abbey.

The largest part of his output is sacred: he composed a considerable number of services and anthems. The secular and instrumental music from his pen seems to date largely from earlier in his career. A part of his keyboard music was printed in A choice Collection of Ayres for the Harpsichord or Spinett, which also contained pieces by the likes of John Blow and Jeremiah Clarke. But the rest of his keyboard output remained unpublished.

Croft shares the relative neglect of his keyboard music with colleagues like the already mentioned Jeremiah Clarke and John Blow, or Maurice Greene and Thomas Roseingrave. Even Henry Purcell, internationally recognized as one of the geniuses of music history, is mostly remembered because of his songs, his theatre music, his sacred works and instrumental sonatas, but hardly for his keyboard music. Mention of Purcell in this respect also makes sense because this disc shows that Croft was influenced by Purcell. The most striking example is the Ground from the Suite in c minor.

One can imagine this kind of music being played at home on the spinet, as the title of the collection mentioned before suggests. Could this be the reason it is seldom played at the concert platform? During the 35 or so years I have been attending concerts I have never heard anything of this kind of repertoire, not even in the Early Music Festival in my hometown. Colin Booth shows that this music can also be played on a harpsichord with two manuals and various stops. I am inclined to think that a substantial piece like the Ground from the Suite in A, with its greater density than the Ground in c minor, would be less convincing on a spinet.

Croft's keyboard music bears the traces of his vocal works. The Suite in F is a transcription of three pieces from music for the stage, and the Trumpet Overture contains four movements from his Ode on the Peace of Utrecht which he transcribed for harpsichord. It would be nice to hear this Ode when the Peace of Utrecht is commemorated in 2013.

There are other pieces to be enjoyed here. I liked the Sarabrand (Croft's spelling) from the Suite in e minor, with its beautifully swaying rhythm, and played here on the buff stop of the harpsichord. Probably my favourite piece is the Suite in d minor. It begins with a beautiful Slow Almand, which is followed by a bright Corant and ends with an expressive Slow sarabrand. The programme closes with a humorous Scotch Tune, after Croft's own song The Lovesick Jockey.

This is a very nice disc which I have greatly enjoyed. Croft's keyboard music is done a great service by Colin Booth, who delivers really fine performances on a nice harpsichord. The dark sonority of its bass is especially delightful as the sarabanda from the Suite in c minor shows. Booth built the harpsichord himself and also wrote the liner-note.

This disc isn't new but probably hasn't received the attention it deserves. The English keyboard music between the virginalists and Handel needs to be more thoroughly explored. There is hardly a better way to do this than Colin Booth does on this disc.

Johan van Veen

see also review by Brian Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.