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Aerial Milestones - see Wings over Empire


For viola and piano.
Dedication : "For Watson Forbes & Myers Foggin."
Recorded by Roger Chase and Andrew Ball on Alwyn Chamber Music and Songs. Naxos 8.570340. Recorded at Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, 17th-18th August, 2006. For further details see Naxos
Archive has holograph sketches in ink with annotations, signed. Also manuscript score and part. Score is in copyist's hand, part is probably in Watson Forbes' hand. Both are in ink. Part has a further page of transposed sections (either transposed down an octave or transposed to an alternative clef), again in Watson Forbes hand. Score and part are stamped "Watson Forbes, 13 Haslemere Avenue, Hendon NW4."
See MS.Alwyn.1.3V.1(Sketches), MS.Alwyn.1.3V.2-3 (Score and part)


Concerto for violin and orchestra
Composed 1937-1939
Orchestration : 2222.4231.timp.perc.glock.hp.solo violin.str.
Recorded by Lydia Mordkovitch and the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hickox on William Alwyn Symphony no. 3. CHAN 9187. Recorded in All Saints Church, Tooting, London, 11th and 14th January 1993. For further details see Chandos
Archive has autograph sketches in ink, signed. These sketches include a full score for an excerpt of what appears to be an incomplete discarded movement of the violin concerto, and rough sketches, some of which are written on the back of an unidentified incomplete orchestral work. There are further sketches for a solo violin part. Holograph in ink, signed, with amendments and annotations in pencil. This is a variant of the solo violin part - it's not clear if it consists of sketches for an earlier version, or was ever performed in this form. It differs from the standard version both in melodic changes and in cuts. A note in the hand of Doreen Carwithen on the cover reads "This is diff. to score & solo pt & short score." It is incomplete. Also a rough piano score, autograph in ink, signed with corrections and annotations in pencil. Dated at end "London. Nov-Feb 1937-8." sketches autograph piano score in ink, signed with corrections and amendments in pencil. There is a further fair copy of the score and solo violin part. Score is autograph in ink, bound. Signed and dated "London. Nov. 1937 - May 1939." Part is in copyist's hand principally in ink.
See MS.Alwyn.1.2.63 (Sketches), MS.Alwyn.1.2.67 (Solo violin part sketches), 
MS.Alwyn.1.2.64-65 (Score and part), MS.Alwyn.1.2.66 (Piano score)


Divertimento for solo flute
1. Introduction and fughetta -- 2. Variations on a ground -- 3. Gavotte and musette -- 4. Finale alla gigue.
Published : London : Hawkes & Son, 1943 ; Two movements (Gavotte and Musette) were published in The Boosey and Hawkes flute anthology, London : Boosey & Hawkes, 1993.
Location of the manuscript is unknown.
Recordings : Commercial recordings : 
  • Recorded by Kate Hill on Alwyn Chamber works, vol. 2, CHAN 9197. Recorded at the Faculty of Music Concert Hall, Cambridge, 19-23 August 1992. See Chandos.
  • Recorded by Philippa Davis on William Alwyn Flute Concerto, Dutton CDLX 7176. Recorded in All Saints Church, East Finchley on the 19–22 November 2005. See Dutton Vocalion
  • Recorded by Christopher Hyde-Smith on William Alwyn Mirages, Lyrita SRCD.293. A re-mastered recording of the earlier LP (SRCS 61). Recorded at Decca No. 3 on the 3rd, 7th and 8th December 1971. See Lyrita.
  • A further LP probably of the same recording was also available from the Musical Heritage Society, MHS 1742
  • Archival recordings : 
    • BBC Sound Archive MT-32134 (20 November 1968) Gareth Morris, flute [reel-to-reel tape] ;
    • British Library Sound Archive M-1406-R (BBC Radio 3, recorded 2 December 1968) Gareth Morris, flute [reel-to-reel tape] ;
    • British Library Sound Archive M-2043-W (BBC Radio 3, recorded 6 November 1970) Christopher Hyde-Smith, flute [reel-to-reel tape] ;
    • British Sound Archive 2466-BW (BBC Radio 3, recorded 6 October 1974) Christopher Hyde-Smith, flute [reel-to-reel tape].
    • Location of manuscript unknown.


Irish suite
For string quartet
1. As through the woods I chanced to roam -- 2. The little cuckoo of Ard Patrick -- 3. A Lament -- 4. Lower Ormond -- 5. The fair nurse’s song -- 6. The piper’s finish
Archive has rough sketches. MS.Alwyn.1.3S.47


Little book of pieces for Rachel and Jonathan
For piano
Written for Rachel Bush and Jonathan Alwyn.
1. The Raggle-taggle gypsies -- 2. Riding on “King” -- 3. Nicholas bounces -- 4. Rachel romps -- 5. There was an old woman who swallowed a fly -- 6. The clock in the steeple -- 7. Tame rabbits -- 8. The rabbit escapes -- 9. Good night
Archive has autograph manuscript in ink. T.p. reads "Little book of pieces for Rachel and Jonathan by uncle and daddy sometimes known as William Alwyn." Signed and dated "William Alwyn, September 1939, Radlett" (Radlett was the home of Alan and Nancy Bush and their family. MS.Alwyn.1.3P.30


