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Comment: three-disc set with booklet in original jewel case and slipcase; listed only as 'good' because of a worn slipcase, BUT slipcase can be removed, if desired, as the cover art is essentially the same underneath & the booklet is stored in the jewel case, not the slipcase; jewel case, booklet and cover art are in excellent condition; discs are mint/near mint
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  • Alwyn: Complete Symphonies Nos. 1-5 / Sinfonietta for Strings
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Alwyn: Complete Symphonies Nos. 1-5 / Sinfonietta for Strings


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Audio CD, January 23, 1996
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$36.63 $29.95
$48.29 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 1: I. AdagioLondon Symphony Orchestra10:50Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 1: II. Allegro leggieroLondon Symphony Orchestra 9:14Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 1: III. Adagio ma con motoLondon Symphony Orchestra 9:55Album Only
listen  4. Symphony No. 1: IV. Allegro jubilanteLondon Symphony Orchestra10:55Album Only
listen  5. Symphony No. 2: Part I: Con moto - Molto moderato - Quasi adagio molto calmatoLondon Symphony Orchestra13:34Album Only
listen  6. Symphony No. 2: Part II: Allegro molto - Moderato largamente - Molto tranquilloLondon Symphony Orchestra17:29Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 3: I. Allegro moltoLondon Symphony Orchestra10:58Album Only
listen  2. Symphony No. 3: II. Poco adagioLondon Symphony Orchestra10:03Album Only
listen  3. Symphony No. 3: III. Allegro con fuocoLondon Symphony Orchestra13:45Album Only
listen  4. Symphony No. 4: I. Maestoso ma con motoLondon Symphony Orchestra12:23Album Only
listen  5. Symphony No. 4: II. Molto vivaceLondon Symphony Orchestra11:49Album Only
listen  6. Symphony No. 4: III. Adagio e molto calmatoLondon Symphony Orchestra14:29Album Only


Disc 3:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Symphony No. 5, "Hydriotaphia": I. Moderato - Allegro ma non troppo -London Symphony Orchestra 3:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Symphony No. 5, "Hydriotaphia": II. Andante sostenuto -London Symphony Orchestra 4:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Symphony No. 5, "Hydriotaphia": III. Allegro con fuocoLondon Symphony Orchestra 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Symphony No. 5, "Hydriotaphia": IV. Tempo di marcia funebreLondon Symphony Orchestra 5:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Sinfonietta for Strings: I. Moderato molto ritmicoKonstantin Stdianov 8:04Album Only
listen  6. Sinfonietta for Strings: II. Adagio e poco rubatoKonstantin Stdianov 6:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Sinfonietta for Strings: III. AllegroKonstantin Stdianov11:01Album Only


Product Details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Composer: W. Alwyn
  • Audio CD (January 23, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000AYH
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,548 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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See all 5 customer reviews
His music is tightly argued and lyrical.
I. Giles
William Alwyn was one of the greatest British composer of the 20th century, whose music is strikingly original and often immediately recognizable.
G.D.
I would stack this CD set up against any other for being consistently impressive and thoroughly satisfying.
B. R. Merrick

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. F. Laurson on December 9, 2008
Format: Audio CD
William Alwyn is a wonderful composer whose usually tuneful, always romantic (but unmistakably modern) music is a pleasure. He made his living crafting excellent film scores (I Accuse, Odd Man Out) for which he became known - and he used his skill for engrossing movie-goers in his classical works like the symphonies or piano concertos. Lyrita (with most of its catalogue available again) recorded Alwyn's music with the composer conducting. Chandos' Hickox recordings remain the centerpiece of the Alwyn discography, although David Lloyd-Jones on-going Alwyn survey on Naxos offers an excellent alternative.
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Format: Audio CD
If you don't know this music or these recordings you have truly missed out on something. William Alwyn was one of the greatest British composer of the 20th century, whose music is strikingly original and often immediately recognizable. Originally Chandos issued the symphonies coupled with various orchestral works, and while one might certainly want these as well, this box set contains, after all, what must be considered the center of Alwyn's output - quite simply one of the more important symphonic cycles of the twentieth century, counting not only Britain. To begin with the sound quality: it is simply stunningly vivid and present, with a sense of perspective, ambience and clarity rarely matched. And the presentation is also rather exquisite.

The first symphony is lush and intoxicating, fragrant even, organically developed but with a real bite to it. Stylistically, there are traces of Bax and Sibelius in the ebb and flow of the first two movements. The tone is generally optimistic and the material is inventive and masterfully developed. The somewhat subdued and elegiac third movement gives way to a boisterous, almost brash finale, and the whole work is certainly an auspicious start to the cycle (while being a near-masterpiece in itself). The second symphony is in many ways a tougher nut to crack, sounding sometimes almost a little wayward and dry - although it builds up to a spectacularly powerful climax in the last movement. It is, indeed, a fine work, but cannot match the best works in the cycle.

The third, on the other hand, is a fierce and powerful work; a defiant piece of smoldering power and white-hot intensity, but ending on a surprisingly pastoral and sunny note.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By David Saemann VINE VOICE on March 30, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This was my introduction to William Alwyn's music and it was totally engrossing. The performances seem to be first rate, and the sound engineering is excellent. The first four symphonies form a cycle premiered in the 1950's. While the first takes some time to build up a head of steam, the remaining three are beautifully crafted and fully engaging. There are no big tunes, but instead a subtle manipulation of significant motifs. Number two was Alwyn's favorite of the five, and it is continually fascinating in its exposition of intimate effects. Number five was written somewhat later, and is only 16 minutes long. It follows a literary program, and is quite dramatic. However, my favorite piece in this set is the Sinfonietta for Strings. It has the rich tone that so many English composers exploit effortlessly. The thematic material is influenced by Berg, and indeed there is a feeling of Berg throughout the work. In sum, this was a very engaging set, not on the order of Elgar or Vaughan Williams, but still very rewarding in its own right.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By I. Giles TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Alwyn had the misfortune of writing these works at a time when 'traditional' values of composition had been replaced by other attractions of an avant garde nature. This was reflected in the choice of music promoted by the broadcasters and this resulted in these fine works not being heard either sufficiently or fairly.

Alwyn was a prolific writer of film scores, with over 60 to his name, as well as being a composition professor at the Royal Academy of Music. The considerable success of his film music provided the financial security required to support his symphonic output. His music is tightly argued and lyrical. There are no major melodies such as are found in Rachmaninov or Elgar for example but instead there is an emphasis on motifs which are worked through lyrically such as in Beethoven for example The music is also extremely effective dramatically having an inbuilt epic quality about it. The orchestration shows considerable flair for colour and this works seamlessly with his compositional skills. All of these qualities are to be expected of a successful film score writer where there is no room for slackness of any variety and where every idea must work effectively.

The first four symphonies were conceived as a compositional group and written close together in the 1950's. This grouping has little bearing on the listener who can simply enjoy the music of each symphony on an individual basis. The grouping is more to do with the way in which they were written. They thus form a 4 movement group with the first symphony being the exposition, the second being the slow movement, the third being a march-scherzo and the fourth being the epilogue.
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Alwyn: Complete Symphonies Nos. 1-5 / Sinfonietta for Strings
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