“Mr Alwyn (conducting the LSO) showed a flair for Tchaikovsky rare in an English conductor.”
Penguin Stereo Guide
“Kenneth Alwyn conducted a brilliantly persuasive ‘Hiawatha’.”
“The CBSO gave Sibelius’ Second Symphony under the direction at once sensitive and penetrating of Kenneth Alwyn. He showed a quite exceptional grasp of the work – his reading was brisk, invigorating and completely Sibelian.”
The Birmingham Post
“Kenneth Alwyn gives intense and vital readings.”
Records and Recordings
“Mr Alwyn exercised a deliciously light-handed control over the LPO.”
(conducting Holst’s ‘Planets’) “Kenneth Alwyn was a revelation.”
The Japan Times
“With his past experience with the Royal Ballet . . . ‘Swan Lake’ was particularly buoyant and ‘Capriccio Espanol’ and ‘Kikimora’ showed his lively ear for tone colouring.”
The London Times
“Alwyn’s tempi are ideal and the playing of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is every bit as good as the famous American Symphony Orchestras.”
Records and Recordings
“Kenneth Alwyn, the conductor of the BBC ensemble, led a brilliant account of Holst’s ‘Planets’.”
The New York Times
“As to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, before I revisited Kenneth Alwyn’s 1958 Decca recording with the LSO, the Band of HM Grenadier Guards and full stereo cannon effects, I suspected rose-tinted speakers might come into play. Not a bit of it! The playing itself is incredibly exciting, easily the equal of anything else the LSO was recording at the time, and the same can be said of Capriccio Italien and March Slave.”
Rob Cowan – The Gramophone, 2012
“Kenneth Alwyn’s 1958 recording of the 1812 Overture, with the London Symphony Orchestra, was the first stereo account of this work released on LP and was also Decca’s first stereo release (L SXL2001). It garnered rave reviews all round as much for the recording as for the performances and it remains impressive in every respect.
The recording of the 1812 Overture, Capriccio Italien and Marche Slave is full and rich in the best Decca manner, with the instruments of the orchestra beautifully delineated across the stereo spectrum.
The Decca disc is filled up here with five nicely characterized numbers from Swan Lake (only originally issued in the USA), recorded in 1959, once again in the same marvellous Kingsway Hall acoustic. The CD also contains candid and fascinating extracts from Kenneth Alwyn’s autobiography about this recording (Decca Eloquence C 480 5048, 59mins).
A second Decca Eloquence release conducted by Alwyn contains performances of Rossini and Grieg, dating from 1959. The Peer Gynt Suite No.1 (with the London Philharmonic Orchestra), brings playing beguilingly relaxed and inviting. Four Rossini overtures with the New Symphony Orchestra of London give one a chance to enjoy all the felicities of their woodwind and string details in the glowing Kingsway Hall acoustic, all beautifully transferred on this Eloquence CD (C 480 5617, 52 mins).
Classical Recordings Quarterly, June 2012