William Alwyn

Started by tjguitar, April 16, 2007, 09:27:43 AM

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SonicMan46

Quote from: Daverz on August 10, 2021, 08:26:12 AM
I love the Violin Concerto, particularly the McAslan recording, though I should try the Mordkovitch again.   Paul A. Snook in Fanfare is rather harsh on the work:
Quote from: Brian on August 10, 2021, 01:05:41 PM
The recording I know well is McAslan's - can't comment on any others but it is very good (the soloist is spotlit a bit but she is also good).

Thanks Guys - I ordered the Naxos disc w/ McAslan because the reviews of both violinists were equally good and I already had the 3rd Symphony - the additional works on the Naxos recording were a better 'fit' for me - looking forward to hearing the violin work.  Dave :)

vandermolen

#241
Quote from: SonicMan46 on August 10, 2021, 01:26:10 PM
Thanks Guys - I ordered the Naxos disc w/ McAslan because the reviews of both violinists were equally good and I already had the 3rd Symphony - the additional works on the Naxos recording were a better 'fit' for me - looking forward to hearing the violin work.  Dave :)
I have both of the CDs featuring the Violin Concerto and love both performances. If you already have Symphony No.3 it makes sense to get hold of the Naxos CD but, personally, I'm glad to have both recordings. You definitely need the 'Odd Man Out' film music CD. 'Odd Man Out' is one of my favourite works by Alwyn and the 'doomed processional' is worthy IMO to stand behind Miklos Rozsa's 'The Procession to Calvary' from his score for 'Ben Hur' - definitely not to be missed. I look forward to reading what you think of the VC Dave - it's neglect mystifies me but I take the points made by others here.
"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).

Maestro267

I listened to the Violin Concerto the other day thanks to this thread. Really enjoyed it. Plenty of weight and variety in the orchestra, which makes a work more interesting for me. Slow movement was lovely.

vandermolen

Quote from: Maestro267 on August 13, 2021, 03:15:43 AM
I listened to the Violin Concerto the other day thanks to this thread. Really enjoyed it. Plenty of weight and variety in the orchestra, which makes a work more interesting for me. Slow movement was lovely.
Glad that you enjoyed it.
"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).

vers la flamme



This Hickox/London Alwyn disc is really good! I'd love to collect the rest of the series but some of the other ones are a bit more expensive.

vandermolen

Quote from: vers la flamme on August 14, 2021, 04:40:29 AM


This Hickox/London Alwyn disc is really good! I'd love to collect the rest of the series but some of the other ones are a bit more expensive.
I love the first movement - like a mini-symphony in itself. The Elizabethan Dances are good too. I think that release is arguably the best of the Hickox Alwyn cycle.
"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).

vandermolen

From WAYLTN thread - I thought that this delightful CD needed more exposure!
William Alwyn
'Pastoral Fantasia' (1939)
Lovely early morning listening, with elements of 'The Lark Ascending' (like Milford's 'Darkling Thrush') about it. Somehow this work had passed me by until now. From the CD notes 'The Pastoral Fantasia for viola and string orchestra was composed between June and October 1939. As the clouds of war were gathering, it is clear that this gentle rhapsodic work is a nostalgic look back to an England of times past when things moved at a slower pace and life in general was more pleasant. However, with the onset of World War II this way of life would be shattered forever.'



"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).

vers la flamme

Alwyn's music has been clicking for me lately. I don't know what it is. I'd have a hard time describing his music to someone who's never heard it, and I'm not sure that he was exactly the most original composer in the world, but he was clearly talented. His orchestration was good. One can tell, listening to his symphonies, that he wrote a lot of film scores. By far my favorite work of his is Lyra Angelica, but I do also like the symphonies, especially 2 and 5 (I have the Naxos disc), and the Odd Man Out Suite, which I have the Hickox recording of on Chandos.

