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A Youthful Composer

Orchestral music by
William Alwyn,
heard by

Naxos    8.570704

Alwyn Orchestral Music. © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Naxos continues its championship of Alwyn's music with David Lloyd-Jones having already recorded all five symphonies and Peter Donohoe both the piano concertos. This CD presents Alwyn as a youthful composer, before the 1st Symphony in 1949 (when he had already written 58 of his 123 film scores) and just after the 2nd which appeared in 1953.

Among the very earliest of his orchestral concert works were five short Preludes (1927), barely more than tasters to his mature output. The last of them is barely fifty seconds long, a piece of wit and colour.

Listen -- William Alwyn: Prelude No 5 -- Allegro molto
(track 10, 0:00-0:15) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

More substance begins to emerge in the sturdy Tragic Interlude written in 1936.

Listen -- William Alwyn: Tragic Interlude
(track 11, 0:00-1:16) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

There is a Pastoral Fantasia for viola (Philip Dukes) and strings dating from 1939 and a stirring Overture to a Masque of 1940 that seems to consolidate a more optimistic style -- its closing pages summarize all its moods.

Listen -- William Alwyn: Overture to a Masque
(track 1, 8:26-9:38) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

The first of Alwyn's Concerti Grossi appeared in 1943, written for the members of the London Symphony Orchestra with which he was at the time a flautist.

Listen -- William Alwyn: Adagio con moto (Concerto Grosso No 1)
(track 3, 0:00-1:09) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Autumn Legend is a haunting piece of atmospheric writing for cor anglais (Rachel Pankhurst) and strings, first heard in 1954

Listen -- William Alwyn: Autumn Legend
(track 12, 9:36-10:48) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

and there is also a Suite of Scottish Dances, spirited arrangements made with the hand of an expert.

Listen -- William Alwyn: Reel -- The Perthshire Hunt
(track 16, 0:35-0:48) © 2008 Naxos Rights International Ltd

Copyright © 8 November 2008 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK




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