One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


Some items
to consider


paid for

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews

Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews

FOGHORN Classics

Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews

All HDTT reviews

Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews



Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger


Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom


An Alwyn Chronology - John Dressler
7 November: is born William Alwyn Smith in the sub-district of St Giles in the county borough of Northampton to William James and Ada Tyler Tompkins Smith at 54 Kettering Road

attends Northampton Council School and receives a piccolo from his parents

11 February: older brother Anthony Ewart (Tony) Smith dies, age 10; is buried in Grave 8537 in the Billing Road Cemetery, Northampton along with father and mother

attends Northampton Grammar School (until 1919) and has piano lessons with R. W. Strickland

a) from a spiral-bound music-manuscript-paper notebook in the Alwyn Archive: 'Woodland Voices…piccolo solo composed by William Smith age 10, Op. 1'; Alwyn will later refer to this work as Sparkling Cascades in several interviews.
b) passes entrance examination at the Royal Academy of Music and commutes twice a week to London for lessons on the flute and piano; boyhood acquaintance of Edmund Rubbra

Suite for Orchestra is played by the R.A.M. Orchestra conducted by Alexander Mackenzie rejected as 'unplayable' before the end of the rehearsal

a) leaves the R.A.M. to work in his father's shop; resumes piano and organ lessons in between shop hours
b) Olive Pull wins an LCC 'special talents' scholarship to the R.A.M. where she studies piano, singing and harmony

William auditions for the Royal Academy of Music; recommended by R. W. Strickland

a) William enters the R.A.M. with principal study of flute with Daniel Wood and secondary study of piano with Edward Morton and Leo Livins and elements of harmony study with Russell Chester, John McEwen and Arthur Hinton; fee was 14 guineas per term
b) William receives the Ross Scholarship through 1924 for flute study at the R.A.M.

24 June: composes Three Preludes for Viola and Piano

a) William receives the Oliveria Prescott Gift at the R.A.M.; this prize was awarded to 2 distinguished students of composition each Spring as income to be used for the purchase of orchestral study scores
b) Olive Pull wins the Elizabeth Stokes bursary and is appointed a sub-professor at the R.A.M.
c) William receives the Sir Michael Costa Scholarship through 1927 at the R.A.M.; receives free tuition; writes an opera (Fairy Fiddler) as a result of winning this scholarship
d) 18 January: William James Smith (father) dies
e) leaves the R.A.M; does not stay long in Northampton
f) becomes music master at a private residential school in Haslemere, Surrey; plays in London's East-end theatres and cinemas; teaches piano lessons for one shilling an hour
g) August or September: performs a flute sonata of Frederick the Great in recital at St Lawrence Jewry (London) with organist, Ernest F. Mather
h) 9 December: performs as flute soloist, Bach: Suite in B Minor at the Queen's Hall [R.A.M.]

a) Haze of Noon and Two Irish Pieces (piano) published by Oxford University Press
b) 7 September: recital is broadcast from Bournemouth of Bach's Sonata in B Minor: Alwyn is flautist with pianist, Olive Pull
c) November: leaves Haslemere due to ill health

a) March: performs Bach's E-flat Major flute sonata at St Mary-le-Bow Church, London with Ernest F. Mather
b) 25 March: completes Five Preludes for Orchestra
c) Summer: performs as flautist in scratch seaside band at Broadstairs, Kent with a group of 10 players
d) June: from Committee of Management Minutes, 15 June 1927 '…appointed on recommendation of the Principal, William Alwyn as professor…' at the Royal Academy of Music, London
e) September: performs as flautist and piccoloist with the London Symphony Orchestra at Hereford Cathedral (Three Choirs Festival); included on the programme was Dream of Gerontius conducted by Elgar

cites '…both Gauguin and Nietsche were my mentors in my twenties, and their influence has never deserted me…', Uncommonplace Books, Book III.

