Author Topic: Sir William Walton  (Read 29817 times)

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Offline Guido

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #40 on: June 05, 2008, 04:19:51 PM »
Hugh's is without a doubt the very best, though I recommend Yo-Yo Ma's, Daniel Müller-Schott's (both with Previn) too and the Piatigorsky that you have for historical reasons. He gives this work its very strongest advocacy in my opinion and it is one of the best Naxos CDs I have heard. (He is similarly spectacular in the Bliss concerto, Finzi concerto, Holst Invocation and Britten's Cello Symphony). Not saying that he will definitely convince you if you don't like the work, but his is in my mind the finest version of the 12 that I have heard. But then I love this piece so much!
Geologist.

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gomro

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #41 on: June 05, 2008, 04:29:00 PM »
I must admit that i have yet to venture into more works by English composers (Britten, RVW, Walton to name a few), maybe their chamber music for oboe and some of the more popular works like Peter Grimes or the Young Person's Guide or say the Fantasy on Greensleeves. I recently heard Walton's violin concerto live and i gotta say that i didn't enjoy it much. Perhaps some recommendations for his more easily accessible works and recordings? Henry V? I know EMI has a huge catelogue from the old school English conductos with orchestra such as the LPO, Philharmonia and Halle, but i have no idea where to start. Thankyou!

Howard


I'm in this queue too; I just purchased my first Walton disc about 3 days ago. It was a Naxos disc in the used bin at the local record shop, and I haven't had the chance to hear much of it yet:


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2008, 10:53:51 PM »
I'm in this queue too; I just purchased my first Walton disc about 3 days ago. It was a Naxos disc in the used bin at the local record shop, and I haven't had the chance to hear much of it yet:



You have made a very good choice! That is an excellent disc. The Sinfonia Concertante (effectively a piano concerto) is a fine and rather moving work, which should be better known. The Hindemith Variations is one of Walton's finest scores...a deeply satisfying work and the Spitfire Prelude is fun... a patriotic wartime contribution from Walton for a feature film: "The First of the Few", about Mitchell, the designer of the Spitfire, who battled against a fatal illness to complete his design for the famous aircraft as World War Two approached.

Next stop; Symphony No 1.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2008, 12:12:57 AM »
You have made a very good choice! That is an excellent disc. The Sinfonia Concertante (effectively a piano concerto) is a fine and rather moving work, which should be better known. The Hindemith Variations is one of Walton's finest scores...a deeply satisfying work and the Spitfire Prelude is fun... a patriotic wartime contribution from Walton for a feature film: "The First of the Few", about Mitchell, the designer of the Spitfire, who battled against a fatal illness to complete his design for the famous aircraft as World War Two approached.

Seconded. A splendid release!


Next stop; Symphony No 1.

No, no, no...
Next stop, Belshazzar's Feast.  8)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #44 on: June 08, 2008, 10:01:15 AM »
Seconded. A splendid release!


No, no, no...
Next stop, Belshazzar's Feast.  8)

No, No, No, my dear chap; Symphony No 1 definitely  ;)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #45 on: June 08, 2008, 10:33:35 AM »
Symphony No 1 definitely  ;)

A temporary parting of the ways, then. See ya at the Feast!  8)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #46 on: June 08, 2008, 01:24:05 PM »
A temporary parting of the ways, then. See ya at the Feast!  8)

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

Offline Guido

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #47 on: June 08, 2008, 02:06:12 PM »
Gentlemen, please. They are not mutually exclusive - surely the best answer would be to get both right away! And the cello and violin and viola concertos.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 04:46:03 AM by Guido »
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #48 on: June 13, 2008, 03:43:16 AM »
Gentlemen, please. They are not mutually exclusive - surely the best answer would be to get both right away! And the cello and violin and viola concertos.

Excellent point!

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

Offline drogulus

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #49 on: June 14, 2008, 08:18:45 AM »
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.

     It's a close call between the composers for symphonic mastery. I rate Britten's Cello Symphony very highly (I'm a recent convert).

