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STRONGLY STATED AND IDIOSYNCRATIC

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'Composing in Words: William Alwyn on his Art',
read by PATRIC STANDFORD

 

The formidable English composer William Alwyn suffered in two particular respects. One was that his music drifted out of fashion during the period covering the entire 1960s and beyond, when the British musical establishment, infatuated with an often superficial post-serial European avant-garde, lost interest in stalwart English symphonic composers born before the first War -- perhaps largely because they were unable to appreciate their meticulous skills. The other, that Alwyn was a prolific and highly proficient film composer, a professionalism that stimulated no great admiration -- especially among many influential establishment composers and arts bureaucrats who couldn't do it. Indeed, as recently as 1997, a leading English composer turned down an invitation to the posthumous premier of Alwyn's opera Miss Julie because he didn't want to spend an evening listening to 'just film music'. These ill-informed judgments litter musical history when a casual acceptance of rumour, careless research and irresponsible opinion is too readily regarded as doctrine by those too indolent to examine more closely...

Copyright © 15 July 2010 Patric Standford,
Wakefield UK

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BOOK INFORMATION: COMPOSING IN WORDS - WILLIAM ALWYN ON HIS ART

WILLIAM ALWYN

ENGLAND

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