The Lyra Angelica is haunting and lyrical piece to which collectors will want to return. The Second Symphony (1953) is in two movements and is a well-argued piece with a real sense of the symphonic. The powerful single-movement Fifth (1973) takes its inspiration from Sir Thomas Browne’s ‘Urn Burial’ or Hydriotaphia—a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk! A strong piece, which is well served by David Lloyd-Jones and his orchestra, as well as by the Naxos recording team. This is a good record to start with for those beginning to explore the music of this highly rewarding composer.
"You can safely use this recording to represent the orchestral Alwyn on your shelves. It is a stronger and more substantial mix than the valuable two piano concertos Naxos CD issued last month. The present CD represents an exciting harbinger for the rest of the series including symphonies 1, 3 and 4 ... and watch out because 4 is a real sonic spectacular."