Author Topic: William Alwyn  (Read 16276 times)

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tjguitar

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William Alwyn
« on: April 16, 2007, 09:27:43 AM »
His symphonies are some of my favorites, I have the Naxos cycle:




Online SonicMan46

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2007, 09:40:54 AM »
For some discussion & recommendations from the old forum see this thread on 20th Century English Composers:)

Harry

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2007, 10:41:21 AM »
I have the Alwyn symphonies on Chandos, and think them very good.
And some Naxos issues.

Offline JoshLilly

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2007, 10:47:01 AM »
Not "Sir"?  He should go spit on a sidewalk, or tie his shoes, or open a car door by himself... and go ahead and get his Knighthood for it.   ;D

Offline Catison

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2007, 02:15:43 PM »
The brass band I played with in high school did Alwyn's Moor of Venice Overture.  It was amazing fun to play.  I am going to have to get into more of his music.

Here is a recording from our competition.  We weren't the best band, but I always remember Moor of Venice being one of our favorite pieces.  I am playing BBb tuba and all the pedal notes.
-Brett

Lilas Pastia

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2007, 03:46:37 PM »
I have the Lyrita set (well, they're single discs) under Alwyn (late 70s vintage, in superb sound). Like Arnold, Alwyn was a past master at orchestration and  a good conductor. His concerto Lyra Angelica is stunningly beautiful. Of the film music I only have the Chandos disc with The Odd Man Out and Fallen Idol. Mention should also be made of his string quartets (Chandos again). They're very good (but not as revelatory as those of Daniel Jones). Definitely one of the major british composers, almost on the same level as Arnold (who would not be as well known if he had written only his first 5 symphonies).

springrite

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2007, 03:57:10 PM »
I, too, I have Lyra Angelica under Alwyn and it is indeed beautiful.

Vanessa's favorite Alwyn piece is the violin concerto -- never recorded previously until the CHANDOS release.

Also, special mention should be made about two very much neglected works, championed for years by John Ogdon, of the Fantasy Waltzes and 12 Preludes, for piano. There is a John Ogdon recording on CHANDOS.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2007, 04:03:43 PM by springrite »

btpaul674

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2007, 07:45:47 PM »
I love his 2nd piano concerto. I've always been a big Alwyn fan.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2007, 02:16:03 AM »
Dutton have a fine CD of Barbirolli conducting symphonies 1 and 2.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Hector

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2007, 04:34:46 AM »
I, sort of, fell into acquiring the Naxos cycle, including the piano concertos and the recent issue of the Elizabethan Dances etc.

2nd, 3rd and 4th symphonies are my favourites and the whole of the Elizabethan Dances disc.

Offline FŽanor

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2007, 04:16:57 AM »
I've only just begun to sample Alwyn's music.  But I must say that I have found his string quartets to extremely enjoyable.  His String Quartet No. 2, "Spring Waters", I'd place among my top 20 favorite quartets of all time at least ...


Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2007, 02:52:54 PM »
Have just listened to the Naxos Lloyd-Jones recordings of symphonies 1 and 3. I would say that these terrific performances, as good or better than the full price alternatives. A great way to start an Alwyn collection.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alwyn-Symphonies-Nos-1-3/dp/B000C847FO/ref=sr_1_1/202-9347871-3364610?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1193525608&sr=1-1
« Last Edit: October 27, 2007, 02:54:27 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Mark

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2007, 02:56:14 PM »
Have just listened to the Naxos Lloyd-Jones recordings of symphonies 1 and 3. I would say that these terrific performances, as good or better than the full price alternatives. A great way to start an Alwyn collection.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alwyn-Symphonies-Nos-1-3/dp/B000C847FO/ref=sr_1_1/202-9347871-3364610?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1193525608&sr=1-1

I don't know Alwyn as well as I should. The Elizabethan Dances disc from Naxos is all I can claim to have heard. That Dutton (love their cover art ;)) CD looks interesting, though.

