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ALWYN, W.: Mirages / 6 Nocturnes / Seascapes / Invocations (English Song, Vol. 17)

Composer(s):Alwyn, William
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category Vocal
Catalogue 8.570201
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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William Alwyn composed prolifically in virtually all genres, orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental. His major works for the voice were composed during the latter part of his career, between 1965 and 1980, and include four of the song-cycles recorded here. These are settings of poems by the composer himself, the Irish poet Louis MacNeice, and the composer’s good friend, Michael Armstrong, who lived for over 40 years in Jersey where he derived much inspiration from the sea and the surrounding landscape. Seven of the songs here receive their world première recording.


Review By Em Marshall,Albion Magazine Online,January 2009

Another good addition to Naxos' English Song Series, this is full of effective songs and performances. Jeremy Huw Williams' strong baritone is accompanied by Iain Burnside's piano in the song cycle Mirages, and in Six Nocturnes (recorded here for the first time). Elin Manahan Thomas, with her soaring light soprano, and Burnside are joined on Seascapes by John Turner on treble recorder, which lends the cycle a sometimes folk-like, sometimes slightly mysterious air. The disc is concluded by the song-cycle Invocations for soprano and piano.

Review By Robert R. Reilly,,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 David Denton, Naxos,January 2008

Last month I was expressing my gratitude to Naxos for their William Alwyn piano series, little realising that we were to have this indispensable disc of his vocal music. Born in 1905, Alwyn saw his education at London’s Royal Academy brought to a close with the untimely death of his father, his need to add to the family income being his prime concern. Thankfully a few years later his mentors were able to offer him employment as a composition tutor at the Academy, which restored him to the musical world. His life was to further change when he found a demand for his music in the film industry, the 60 major scores largely funding his time as a ‘serious’ composer. Sadly the music establishment did not see a place for his music in the ‘brave new world’, and



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