3 Flutes (3rd doubling piccolo), 2 Oboes, Cor Anglais, 2 Clarinets in Bb, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Contra Bassoon, 4 Horns in F, 3 Trumpets in C, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion (Snare drum, Xylophone, Tambourine, Triangle, Cymbals), Harp, Strings (Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Double Bass).
Doreen Carwithen was born in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire and had her first music lessons from her mother, a music teacher, starting both piano and violin at age 4. In 1941 sheentered the Royal Academy of Music and played the cello in a string quartet and with orchestras. At age 16 she began composing and entered the harmony class of William Alwyn who began to teach her composition. She wrote scores for over 30 films. In 1961 she married William Alwyn, dropped the name Doreen Carwithen and became Mary Alwyn. (Mary was her middle name, and she hated Doreen). She was devoted to her husband and acted as his secretary and amanuensis. After he died in 1985, she resumed interest in her own music. In 1999 a stroke left her paralysed on one side and she died in January 2003. The Bishop Rock is the westernmost point of England on the edge of the Isles of Scilly, about 30 miles off Land's End. The lighthouse there is the last sight the seafarer has of land; to the traveller from the New World, it is a symbol of welcome after the bleak waters of the Atlantic. The Overture (written in 1952) is an impression of the thoughts stimulated by the lighthouse and depicts Bishop Rock in storm and calm and is here published for the first time. There is an excellent CD recording available on Chandos CHAN10365X.
Duration 8½ minutes.
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