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William Wordsworth Orchestral Works



William Wordsworth (1908-1988) in his large and varied output embraces many forms, including orchestral, chamber and instrumental music, and songs. His scores are consummately well-crafted and display a rugged individuality. There are no sensational tricks, no compromises to fashion and his is generally a quieter, more contemplative voice than that of his contemporaries. Various influences such as Sibelius, Bartók, Nielsen and, to a lesser extent, Bax and Vaughan Williams may be detected fleetingly in some of his writing, but he went his own way and the best of his music is passionate, tough, direct and sincere.

Wordsworth’s Symphony no.1 (1944) has been broadcast on a couple of occasions, but has not yet received a public performance. The 5th Symphony (1960) is a riot of colour and seemingly unstoppable invention. Representing the composer at the very peak of his powers, it ranks as one of his most life-affirming utterances.

In 1957 he wrote, ‘I am quite convinced that I have something to say, and an individual way of saying it which the ordinary music-lover is capable is responding to if he is given sufficient opportunities. I would not go through the labour of creation were I not so convinced.

William Wordsworth Orchestral Works


“As with all these CDs in the Itter Broadcast Collection the presentation is excellent. The liner-note by Paul Conway is comprehensive and gives a brief history of the composer as well as a detailed discussion of each work. The re-mastering of the sound is excellent.” John France,

“Again, this release from Richard Itter's broadcast collection is most welcome in that it fills an important gap in Wordsworth's discography and, by so doing, allows for a better assessment of this most distinguished composer's achievement. The transfers made by Abbey Road Studios are quite remarkable and these recordings still sound remarkably well. Once again I also want to single out Paul Conway's well-informed notes from which I have liberally quoted.” Hubert Culot,

“We are lucky to have these fine works in recordings that belie their origins. We should thank Lyrita for all the work they are doing in bringing such neglected works to our attention. The performances are first rate and there are excellent, very full booklet notes. I wonder if there are any more of this composer’s symphonies hiding in Mr Itter’s collection. I do hope so.”