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Alwyn: Concerti Grossi Nos. 2 and 3 / Lloyd-Jones - Royal Liverpool PO

> The Moor of Venice (arr. P. Lane for orchestra) - The Moor of Venice (arr. P. Lane for orchestra)
> Concerto grosso No. 2 - I. Allegro moderato e vigoroso
> Concerto grosso No. 2 - II. Adagio ed espressivo
> Concerto grosso No. 2 - III. Vivace (allegro ma non troppo)
> Serenade - I. Prelude: Andantino - Tranquillo - A tempo
> Serenade - II. Bacchanal: Moderato (poco allegro) - Allargando - A tempo
> Serenade - III. Air: Andante molto tranquillo e semplice
> Serenade - IV. Finale: Allegretto - Moderato e molto tranquillo - Presto - A tempo primo (l'istesso tempo)
> 7 Irish Tunes - No. 1. The Little Red Lark: Andantino
> 7 Irish Tunes - No. 2. Country Tune: Allegretto giocoso
> 7 Irish Tunes - No. 3. The Maiden Ray: Moderato e grazioso
> 7 Irish Tunes - No. 4. Reel: The Ewe with the Crooked Horn: Allegro vivace
> 7 Irish Tunes - No. 5. The Gentle Maiden: Andante e semplice
> 7 Irish Tunes - No. 6. The Sigh: Allegretto (quasi andantino e poco dolente) - Piu lento
> 7 Irish Tunes - No. 7. Jig: Allegro e giocoso - poco tranquillo - Tempo primo
> Concerto grosso No. 3 - I. Maestoso - Moderato e ritmico
> Concerto grosso No. 3 - II. Andante - Vivace
> Concerto grosso No. 3 - III. Andante

Album Summary

>Alwyn, William : Overture "The Moor of Venice"
>Alwyn, William : Concerto Grosso no 2 in G
>Alwyn, William : Serenade, for orchestra
>Alwyn, William : Irish Tunes (7), suite for orchestra
>Alwyn, William : Concerto Grosso no 3
Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

There are several descriptive scores in William Alwyn's prolific output, including The Moor of Venice Dramatic Overture which examines the turbulent central character in Shakespeare's Othello. The Serenade and the orchestral version of Seven Irish Tunes receive première recordings here, both covering a wide range of moods. Following his acclaimed recording of the Concerto Grosso No. 1 (8.570704), David Lloyd-Jones here completes the set, the second of which is scored for strings, and concluding with the Concerto Grosso No. 3 which is a tribute to Sir Henry Wood.

David Lloyd-Jones's highly acclaimed cycle of Arnold Bax's symphonies and tone poems for Naxos (Gramophone Award) was completed in the autumn of 2003. In 2007 he was made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

"You would have been lucky to find a William Alwyn disc in record shops outside of the UK before Naxos began this series. Now we have new recordings of the complete symphonies, many of the concertos and other of his orchestral works, though, sadly, this release marks the end of the series. Alwyn devoted much of his life to composing over two hundred film scores, and while his concert hall music was well received, it never followed those fashionable trends that would have brought the media hype enjoyed by much less important composers. The series set out to redress that situation, the conductor, David Lloyd-Jones, proving a fitting guide... The Liverpool orchestra play with sure-footed security, and I commend the disc without a word of reservation." -David's Review Corner

"No one would pretend that most of William Alwyn's music is anything other than light, but it is beautifully crafted and instantly engaging – an accessibility that earned him a rare fellowship of the British Film Academy for myriad cinema scores. The Seven Irish Tunes display his complete mastery of orchestration here but feel dated and clichéd, and while the 1948 Concerto Grosso No 2 dances along in its tuneful and wistful affability it is No 3, written 18 years later, that is the highlight of this collection, so much more arresting in its dark and impassioned patina and splendidly played by the RLPO." -The Guardian

"The serious stuff lies mainly in the tonal but astringent Concerti Grossi Nos 2 and 3. But Alwyn’s cinematic directness is also displayed in The Moor of Venice, orchestrated by Philip Lane from Alwyn’s brass-band original. His music doesn’t convey depths of emotion, but it is superbly crafted and often gorgeously lyrical." -The Times

Audiophilia
The Concerto Grosso no. 2 is a fine piece of English string writing ... the RLPO strings give it a fine performance and the recording is really demonstration sound. The Serenade is a very tuneful and flowing four movement work which I will be returning to again and again as is the Suite for small orchestra - Seven Irish Tunes - similar in a way to Vaughan Williams folk song suite.

