Review By Chris Morgan,Scene Magazine,March 2012
On this new Naxos collection, the instrumentalists of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra bring together a delicious sampling of Alwyn’s oeuvre, including world premiere recordings of Seven Irish Tunes—Suite for Small Orchestra, Serenade, and the CD’s opening number, Dramatic Overture: The Moor of Venice. It’s a sombre, slow-burning affair with expectant brass and a muted classicism in line with the theme of the piece. In contrast, the bustling mood of the next track—Alwyn’s second concerto—is at turns serine and ebullient, setting the stage for the remainder of the recording; a program which is certain to appeal to students and collectors of English symphonic music. © 2012 Scene Magazine
Review By Ronald E. Grames ,Fanfare,March 2012
this newer series on Naxos with David Lloyd-Jones…offers a broad compendium of the music that seemed to pour out of the man like water from a pitcher, and…has significant strengths to attract the listener. To paint with too broad a brush, Hickox tends to the colorful and warmly romantic and Lloyd-Jones to the tauter and more analytical…the expansive and heartbreakingly gorgeous Alwyn recording of the second is the touchstone…The piece responds well to the approach; the performance is quite lovely in its own right…
Review By Juan Berberana,Ritmo,January 2012
Avanza la integral (o casi integral) que Naxos está dedicando a la obra de Willian Alwyn (1905–1985), centrada en las últimas ediciones en su catálogo orquestal, más allá de sus sinfonías y conciertos. Se completa la edición de sus Concerti Grossi (ya se había publicado el núm.1, junto a otras piezas orquestales) con los nums. 2 y 3, de similar espíritu al anterior. Son las piezas donde la asimilación a la corriente neoclásica (en Alwyn habría que pensar casi en post-neoclasicismo, ya que los concluyó en 1948) resulta más literal. No hay reinterpretación del concepto barroco, sino casi una total asimilación. Quizás por ello, es de lo menos
Review By Claire Vaquero Williams,Scherzo,January 2012
Review By James Norris,Audiophilia,December 2011
The Concerto Grosso no. 2 is a fine piece of English string writing…the RLPO strings give it a fine performance and the recording is really demonstration sound. The Serenade is a very tuneful and flowing four movement work which I will be returning to again and again as is the Suite for small orchestra—Seven Irish Tunes—similar in a way to Vaughan Williams folk song suite.
The final words must go to the RLPO who play these pieces splendidly throughout… © 2011 Audiophilia Read complete review
Review By Infodad.com,November 2011
the disc, which is very well played and conducted, gets a (+++) rating. Those who have already encountered Alwyn will find this an enjoyable expansion of their knowledge of his music. Read complete review
Review By Jeremy Dibble ,Gramophone,November 2011
Attractive and colourful music played with apt energy and drive
The music of Alwyn, in all its diversity and passion, appears to have an unstoppable momentum under the committed baton of David Lloyd-Jones and Naxos. This highly entertaining and gripping recording, crisply executed by the RLPO, has an energy, drive and polish entirely apt for the compelling admixture of Alwyn’s post-Romantic and neo-classical language.
Review By John J. Puccio,Classical Candor,October 2011
…Alwyn’s cinematic style tends to seep over into his orchestral concert work, with everything seeming to come out in bits and pieces, nothing lasting too long, as though he were scoring a movie with thematic musical cues. It’s not a bad approach, just different.
It’s a vigorous, active piece, with much high energy and good spirits to recommend it…
… it’s a world-première recording.
… Lloyd-Jones does his best to bring the music to life…
Review By John France,MusicWeb International,October 2011
Concerto Grosso…opening and closing movements are lively and cheerful however I enjoyed the second movement best which is more complex and profound and has been likened to a ‘Homage to Dvořák’. It is truly lovely music. The quality of the scoring is impressive, although the string quartet part is hardly virtuosic—as composed by Alwyn, not as played! There is a good contrast between the ‘straightforward’ themes and their ‘vigorous elaboration.’
Review By James Manheim,Allmusic.com,October 2011
This is a superior short work with a lovely nocturnal slow movement in which the solo string group opens with mutes; it would serve well as a curtain-raiser for any orchestral concert. The other concerto grosso, from the early 1960s, is a more Stravinsky-like piece with brasses in the concertino role. The other three works are even less known than the two concerti grossi, and indeed they receive their world recording premieres here. The recording is drawn on a pair of sessions three years apart, but both were done at the orchestra’s home Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, and the musicians are in a lively mood throughout. A delightful slice of English neoclassicism.
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