At the end of the eighteenth century the deteriorating taste of English church music was reflected in the introduction of over-ornate solos in verse anthems, which, stylistically, were borrowed wholesale from opera. This is documented in A Short Account of Organs Built in Britain (1847) by Sir John Sutton who writes:
Attwood was part of this tradition, although he had the sense to write simpler music too. The orchestral introduction to his coronation anthem I was glad contains the national anthem as a counter-melody, whilst that of O grant the king a long life contains more than a nodding acquaintance with Dr Arne's Rule, Britannia!
Attwood had many friends and was widely known as a gentleman. He was a pupil of Mozart and owned a large house on Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood in South London, where Mendelssohn, a good friend, was a visitor.
from notes by William McVicker © 1994