Tuesday, 4 September 2012

William Alwyn Festival 2012

William Alwyn
William Alwyn
English composer William Alwyn (1905 - 1985) is perhaps still best known for his film scores, for such films as The History of Mr Polly. But besides his many film scores (60 feature film and 150 documentaries) there are five symphonies, operas, song cycles and many other works. His opera Miss Julie has had a degree of success, and he was able to record much of his output for disc. But there is still the feeling that, compared to his contemporaries Walton, Tippett, Britten, Alwyn's time has not yet come. This year's William Alwyn Festival is an opportunity to get to know more of his music, alongside that of some of his contemporaries..


The festival takes place from 4 to 7 October in and around Aldeburgh. The opening concert, on 4 October in St Paul's Church, Westleton includes Alwyn's Chaconne for Tom for recorder and piano, plus music by Peter Dickinson, Jeremy Dale Roberts and Philip Spratley. Friday morning (5 October) in Blythborough church, the Cavalieri Quartet play Alwyn's 10th string quartet alongside, Pehkonen, Bridge and Beethoven. In the afternoon there is a chance to see two films with Alwyn scores. And in the evening James Bowman
gives a recital of lute songs and songs by Britten, alongside music by Martin Shaw and Thomas Pitfield.

Saturday afternoon (6 October) Ashley Wass gives a recital in Aldeburgh which includes a substantial amount of Alwyn's piano music. Then in the evening, at Blythborough Church, Edward Fivet and the Prometheus Orchestra perform Alwyn's Pastoral Fantasia for viola and string orchestra, plus his Scottish Dances andmusic from the film Green Girdle. They are also giving the world premiere of David Matthews Romanze for viola and string orchestra. The viola soloist is Sarah Jane Bradley. The concert also includes more music by Pehkonen and finishes with Beethoven's 8th Symphony.

Sunday afternoon the Prometheus Orchestra give another concert, this time in Orford, mixing Alwyn's pieces from their previous concert with Rossini, Butterworth, Beethoven and Delius.

Full details from the William Alwyn Festival website.

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