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Doreen Carwithen

1922 - 2003

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Doreen Mary Carwithen (15 November 1922 – 5 January 2003) was a British composer of classical and film music. She was also known as Mary Alwyn following her marriage to William Alwyn.

Doreen Carwithen wrote scores for over 30 films, including Harvest from the Wilderness (1948), Boys in Brown (1950), Mantrap (released in the U.S. as Man in Hiding) (1952), The Men of Sherwood Forest (1954) and Three Cases of Murder (1955). Music from the score of the short British Transport Films documentary East Anglian Holiday (1954) was later reused in her Suffolk Suite. She gained a reputation in the film industry for her professionalism and speed under pressure: her score for Elizabeth Is Queen, the official film of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, had to be completed in just three days.

Her orchestral works include an overture ODTAA (One Damn Thing After Another) (1945) (after the novel by John Masefield); a Concerto for piano and strings (1948); the overture Bishop Rock (1952) and the Suffolk Suite (1964). Scores and parts for Bishop Rock and Suffolk Suite are available from Goodmusic. She also wrote a Violin Sonata (1951) and two award-winning (Clements Prize, 1948 and Cobbett Award, 1952) but little-known string quartets, which received their first recordings in 1998, as well as seven solo songs, composed early in her career.

Carwithen was an accomplished pianist herself, as is evident from the piano writing in her 1948 Piano Concerto. But her neo-classical three movement Sonatina (1946) was written for her lifelong friend, the pianist Violet Graham Cole (1923-2000). She also edited for performance the second piano concerto by her husband William Alwyn.

Biography taken from Wikipedia.

Five Diversions | 1951

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Horn

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