This piece was composed in 1954 and lasts approximately 12 minutes. Alwyn took the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s 17th century poem The Blessed Damozel as his influence with a quotation from it heading the score. Alwyn stated that it is “a free improvisation of his chosen text”, but there has been a suggestion of a similarity between this and Sibelius’ Swan of Tuonela. Described as “mood music”, the piece was written for cor anglais, or English horn, and Alwyn described it by writing that “The instrument reflects the mood, and the mood determines the instrument”.
City of London Sinfonia recordings
Chandos 9065 (CD: Alwyn: Lyra Angelica, Autumn Legend etc)
Conductor – Richard Hickox
English horn – Nicholas Daniel