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Violin Sonatina & Song

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, July 31, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

William Alwyn composed prolifically in virtually all genres, orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental. Like his contemporary Samuel Barber, Alwyn was an unashamed Romantic who preferred his music to appeal to the heart rather than to the head. The work

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Rhapsody for piano quartet
  2. Sonata Impromptu for violin & viola: Theme and Variations - Moderato e semplice (Tempo di Minuetto)
  3. Sonata Impromptu for violin & viola: Finale alla Capriccio - Allegretto con burla
  4. Ballade, for viola & piano
  5. Wood Magic, song for voice, violin & piano
  6. Lament of the Tall Tree, song for voice, violin & piano
  7. Songs (3) to Words by Trevor Blakemore, for voice & piano: Nocturne: Andantino
  8. Songs (3) to Words by Trevor Blakemore, for voice & piano: Illumination: Allegretto piacevole (in modo antico)
  9. Songs (3) to Words by Trevor Blakemore, for voice & piano: Harvest: Con moto
  10. Sonatina, for violin & piano: Allegro e grazioso
  11. Sonatina, for violin & piano: Adagio
  12. Sonatina, for violin & piano: Vivace
  13. Three Winter Poems, for string quartet: Winter Landscape: Andante
  14. Three Winter Poems, for string quartet: Elegy - 'Frozen Waters': Adagio e piangevole
  15. Three Winter Poems, for string quartet: Serenade - 'Snow Shower': Allegretto scherzando
  16. Chaconne for Tom, for treble recorder & piano

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 31, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B000REGIW8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,358 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Most American concert-goers have never heard a single note of William Alwyn's music in the concert hall. But one was familiar with his style from his many film scores, often for Carol Reed movies such as 'Odd Man Out', 'The Fallen Idol' and 'The Running Man'. It came as a bit of a shock some thirty years or so ago -- largely as a result of the groundbreaking series of issues from the Lyrita label -- to learn that Alwyn was an extraordinarily prolific composer of concert music in all genres. Music seemed to flow out of him. And one has yet to encounter a work that was not worth hearing, some of it for the ages. Associated with stylish craft, impeccable contrapuntal skill and an unfailing melodic gift, his music rarely fails to please even the first-time listener. This CD contains a miscellany of chamber music, all of it worthwhile.

Alwyn suppressed all his music written before about 1940 but there are several earlier works here -- the Rhapsody for Piano Quartet (1938-39), the Sonata Impromptu for Violin and Viola (1939-1940), the Ballade for Violin and Piano (1939), Two Songs for Voice, Violin and Piano (1931), Sonatina for Violin and Piano (1933) -- and each has something to recommend it. Indeed, of all the works here I was most taken with the Sonata Impromptu for the unusual combination of violin and viola; it ranks with the best things ever written for this combination. It is in three movements, each with extraordinarily assured contrapuntal writing aligned with pleasing and memorable themes. And it is given a simply sensational performance by Madeleine Mitchell, violin, and Roger Chase, viola. Chase, sensitively accompanied by pianist Andrew Ball, gives an equally satisfying performance of the lovely Ballade for Viola and Piano.
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