Overture No. 11 in D Major

By William Boyce
Composed in 1770

The life of William Boyce (1711-1779) spanned the flowering of the baroque era through early classicism. Boyce was active in official London music circles, becoming Composer to the Chapel Royal in 1736 and Master of the King’s Musick in 1755.

He composed a number of symphonies, concerti grossi and overtures for various combinations of strings and winds (although his best-known work is the song “Heart of Oak” which he wrote for a theatrical pantomime).

He published his twelve overtures in 1770, still mostly in high baroque style. They are based largely on celebratory Odes for royal birthdays which Boyce was required to write as part of his official duties.

Overture No. 11 is based on the 1766 Birthday Ode and features strings, oboes, bassoon, trumpets and timpani. The trumpets and timpani play a prominent role, particularly in the formal introduction and the fugue which follows.