Author Topic: Sir William Walton  (Read 39029 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #340 on: May 30, 2019, 12:47:19 AM »
Thanks for link, Jeffrey. Good to see he has built a career in the US which explains why he disappeared from the scene over here.

My pleasure Lol.

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

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #341 on: May 30, 2019, 12:48:03 AM »
The New Haven Symphony is very good as is the Nimbus engineering.

Totally agree. I was very impressed with both of those Walton releases.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #342 on: June 01, 2019, 07:03:55 AM »



The 1956 stereo sound in the symphony is quite amazing. Apart from a slightly exaggerated left/right separation and a smidge of residual hiss, this is a clear, well balanced, deep soundstage with a big dynamic range. The 1953 mono Belshazzar is just as effective. Superb clarity, with the words more clearly caught than in the 2008 Colin Davis disc. A stunning choral/orchestral balancing act from the engineers.

As interpretations go, it seems hard to improve on them, although I find Haitink and the Philharmonia to be on the same level, with excellent sound. Boult ratchets up the tension from the get go and the first movement crackles with electricity. Breathtaking. There is a slight ease in voltage thereafter and the finale, however dramatic is not as cathartic as under Haitink. Boult however disguises the movement’s seams much better than Davis, whose central fugue in IV sounds dutiful in comparison. The Davis LSO disc is still one to be reckoned with, a less jagged, spiteful and venomous view of the score. His bouncing, tensile, luminous interpretation is played to perfection by the LSO. The coda of IV packs a huge punch.

Belshazzar under Boult is heard to better effect than on the Davis disc - or the Rattle. It is tightly knit and theatrical in the best sense. John Noble is a commanding presence, the voice powerful and well focused. He is more striking than Hampson (Rattle) and way firmer of tone than the sometimes wobbly Coleman-Wright (Davis). Again, the text is sung so crisply and clearly by the LPO chorus that one can almost dispense of the booklet.[/img]

Andre - I picked up a copy of this in the light of your comments above.  Interesting - as I mentioned I remember this Symphony recording from the old Golden Guinea version in my Dad's LP collection and my memory of it is as distinctly underwhelming.  Clearly a function of the LP pressing because - as you say - this is in fact a very dynamic, purposeful and exciting reading.  To my ear the middle two movements especially successful with a scherzo that bristles with energy and venom and a superbly paced slow movement.  1950's percussion/timpani recording is always something of a disappointment - thuddy (almost pitchless) timps and a tam tam that sounds like a country house dinner-gong/large tray.

Was not nearly as impressed by Belshazzar.  Scrappy/small-sounding chorus..... "yea, we wep..p..p..t..t..t..t.  Denis Noble's diction is excellent but in the great list of Babylon's wealth he is very perfunctory especially on the chilling/sinuous "souls of men....."  Boult sets a cracking tempo for the following; "In Babylon the mighty city...."  Proof yet again that he never was just this patrician/"Edwardian" conductor.  Well worth adding to the collection!

Offline André

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #343 on: June 01, 2019, 03:00:56 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, RS  ;). I was not too disappointed with the percussion - mind you I enjoy old recordings as much as newer ones as long if the spirit and the execution are of a high level.

Cheers

André

Online Irons

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #344 on: June 01, 2019, 10:46:22 PM »
Andre - I picked up a copy of this in the light of your comments above.  Interesting - as I mentioned I remember this Symphony recording from the old Golden Guinea version in my Dad's LP collection and my memory of it is as distinctly underwhelming.  Clearly a function of the LP pressing because - as you say - this is in fact a very dynamic, purposeful and exciting reading.  To my ear the middle two movements especially successful with a scherzo that bristles with energy and venom and a superbly paced slow movement.  1950's percussion/timpani recording is always something of a disappointment - thuddy (almost pitchless) timps and a tam tam that sounds like a country house dinner-gong/large tray.

Was not nearly as impressed by Belshazzar.  Scrappy/small-sounding chorus..... "yea, we wep..p..p..t..t..t..t.  Denis Noble's diction is excellent but in the great list of Babylon's wealth he is very perfunctory especially on the chilling/sinuous "souls of men....."  Boult sets a cracking tempo for the following; "In Babylon the mighty city...."  Proof yet again that he never was just this patrician/"Edwardian" conductor.  Well worth adding to the collection!

There is nothing wrong with your memory. I have the "Golden Guinea" Boult Walton 1st on my shelves, and after the positive comments of the performance, I of course played it. In this case it is very much stick with the CD.
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

 

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