- Fanfare for a Joyful Occasion for brass & percussion
- Violin Concerto
Alwyn: Violin Concertoby Lorraine McAslan
The Naxos label's series of albums devoted to the concert music of William Alwyn, long known primarily for film music, has yielded lots of surprises. But few have been of the dimensions of those in the music here: a major violin concerto of the 20th century that is receiving one of its first full performances. Alwyn composed the work just before the outbreak of World War II, and it got lost in the chaos of the wartime years. It was recorded once in the 1990s, but has never been played in concert. This seems a shame, for the sizable first movment is both technically impressive and a likely crowd-pleaser. Alwyn grafts a rhapsody-like mood and a sort of picaresque treatment of the solo part -- it seems to meander through a landscape defined by the orchestra and to encounter little adventures there -- onto a set of materials announced at the beginning of the movement. The "Miss Julie Suite" that follows is drawn from a little-known Alwyn opera based on August Strindberg's expressionist play about a noblewoman who falls for one of her servants, with grim results. The orchestral excerpts reflect the story's psychologically heated atmosphere without abandoning Alwyn's basic late Romantic musical language. Everything is well performed; the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under David Lloyd-Jones, which has been featured often in this series, benefits from engineering on its home turf, and British-born, American-trained violinist Lorraine McAslan sustains the energy in the Alwyn's long, riverine lines. Another good find for lovers of British music.
- Release Date:
Performance CreditsLorraine McAslan Primary Artist
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