William Croft  
William Croft
William Croft (baptized 30 December 1678 14 August 1727) was an English composer and organist.
Croft was born at the Manor House, Nether Ettington, Warwickshire. He was educated at the Chapel Royal, under the instruction of John Blow, and remained there until 1698. Two years after this departure, he became organist of St. Anne's Church, Soho. In 1707, he took over the Chapel Royal's "Master of the Children" post, which had been left vacant by the suicide of Jeremiah Clarke (one of Croft's pupils in this capacity was Maurice Greene). The following year, Croft succeeded Blow (who had lately died) as organist of Westminster Abbey. He composed works for the funeral of Queen Anne (1714) and for the coronation of King George I (1715).
In 1724, Croft published Musica Sacra, a collection of church music, the first such collection to be printed in the form of a score. It contains a Burial Service, which may have been written for Queen Anne or for the Duke of Marlborough; it has been used at state funerals in the United Kingdom ever since. Shortly afterwards his health deteriorated, and he died while visiting Bath.

William Croft as a choirboy, ca. 1690.

One of Croft's most enduring pieces is the hymn tune "St Anne" written to the poem Our God, Our Help in Ages Past by Isaac Watts. Other composers subsequently incorporated the tune in their own works. Handel used it, for instance, in an anthem entitled O Praise the Lord. Bach's Fugue in E-flat major BWV 552 is often called the "St. Anne", due to the similarity (coincidental in this case) of its subject to the hymn melody's first phrase. Croft also wrote various violin sonatas, which are not nearly as often performed as is his religious music, but have been occasionally recorded.
Croft's Funeral Anthem was played at Handel's funeral.
Dr. William Croft -Voluntary in D, Joel Hastings -organ
Joel Hastings, organ.
Postlude at 8/22/10 service at First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor, MI. (Noehren organ)
William Croft Suite no.11 E-minor
Julian Rhodes ( virginal)
virginal by David Law ( 1987 ) after 17 century English original.
William Croft Suite no.14 G-minor
Julian Rhoodes ( cem )
cembalo : David Law , 1989
after one built in 1693 by Nicholas Blanchet
William Croft Suite no.18 D-minor
Julian Rhodes ( virginal)
virginal by David Law ( 1987 ) after 17 century English original.
William Croft - Ode for the Peace of Utrecht "With Noise of Cannon"
1. Overture
2. Vers. - With Noise of Canon
3. Aria - A milder, happier strain we now begin (Alto)
4. Chorus - Tuning to Peace
5. Duet - Peace is the Song (Alto & Basso)
6. Chorus - The Soul of Musick
7. Aria - Nor will we ev'n the Martial Trumpet spare (Alto)
8. Chorus - Where, Mighty ANNA, will thy Glories end

Netherlands Bach Society
Jos van Veldhoven, conductor

William Croft - Jubilate in D-major
Jubilate in D-major

The Parley of Instruments

John Scott

William Croft, Overture Laurus cruentas
Overture Laurus cruentas
RedHerring, baroque ensemble direction, Patrick Denecker
William Croft, Ground in c minor.
Classical Music Timeline

Classical Music History

Instruments Through the Ages

Composers and Masterworks