1 January: marries Olive Mary Audrey Pull at St George's Church, Tufnell Park in the Parish of Islington; witnesses were Ada Tyler Smith, Jane Emma Pull, William Joseph Pull and John B. McEwen; Olive sets up a piano studio in their 45 Midholm, Hampstead home where her Bechstein piano takes up a substantial portion of the sitting room; she remains close with fellow R.A.M. students: Clifford Curzon, Lesley Duff Bedford, Nancy Bush, Lilian Cameron

a) 9 July: performs on the flute his arrangement of I've Been Roaming: Guelda Waller and Vera Maconochie, sopranos; Hilda Pitcairn, piano; BBC broadcast in the National Programme
b) 10 October: birth of son, Jonathan

a) 8 March: performs as flautist Ravel's Chansons madécasses at the R.A.M. with Geoffrey Dunn (tenor), Lilly Phillips (cello) and Norman Franklin (piano)
b) 18 March: delivers a lecture at the R.A.M. during Review Week titled, 'Musical Thoughts'
c) 1932-33 spends 9 months in Australia as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music

spends 3 months in Canada as an examiner for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music with Michael Head, Herbert Kinsey and Lloyd Powell

4 July: performs Wallingford Riegger's Suite for Flute Alone, Op. 8 at the R.A.M.

a) 20 February: performs as flautist at the Chelsea & Westminster Musical Festival with Alan Richards (violin), Arnold Goldsborough (piano) and conductor Iris Lemare
b) 27 February: makes application to the Performing Right Society; accepted 19 March; for most of the next 20 years would serve on the executive committee as well as on many of the council's committees
c) April-May: travels to Canada again as examiner for the Associated Board
d) is a member of the Committee of the R.A.M. New Music Society
e) scores his first documentary film, The Future's in the Air, for Strand Film Company, directed by Alexander Shaw and produced by Paul Rotha

performs as flautist with the Iris Lemare Orchestra

a) 24 January: performs Boleslaw Wojtowicz's Trio (flute, clarinet, bassoon) with Reginald Kell and Richard Newton at the R.A.M.
b) 13 June: birth of son, Nicholas
c) receives the Collard Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Musicians through 1941 jointly with Edmund Rubbra

a) 14 March: performs the first broadcast performance of Hugo Anson's Suite for Flute and Piano with the composer at the piano; National Programme, 5 pm
b) September: volunteers to be an Air Raid Warden; evacuates his family from London to the village of Bisley [nr. Stroud] where Olive had grown up
c) appointed Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music as elected by its directors

a) 13 June: performs Eugène Goossens's Three Pictures (flute and piano) with Sidney Harrison at the R.A.M.
b) becomes an honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians after having held the Collard Fellowship; family moves first to the home of composer, Alan Bush in Radlett and subsequently to Welwyn Garden City where they rented a house for the rest of the war

scores his first feature film, Penn of Pennsylvania, for British National Films, directed by Lance Comfort

2 January: is a founding member of the Society for the Promotion of New Music; the first experimental rehearsal took place on 1 October 1943 at the Royal Academy of Music

24 May: founding member with Alan Bush, Thomas Dunhill, Theodore Holland, Ralph Vaughan Williams and others of The Composers' Guild to combine composers in their distinctive society '…to further the artistic and professional interests of its members…' [Alan Bush to Rose-Mary Sands, Secretary of The Composers' Guild, 7 September 1947]

10 March: delivers a lecture titled 'Music for Film' to the Cambridge Film Society, University of Cambridge

begins to experience a throat condition: difficulty swallowing

becomes Chair, Composer's Guild of Great Britain (will be re-elected Chair in 1949 and 1959)

a) April through March 1955: serves on the British Film Academy Council of Management
b) August: speaks on music's contribution to film production at the 8th Annual British Film Institute Summer School at Bangor, North Wales

a) attends Bergen Music Festival (Norway) and visits home of Grieg; renewed his friendship with Clifford Curzon there
b) November: Thornhill, Cowes, Isle of Wight (letter written by Alwyn dated and addressed from this temporary retreat but had probably been visiting as early as 1953)

