Author Topic: William Alwyn  (Read 17604 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2008, 04:02:41 PM »
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

Too late for Alwyn and Rubbra now, sadly.

Some far less talented composers than they got a knighthood!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2008, 04:15:01 PM »
Too late for Alwyn and Rubbra now, sadly.

Some far less talented composers than they got a knighthood!

Who do you have in mind Colin?  ;D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2008, 04:26:38 PM »
Who do you have in mind Colin?  ;D

Ah.........nasty!

If you really force me.....Richard Rodney Bennett, John Tavener. I don't even happen to think-and it is only a purely personal opinion of course-that Lennox Berkeley was any better a composer than Alwyn or Rubbra. Malcolm Arnold? I think that he probably did deserve his 'gong'. I refuse-point blank-to make any comments whatsoever about Sir Harrison Birtwistle. >:D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2008, 02:30:53 PM »
Ah.........nasty!

If you really force me.....Richard Rodney Bennett, John Tavener. I don't even happen to think-and it is only a purely personal opinion of course-that Lennox Berkeley was any better a composer than Alwyn or Rubbra. Malcolm Arnold? I think that he probably did deserve his 'gong'. I refuse-point blank-to make any comments whatsoever about Sir Harrison Birtwistle. >:D

I would include the current Master of the Queen's Music  >:D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2009, 02:15:23 PM »
Have just listened to a very interesting CD in The Beecham Collection (SOMM-BEECHAM 23). It includes the first performance of Alwyn's Third Symphony (which John Ireland thought was the greatest British symphony since Elgar). The recording is from the Festival Hall concert on 10th October 1956 with Beecham conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Despite the mono recording and it being over fifty years ago, the power of this fine work comes across more eloquently than in any other recording (and I have those on Lyrita, Naxos and Chandos). The end is especially poignant. Well worth looking out for.

Added later. I found a review of the CD:

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2008/Apr08/Alwyn_Beecham_sommbeecham23.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.musicweb.uk.net/classrev/2008/Apr08/Alwyn_Beecham_sommbeecham23.htm&usg=__QjIZig54KVSAglFm7LUPXMxCghk=&h=297&w=300&sz=27&hl=en&start=1&tbnid=ymq-J_sKGYuXzM:&tbnh=115&tbnw=116&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbeecham%2Bedition%2Balwyn%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26ie%3DUTF-8
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 02:20:59 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2009, 02:31:49 PM »
There is a new biography of Alwyn which was well reviewed-

http://www.boydell.co.uk/4383412X.HTM

I am tempted by it but I find biographies of composers usually somewhat frustrating. They either tell one a lot about the composer's life but leave one dissatisfied by the incomplete coverage of his music or concentrate on technical descriptions of the music(which are sometimes over my head) and leave the man himself as a shadowy character.

The two I bought recently are a bit like that. Peter Dickinson's book on Lennox Berkeley is excellent in many ways but practically ignores some of the music(the Flute Concerto, the 4th Symphony). Leo Black's book on Rubbra has superb analyses of the symphonies but I would have liked more about Rubbra the man.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 04:26:56 AM by Dundonnell »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2009, 04:39:44 AM »
There is a new biography of Alwyn which was well reviewed-

http://www.boydell.co.uk/4383412X.HTM

I am tempted by it but I find biographies of composers usually somewhat frustrating. They either tell one a lot about the composer's life but leave one dissatisfied by the incomplete coverage of his music or concentrate on technical descriptions of the music(which are sometimes over my head) and leave the man himself as a shadowy character.

The two I bought recently are a bit like that. Peter Dickinson's book on Lennox Berkeley is excellent in many ways but practically ignores some of the music(the early Cello Concerto, the Flute Concerto, the 4th Symphony). Leo Black's book on Rubbra has superb analyses of the symphonies but I would have liked more about Rubbra the man.

I am tempted by the biography (and thanks Colin for alerting me to it), not least to read about 'the major crisis in Alwyn's life'. but not at £60. i agree with what you say about composer biographies. Honegger's 'I am a composer' which I am currently reading says very little about his life outside music, which I find frustrating. One of the best was 'A Heart at Fire's Center' about Bernard Herrmann.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2009, 07:33:46 AM »
I am tempted by the biography (and thanks Colin for alerting me to it), not least to read about 'the major crisis in Alwyn's life'. but not at £60. i agree with what you say about composer biographies. Honegger's 'I am a composer' which I am currently reading says very little about his life outside music, which I find frustrating. One of the best was 'A Heart at Fire's Center' about Bernard Herrmann.

