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CHAN 9243
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CHAN 9243

The Film Music of William Alwyn, Vol. 1

The Classical Shop
release date: September 2000

Originally recorded in 1999


London Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hickox


All Saints' Church, Tooting, London


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Ben Connellan


Record Label
Chandos Movies


Orchestral & Concertos

Film & TV Music

Total Time - 70:44
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The Film Music of William Alwyn, Vol. 1



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Suite from 'Odd Man Out' (1946)

  arranged by Christopher Palmer  
1 I Prelude. Lento funebre - Tranquillo 3:58
2 II Police Chase. Moderato - Allegro agitato 3:20
3 III Delirium and Lullaby. Moderato, ma misterioso - Lento, molto tranquillo - Adagio molto 6:48
4 IV Nemesis (Finale). Lento funebre - Agitato - A tempo, lento funebre 12:08

Suite from 'The History of Mr Polly' (1949)

  arranged by Christopher Palmer  
5 I Prelude. Allegro vivace - Meno mosso, broader - A tempo I 1:36
6 II Wedding and Funeral. Moderato, maestoso - Alla marcia funebre 4:01
7 III Fire ('Murder Arsonical'). Misterioso - Molto allegro, con fuoco 3:49
8 IV Christabel. Lento moderato 4:32
9 V Punting Scene (The Ferry). Allegro scherzoso 1:53
10 VI Utopian Sunset (Finale). Slow - Poco animato (ma sempre tranquillo) 4:30

Suite from 'The Fallen Idol' (1948)

  edited by Christopher Palmer  
11 I Overture 1:44
12 II Prelude and Opening Scene. Moderato 2:59
13 III Love Scene (Part 1). Slow 3:34
14 IV Love Scene (Part 2). Warmly 2:56
15 V Hide and Seek (Scherzo) 2:26
16 VI Panic and Flight. Slow - Allegro molto agitato - Molto allegro 3:13
17 VII Finale. Slow but with movement - Allegro giocoso 2:50
18 VIII Coda (End Titles). Grazioso 0:39

Calypso from 'The Rake's Progress' (1945)

  arranged by Christopher Palmer  
  Drowsy - Subito allegro (Tempo di Rumba) - Allargando - Tempo primo  
Now added to the Chandos Movies label is the film music of William Alwyn.

While all of William Alwyn’s film scores were tragically destroyed at Pinewood Studios in 1955, sketches were discovered by his widow Mary in their attic following his death and reconstructed for this recording by Christopher Palmer.

This disc was extremely well received on its original release and was awarded three stars in the Penguin Guide.

William Alwyn became a pioneer in the great Documentary Film Movement of the ‘thirties when, through a mechanical fault, the recorded music for The Future’s in the Air failed to register and Paul Rotha asked him – well known at film sessions as a virtuoso flautist – to compose a substitute score. During the war Alwyn worked for the Ministry of Information, composing for officially secret films to instruct the armed forces as well as films to boost home morale, and to encourage America to join the anti-Nazi struggle. Among these were the historic Fires were Started, World of Plenty, the Academy Award winner – The True Glory, The Way Ahead and the film which did so much for morale during the darkest days of the war, Desert Victory.

Penn of Pennsylvania, in 1941, was Alwyn’s first feature film. Later came such classics as Reed’s Odd Man Out and The Fallen Idol, Pelissier’s The History of Mr Polly and The Rocking-Horse Winner, and the film industry’s gift to the 1951 Festival of Britain The Magic Box. He wrote the score for the first stereo film, which inaugurated the National Film Theatre, and was also commissioned to compose the Festival March for the opening of the newly-built Royal Festival Hall.

For the concert hall he wrote five symphonies, concertos for piano, violin, viola, harp, oboe and cor anglais, two major operas, five song cycles and much chamber music. At the same time he composed the scores for over 200 films, including 60 features.

In 1958, for his outstanding contribution to the art of British Film, Alwyn was elected to a Fellowship of the British Film Academy. His pioneer work helped establish the international prestige of British Film music and paved the way for the present generation of film composers.

'No one who is seriously interested in British Film Music can afford to pass up this release.'
Music from the Movies

‘Hickox and the LSO’s enthusiastic performances are aided by superb Chandos sound.’
Classic CD

‘Hickox and the London Symphony Orchestra give the impression that this is the greatest of all British film music.’
The Daily Telegraph

‘Hickox conducts all this music with total commitment and it is beautifully played and recorded.’

No one who is seriously interested in British Film Music can afford to pass up this release.
Music from the Movies

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