Aureole etc.




Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line




Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


CD REVIEW

Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

alternatively
Classicsonline AmazonUK   AmazonUS

 

William ALWYN (1905-1985)
Piano Music - Volume 1
Sonata alla toccata (1945-46) [9:50]
Green Hills (1935) [3:07]
Cricketty Mill (1935) [4:15]
Prelude and Fugue formed on an Indian Scale (1945) [3:53]
Haze of Noon (1925) [2:47]
Harvest Home (1938) [5:47]
Fancy Free (1926) [5:20]
April Morn (1924-26) [3:36]
Fantasy Waltzes (1954-55) [35:40]
Ashley Wass (piano)
rec. St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol, August 2006 except Crear, Lochgilphead, Argyll, July 2007 (Fancy Free)
NAXOS 8.570359 [74:14]
Experience Classicsonline


Alwyn Studies continues to benefit from the dedication of record companies. This time it’s the piano music that takes centre-stage and this represents the first volume in a welcome new series. The two works that bookend the disc, the Sonata alla toccata and the Fantasy Waltzes are probably the best known but in between we have no less than six world premiere recordings presented by Ashley Wass, whose presence in the studios is proving ever more fruitful across a range of genres.
 
It could, perhaps should – indeed has – been said that the Sonata alla toccata is not really a sonata and not much of a toccata either. Nevertheless this ten-minute work has a very individual cut; a vibrant romanticism harnessed to neo-classical style. Alwyn is at his most pregnant though in the central movement with its tolling motif and in the final movement where the maestoso grandeur of the writing unveils a baroque plenitude and, once more, a toll resounding depth. Peter Donohoe has also recorded the sonata with equally satisfying results.
 
The Fantasy Waltzes have long been associated with John Ogdon but Wass loses little if anything in comparison – and Ogdon’s Chandos recording is currently unavailable. The waltzes take up half the playing time of the disc and are the most important things here – thirty-five minutes of spirited, luminous, highly effective and often beautiful writing for the instrument. The first waltz has a healthy dose of Ravel embedded, whereas the Moderato third pays its subtle homage to Grieg. The heavy impressionist drift of the fifth, a strong Lento, is reinforced by its animated central panel. And the sixth, an Allegro giocoso is characterised by Wass with real verve and determination.  Maybe Scriabin haunts the coiled introversion of the seventh. The wittiest moments are reserved for the eighth, which sounds like a cross between Johann Strauss and Jaroslav Ježek.
 
The roll call of premiere recordings includes Green Hills and Cricketty Mill, the latter replete with tricky John Ireland impressionism – fluent, fluid, rising to a more assertive chordal bronze tone when required.  The title of the next, Prelude and Fugue formed on an Indian Scale, sounds like something Foulds might have written in academic mood but it’s actually rather guileless and warmly lyric. Haze of Noon is a character study, as the title suggests, pleasing but no more. Harvest Home consists of bright little character pieces, not too difficult and good for parlour and hearth performance. Fancy Free and April Morn date from 1924-26 and are both educative in nature; the latter was written for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. So expect no great shakes here but do expect some charming studies, not least in the rainfall evoked in April Shower, which is perhaps the pick of these eight slivers.
 
The sound quality is excellent. The recording was made at St George’s, Brandon Hill, Bristol but there was no diminution in the taping of Fancy Free which was made at Crear, Lochgilphead.
 
Alwyn admirers can welcome this disc gratefully – the Waltzes in particular are alone worth your time – and can look forward to forthcoming volumes with great enthusiasm.
 
Jonathan Woolf

William Alwyn discography 


 


Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

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

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      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

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

Nostalgia

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

Comment
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

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
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
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
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
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

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




Return to Review 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.