Author Topic: Sir William Walton  (Read 29600 times)

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Boris_G

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2007, 12:24:29 PM »
I am not giving up. Those concertos is one option, of course. Thanks!

71 dB - did you ever get around to trying those concertos?

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2007, 12:51:14 PM »
71 dB - did you ever get around to trying those concertos?

Boris - forgot about this thread until your made it 'pop-up' in my postings list! I've owned that Kennedy-Previn performance since the disc first appeared, I believe - certainly a needed listening before deciding 'for or against' Walton; also have a disc of his chamber works w/ the Nash Ensemble; none of his symphonies so far - would like to see more responses & recommendations!  :D

bwv 1080

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2007, 12:56:58 PM »
Try the 5 Bagatelles written for Julian Bream.  The best recording IMO is the original Bream 20th century guitar, which unfortunately has gone out of print

Don

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2007, 12:59:16 PM »
Let's not forget that Walton didn't live the exceptional life of Elgar.

Boris_G

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2007, 01:05:12 PM »
Let's not forget that Walton didn't live the exceptional life of Elgar.

 ??? Not sure how to interpret this. Walton certainly was a far better composer than he was a man. His personal behaviour could be quite poisonous, as I understand it, and he was exceedingly jealous of other people's success. By comparison Elgar was certainly no saint, but did much to promote work by younger colleagues (e.g. Samuel Coleridge Taylor).

tjguitar

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2007, 01:08:54 PM »
I'm glad this got bumped. 

I've added this Walton recording and it is quite good. I still have the Naxos pictured in my first post, if nothing else for the Viola Concerto, but this is a nice alternate reading of the symphony. Tod Handley certainly was (and still is) a good interpreter of this type of music.


Offline Brewski

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #26 on: July 12, 2007, 01:13:57 PM »
Try the 5 Bagatelles written for Julian Bream.  The best recording IMO is the original Bream 20th century guitar, which unfortunately has gone out of print


I just realized I have heard this piece, with Sharon Isbin.  If you have heard hers, do you still prefer the Bream?  (I haven't heard any others.)



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Don

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #27 on: July 12, 2007, 01:17:13 PM »
??? Not sure how to interpret this. Walton certainly was a far better composer than he was a man. His personal behaviour could be quite poisonous, as I understand it, and he was exceedingly jealous of other people's success. By comparison Elgar was certainly no saint, but did much to promote work by younger colleagues (e.g. Samuel Coleridge Taylor).

Don't interpret it seriously.  I was just throwing in a 71 dB statement.

bwv 1080

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #28 on: July 12, 2007, 05:55:47 PM »
I just realized I have heard this piece, with Sharon Isbin.  If you have heard hers, do you still prefer the Bream?  (I haven't heard any others.)



--Bruce

Yes, I have this CD and prefer the Bream recording.  Isbin's playing is too nice for me - Bream's has a much stronger rhythmic drive.  The 5th Bagatelle is extremely difficult to play at the indicated tempo of 110 so the pieces do not get played as much as they deserve.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2007, 04:03:24 AM »
Symphony 1 is my favourite (I have over 20 different versions on CD  :o). For a budget version I prefer Adrian Leaper's recording with the Orchestra of Grand Canary on Arte Nova to the Naxos version. Boult's unavailable Pye recording is a favourite performance, although the recording quality is poor. Hamilton Harty's 1930s premiere recording (Dutton) is a must. Sargent made a very good recording for EMI (unavailable). Walton's own EMI recording is good. Best modern recordings are by Bryden Thomson (Chandos), Ashkenazy (Decca) and Handley (EMI), pictured above. There was a v good Fremaux performance. I don't like the much admired Previn version (actually I prefer his later RPO version to the more famous earlier one).

As to other recommendations, the CD below is a favourite; a great disc:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walton-Scenes-Henry-Richard-III/dp/B00004LCB6/ref=sr_1_3/202-9539072-0883040?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1184331299&sr=1-3
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Montpellier

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2007, 07:11:22 AM »
I must admit to loving the Previn RCA recording of the Symphony 1.  I find the first three movements emotionally draining so it's nice he later added the forth to lighten things up a little.  I found it by accident in a shop and recalled Previn's handling of Vaughan Williams' 6th, so bought it.  The later Previn/Telarc recording is a tad too gentlemanly for me. 

anancho

Kullervo

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2007, 04:58:26 PM »
Bumping this thread.  ;D

I know next to nothing about this composer. Has anyone heard any of the chamber music discs on Naxos?

