Monday 25 June 2012

73 years late: William Alwyn's Violin Concerto premiered

I didn’t realise until I reached St John, Smith’s Square, for the Ealing Symphony Orchestra’s concert on Saturday, that their performance of William Alwyn’s feisty Violin Concerto would be the concert premiere. Oddly, it’s been recorded twice (including a performance on Naxos by the evening’s soloist, Lorraine McAslan), but never heard in the concert hall – until now. I went along for Classical Source; here’s a sample:

“[McAslan] was a warm and persuasive presence in the Concerto, lending it added weight with her rich, viola-like tone and formidable technique. True, she did suffer from some untidiness in the last movement, but it mattered little against strengths of her playing. It was just the kind of performance an unfamiliar work needs to win new friends. And the Concerto itself delighted in the particularly British tone of optimism found in the music of Walton and Havergal Brian.”

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