a) March: tenders letter of resignation to the R.A.M. Committee of Management on 2 March ending a teaching career of nearly 28 years in Room 73
b) 7 September: Ada Tyler Smith (mother) dies at Pitsford House Nursing Home, Northamptonshire
c) 22 November: visits gravesite of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Birchington-on-Sea, Kent)
d) 30 December: considers an appointment as head of a department in BBC Television; turns down the job 15 February 1956

a) 27 March: signs a letter to The Times (with other composers) regarding the Copyright Bill being proposed; this will prompt other letters in The Times to follow
b) 11 June: completes the score of Symphony No. 3
c) 10 October: provides Pierre Cochereau (Notre Dame Cathedral organist) a theme for improvisation at a recital at the Royal Festival Hall

5 May: attends a performance by the Northampton Musical Society of Bach's B Minor Mass at the New Theatre, Northampton; also in attendance is Malcolm Arnold and Edmund Rubbra, the other major composers from that town; all three are patrons of the society

a) 25 January: birth of Alwyn's first grandchild, Sarah Katherine, to parents Jonathan and Pamela
b) is made a Fellow of the British (Film) Academy [along with Ian Dalrymple and George Gunn]
c) 30 August: delivers a lecture titled 'Film Music: Sound or Silence?' at the Cameo Cinema, Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival
d) Fall: serves with Malcolm Arnold and Matyas Seiber on the Clements Memorial Prize Board as adjudicator for the best chamber music work by a British subject

a) 2 October: attends funeral of Gerald Hoffnung, Golders Green Crematorium representing the Composers' Guild of Great Britain 
b) November: becomes a trustee of The Phoenix Trust that provides funds for literature and the arts

moves to Blythburgh, Suffolk; suffers another nervous breakdown; is unable to compose until 1963

a) June: attends a Congress in Rome with Alan Frank [OUP]; is sent to the Salvator Mundi Hospital on 22 June suffering from enteritis and periodic spasms
b) 14 November: sells his collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings at Sotheby's; Burne-Jones's Angel with Cymbals bought in 1953 for £8 sold for £600

a) is a member of the Isle of Wight Island Sailing Club having been elected to membership in 1953
b) 17 October: attends memorial service for Louis MacNeice, All-Souls Church
c) writes his last film score, The Running Man, for Columbia/Peet Productions, directed by Carol Reed

8 October visits Puccini's birthplace (Lucca) '…unspoiled and full of lovely churches and ancient buildings…' [postcard to Royce Whale]

2 October: conducts a studio recording of Strauss's Don Juan with the BBC Northern [Philharmonic], Manchester, Milton Hall

elected as an honorary member of the general council of the Performing Right Society

a) 7 June: Alan and Nancy Bush visit the Alwyns at Lark Rise
b) November: speaks at the Northampton Arts Association dinner on 8 November; tells members they had to should the responsibility for promoting art in their town as '…Britain spends too little on the Arts…'.

writes the introductory essay for the Decca recording of Elgar's Gerontius conducted by Benjamin Britten

a) February: completes Symphony No. 5
b) June: completes rough sketch of Act I, Scene 1 of Miss Julie
c) June: the Alwyns make a pilgrimage to Chillon to see the pillar in the dungeons on which Byron carved his name as a protest against man's inhumanity against man

a) 4-7 January: conducts recording sessions in London for the Lyrita set of symphonies
b) 10 April: spends a holiday at Tennyson's home, Isle of Wight

a) April: marriage to Doreen Carwithen is finalized
b) 30 July: ends writing his Uncommonplace Book, I; begins Uncommonplace Book, II

a) International Poetry Society's William Alwyn Award begins prompted by Frederic Vanson's suggestion to Alwyn to set up such an award; run through the society's magazine, Orbis; the first winner was Margaret Krouwer
b) Philip Lane is awarded first prize by William Alwyn as part of the Ipswich Orchestral Society Competition for Composition
c) 4 March: completes Miss Julie