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2007, 02:41:12 PM »
Although I admire most British composers active throughout the twentieth century I am often disappointed by Walton. Clearly he was a composer of great talent and the list of his compositions whilst in his twenties and thirties contain a number of masterpieces or near masterpieces. 'Belshazzar's Feast' is an exciting and dramatic oratorio, the 1st symphony is a work of very considerable power and-at times-snarling menace. These are certainly personal favourites. After the war however there just seems to have been a long period of much more modest achievement with few works which resonate long in the memory. I try to like the Cello Concerto(1956) and the 2nd symphony(1960) but there just seems something lacking. Walton's move to take up residence on Ischia in the Bay of Naples supposedly added a 'Mediterranean warmth' to his music but-to my ears-it is more a 'Mediterranean languor', a sort of sleepy laziness. The enormous promise of the young composer seems to have dissipated. The great works which might have been expected from the older composer just don't seem to have been written.

I remember as a boy reacting violently against what my friends and I thought was a national obsession with the music of Benjamin Britten and the neglect of composers like Walton. Now however I do have to admit that Britten was a greater composer and a composer of much more depth.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2007, 11:18:22 PM »
Although I admire most British composers active throughout the twentieth century I am often disappointed by Walton. Clearly he was a composer of great talent and the list of his compositions whilst in his twenties and thirties contain a number of masterpieces or near masterpieces. 'Belshazzar's Feast' is an exciting and dramatic oratorio, the 1st symphony is a work of very considerable power and-at times-snarling menace. These are certainly personal favourites. After the war however there just seems to have been a long period of much more modest achievement with few works which resonate long in the memory. I try to like the Cello Concerto(1956) and the 2nd symphony(1960) but there just seems something lacking. Walton's move to take up residence on Ischia in the Bay of Naples supposedly added a 'Mediterranean warmth' to his music but-to my ears-it is more a 'Mediterranean languor', a sort of sleepy laziness. The enormous promise of the young composer seems to have dissipated. The great works which might have been expected from the older composer just don't seem to have been written.

I remember as a boy reacting violently against what my friends and I thought was a national obsession with the music of Benjamin Britten and the neglect of composers like Walton. Now however I do have to admit that Britten was a greater composer and a composer of much more depth.

Agree about "Mediterranean languor" with Walton. Still prefer him to Britten but that is probably because I listen to virtually no opera. I think that Walton's First is better than anything by Britten although I rate the War Requiem and Sinfonia da Requiem very highly. Watlon's film music is very good, especially Henry V which is a masterpiece but also As You Like It and Hamlet. Marriner's Henry V on Chandos (with Christopher Plummer) is one of the great Walton discs.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #34 on: October 24, 2007, 06:08:52 AM »
I am not a great opera fan either but there can surely be no doubt that Britten's operas are major achievements which dwarf Walton's two(?) operas.
Have to say that I also much prefer the Britten Violin Concerto to that by Walton. I always find the last movement of the Britten particularly affectingly beautiful.

Still, I had better not break my own rule of not comparing composers!! :)

Online vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #35 on: October 24, 2007, 06:38:54 AM »
I am not a great opera fan either but there can surely be no doubt that Britten's operas are major achievements which dwarf Walton's two(?) operas.
Have to say that I also much prefer the Britten Violin Concerto to that by Walton. I always find the last movement of the Britten particularly affectingly beautiful.

Still, I had better not break my own rule of not comparing composers!! :)

Right, I must listen to the Britten which I hardly know even though I have two CDs of it (one with Rubbra Symphony 5 and another with John Veale's concerto). I much prefer Walton's Viola Concerto to the more famous Violin Concerto.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

johnQpublic

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #36 on: October 24, 2007, 07:31:27 AM »
Henry V is a good place start.

But I prefer the spiky, spirited overtures like Portsmith Point or Scapino as pleasant entries into Walton's world.

Offline Guido

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2008, 11:14:08 AM »
Recommendations for a recording of Facade please!

Also Dundonnell - have you tried the Tim Hugh recording of the cello concerto on Naxos?
« Last Edit: June 05, 2008, 11:15:39 AM by Guido »
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Online vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2008, 11:56:11 AM »
Recommendations for a recording of Facade please!


Historic but this CD is not to be missed for Walton fans:

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2008, 03:14:23 PM »
Recommendations for a recording of Facade please!

Also Dundonnell - have you tried the Tim Hugh recording of the cello concerto on Naxos?

I have three versions of Walton's Cello Concerto-Lynn Harrell(with Rattle), Raphael Wallfisch(with Bryden Thomson) and Gregor Piatigorsky(with Munch). All are fine performances(I think) but I remain unconvinced. Presumably you think that Tim Hugh's performance is a good one?