Classical Candor
It's a vigorous, active piece, with much high energy and good spirits to recommend it... it's a world-première recording. ... Lloyd-Jones does his best to bring the music to life... the sound is quite attractive, very open and clear. The recording provides a modest orchestral depth and wide stereo spread, the strings exceptionally smooth without ever being soft or recessed. The dynamic range is merely adequate, not too terribly wide, as are the bass and treble extension.

MusicWeb International
The sound quality of this disc is excellent, especially so in the concertos. I enjoyed the crisp performances and I was very impressed with the liner notes by Andrew Knowles: they are informative and comprehensive... I guess that most of Alwyn's orchestral works are now available on CD. This is a magnificent achievement that I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams some 40 years ago.

Allmusic.com
This is a superior short work with a lovely nocturnal slow movement in which the solo string group opens with mutes; it would serve well as a curtain-raiser for any orchestral concert. The other concerto grosso, from the early 1960s, is a more Stravinsky-like piece with brasses in the concertino role. The other three works are even less known than the two concerti grossi, and indeed they receive their world recording premieres here. The recording is drawn on a pair of sessions three years apart, but both were done at the orchestra's home Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, and the musicians are in a lively mood throughout. A delightful slice of English neoclassicism.

Classic FM
Lloyd-Jones, as you would expect of a past master in this repertoire, leads his polished Liverpool players in atmospheric performances of tender affection.

BBC Music Magazine
... the music is such a delight to listen to: not just a pleasurable background noise, but for the way it entertains while elegantly dodging the predictable at every turn... The performances are lovely, with David Lloyd-Jones approaching each score - even the rather less impressive Moor of Venice and Seven Irish Tunes - on its own terms.

Infodad.com
the disc, which is very well played and conducted, gets a (+++) rating. Those who have already encountered Alwyn will find this an enjoyable expansion of their knowledge of his music.

Gramophone
The music of Alwyn, in all its diversity and passion, appears to have an unstoppable momentum under the committed baton of David Lloyd-Jones and Naxos. This highly entertaining and gripping recording, crisply executed by the RLPO, has an energy, drive and polish entirely apt for the compelling admixture of Alwyn's post-Romantic and neo-classical language.

Classical Lost and Found
Made on two separate occasions (2007 and 2010) in Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, the recordings are well-matched and project a magnificent soundstage in this spaciously bright acoustic. The sonic clarity and focus are exemplary to the point where there's a bit of digital grain in massed violins.

The Observer
No one would pretend that most of William Alwyn's music is anything other than light, but it is beautifully crafted and instantly engaging...it is No 3, written 18 years later, that is the highlight of this collection, so much more arresting in its dark and impassioned patina and splendidly played by the RLPO.

The Times
The serious stuff lies mainly in the tonal but astringent Concerti Grossi Nos 2 and 3. But Alwyn's cinematic directness is also displayed in The Moor of Venice, orchestrated by Philip Lane from Alwyn's brass-band original. His music doesn't convey depths of emotion, but it is superbly crafted and often gorgeously lyrical.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, England.



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Works Details

>Alwyn, William : Overture "The Moor of Venice"
  • Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 8 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Alwyn, William : Concerto Grosso no 2 in G
  • Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 13 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1951

>Alwyn, William : Serenade, for orchestra
  • Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 10 min. 17 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Alwyn, William : Irish Tunes (7), suite for orchestra
  • Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 7 min. 32 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic

>Alwyn, William : Concerto Grosso no 3
  • Conductor: David Lloyd-Jones
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Running Time: 15 min. sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1964