Anyone else listening?

foxandpeng

Quote from: vers la flamme on January 21, 2022, 05:46:07 AM
Alwyn's music has been clicking for me lately. I don't know what it is. I'd have a hard time describing his music to someone who's never heard it, and I'm not sure that he was exactly the most original composer in the world, but he was clearly talented. His orchestration was good. One can tell, listening to his symphonies, that he wrote a lot of film scores. By far my favorite work of his is Lyra Angelica, but I do also like the symphonies, especially 2 and 5 (I have the Naxos disc), and the Odd Man Out Suite, which I have the Hickox recording of on Chandos.

Anyone else listening?

Yeah, I picked up the Naxos release with the VC, Miss Julie Suite etc., last night. He is one of the English composers that I ought to know really well, but confess to having somehow bypassed to listen to other things. I've been listening to lots of Bruckner this week, but need something on a slightly smaller scale to act as a foil. If Bruckner is my something old, Alwyn is a good choice for something new.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

kyjo

Quote from: vers la flamme on January 21, 2022, 05:46:07 AM
Alwyn's music has been clicking for me lately. I don't know what it is. I'd have a hard time describing his music to someone who's never heard it, and I'm not sure that he was exactly the most original composer in the world, but he was clearly talented. His orchestration was good. One can tell, listening to his symphonies, that he wrote a lot of film scores. By far my favorite work of his is Lyra Angelica, but I do also like the symphonies, especially 2 and 5 (I have the Naxos disc), and the Odd Man Out Suite, which I have the Hickox recording of on Chandos.

Anyone else listening?

Have you heard his 2nd Piano Concerto? It's not often discussed, even amongst Alwynites, but it's one of my favorite works of his. Big, bold, dramatic, and sweeping in the outer movements and touchingly, intimate lyrical in the central one. As per usual with Alwyn, there's excellent recordings on both Chandos and Naxos. Also, his substantial opera Miss Julie is quite wonderful in a passionate, "neo-Puccinian" sort of way.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

vandermolen

Quote from: kyjo on January 21, 2022, 07:06:41 AM
Have you heard his 2nd Piano Concerto? It's not often discussed, even amongst Alwynites, but it's one of my favorite works of his. Big, bold, dramatic, and sweeping in the outer movements and touchingly, intimate lyrical in the central one. As per usual with Alwyn, there's excellent recordings on both Chandos and Naxos. Also, his substantial opera Miss Julie is quite wonderful in a passionate, "neo-Puccinian" sort of way.
Must give that another listen to Kyle. My Alwyn favourites are Symphony No.2 (actually I like all five symphonies), Pastoral Fantasia, The Magic Island, Lyra Angelica Autumn Legend and the unaccountably neglected Violin Concerto + the terrific score for 'Odd Man Out' (in the Chandos Film Music Collection).
"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).

foxandpeng

Quote from: foxandpeng on January 22, 2022, 01:16:02 AM
William Alwyn
Symphony 2
David Lloyd Jones
RLPO
Naxos


I don't think I have heard Alwyn's symphonies more than two or three times through, so good to explore something basically new. .

Listening to #5 now, which I've enjoyed more than the rest of the symphonies so far. Had to look up the meaning of Hydriotaphia - it is a funeral urn. The symphony was apparently named in homage to a work written by Sir Thomas Browne in 1658 about the discovery of a number of Anglo-Saxon hydriotaphia. Alwyn enjoyed Browne's writing!

This is a great quote, which no doubt impacted Alwyn:

"But man is a Noble Animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave, solemnizing Nativities and Deaths with equal lustre, nor omitting Ceremonies of bravery, in the infamy of his nature. Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial, or, a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk is a work by Sir Thomas Browne, published in 1658
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

kyjo

Quote from: vandermolen on January 22, 2022, 12:00:04 AM
Must give that another listen to Kyle. My Alwyn favourites are Symphony No.2 (actually I like all five symphonies), Pastoral Fantasia, The Magic Island, Lyra Angelica Autumn Legend and the unaccountably neglected Violin Concerto + the terrific score for 'Odd Man Out' (in the Chandos Film Music Collection).

