Author Topic: Alwyn's Abbey  (Read 3423 times)

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Offline DanielFullard

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Alwyn's Abbey
« on: October 24, 2007, 04:51:52 AM »
I don't know if any remembers but on the old forum we had a great thread going about a composer I really enjoy  - William Alwyn. (Think I convinced at least 2 people to buy a CD of his 'Lyra Angelica ;D)

Anyway I was just hoping for some discussion about his work and maybe get some recommendations etc

My favourite CD available is this one....



All credit to Naxos as they have a superb range of CD's of his work out and they are all worth picking up. The one above though is definetly the one Id say try above all others. His Fifth Symphony just cheers me up every time I put it on and its such a vibrant and energetic piece. And the Harp Concerto is just beautiful.

I have CD's that cost much more than this and. even though some people may laugh as its a Naxos CD, this is one of the favourites n my entire collection.


Harry

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 04:57:13 AM »
Some years ago I bought the complete symphonies from Alwyn on Chandos, and they are most excellent.
No favourites, simply love them all.
London SO/Richard Hickox.

And nobody laughs about Naxos cd's here, well not anymore................ :)

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 04:59:19 AM »
I know nothing about Alwyn but someday I might try that CD.  ;)
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2007, 06:02:12 AM »
Alwyn has been incredibly fortunate as far as recordings of his music are concerned. There are three sets of the symphonies and all are superb. In addition to the Naxos(Lloyd-Jones) and the Chandos(Hickox) which are mentioned above Alwyn conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a set for Lyrita and demonstrated that there are composers who can conduct their own music with consummate skill. (Sir Malcolm Arnold and George Lloyd were others-Sir William Walton less so). Orchestras frequently seem to respond to this with a performance of special magic! Although Alwyn's own recordings are older Lyrita standards were always very high and this set should not be overlooked.

Love all Alwyn's symphonies-give No.3 a go(it is my own personal favourite).

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2007, 06:03:58 AM »
Daniel - here are a couple of links to the 'Old Forum' w/ some Alwyn recommendations:  Link 1 & Link 2 - enjoy!  :D


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2007, 06:27:13 AM »
I started one of the old threads and am a great Alwyn admirer.  Coincidentally I have been listening to Alwyn today; an interesting new Naxos CD with the very enjoyable Elizabethan Dances and a fine, unknown early work "The Innumerable Dance-An English Overture" from 1933. Also on the CD are other fine works "The Magic Island" (after Shakespeare's The Tempest) and a rarity; Aphrodite in Aulis+the pastoral Oboe Concerto; a great disc. Aphrodite in Aulis is very beautiful and the performance of the Magic Island is by far the most atmospherically haunting of the three that I have heard.

Obsessive-Compulsive CD Collecting Disorder (OCCDCD) means that I have all three symphony cycles by Alwyn, Hickox and Lloyd-Jones; they are all good. Also I have been playing an excellent Dutton CD with Barbirolli conducting symphonies 1 and 2, from BBC radio archives. The recordings are from 1952/3 but are very well digitally remastered by Dutton and this CD is worth having even if you have one (or all!) of the above-mentioned cycles. Barbirolli takes these works faster than usual but there is a gripping urgency to his performances. I like all the symphonies but No 2 is my favourite for its  searching/visionary qualities.  Years ago I sent Alwyn a fan letter after I heard him conduct Symphony 5 on the radio. He sent me back a charming reply.   

One of my favourite Alwyn scores is his "Odd Man Out" film score (not unlike Rozsa's "Road to Calvary" from "Ben Hur"):

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alwyn-Film-Music-William/dp/B000000ATV/ref=sr_1_6/202-9347871-3364610?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1193238387&sr=1-6

Nice to see this thread revived.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 08:42:01 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #6 on: October 24, 2007, 06:31:47 AM »
Obsessive-Compulsive CD Collecting Disorder (OCCDCD) means that I have all three symphony cycles by Alwyn, Hickox and Lloyd-Jones

It looks even more obsessive if it's phrased as Compulsive Debilitating Compact Disc Collecting Disorder (CD CD CD) ;D
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #7 on: October 24, 2007, 06:33:22 AM »
It looks even more obsessive if it's phrased as Compulsive Debilitating Compact Disc Collecting Disorder (CD CD CD) ;D

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

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Hector

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 02:58:12 AM »
I have the Naxos/Lloyd-Jones cycle.

It just sort of happened from about the time he was Composer of the Week.

Favourites are the 2nd and 5th Symphonies and the Elizabethan Dances.

snyprrr

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 04:15:23 PM »
Arnold vs. Alwyn SQs.

anyone?

Offline jowcol

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 01:58:02 PM »
I'll have to echo the sentiments about Alwyn's 3rd.   I love the end of Hydrotaphia, and Lyra Angelica, but the Naxos disc with the third would take priority on a desert island. 

Great "tough romantic' music-- very accessible, yet not condescending.

One of the greatest things about the third was that it had an 'alternate" approach to 12 tone, where he used 8 in teh first movement, the remaining 4 in the second (a gorgeous slow movement), and brought it all together in the finale.  I still put Alwyn's third along this greatest 5-10 symphonies of the 20th century.

Yes, the Odd man out Film music album on chandos is great.  The second one didn't do much for me, and I haven't heard the third.
"If it sounds good, it is good."
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alwyn's Abbey
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 02:56:10 PM »
I agree, jowcol :)

The Third Symphony may not be Alwyn's finest work but it is my own favourite too :)