Movement for string trio
Dedication : For the Philharmonic Trio.
Archive has autograph score in ink with pencil corrections. Signed and dated "London, April 1939". MS.Alwyn.1.3S.4


Night thoughts
For piano.
Dedication : To Peter Latham.
Published : Oxford : Oxford University Press, 1940. Oxford Home Music Series.
Recordings : Recorded by Julian Milford on Alwyn Premiere recording, CHAN 9825. Recorded at Potton Hall Studio, Westleton, Suffolk on the 22-24 September 1999. See Chandos.
Also recorded by Ashley Wass on William Alwyn Piano Music, vol. 2, Naxos 8.570464. Recorded at Crear Studios, Lochgilphead, Argyll, Scotland, from 30th June to 2nd July, 2007. See Naxos
Location of manuscript is unknown. Archive has reviews. MS.Alwyn.


Pastoral Fantasia
For viola and string orchestra.
Published : St. Albans : Corda Music Publications, c1994.
Recordings : Recorded by Stephen Tees and the City of London Sinfonia, conducted by Richard Hickox, CHAN 9065. Recorded in St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London on the 13-14 June 1991. See Chandos.
Also recorded by Sarah-Jane Bradley and Orchestra Nova conducted by George Vass, Dutton CDLX 7187. Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford on the 31 July – 1 August 2006. See Dutton
Also recorded by Philip Dukes and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by David Lloyd-Jones, Naxos 8.570704. Recorded at the Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, on the 19th, 20th and 22nd January, 2006. See Naxos
Archive has rough sketches, autograph in pencil, signed and dated "W.A. Alwyn. June 1939." Sketches also include sketches for other works including NoveletteMS.Alwyn.1.2.28.
Also score and solo viola part. Autograph in ink, signed, and dated at end "London & Radlett. June-October 1939." Part has annotations and fingerings in pencil in another hand, probably Watson Forbes'. T.p. has a number of addresses for Alwyn, and also an address for Watson Forbes, who premiered the work. MS.Alwyn.1.2.29.
Also solo viola part. Unknown hand (possibly Watson Forbes?) in pencil, unsigned, undated. MS.Alwyn.1.2.30
And photocopy of piano score and solo viola part. Piano score is photocopied from the holograph. Viola part is photocopied from a part in a copyist's hand. Original manuscripts are held at the Royal Academy of Music, London (MS 536). Dated at end of piano score "June-July 1939." Piano score also includes 2 variant pages, one with a cut, the other with the cut removed. MS.Alwyn.1.2.31


Roads across Britain
Music for the documentary film, directed by Sidney Cole and Paul Rotha, produced by the Realist Film Unit, 1939 (see BFI database)
Location of manuscript unknown


Sonata impromptu
For violin and viola
Dedication : For Frederick Grinke and Watson Forbes.
Published : St. Albans : Corda Music Publications c1994.
Recordings : Recorded by Leland Chen and Clare McFarlane, CHAN 9197. Recorded in the Faculty of Music Concert Hall, West Road, Cambridge, on the 19-23 August 1992. See Chandos.
Recorded by Madeleine Mitchell and Roger Chase, Naxos 8.570340. Recorded at Potton Hall, Westleton, Suffolk, on the 17-18 August 2006. See Naxos.
Archive has autograph score in ink, signed and dated at end "London November 1939". This score also includes a list of problems with variants between the original score and the 2 separate parts included on a separate sheet of paper. MS.Alwyn.1.3S.9
Also a revised score, autograph in ink, signed and dated at end "London November 1939—revised March 1940". MS.Alwyn.1.3S.10
Further to this there are photocopies of parts which include bowings and fingerings as added by dedicatees. MS.Alwyn.1.3S.11


Sonata quasi fantasia
For violin and viola
See Sonata impromptu


These children are safe
Music for the documentary film, directed by Alexander Shaw, produced by Strand Films and the British Council, 1939 (see BFI database)
Instrumentation : Clarinet, violin, viola, cello and piano.
Cues : Title music -- Opening sequence (after train shot) -- W.V.S. -- Infant music -- "Billy Boy" -- Organized activities -- End titles.
Archive does not have a manuscript with this title, but it does have an ink full score with pencil markings, signed. Titled Evacuation Film, this appears to be the same film. MS.Alwyn.1.1.133


Wings over Empire
Music for the documentary film, directed by Stuart Legg, and produced by Strand Anglo-American for Imperial Airways, 1939 (see BFI database)
For chamber orchestra. 1121.0210.perc.str.
Cues : Title music -- Departure -- The sea -- Bleriot's arrival -- Surveying the routes -- Old planes loading -- To London & flags -- Final section.
Archive does not have a manuscript with this title, but it does have an autograph ink full score with pencilled amendments, signed and dated at end "William Alwyn, Feb. 1939." Entitled "Air routes : Imperial Airways film" It is possible that the music from this manuscript was also used in another production of the same year for Imperial Airways, as it would appear to share some common cues. See BFI database . MS.Alwyn.1.1.154
Archive also has cue-sheets. MS.Alwyn.1.14.141-142


Wings over the Empire - see Wings over Empire