Yes, the PC no. 2 is mandatory listening for all Alwynites!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

vandermolen

Quote from: foxandpeng on January 22, 2022, 06:30:03 AM
Listening to #5 now, which I've enjoyed more than the rest of the symphonies so far. Had to look up the meaning of Hydriotaphia - it is a funeral urn. The symphony was apparently named in homage to a work written by Sir Thomas Browne in 1658 about the discovery of a number of Anglo-Saxon hydriotaphia. Alwyn enjoyed Browne's writing!

This is a great quote, which no doubt impacted Alwyn:

"But man is a Noble Animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave, solemnizing Nativities and Deaths with equal lustre, nor omitting Ceremonies of bravery, in the infamy of his nature. Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible Sun within us."

Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial, or, a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk is a work by Sir Thomas Browne, published in 1658
That's a very good CD release Danny - the first one in the Naxos cycle. All three works are first rate.
"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).

foxandpeng

Quote from: vandermolen on January 22, 2022, 09:19:05 AM
That's a very good CD release Danny - the first one in the Naxos cycle. All three works are first rate.

I'm enjoying the Lloyd Jones cycle so far, although the Hickox #1 is really decent. Hoping to get my head round both cycles though 🙂

Need to familiarise myself with Alwyn!
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

vandermolen

Quote from: foxandpeng on January 22, 2022, 09:52:04 AM
I'm enjoying the Lloyd Jones cycle so far, although the Hickox #1 is really decent. Hoping to get my head round both cycles though 🙂

Need to familiarise myself with Alwyn!
Without wanting to put more temptation in your way Danny, Alwyn's own recording of Symphony No.2 on Lyrita, is arguably the best of all:
"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).

foxandpeng

Quote from: vandermolen on January 22, 2022, 10:12:17 AM
Without wanting to put more temptation in your way Danny, Alwyn's own recording of Symphony No.2 on Lyrita, is arguably the best of all:


Gotcha. Saved to my William Alwyn Spotify playlist. Thanks, Jeffrey 🙂. Really value the pointers and recs, particularly of those recordings and threads highlighting the best of the best!

More Alwyn with this in the morning, I think.
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

Symphonic Addict

The Alwyn I enjoy the most comprises: Lyra Angelica, Symphonies 1-5, Concerti grossi 1-3, Sinfonietta, Autumn Legend, string quartets, film music. The Violin Concerto is pretty, but, personally, I don't find it as engrossing as other of his works.
Part of the tragedy of the Palestinians is that they have essentially no international support for a good reason: they've no wealth, they've no power, so they've no rights.

Noam Chomsky

kyjo

#258
Quote from: Symphonic Addict on January 22, 2022, 04:17:00 PM
The Alwyn I enjoy the most comprises: Lyra Angelica, Symphonies 1-5, Concerti grossi 1-3, Sinfonietta, Autumn Legend, string quartets, film music. The Violin Concerto is pretty, but, personally, I don't find it as engrossing as other of his works.

The first time I heard the VC I was enraptured by it, but when I revisited it recently I found it rather diffuse. Funny how that happens sometimes! As far as British VCs go, I prefer the ones by Elgar, Britten, Walton, Moeran, and Dyson. I'm also not too keen on the rather "generic" 1st Symphony.

What are your thoughts on the 2nd PC, Cesar? Am I the only one on GMG who likes this work?
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Symphonic Addict

Quote from: kyjo on January 23, 2022, 07:11:03 AM
The first time I heard the VC I was enraptured by it, but when I revisited it recently I found it rather diffuse. Funny how that happens sometimes! As far as British VCs go, I prefer the ones by Elgar, Britten, Walton, Moeran, and Dyson. I'm also not too keen on the rather "generic" 1st Symphony.

What are your thoughts on the 2nd PC, Cesar? Am I the only one on GMG who likes this work?

Almost my thoughts exactly, except for the "generic" Sym. No. 1. It's a work full of color and intense "Neo-Romantic" spirit IMO. You used the right word for the VC: diffuse. That was my perception the last time I revisited it.

As for the PC 2, I don't have vivid memories of it, so I'll need to give it a spin soon.

Part of the tragedy of the Palestinians is that they have essentially no international support for a good reason: they've no wealth, they've no power, so they've no rights.

Noam Chomsky