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ALWYN: Piano Music, Vol. 1

Composer(s):Alwyn, William
Artist(s) Wass, Ashley, piano
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Instrumental
Catalogue 8.570359
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
 
 
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8.570359
 


Piano music featured prominently for the most part of Alwyn’s career. The composer himself was no mean pianist, as evidenced in the varying technical demands made on the pianist in the works included here. The major work on this recording, Fantasy Waltzes, consisting of a suite of eleven virtuoso pieces, is arguably Alwyn’s finest creation for piano solo. Haze of Noon is a dreamy and languid piece, one of several published by OUP for their educational series. Green Hills is a nature poem which inhabits the sound world of John Ireland, while both Fancy Free and April Morn are simpler pieces which nevertheless demonstrate Alwyn’s consummate skill as a composer.


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Review By Penguin Guide,January 2009

Ashley Wass proves no less persuasive an advocate of Alwyn’s piano music than he has been of Arnold Bax. The Fantasy Waltzes were championed by John Ogdon but Wass is, if anything, even more convincing and highly polished. Alwyn writes gratefully for the keyboard and the present anthology gives much pleasure and augurs well for its successors. The recording, made at Potton Hall in Sussex, is exemplary in every way.



Review By Robert R. Reilly,InsideCatholic.com,July 2008

After giving us British composer William Alwyn’s orchestral music, including his Five Symphonies, Naxos had added three more CDs featuring his piano music (8.570359), song cycles (8.570201) and chamber music (8.570340). The latter contains some real jewels, like the Sonata Impromptu for Violin and Viola, and the Three Winter Poems for String Quartet. All praise to Naxos for giving Alwyn (1905–1985) his belated due.



Review By Jeremy Nicholas,Classic FM,February 2008

After acclaimed recordings of the piano music of Bax, Elgar and Bridge, Wass continues his championship of overlooked English keyboard works of the 20th century with nine works by William Alwyn (1905–85). No less than six of these are world-premiere recordings, written in an appealing English pastoral—impressionist style. There are some lovely things here, the titles self-explanatory (Harvest Home, Cricketty Mill, Fancy Free, April Morn, etc.). The two major works are Sonata alia toccata and Fantasy Waltzes (lasting 35 minutes), the latter a slower and more literal reading compared with John Ogdon’s preferable 1984 account.



Review By John Terauds,Toronto Star,January 2008

The most promising of a new generation of British pianists tackles the neglected music of his countryman William Alwyn (1908–1985) with spectacular technique and high style. The titles of the pieces suggest neo-Victorian shlock but instead, we get inventive studies in tone colour that are deceptively difficult to pull off. There are several world-premiere recordings on this disc. Top tracks: Fantasy Waltzes.



Review By John Terauds,Toronto Star,January 2008

The most promising of a new generation of British pianists tackles the neglected music of his countryman William Alwyn (1908–1985) with spectacular technique and high style. The titles of the pieces suggest neo-Victorian shlock but instead, we get inventive studies in tone colour that are deceptively difficult to pull off. There are several world-premiere recordings on this disc. Top tracks: Fantasy Waltzes.



Review By William Norris,MusicalCriticism.com,December 2007

Continuing their survey of repertoire by William Alwyn (1905–1985), Naxos have turned to the British composer’s output for solo piano, with the 2000 Leeds Piano Competition finalist Ashley Wass at the keyboard.


 

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