Alan Rawsthorne

Biography

Born: May 2, 1905; Haslingden, Lancashire, England   Died: July 24, 1971; Cambridge, MA  
Alan Rawsthorne was born in Haslingden, Lancashire, and only considered music as a profession after abortive starts at careers in dentistry and architecture. At 19, he enrolled in the Royal Manchester College of Music, studying under Frank Merrick and Carl Fuchs, and he later studied piano under Egon Petri in Berlin. He subsequently joined the faculty at Dartington Hall School and served as a composer for its School of Dance Mime. His first Read more critical recognition came with the Theme and Variations for two violins, which was premiered at the 1938 London Festival of the International Society of Contemporary Music. At the next festival, held in Warsaw, Rawsthorne debuted his first major orchestral work, the Symphonic Studies, and his First Piano Concerto (which he later rescored) was premiered later that same year. The composer served in the British Army during World War II, a period in which he completed the Street Corner and Corteges overtures. With the coming of peace, Rawsthorne, now in his forties, entered the prime of his career and exclusively devoted his time to composing. Over the next 25 years, he wrote three symphonies; two concertos for violin; a second piano concerto and a cello concerto; a brace of choral works, including cantatas and songs; the song cycle Practical Cats (set to T.S. Eliot) for speaker and orchestra; and numerous chamber works, as well as writing the music for four plays. He also wrote music for 27 movies, including such distinguished postwar productions as The Captive Heart, Saraband for Dead Lovers, The Cruel Sea, West of Zanzibar, and Lease of Life. The most obvious influences on Rawsthorne's early work were Hindemith and Walton, with a similarly lean, neo-Classical feel that is modernistic without being dissonant; not surprisingly, however -- given his relatively late entry into music -- his music's characteristics are all his own. From the early 1950s onward, he devoted even more energy to vocal music (even his Symphony No. 2 included a part for soprano in its last movement) and beginning in the early '60s, Rawsthorne's music embraced atonalism in a more obvious way. His music was always respected, sufficiently so that he was able to survive (with help from the film work) on a steady stream of commissioned pieces from 1946 onward, though some works were criticized on an aesthetic level for their brittle textures and, occasionally, a narrow expressive range. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 47 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    British Piano Concertos
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 2345 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Alun Hoddinott,  Charles Villiers Stanford,  Gerald Finzi  ... 
    Performer:  Malcolm Williamson,  Philip Fowke,  Malcolm Binns,  Peter Katin  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Dommett,  Barry Wordsworth,  Nicholas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    British Works For Cello & Piano Vol 3 / Paul Watkins
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10818 Release Date: 05/27/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edmund Rubbra,  Alan Rawsthorne,  Ernest John Moeran
    Performer:  Paul Watkins,  Huw Watkins
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  • 3.
    Julian Bream - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 546242 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 42
    Composer:  Girolamo Frescobaldi,  Mateo Pérez de Albeniz,  Domenico Scarlatti,  Domenico Cimarosa  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream,  Peter Pears,  George Malcolm,  John Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Arnold,  Sir Colin Davis,  André Previn,  David Atherton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Melos Ensemble London,  Julian Bream Consort,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 4.
    Anthony Burgess: The Man And His Music
    Label: Metier   Catalog: 77202 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Anthony Burgess,  Nicholas Marshall,  Alan Gibbs,  Gordon Crosse  ... 
    Performer:  Harvey Davies,  John Turner
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  • 5.
    Viola Sonatas, Idylls & Bacchanals
    Label: Em Records   Catalog: 7 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Arnold Bax,  John McEwen,  Dame Elizabeth Maconchy,  Gordon Jacob  ... 
    Performer:  Louise Williams,  David Owen Norris
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  • 6.
    English Violin Duos
    Label: Nmc   Catalog: 182 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jim Aitchison,  John McCabe,  Ernest John Moeran,  William Croft  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Retorica
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  • 7.
    Clifford Curzon Edition - Complete Recordings [23 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001728400 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Clifford Curzon,  Irmgard Seefried,  Horst Günther,  Julius Patzak  ... 
    Conductor:  Hans Knappertsbusch,  George Szell,  Benjamin Britten,  Eduard Van Beinum  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 8.
    English Choral Music
    Label: Heritage   Catalog: 213 Release Date: 07/17/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Tippett,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Lennox Berkeley,  Herbert Howells  ... 
    Performer:  Rachel Elliott,  Hester [Soprano Vocal] Gomme,  Ruth Morris,  Tanya Wicks  ... 
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  • 9.
    Julian Bream Edition Vol 12 - Twentieth Century Guitar I
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61595 Release Date: 02/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Lennox Berkeley,  Albert Roussel,  Reginald Smith-Brindle,  Frank Martin  ... 
