WILLIAM ALWYN (1905-1985): String Quartets No. 10 “En Voyage”, No. 11 in B Minor, Fantasia (String Quartet No. 12) and No. 13. World Premiere Recordings
Catalogue Number: 03S013
Reference: CD 0165
Description: If you run to your shelves and find that you’ve got Alwyn’s quartets Nos. 1-3 on Chandos or Naxos and ask “where did all these others come from?”, here’s your answer. The composer wrote 13 string quartets by 1936 and disowned them in 1948 when he wrote what we know as No. 1 (meaning he wrote 16 in all). Here we have the young Alwyn in all of his natural romantic nature, No. 10 a descriptive work in four movements all deriving from a sea journey to Australia in 1932 (“Departure”, “Sea Birds”, “The Lonely Waters” and “Trade Winds”), two others just as warm and romantic (No. 13’s elegiac and desolate first movement was later scored for two horns, strings and timpani as Tragic Interlude), and the single-movement 13-minute Fantasia of 1935, dedicated to Alan Bush, which is a bit more modern and contemporary-sounding. Tippett Quartet.