One of the most grown-up review sites around
One of the most grown-up review sites around

Search MusicWeb Here


International mailing

Up to 40% off

  Founder: Len Mullenger

Some items
to consider

Piano Concertos 1 and 2
Surprise Best Seller and now

A Garland for John McCabe


DIETHELM Symphonies

The best Rite of Spring in Years

BACH Magnificat

Brian Symphs 8, 21, 26

Just enjoy it!

La Mer Ticciati




simply marvellous

Outstanding music

Elite treatment

some joyous Gershwin

Bartok String Quartets
uniquely sensitive

Cantatas for Soprano



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on

Donate and get a free CD


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Special offer 50% off

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
(THE Polish label)
Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Senior Editor
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
Editor in Chief
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger



William BOYCE (1711-1779)
Trio Sonatas (1747)
Trio Sonata No. 1 in A minor ¹[5:45]
Trio Sonata No. 2 in F major [9:14]
Trio Sonata No. 3 in A major ¹ [7:21]
Trio Sonata No. 4 in G minor [7:41]
Trio Sonata No. 5 in D major ¹ [6:56]
Trio Sonata No. 6 in B flat major [6:38]
Trio Sonata No. 7 in D minor ¹ [7:48]
Trio Sonata No. 8 in E flat major ¹ [9:01]
Trio Sonata No. 9 in C major ¹ [7:46]
Trio Sonata No. 10 in E minor [7:58]
Trio Sonata No. 11 in C minor ¹ [7:46]
Trio Sonata No. 12 in G major [7:45]
Trio Sonata No. 13 in A minor ¹ [7:36]
Trio Sonata No. 14 in F major [8:39]
Trio Sonata No. 15 in D major ¹ [13:32]
The Parley of Instruments (quartet or orchestra¹)/Peter Holman
rec. October 1995, no location specified
HYPERION DYAD CDD22063 [61:07 + 61:51]
Sound Samples

Experience Classicsonline

Fifteen years on these highly persuasive performances still bring a terrific amount of charm and easygoing lyricism to the table. True, you can seek an alternative, such as that provided by Simon Standage and Collegium Musicum 90 (Chaconne CHAN0648) whose one to a part performances are consistent and different to the varied quartet and orchestral expansions to be heard here - but I don’t think you will necessarily find Standage’s performances the more charming, though they do tend to be more spun out and superficially expressive.
The Parley of Instruments and Peter Holman preferred, back in October 1995, to alternate quartet and orchestral performances of the Trio sonatas. There is some evidence that not only were the Trio sonatas performed orchestrally but that some at least were devised for larger forces. Note too that Hyperion includes the three sonatas, numbered 13-15, that survive in manuscript, though not in Boyce’s hand, at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge and were copied by Boyce’s pupil Samuel Wesley. They were not included in the 1747 publication of the Sonatas. Standage doesn’t include them, sticking to the canonic twelve.
Seemingly divided between odd and even sonatas into putative orchestral and quartet forces these performances work very well indeed. All the fugues for instance fall in the odd numbered sonatas and are played orchestrally, the bulk of the virtuoso writing falling in the even (quartet) sonatas. If one has reservations about this then one had better acquire the Standage.
One listens with great enjoyment, however this particular cookie is crumbled. The splendidly projected (orchestral) fugue in No.1 is adeptly projected, its succeeding finale vibrant, effortlessly melodic. Boyce also confounds expectations as to ordering of movements. Within a broadly Sonata da Chiesa and da Camera schema he shuffles movements about. In No.2 for instance an Andante vivace is followed by a very brief Adagio and then by two fast movements, the concluding one a non troppo Gigue. Things are kept alive, routine is kept at bay, and the sonatas don’t fall into predictable patterns. The opening of the Third sonata is especially lovely; I suggest you try this first to see if it floats your melodic boat. It’s played orchestrally with perfectly judged weight, and is a high example of Holman and the Parley’s acute sensitivity for texture and phraseology. But this is not to underestimate the grave March of No.4, which receives the same scrupulously generous level of characterisation as do all these many movements through the fifteen sonatas. Sample therefore the Affetuoso finale of No.6 or the noble seriousness of the Canone of No.9. Note too now well balanced are upper and lower strings in the Largo of No.10.
Boyce can turn out a theatrical hornpipe too, rather better indeed than his younger theatrical contemporary Samuel Arnold, whose Polly has just been recorded and contains a plethora of such things. The fluting fiddle in the opening of No.13 is full of brio. If these uncollected sonatas are the product of Boyce’s youthful infatuation with Corelli then they are nevertheless full of good things - vigour, masculinity, and refined terpsichorean sensitivity.
Given the forgoing this idiomatically played twofer makes renewed demands on lovers of Boyce’s very individual and engaging works.
Jonathan Woolf


















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


      Composer surveys
      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

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


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

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



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Pat and present

Helpers invited!

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
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
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
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.