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date: 17 November 2019

Crotch, Williamlocked

  • Nicholas Temperley
  •  and Simon Heighes

Extract

(b Norwich, July 5, 1775; d Taunton, Dec 29, 1847). English composer, organist, theorist and painter. He was an exceptional child prodigy and became one of the most distinguished English musicians of his day.

Crotch was the youngest son of Michael Crotch, a master carpenter, and his wife Isabella. At the age of about 18 months he began to pick out tunes on a small house organ which his father had built, and soon after his second birthday he had taught himself to play God Save the King with the bass. He played to a large company at Norwich in February 1778, and that summer his mother began taking him on a series of tours in which his phenomenal gifts were exploited. They went first to Cambridge and other main towns in East Anglia, then to Oxford and London, where on 10 December 1778 Daines Barrington heard him play tunes ‘almost throughout with chords’. On ...

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