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Alwyn: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 CD

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Frequently Bought Together

Alwyn: Symphonies Nos. 1 and 3 + William Alwyn: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5; Lyra Angelica (Harp Concerto) + William Alwyn: Symphony No. 4; Sinfonietta
Price For All Three: £22.13

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Product details

  • Orchestra: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones
  • Composer: William Alwyn
  • Audio CD (3 Jan 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000C847FO
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,900 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Symphony No. 1 : I. Adagio - Allegro ritmico - Andante espressivo - Adagio10:39Album Only
Listen  2. Symphony No. 1 : II. Allegro leggiero 8:07Album Only
Listen  3. Symphony No. 1 : III. Adagio (ma con moto) 9:04Album Only
Listen  4. Symphony No. 1 : IV. Allegro jubilante10:43Album Only
Listen  5. Symphony No. 3 : I. Allegro molto 9:36Album Only
Listen  6. Symphony No. 3 : II. Poco adagio 8:20Album Only
Listen  7. Symphony No. 3 : III. Allegro con fuoco - In tempo meno mosso (Tempo moderato) - In tempo primo12:16Album Only

Product Description

Symphonies n° 1 & n° 3 / Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liverpool - David Lloyd-Jones direction

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Captain Pike TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Dec 2005
Format: Audio CD
During the 1940's and 50's, William Alwyn was one of the most successful composers of his time. In addition to writing scores for many well-known British films, his symphonies were performed at the Proms by some of the leading conductors of the day. However, with the appointment of William Glock as the BBC's Controller of Music, Alwyn suddenly found that he was no longer in favour and from the 1960's, public performances became increasingly rare.
The Symphony No.1 is a highly enjoyable work, full of memorable ideas. At times, the music feels more like a film score than a symphony, with the occasional tendency to lapse into melodrama and sentimentality. But even at its most bombastic, the music remains compelling and provides the listener with a satisfying experience.
The Symphony No.3 is a fine piece. Alwyn experiemented with a new compositional technique while he was writing this symphony and this self-imposed discipline resulted in a much tighter structure.
Anyone who enjoys William Walton or Samuel Barber will feel at home with these symphonies. They are not masterpieces, but Alwyn was a technically accomplished composer with an ear for a good tune and his music deserves a wider recognition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Best in British symphonic music 28 Feb 2006
By Mr. Louis Blois - Published on
Format: Audio CD
William Alwyn is certainly getting much deserved attention these days. As David Lloyd-Jones turns out a complete cycle of Alwyn symphonies on Naxos, Rumon Gamba has been recording the composer's film music on Chandos (the third installment of which has just been released). Both represent the finest in music making. Alwyn not only contributed substantially to both the film music and classical genres. In my opinion, he has produced some of the best symphonies to come out of Britain in the 20th Century. I have the two previous complete Alwyn cycles, an early one led by the composer himself on Lyrita, and more recently, one led by Richard Hickox on Chandos. Alwyn's abilities as a conductor of his own works are nothing less than remarkable. His performances, dating from the 1970s and still available, dig in to the music with a strength and conviction that I find unequalled. As each disc of the Naxos cycle emerged, I found Lloyd-Jones to be a fiercely committed interpreter of the Alwyn canon.

Until now I never much cared for the Alwyn First. It frankly lacks the tightness and overall cohesiveness of his subsequent works in the genre. Not even Alwyn's own performance makes a convincing case for it. Lloyd-Jones' performance, however, made me feel as if I were hearing the work anew. As in previous installments, he makes strong connection with Alwyn's broad, moody romantic lyricism and impetuous surges of passion. He gives marvellous shape to the rather rhapsodic first movement, pulling together its shifting moods and contrasting episodes with fine overall sweep. He takes Alwyn's broad climaxes with a grand, even monumental sense of epiphany. As in the rest of the series, he is totally immersed in the broad surging waves of Alwyn's melodic arches and kinetically restless episodes.

Lloyd-Jones gives a superb reading of Alwyn's mighty Third Symphony, one of my top ten favorite symphonies of the 20th Century. The opening movement's pulsing sense of urgency and forward momentum is captured brilliantly. Instrumental details are heard as never before. I would never give up Alwyn's own impassioned, incomparable interpretation. Lloyd-Jones tends to be a bit more aggressive in his approach while Alwyn more brings out the dark, seething urgency beneath the surface with greater emphasis on the all-important atmospheric aspect. For that, Alwyn's rendition of this work remains my first love. Lloyd-Jones, however, breathes new fire into the score, building climaxes and forging ahead with a deeply committed sense of mission. Likewise in the slow movement, the sudden surge ahead in tempo in the central section is nothing less than gripping; the yearning outer sections are beautifully realized. The playing by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is top notch, as is the quality of recorded sound.

For those seeking to explore the best in British symphonic music, and for those who are already admirers of Alwyn's prolific film music, this installment, nay, this entire series, is highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A solid release 29 July 2006
By Russ - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The music of the British composer William Alwyn (1905-1985) needs a strong advocate if it is going to become better known. Well, that's what we find here with David Lloyd-Jones leading the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. This performance is fantastic.

But what about the music itself on this release? In response to this question, I would say while the first symphony is good, the third symphony is great. In comparison to the third symphony, the first symphony seems to be just a bit disjointed, whose movements last just slightly too long. Listeners will hear some similarities to other compositions here, maybe even some borrowed ideas. Portions of the second movement of the first symphony, for instance, remind me of Moeran's Symphony in G minor. However, Alwyn's unique musical voice is apparent in the melodic adagio of the first symphony. This is a lovely movement, which just seems to get better and better after each listening. The momentum of the finale of the first symphony brings to mind the first symphony of Walton. This is a very extroverted movement and concludes with an exciting theme in compound meter.

The entire fourth symphony is permeated with the influence of Vaughan Williams; especially the Vaughan Williams of the fourth and sixth symphonies. The dark first movement of this symphony has tremendous intensity and always seems to be surging forward. This movement also contains a sinister brass-heavy chorale that those who appreciate the dark side of Vaughan Williams will surely love. For me, the most compelling music on this release is the fantastic conclusion of this symphony. In the finale, the music builds to a climax with blaring Vaughan Williams-like brass chords, over a percussive motif (think "Mars"), which is brought to halt by a Waltonesque trick cadence. Following this, the music turns mysterious, yet lovely, bringing to mind Vaughan Williams' ninth symphony. However, it should be noted that the first performance of Vaughan Williams' ninth symphony took place two years after Alwyn completed his third symphony. Alwyn's symphony probably doesn't reach the heights of Vaughan Williams' symphonies, but it is still quite good.

Those familiar with twentieth century British music will surely have a lot of fun identifying all the similarities between Alwyn's music and the music of better known British composers. However, Alwyn has a distinctive voice, and his music should be better known, especially the fantastic third symphony. Highly recommended.

Excellent CD 30 April 2014
By bayou ben - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is some of William ALwyn's best works especially Symphony No 3. His sinfonieta is his best works on CD.
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