Offline Szykneij

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2008, 12:10:07 PM »
I have the Lyrita set (well, they're single discs) under Alwyn (late 70s vintage, in superb sound).

I was unfamiliar with Alwyn's work until this Lyrita CD arrived in today's mail:



Very powerful music, and yes, the sound quality is superb!


I've only just begun to sample Alwyn's music.  But I must say that I have found his string quartets to extremely enjoyable.  His String Quartet No. 2, "Spring Waters", I'd place among my top 20 favorite quartets of all time at least ...

Based on what I'm hearing of his symphonies, I'm eager to experience his string quartets, too.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline drogulus

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2008, 01:16:26 PM »

   
     

     Odd Man Out is a great film with a great score. I saw this film on a late show on TV one night many years ago and I was mesmerized.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2008, 12:00:50 AM »
   
     

     Odd Man Out is a great film with a great score. I saw this film on a late show on TV one night many years ago and I was mesmerized.

Totally agree. It is a symphonic score; very moving... a kind of doomed processional.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline jowcol

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2008, 09:35:02 AM »
That Naxos disc with Symphonies 1 and 3 is a real keeper!  The Third in particular, sums up for me all that is great in 20th Century Symphony. (You mileage may vary).  The variant of "12 tone" that Alwyn applied there is really effective. (Focusing on 8 tones in the first movement, the other 4 in the second, and combining them in the third.) The great thing is that it didn't sound at all like an academic exercise, and the slow second movement is a work of beauty in spite of the constraints placed on it.

The other disc of the Naxos Alwyn series that I loved most was the Symphony 5("Hydrotaphia") and Lyra Angelica.  The Symphony was much terser and angular for the the first 2/3s of its length, but the ending with the tolling bells is absolutely unreal.  (Browne's 17th Century essay that it is based on is a mind-boggling meditation on mortality-- worth looking up.)  And Lyra Angelica simply makes me melt.

I still haven't clicked with symphonies 2 and 4-- and I'll need to try the file scores.  A good film score is worth keeping.


A tangent-- but I just rediscovered Goldsmith's score for the orginal "Alien"-  although there is a lot of atonal freakout parts, the main theme is something that struck me between Prokofiev and Scriabin, and is really gorgeous.  I think the reason that movie pulled me in so deep when it first came out is that I felt that somebody wrote the soundtrack just for me.  Of course, being pulled into the S.S. Nostromo when the flesh-eating alien is on board may not be the kind of favor one would want.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
Duke Ellington

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2008, 04:15:55 PM »
Alwyn has been fantastically lucky to have three such excellent sets of his symphonies on disc(Lyrita with the composer, Chandos-Hickox, and Naxos-Lloyd-Jones). You can't go wrong with any of these(or, of course, all of them if you are minted like...me?...as if ;D)

It is great that you have discovered such superb music :) Alwyn is a most rewarding composer whose music was totally eclipsed in the 60s and 70s but has been revived through the marvellous medium of disc. The concert hall, sadly, is another matter altogether!
I wonder when an Alwyn symphony was last played at-say-the Proms?

The 3rd is my favourite too, although, like yourself, I much admire the short 5th. I recall listening to the 3rd symphony whilst reading some book or other about a Himalayan mountaineering expedition which ended in tragedy(I think the German attempt on Nanga Parbat in 1934) and the work always now conjures up for me the doomed heroism of that story.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2008, 02:26:16 PM »
Have been listening to Symphony No 2; my favourite (and Alwyn's) of the cycle. It is a rather sibelian score but oddly moving in a characteristically understated British way (Lloyd-Jones recording on Naxos). Alwyn is one of my favourite British composers. I must investigate SQ No 2 from the recommendations here.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Christo

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2008, 02:37:27 PM »
Time to sleep, so the only thing you get from me being: that I agree with almost everything written here by almost everyone.  0:)

Hadn't observed this Alwyn thread before, but I'm happy so many (non-BSE  ;)) know and love his music. Me among them.  :D
Ö music is not only an `entertainmentí, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

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