    Performer:  Julian Bream
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  • 10.
    Ferguson, Finzi, Austin, Rawsthorne: Piano Concertos / Bebbington
    Label: Somm   Catalog: 241 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frederic Austin,  Gerald Finzi,  Howard Ferguson,  Alan Rawsthorne
    Performer:  Mark Bebbington
    Conductor:  Howard Williams
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Northern Lights - Ireland, Bainton, Scott, Rawsthorne / Ferrand, Young
    Label: Meridian Records   Catalog: 84565 Release Date: 05/12/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Ireland,  Edgar Bainton,  Cyril Scott,  Alan Rawsthorne
    Performer:  Jeremy Young,  Emma Ferrand
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  • 12.
    Rawsthorne, Stevens: Piano Works / Gibb
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 1107 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bernard Stevens,  Alan Rawsthorne
    Performer:  James Gibb
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  • 13.
    Rawsthorne, Berkeley, Bush / Aeolian Quartet, Music Group Of London
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 256 Release Date: 05/13/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Bush,  Alan Rawsthorne,  Lennox Berkeley
    Performer:  Alan Bush,  Margaret Major,  Sydney Humphreys,  Thea King  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Aeolian String Quartet,  Music Group of London
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  • 14.
    Premieres And Encores - Rawsthorne, Morgan, Warlock
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 318 Release Date: 03/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Chagrin,  Peter Warlock,  Malcolm Arnold,  David Morgan  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Nicholas Braithwaite,  Vernon Handley,  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Label: Priory Records   Catalog: 104 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Ouseley, F.A. Gore, Sir,  Edwin Roxburgh,  Antonio Lotti  ... 
    Performer:  Noel Rawsthorne,  Ian Tracey
    Conductor:  Ronald Woan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Liverpool Cathedral Choir
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  • 16.
    Tippett, Britten, Arnold, Etc: Divertimentos & Sinfonias
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 257 Release Date: 11/13/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Rawsthorne,  Lennox Berkeley,  Benjamin Britten,  Michael Tippett  ... 
    Conductor:  Norman Del Mar,  Nicholas Braithwaite
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 17.
    Rawsthorne: Overture, Piano Concertos / Braithwaite, Binns
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 255 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Rawsthorne
    Performer:  Malcolm Binns
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Nicholas Braithwaite
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Rawsthorne: Piano Concertos / Bamert, Tozer, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 10339 Release Date: 03/27/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Rawsthorne
    Performer:  Tamara Anna Cislowska,  Geoffrey Tozer,  Tamara-Anna Cislowski
    Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf;  Britten, Etc / Leppard
    Label: Emi Classics For Pleasure   Catalog: 82230 Release Date: 03/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Rawsthorne,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Robert Donat,  Richard Baker
    Conductor:  Alan Rawsthorne,  Raymond Leppard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 20.
    British Orchestral Collection / Various
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8502502 Release Date: 11/15/2006   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Bruce Montgomery,  Michael Hurd,  Haydn Wood  ... 
    Performer:  Roderick Williams,  Iain Burnside,  Graham Johnson,  John Metcalfe  ... 
    Conductor:  James Judd,  David Lloyd-Jones,  Michael Tippett,  Adrian Leaper  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra,  Duke String Quartet,  Royal Ballet Sinfonia  ... 
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  • 21.
    English Symphonies Collection / Various
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8502503 Release Date: 11/15/2006   Number of Discs: 25
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Alan Rawsthorne,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  David Timson,  Lynda Russell,  Paul Silverthorne,  Stuart Green  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel,  Kees Bakels,  David Lloyd-Jones,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Northern Philharmonia,  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra,  Waynflete Singers  ... 
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  • 22.
    Rawsthorne: Symphonies 1, 2 & 3 / Pritchard, Braithwaite, Del Mar
    Label: Lyrita   Catalog: 291 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Rawsthorne
    Performer:  Tracey Chadwell
    Conductor:  Norman Del Mar,  Nicholas Braithwaite,  John Pritchard
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 23.
    Rawsthorne: String Quartets, Etc / Maggini Quartet
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570136 Release Date: 10/31/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alan Rawsthorne
    Performer:  Laurence Jackson,  David Angel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Maggini String Quartet
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  • 24.
    Elegy: 20th Century British Guitar Music
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25008 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jonathan Richards,  Colin Tommis,  John R. Williamson,  Gilbert Biberian  ... 
    Performer:  Jonathan Richards
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  • 25.
    English Impressions / Lydia Jardon, Mireille Jardon
    Label: Ar Re-se   Catalog: 20036 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frank Bridge,  Benjamin Britten,  Alan Rawsthorne
    Performer:  Mireille Jardon,  Lydia Jardon
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