"Lyra angelica" means "Angel's songs" in addition to referring to these beings' traditional instruments. It is a fine addition to the rather sparse repertoire of concertos for the harp. Alwyn was fond of the writings of 17th Century English metaphysical poets, particularly the little-known Giles Fletcher, author of "Christ's Victorie and Triumph." This poem, which Alwyn describes as sensuous and mystical, provides superscriptions or mottos, as well as the basic mood, of each of the four sections. Alwyn stated his aim in writing this work as trying to sustain in the listener a "rapt mood ... by interweaving the solo harp and strings into a continuous web of luminous sound." At this aim the concerto is very successful. It is a full-length work of symphonic proportions, eminently listenable and inspiring.
- Adagio, ma non troppo
- Allegro giubiloso - Andante con moto