£30, Jeffrey(60 US Dollars) ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2009, 03:32:20 AM »
£30, Jeffrey(60 US Dollars) ;D
Oh! thanks Colin but will refrain for the moment having splurged out recently on CDs of music by Alan Bush, Leon Orthel, Simeon Ten Holt and pre-ordered Goossens Symphony No 1 on Chandos.  Maybe I'll see if the library will order a copy of the Alwyn biography.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline MDL

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2009, 04:15:52 AM »
I've never heard any Alwyn, but I'd be curious to dip my toe. On holiday in China in 2002, I spent two weeks or so in the company of Alwyn's son from his first marriage, but we didn't talk much about his dad.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2009, 08:39:01 AM »
I've never heard any Alwyn, but I'd be curious to dip my toe. On holiday in China in 2002, I spent two weeks or so in the company of Alwyn's son from his first marriage, but we didn't talk much about his dad.

That's very interesting. I didn't know that Alwyn had any children.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Lilas Pastia

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2009, 07:09:01 PM »
Oh! thanks Colin but will refrain for the moment having splurged out recently on CDs of music by Alan Bush, Leon Orthel, Simeon Ten Holt and pre-ordered Goossens Symphony No 1 on Chandos.  Maybe I'll see if the library will order a copy of the Alwyn biography.

Hello, Jeffrey  ;). Do you know Vernon Handley's account of the Goossens symphony? It's on ABC and quite a good account IMO (although I can't compare it to any other ::)). What will the Chandos be coupled with ?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2009, 12:38:13 AM »
Hello, Jeffrey  ;). Do you know Vernon Handley's account of the Goossens symphony? It's on ABC and quite a good account IMO (although I can't compare it to any other ::)). What will the Chandos be coupled with ?


Hi Andre  ;) Yes, I have the ABC CD and the old Unicorn LP. It's coupled with the Phantasy Concerto for piano and orch.

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Lilas Pastia

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2009, 09:22:28 PM »
Keep us posted, then !  :D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2009, 02:29:49 AM »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2010, 06:20:38 PM »
William Alwyn is one of my favorite English composers. His music is so melodic and rhythmically enticing. Unfortunately, I do not own that much of his music. All I own is the Richard Hickox series, when they were released individually (7 recordings in all). This also includes the film music disc with "Odd Man Out," which is one of the great scores in film music.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 06:22:24 PM by Mirror Image »
“Music is enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not enough for music.” - Sergei Rachmaninov

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2010, 06:27:09 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.

I like his Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 the best. Of his other works, I love "Lyra Angelica," "Pastoral Fantasia," "Elizabethan Dances," all of his concerti, especially "Oboe Concerto" and "Violin Concerto." A truly great composer with a lyrical gift for music.
“Music is enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not enough for music.” - Sergei Rachmaninov

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2010, 11:18:32 PM »
I like his Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 the best. Of his other works, I love "Lyra Angelica," "Pastoral Fantasia," "Elizabethan Dances," all of his concerti, especially "Oboe Concerto" and "Violin Concerto." A truly great composer with a lyrical gift for music.

We have similar tastes, although Symphony No 2 is my favourite (it was Alwyn's too). They are all good and I totally agree about 'Odd Man Out' - one of the greatest music scores and worthy to stand alongside the symphonies.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline springrite

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2010, 12:16:27 AM »
I will find out about Symphony #2 and the Oboe Concerto, both of which I have ordered from Amazon via our own Just Jeff. Always loved Alwyn.  Can't wait!
Do what I must do, and let what must happen happen.

Offline Fëanor

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Re: William Alwyn
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2010, 05:25:45 AM »
William Alwyn is one of my favorite English composers. His music is so melodic and rhythmically enticing. Unfortunately, I do not own that much of his music. All I own is the Richard Hickox series, when they were released individually (7 recordings in all). This also includes the film music disc with "Odd Man Out," which is one of the great scores in film music.
I like Alywn's string quartets in particular.  I own both the Rasumovsky and Maggini versions; both good though of the two I'd recommend the Maggini ...
 
   
 
... ArkivMusic listing for the Maggini

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