Croft, William

Composer

b Nether Eatington (Ettington), Warwicks 1678, d Bath, Somerset 1727. Chapel Royal chorister under John Blow; probably organist at St Anne’s Soho from 1700, then again at the Chapel Royal, at first (1704) jointly with Jer Clarke. From 1708, Westminster Abbey organist; DMus (Oxford) 1713. After earlier songs for the theatre, he composed many Psalm tunes (published 1701–1723), anthems and other church music, and works for violin and harpsichord. He contributed significantly to Playford’s The Divine Companion (1701, 1707), the Supplement to the New Version (1708), and John Church’s Introduction to Psalmody (c1723), while featuring his own tunes in his Musica Sacra of 1724. Handel regarded his music as ‘a model for style’, while Hawkins called him ‘a grave and decent man’. Routley’s modern classic Rejoice in the Lord (published 1985) places his 2 great C major tunes at the beginning and end of the selection, from ST ANNE to CROFT’S 136TH. Nos.62=583, 104, 260.

Tunes and arrangements by Croft, William

Tune Name
Hanover
St Anne
St Matthew