British artist, composer, poet and writer William Alwyn was born on 7 November 1905 in Northampton, and studied composition and flute at the Royal Academy of Music from the age of fifteen. He was prolific and imaginative, inventing an alternative to the twelve-tone system, and his output was dissonant and varied, including concertos, film scores, operas, quartets and symphonies, but his music became unfashionable during the 1960s. He died in Suffolk on 11 September 1985.
CD Spotlight. Hidden Secrets - Gerald Fenech listens to twentieth century British piano music played by Nathan Williamson. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'
CD Spotlight. Youthful Influences - Early string quartets by William Alwyn, heard by Patrick Maxwell. '... carried off with impressive dexterity by the players ...'
CD Spotlight. What treasures! - British music for flute and piano, enjoyed by the late Howard Smith. 'Smith and Rhodes present definitive, warmly recorded performances of this gorgeous, all-UK repertory, some of it apparently on disc for the first time.'
Ensemble. A Generous Weekend - The third William Alwyn Festival, attended by Patric Standford
Strongly Stated and Idiosyncratic - 'Composing in Words: William Alwyn on his Art', read by Patric Standford
Record Box. A Youthful Composer - Orchestral music by William Alwyn, heard by Patric Standford
Record Box. Particular Sensitivity - Chamber music and songs by William Alwyn, reviewed by Patric Standford
Ensemble. Beautifully Realised - Music for flute, viola and harp from The Wakeford Ensemble, reviewed by Mike Wheeler