William Alwyn: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5; Lyra Angelica (Harp Concerto)

William Alwyn: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5; Lyra Angelica (Harp Concerto)

by David Lloyd-Jones
     
 

To commemorate William Alwyn's centenary in 2005, Naxos began its series of his complete symphonies and other orchestral works with recordings of the single-movement "Symphony No. 5, Hydriotaphia"; the "Concerto for harp and orchestra, Lyra Angelica"; and the two-movement "Symphony No. 2." This composer is most famous for his scores for numerous British films from the… See more details below

Overview

To commemorate William Alwyn's centenary in 2005, Naxos began its series of his complete symphonies and other orchestral works with recordings of the single-movement "Symphony No. 5, Hydriotaphia"; the "Concerto for harp and orchestra, Lyra Angelica"; and the two-movement "Symphony No. 2." This composer is most famous for his scores for numerous British films from the 1930s through the 1950s, but his concert music was actively supported by Sir John Barbirolli, and his reputation as a symphonist and opera composer was firmly established by the 1970s. Alwyn's music in his symphonies is sumptuous, sinuous, and lavishly orchestrated, and always sounds professionally polished, like his soundtrack music. Yet as a consequence, his form and overall trajectory seem less symphonic than freely rhapsodic; and pursuing the development of Alwyn's themes through his seductive scores seems almost beside the point: this is an inventive colorist, not a rigorous theoretician. Alwyn's relaxed, late-late Romanticism is pretty and appealing, especially in "Lyra Angelica," which harpist Suzanne Wilison and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, under David Lloyd-Jones, play with delicate colors and poignant expression. But the symphonies have greater impact through their stormier episodes, and impress with their emotional and timbral richness, if not through any particularly striking symphonic features. Naxos provides terrific sound quality, even better than its usually fine reproduction.

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Editorial Reviews

Gramophone - Andrew Achenbach
All three works [show] the composer at the height of his powers.... A solid recommendation.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/16/2005
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313264728
catalogNumber:
8557647
Rank:
262578

Tracks

  1. Symphony No. 5, "Hydriotaphia"  - William Alwyn  - David Lloyd-Jones  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  2. Lyra Angelica for harp & strings  - William Alwyn  - David Lloyd-Jones  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  - Suzanne Wilson
  3. Symphony No. 2  - William Alwyn  - David Lloyd-Jones  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

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