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Alwyn - Elizabethan Dances; Oboe Concerto; Aphrodite in Aulis CD


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Product details

  • Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones
  • Composer: William Alwyn
  • Audio CD (27 Nov. 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000JVSVEM
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 213,414 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Elizabethan Dances : No. 1. Moderato e ritmico 2:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Elizabethan Dances : No. 2. Waltz tempo - languidamente 2:16£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Elizabethan Dances : No. 3. Allegro scherzando (ma non troppo allegro) 1:43£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Elizabethan Dances : No. 4. Moderato 3:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Elizabethan Dances : No. 5. Poco allegretto e semplice 3:22£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Elizabethan Dances : No. 6. Allegro giocoso 3:28£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Innumerable Dance - An English Overture10:34Album Only
Listen  8. Concerto for Oboe and Harp: I. Andante e rubato10:43Album Only
Listen  9. Concerto for Oboe and Harp: II. Vivace 8:09Album Only
Listen10. Aphrodite in Aulis: Aphrodite in Aulis - An Eclogue for small orchestra after George Moore 5:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. The Magic Island : The Magic Island10:53Album Only
Listen12. Festival March : Festival March 7:56Album Only

Product Description

Danses Elisabéthaines - Concerto pour hautbois - Aphrodite in Aulis / Jonathan Small, hautbois - Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, dir. David Lloyd-Jones

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 15 Jan. 2007
Format: Audio CD
I still remember my surprise and pleasure the first time I heard any of the concert music of William Alwyn: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 with Alwyn conducting the London Philharmonic on a Lyrita LP. Up to that time I'd known him only as a film composer ('The Rocking Horse Winner', 'Odd Man Out' among many others). The music was notable for its inventive orchestrations, its creative use of rhythm, its skillful mix of impressionist and modal harmonies, and its unfailingly beautiful melodies. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I encountered this new release by David Lloyd-Jones conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, at least partly because there are a couple of important first recordings -- The Innumerable Dance, and Aphrodite in Aulis -- contained in the varied program.

The CD starts with Alwyn's 1956-57 'Elizabethan Dances', a six-part suite that alternates movements recalling the eras of Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II, a clever idea that but one that can be a little jarring as we go from music featuring tabors and pipes to music with bluesy harmonies. I can't hear the first movement without initially thinking of stereotypical American Indian music with the square drum rhythms coupled with open fifths, although within a few seconds we are thrown back into the ceremonial music of the Virgin Queen's court. One is amused by the final movement which alternates between a rumba and a hornpipe! This, if nothing else, typifies Alwyn's sense of humor, never hidden for long.

'The Innumerable Dance - An English Overture' takes its title from a passage in Blake's 'Milton': "And flower and herb soon fill the air with an innumerable dance / Yet all in order sweet and lovely.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Davis VINE VOICE on 23 Aug. 2011
Format: Audio CD
I very much agree with the earlier review. I have always liked Alwyn's music and regard the symphonies, Lyra Angelica and the terrific movie score from 'Odd Man Out' as absolutely first rate. This CD is a great way to explore some of the shorter works by William Alwyn. I enjoyed everything on this CD. The 'Elizabethan Dances' are described as 'popular' on the CD blurb - but I have never come across them before (there is a Lyrita recording). The opening Dance reminded me very much of Arthur Bliss's music, the succeeding Waltz has a wistful melancholy which I found very appealing and the final number sounded like the theme music from a Hollywood western! All very enjoyable though. Other highlights for me were 'Aphrodite in Aulis' - a lovely, atmospheric very short (5 minutes) work, which had some of the haunting atmosphere of Sibelius's 'Swan of Tuonela' - a great premiere recording. I also really enjoyed the darkly mysterious 'Magic Island' (after Shakespeare's ' The Tempest') - I have two other recordings by Alwyn himself and the late, lamented Richard Hickox (who did so much for Alwyn's music - not least his excellent recording of the symphonies)- but David Lloyd-Jones's interpretation of the magical seascape (and the excellent recording) is a very worthy newcomer. So, all in all, a very fine disc, which I have returned to often and with much pleasure.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
'All in Order Sweet and Lovely' 15 Jan. 2007
By J Scott Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I still remember my surprise and pleasure the first time I heard any of the concert music of William Alwyn: Symphonies Nos. 1 & 4 with Alwyn conducting the London Philharmonic on a Lyrita LP. Up to that time I'd known him only as a film composer ('The Rocking Horse Winner', 'Odd Man Out' among many others). The music was notable for its inventive orchestrations, its creative use of rhythm, its skillful mix of impressionist and modal harmonies, and its unfailingly beautiful melodies. It is, therefore, with great pleasure that I encountered this new release by David Lloyd-Jones conducting the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, at least partly because there are a couple of important first recordings -- The Innumerable Dance, and Aphrodite in Aulis -- contained in the varied program.

