WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): Piano Music, Vol. 2 - 12 Preludes, Hunter's Moon, 2 Irish Pieces, Contes Barbares, Cinderella, Water Lillies, Night Thoughts, Movements.
Catalogue Number: 10K063
Description: Aside from the Preludes, Night Thoughts and Movements, the remainder of this disc (just under 30 minutes) consists of World premiere recordings. While the little Hunter's Moon triptych of 1932 and the pair of Irish Pieces (1926) may have been intended for school exams or similar purposes, they each contain haunting and memorable melodies, as do the gentle, slow waltz Cinderella and the lovely Nocturne, both from 1952. But the 16-minute, seven-movement sequence Contes Barbares are quite a different manner. Inspired by a series of Gaugin woodcuts, four of them contain music of such a pronounced "otherness" (two very much in keeping with the exotic and barbaric-sounding music which Stravinsky and others of the type were producing at the time [1930-33], with two others sounding so folk music oriented that we wish the notes were more informative about Alwyn's melodic sources) that they quite stand out among English piano pieces of the period. Ashley Wass (piano).