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#456736 - 01/02/08 11:54 AM William Alwyn (1905-1985)
LiszThalberg Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/13/06
Posts: 3288
Just discovered him this morning. Looks like a great overshadowed modern composer.


-Complete Piano Works

He also wrote over 70 movie scores in the 1950s.

Any imput? Anyone played any of his pieces?


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#456737 - 01/02/08 12:40 PM Re: William Alwyn (1905-1985)
Janus K. Sachs Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/07
Posts: 1729
Loc: Betelgeuse, baby!
Calling argerichfan...
Die Krebs gehn zurücke,
Die Stockfisch bleiben dicke,
Die Karpfen viel fressen,
Die Predigt vergessen.

Die Predigt hat g'fallen.
Sie bleiben wie alle.

#456738 - 01/02/08 01:22 PM Re: William Alwyn (1905-1985)
BruceD Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18950
Loc: Victoria, BC
Alwyn's "Autumn Legend" for English Horn and String Orchestra (1954) is a beautifully atmospheric piece, maybe somewhat reminiscent of Vaughn Williams, although with a "voice" all its own.

I also like his "Pastoral Fantasia" (1939) for viola and String Orchestra.

I've not heard any of his piano music, however.

- - - - -
Estonia 190

#456739 - 01/02/08 04:10 PM Re: William Alwyn (1905-1985)
arp Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 64
Loc: Solihull, England

Any imput? Anyone played any of his pieces?
Yes, April Shower No.4 from April Morn (Four Little Pieces) which was ABRSM Grade 6 around 1974.

Very twee - I hated it.

#456740 - 01/02/08 04:29 PM Re: William Alwyn (1905-1985)
JohnEB Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/20/06
Posts: 754
Loc: Belgium
Yes his name certainly rings a bell from ABRSM exams, and I'm pretty sure I"ve played the sonata alla toccata about 20 years ago, but I no longer have the music.

#456741 - 01/03/08 01:17 AM Re: William Alwyn (1905-1985)
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9091
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally posted by Janus Sachs:
Calling argerichfan...
You rang?

I'm not familiar with Alwyn's solo piano music, but his 2nd Concerto is really a very fine piece. (Howard Shelley has championed this.) Also his 5th Symphony, Hydriotahia, is well worth a listen.

But most of all, I recently heard a recording on the radio of his Harp Concerto (recorded on Naxos), and I must say it held my attention from beginning to end. Just amazing music. Highly recommended!

Unlike many British composers, he seems not to have written anything for the Anglican Church. Perhaps it didn't interest him, perhaps he was never commissioned, perhaps what he did write sank without a trace. Whatever, no setting of the canticles or any anthems ever come up at Evensong.

#456742 - 01/03/08 07:42 AM Re: William Alwyn (1905-1985)
PoStTeNeBrAsLuX Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 2618
Loc: Geneva, Switzerland
It is worth searching out his woodwind sonatas (flute, oboe and clarinet).

-Michael B.
There are two rules to success in life: Rule #1. Don't tell people everything you know.


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