Alwyn: Concerti Grossi Nos. 2 & 3

Alwyn: Concerti Grossi Nos. 2 & 3

by David Lloyd-Jones
     
 

William Alwyn was one of Britain's best-loved composers during the middle third of the 20th century, with a large body of film music to his credit along with many colorful orchestral works. He was an ideal candidate for the Naxos label's grand project to rediscover worthwhile non-modernist repertory, and the Royal LiverpoolSee more details below

Overview

William Alwyn was one of Britain's best-loved composers during the middle third of the 20th century, with a large body of film music to his credit along with many colorful orchestral works. He was an ideal candidate for the Naxos label's grand project to rediscover worthwhile non-modernist repertory, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under David Lloyd-Jones has responded with enjoyable recordings of some of his smaller works. Alwyn wrote three works designated as concerti grossi, with only the second closely following the Baroque model in which a small group or concertino plays the role of soloist in contrast to the larger ripieno orchestra. This is a superior short work with a lovely nocturnal slow movement in which the solo string group opens with mutes; it would serve well as a curtain-raiser for any orchestral concert. The other concerto grosso, from the early 1960s, is a more Stravinsky-like piece with brasses in the concertino role. The other three works are even less known than the two concerti grossi, and indeed they receive their world recording premieres here. The opening "Dramatic Overture: The Moor of Venice," in fact, has never been performed live in its orchestral version; it was originally written for band. It's a bit hard to imagine this detailed little recapitulation of Othello, complete with Desdemona's "Willow Song," being played by a band, and it's quite ingeniously compact. The "Serenade" and "Seven Irish Tunes, Suite for small orchestra" are less substantial works; the Irish Tunes are actual arrangements of Irish folk melodies, while the "Serenade" was inspired by ideas drawn on Alwyn's stay in Australia. The recording is drawn on a pair of sessions three years apart, but both were done at the orchestra's home at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, and the musicians are in a lively mood throughout. A delightful slice of English neoclassicism.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/30/2011
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313014576
catalogNumber:
8570145
Rank:
126993

Tracks

  1. Concerto Grosso No. 3  - William Alwyn  - David Lloyd-Jones  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Concerto Grosso No. 2 in G  - William Alwyn  - David Lloyd-Jones  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  3. Overture "The Moor of Venice"  - William Alwyn  - David Lloyd-Jones  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

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