ALBUM TITLE: Alwyn
WORKS: Piano Music, Vol. 1: Fantasy Waltzes; Haze of Noon; Green Hills etc
PERFORMER: Ashley Wass (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: Naxos 8.570359
Here on this disc are two substantial musical statements, plus a couple of miniature gems. The rest of the material is very slight indeed, written for elementary teaching purposes only. It can only be for completist reasons that they are included here.At its best, however, Alwyn’s brand of modern Romanticism could remarkably transcend the convention implied by his choice of titles. In Green Hills and Cricketty Mill, the limpid pastoral atmosphere and crystal-clear sound together recall Frank Bridge much more than Bax or Ireland. Though predictable in manner, the Sonata alla toccata is a strong work, with impressive reach and momentum in its finale. Ashley Wass plays everything with exemplary command, relishing the music’s sonority and engaging disarmingly with the nondescript smaller items. The recordings are full and clear.