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ALWYN: Concerto grosso No. 1 / Pastoral Fantasia / 5 Preludes / Autumn Legend (Lloyd-Jones)

Composer(s):Alwyn, William
Period(s) 20th Century
Genre Classical Music
Category ConcertosOrchestral
Catalogue 8.570704
Label Naxos
Quality   320kbps
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William Alwyn composed some fifty works for the orchestra, including five symphonies, a sinfonietta, concertos for flute, oboe, violin, piano, harp, three concerti grossi, and many other descriptive shorter pieces. The seven works on this recording show Alwyn responding in his own individual way to the various challenges presented to him in writing for the orchestra, from the early Five Preludes, in which one can sense already his keen ear for orchestral colour, through to the self-assured scoring of his maturity in the evocative Autumn Legend.


Review By Andrew King,MUSO,June 2009

This disc, featuring some of Alwyn’s orchestral music, adds to Naxos’ already impressive discography of his music, which includes all the symphonies and piano concertos, among songs and chamber music. The seven works presented here reveal the composer’s own unique sense of lush orchestration and unique harmony.

Responsive to the challenges of orchestral writing, Alwyn gives us music of much under-rated quality and craftsmanship. Each work stands out from the buoyant Overture to a Masque and Concerto Grosso No 1, to the almost Vaughan Williams-ike Pastoral Fantasia, revealing a special quality of string writing only achieved by English composers.


Review By Em Marshall,Albion Magazine Online,January 2009

This disc of William Alwyn's orchestral music opens with the lively Overture to a Masque (composed in 1940), followed by the first of Alwyn's three Concerti Grossi, this one commissioned by the BBC and dedicated to the leader and other players in the London Symphony Orchestra, in which Alwyn had been a flautist. It is an elegant, witty and sophisticated piece, excellently performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of David Lloyd-Jones. The ensuing Pastoral Fantasia dates from 1939 and presents a nostalgic vision of an England soon to be lost in the approaching war. Philip Duke is the eloquent viola soloist.


Review By David Denton, Naxos,July 2008

This series of recordings of music by William Alwyn is receiving the universal critical acclaim that it so richly deserves. Having given us his symphonies, Naxos is now energetically engaged in recording previously ignored music, this disc containing his seldom heard Suite of Scottish Dances and the world premiere recording of his Five Preludes. Born in 1905, William Alwyn led a double life writing commercially popular music for films, with 60 scores composed in this genre helping to fund time spent as a ‘serious’ composer. Neither fitting into the Vaughan Williams domain of British pastoral music, nor the new world seen by William Walton, he fell foul of the music establishment and found orchestral managers ignoring his work despite good audience response



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