Bewitching and enchanting Alwyn

Lorraine McAslan gives a heart-rending performance of Alwyn's Concerto with superb support from the RLPO under Lloyd-Jones.

Composer: Alwyn
Repertoire:  Violin Concerto; Miss Julie Suite
Artists: Lorraine McAslan (vln), Royal Liverpool PO/ David Lloyd-Jones
Rating:  4/5
Genre: Orchestral
Label: NAXOS 8.570705

The Music: Anyone who adores Delius will surely swoon to the enraptured, dreamy intensity of Alwyn’s Concerto. The suite from his last opera, Miss Julie, is a catchy sequence of bewitching stylistic diversity, topped off by the magnificent Fanfare for a Joyous Occasion.

The Performances: Incredibly, Alwyn’s Violin Concerto (1939) is still awaiting its first professional performance, all the more remarkable as Lorraine McAslan plays it with such heart-rending sincerity, technical poise and beguiling tonal purity. The RLPO under David Lloyd-Jones’s inspired direction, support her to the hilt and then come into their own with a thrilling traversal of the Miss Julie Suite that captures its coruscating changes of mood with tactile precision. Like Copland’s famous fanfare, Alwyn’s also includes some exciting percussion writing along the way.

The Verdict: One of the jewels in the crown of Naxos’s Alwyn series, featuring playing and engineering of exquisite allure, and expert annotations from Andrew Knowles.

Want More? Try the glorious Elizabethan Dances, also from the RLPO and David Lloyd-Jones (Naxos 8.570144).