Evening Masterwork: Alwyn’s “Lyra Angelica”

Lyra Angelica  by William Alwyn

Evening Masterwork for November 19, 2019 – 7:00 PM on Classical WSMR 89.1 and 103.9

English composer William Alwyn was a bit of a Renaissance artist: not only was he a composer, he also wrote poetry and painted at an exceptional level. He began his studies in composition at the age of 15 at the Royal Academy of Music, and then at the age of 21, he became a professor of composition there. His piece Lyra Angelica, which means “Angel’s Songs,” is a fitting title for a work composed for harp and strings. Much of the work is inspired by the writing of seventeenth-century English metaphysical poets, resulting in a composition of symphonic proportions but free in style.