     If you haven't heard the Szell/Cleveland Orchestra recordings of Walton (2nd Symphony, Partita, Hindemith Variations) you must run, crawl, or tunnel towards these now! (of course you probably have heard them, justly famous as they are :))

     
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Offline Guido

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2008, 02:59:17 PM »
I rate Britten's Cello Symphony very highly (I'm a recent convert).
:D A superb work from start to finish.
Geologist.

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2009, 10:31:13 AM »
The performance of Walton's First Symphony with this month's BBC Music Magazine (Boult,BBC SO, 1975) is as good as a performance as I know (and I have over 20 CDs of this work  ::)). It has much more urgency and tension, IMHO, that the much admired RCA Previn version or the Simon Rattle EMI recording.  The Magazine also has a nice feature on Martinu, who died 50 years ago.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Guido

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2009, 12:58:49 AM »
I love this arrangement of the Guitar Bagatelles for guitar and orchestra: http://www.chandos.net/details06.asp?CNumber=CHAN%209963

I'm surprised it works so well. It's a tiny bit schmaltzy perhaps, but so beautiful that I don't mind!
Geologist.

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #53 on: September 02, 2009, 04:55:12 AM »
Nice reissue this month:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Guido

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2009, 06:15:52 AM »
Just listened again to Walton Sinfonia Concertante - whenever I have seen this mentioned in critical literature it has always been commented that this is "not one of his better works" - they all say it, so I feel like this view has stemmed from somewhere, and has just stuck as these things tend to. Does anyone know who that assessment of the piece started with? I strongly disagree - it's a wonderful work - incredibly beautiful and though it is quite early is full of those ravishing Waltonian harmonies, has a certain grandeur and splendour that is rarely so consistently maintained in his other work, and has lots of great melodies and infectuously memorable passages. I feel like Charles Ives: "are my ears on wrong?"
Geologist.

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #55 on: September 15, 2009, 01:53:26 PM »
Just listened again to Walton Sinfonia Concertante - whenever I have seen this mentioned in critical literature it has always been commented that this is "not one of his better works" - they all say it, so I feel like this view has stemmed from somewhere, and has just stuck as these things tend to. Does anyone know who that assessment of the piece started with? I strongly disagree - it's a wonderful work - incredibly beautiful and though it is quite early is full of those ravishing Waltonian harmonies, has a certain grandeur and splendour that is rarely so consistently maintained in his other work, and has lots of great melodies and infectuously memorable passages. I feel like Charles Ives: "are my ears on wrong?"

I agree with you - it was the first work by Walton, after Symphony No 1 that I really liked (old World Record Club LP with Vaughan Williams Symphony No 4 -  those were the days!) Maybe the rather academic title did it no favours - infact it is a moving and powerful score.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #56 on: January 24, 2010, 01:11:27 AM »
This is my 23rd recording of Walton's First Symphony (OCD  :-\) - it was always my favourite performance (I prefer it to the famous Previn version - it has more  urgency at the start). The problem was always the slightly muffled recording but Somm have done an excellent job on the transfer. The coupling is a terrific Belshazzar's Feast also from the 50s. This would be a great way to start investigating Walton.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2010, 02:42:29 AM »
This is my 24th recording of Walton Symphony No 1 and the only one I know by an American Orchestra - the New Haven Symphony Orchestra (Walton's manuscripts are kept in the library there). It is an outstanding performance and recording. The slow movement is played slower than usual to great lyrical effect and I do not know a better performance of the second movement. This epic version has great cumulative power and greater rhythmic drive than any other recording known to me. The ending has such an affirmitive sense of home-coming - unique to this performance. Had me on the edge of my seat.

Here is a review:

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2010/May10/Walton_NI6119.htm
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 03:06:48 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2010, 04:45:00 AM »
This is my 24th recording of Walton Symphony No 1

Where did you find it, Jeffrey? It doesn't seem to be available from my usual sources.

Sarge
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he was as f*cked-up as you are."
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2010, 05:09:25 AM »
Where did you find it, Jeffrey? It doesn't seem to be available from my usual sources.

Sarge

Sarge,

Click on the review above and it comes up on the top right. Alternatively I think you can find it at Presto Classical - they will ship to USA I am sure.

Sixth one down:

http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/search.php?searchString=walton+symphony+1
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 05:12:25 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).