16 July 1977: Miss Julie premiere: BBC broadcast performance, Radio Three; pre-
recorded in Brent Town Hall on 17 February 1977; Jill Gomez (Miss Julie), Benjamin
Luxon (Jean), Della Jones (Kristin), Anthony Rolfe-Johnson (Ulrik); BBC Concert
Orchestra; Vilem Tausky, conductor

awarded C.B.E. for services to English music

28 July - 10 August 10th: joint exhibition of William's artwork and Lesley Scott's sculpture at the Halesworth Gallery (Suffolk); Early Spring sold for ₤200, and The Lily Pool sold for ₤40 according to the Sales Book

a) suffers a stroke followed by meningitis and pneumonia
b) 5 July: completes Uncommonplace Books, Book VI
c) October: travels to Glasgow to rehearse and record the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for a 75th-birthday concert: Symphony No. 2, Concerto Grosso No. 3, Derby Day Overture, Oboe Concerto 
a) writes libretto, Isle of Slaves
b) 24 April: Olive Pull Alwyn dies, aged 80, in Kings Ride Nursing Home, Richmond, Surrey

a) 19 May: is awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester in absentia; the music recital room at the University Centre, Barrack Road, Northampton is named the Alwyn Room as a tribute
b) 21 May: Trevor Hold delivers a lecture recital of Alwyn's works at the University Centre in conjunction with the University of Leicester award

Autumn: suffers a near-fatal stroke

January: completes final composition, String Quartet No. 3 
a) 11 September: dies in Southwold and District Hospital, Suffolk
c) 20 September: private funeral at Norwich City Crematorium; musical selections heard are: I Chrisantemi, Puccini—Adagio from Lyra Angelica—Adagio from Concerto in D Minor for 2 Violins, J.S. Bach

a) 28 April: The Times reports that Alwyn left an estate valued at £325,625 net
b) May: Alwyn catalogue by Stewart Craggs and Alan Poulton is published, the first attempt at sorting out his works; Alwyn supported the project completely

26 and 29 October, 1 November: Miss Julie: premiere staging: Denmark: nr.
Copenhagen: Ballerup Theatre: Opera-Fabrikken: Susanne Riber (Miss Julie), Jørn
Pedersen (Jean), Annette Lindjerg Simonsen (Krisitn), Ole Vadsten (Ulrik); Lyngby-
Taarbaek Symphony Orchestra; Frans Rasmussen, conductor

27-29 September: John Huntley presents The Golden Age of British Film Music (Part 2), Earnley Concourse, Earnley, Chichester; soundtrack recordings, compact discs and film clips from the following were included: Desert Victory, Take My life, The October Man, They Flew Alone and The History of Mr. Polly 
15 October 1997: Miss Julie: first staging in the UK: Norwich: Theatre Royal: Norfolk
and Norwich Festival in the Year of Drama and Opera: Judith Howarth (Miss Julie), Karl
Daymond (Jean), Fiona Kimm (Kristin), Ian Caley (Ulrik); Britten Sinfonia; Nicholas
Cleobury, conductor

a) 5 January: Mary Alwyn (Doreen Carwithen) dies Forncett St Peter, nr. Norwich; ashes of both Alwyns are interred in the Blythburgh Parish Church cemetery
b) 15 March: London: Imperial War Museum: 'An Appreciation of the Film Music of William Alwyn', lecture by Ian Johnson; excerpts from the following works are featured: The True Glory, The Harvest Shall Come, Desert Victory, Carve Her Name with Pride, and I was a Fireman

14 June: Southwold: St Edmund's Hall: 'Odd Man Out: The Music of William Alwyn', lecture by Reg Williamson; excerpts from the following works are featured: Odd Man Out, String Quartet No. 1, Lyra Angelica, Festival March, Elizabethan Dances, Symphony No. 5, and String Quartet No. 3 

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews

all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews

All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews


Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus

September 2022
Nikolai Medtner
Herbert Blomstedt
Tarrodi Four Elements
Secret Love Letters
Lisa Batiashvili





Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.