The CD starts with Alwyn's 1956-57 'Elizabethan Dances', a six-part suite that alternates movements recalling the eras of Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II, a clever idea that but one that can be a little jarring as we go from music featuring tabors and pipes to music with bluesy harmonies. I can't hear the first movement without initially thinking of stereotypical American Indian music with the square drum rhythms coupled with open fifths, although within a few seconds we are thrown back into the ceremonial music of the Virgin Queen's court. One is amused by the final movement which alternates between a rumba and a hornpipe! This, if nothing else, typifies Alwyn's sense of humor, never hidden for long.

'The Innumerable Dance - An English Overture' takes its title from a passage in Blake's 'Milton': "And flower and herb soon fill the air with an innumerable dance / Yet all in order sweet and lovely." A ten-minute-long tone poem written in 1933, it is an evocation of an English spring, opening with hushed divisi tremolando strings followed by muted horns. Further tonal weight is gradually added until we reach a scintillating sunrise and a spirited dance. This is gorgeous (and gorgeously played) pastoral English music reminiscent of Delius. The present recording is possibly its first performance in almost seventy years and we are the richer for it.

'Concerto for Oboe, Harp and String' (1943-44) features Jonathan Small, oboe, and Eleanor Hudson, harp. It was given its premiere by Evelyn Rothwell, wife of John Barbirolli who was a staunch advocate of Alwyn's concert music. In two movements played without pause, this 18-minute work moves from a nostalgic and impressionistic opening to a virtuosic and spry modal dance before closing with return of the initial material. Although the work is played well here, it is for me a marginally less appealing performance than that on a Chandos recording with oboist Nicholas Daniel and the City of London Sinfonietta under Richard Hickox.

'Aphrodite in Aulis - An Eclogue for Small Orchestra, after George Moore' (1932) is an ethereally evocative miniature for flute, two horns, harp and strings. Like 'The Innumerable Dance', it has not been heard for seventy years. I could easily imagine it working its way into the margins of the mainstream repertoire, particularly if given such an exquisite performance as heard here. I must say that this is the piece that I returned to most on this disc. Absolutely delicious!

Very nearly as lovely, though, and twice as long, is 'The Magic Island' (1952), a so-called 'Symphonic Prelude', inspired by lines from 'The Tempest': "... the isle is full of noises / Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not." From an atmospheric, quiet beginning it swells to a climax beginning at 3:50: "a thousand twangling instruments / will hum about mine ears ..." Of the works presented here, 'The Magic Island' presents Alwyn most convincingly as the master orchestrator that he was. It was, incidentally, commissioned by Barbirolli.

And, finally, we get a good old-fashioned Elgarian 'pomp and circumstance' style march, the 'Festival March' written for the 1951 Festival of Britain. Full of 'nobilmente' and 'grandioso' atmosphere, it deserves to stand with similar contemporaneous works by Walton as well as those by Elgar. A marvelous end to a marvelous program of works, not a one of them weak or derivative, by a composer whose stature can only grow, William Alwyn.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Scott Morrison
This is such fun 7 Oct. 2011
By John K. Gayley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Alwyn is really a treat. Well and cleverly constructed pieces, with interesting scoring and no lack of tunes and passion. Say what you will about film composers, but their use of color generally has been very different than those of a more traditional mold. This is a nice starting collection that plays to Alwyn's strengths and overall appeal. Plus the bargain price of the disc and its 70'+ length play to Naxos's strength and appeal. Highly recommended.
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