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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: tjguitar on April 16, 2007, 08:15:49 AM

Title: Sir William Walton
Post by: tjguitar on April 16, 2007, 08:15:49 AM
Another one of my favorite 20th century British composers, no thread so I'll make it.

I don't have too many from him at the moment, any recommendations?

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/fa/ae/2aab224128a0a2bbf3d0c010._AA240_.L.jpg)(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B0000014D5.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_AA130_.jpg)(http://g-ec2.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/d1/fd/f81792c008a0dd6e8ebc9010._AA240_.L.jpg)
(http://ec2.images-amazon.com/images/P/B000000AL8.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45548107_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Brewski on April 16, 2007, 08:25:14 AM
One of my favorite Walton recordings is this one of Belshazzar's Feast, with Andrew Litton and Bryn Terfel.  It was recorded in Winchester Cathedral, which might seem too resonant, but somehow the engineers got it right.  Litton and the Bournemouth musicians come up with very exciting playing, and Terfel is terrific in the solo parts.  Here's a good review in Stereophile, which gave it its Recording of the Month in February 1996 (http://www.stereophile.com/recordingofthemonth/768/).

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/B00000427W.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SonicMan46 on April 16, 2007, 08:41:53 AM
For some discussion & recommendations from the old forum see this thread on 20th Century English Composers (http://www.good-music-guide.com/forum/index.php/topic,4392.0.html) -  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Harry on April 16, 2007, 09:39:29 AM
What there is of Walton on the Naxos label I have, and I have no complains whatwhoever about interpretation and sound.
I have tryed to get the complete recordings on Chandos some time ago, but it is OOP.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: 71 dB on April 16, 2007, 10:09:26 AM
Walton first Symphony is very good but I also find it strenuous in it's screaming aggression. The opening bars are wonderful but quiet. This makes me turn more volume and rest of the symphony is very loud.
(Naxos)

The first symphony didn't make me want more. I don't have a need to explore more Walton.  ???
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Robert on April 16, 2007, 10:22:56 AM
Walton first Symphony is very good but I also find it strenuous in it's screaming aggression. The opening bars are wonderful but quiet. This makes me turn more volume and rest of the symphony is very loud.
(Naxos)

The first symphony didn't make me want more. I don't have a need to explore more Walton.  ???
Before you totally give up perhaps you might want to investigate his violin/viola concertos, if I might rec Kennedy/Previn EMI. You may have a change of heart......
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: 71 dB on April 16, 2007, 10:28:06 AM
Before you totally give up perhaps you might want to investigate his violin/viola concertos, if I might rec Kennedy/Previn EMI. You may have a change of heart......

I am not giving up. Those concertos is one option, of course. Thanks!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: hautbois on April 23, 2007, 07:40:37 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
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Guido on April 24, 2007, 06:13:03 AM
What didn't you enjoy about the violin concerto?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Brewski on April 24, 2007, 08:28:40 AM
If you like big works for chorus and orchestra, definitely check out Belshazzar's Feast, which is loads of fun.  I like Andrew Litton's version, with Bryn Terfel in the solo part. 

And if you like chamber music, his String Quartet in A Minor is well worth investigating.  I have this one by the Endellion String Quartet, and played the Walton a lot when I first got the recording. 

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/10/97/f4f0224128a09d4ae6eea010._AA240_.L.jpg)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: hautbois on April 24, 2007, 08:43:35 AM
What didn't you enjoy about the violin concerto?

Maybe it was the violinist, but i remember feeling completely thrown off a couple of times when the writing seems to accumulate to a certain degree of beauty or climax then comes down and completely dissappears. The annoying thing is that it happens frequently and within short intervals, nothing much of a focal point is created, and thus nothing interesting happens because it sounds rather confusing! Of course, it is virtuoistic bla bla bla but i really like beautiful music more.  :D

Howard
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Wanderer on April 24, 2007, 12:14:33 PM
If you like big works for chorus and orchestra, definitely check out Belshazzar's Feast, which is loads of fun.  I like Andrew Litton's version, with Bryn Terfel in the solo part. 

I enthusiastically second this suggestion.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Novi on April 24, 2007, 12:37:49 PM
If you like big works for chorus and orchestra, definitely check out Belshazzar's Feast, which is loads of fun.  I like Andrew Litton's version, with Bryn Terfel in the solo part. 

--Bruce

It certainly is! I went to a performance of this this past weekend and while there have been better performances, it was certainly enthusiastically sung and a whole lot of fun ....

SLAIN!!!!!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: tjguitar on April 24, 2007, 02:36:03 PM
I enjoy his two symphoonies.  Some good recordings on EMI and Naxos but the orchestras/conductors escape me.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Bogey on April 24, 2007, 02:51:57 PM
This is in my purchase queue:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51H0777XB9L._AA240_.jpg)

Samples here:

http://www.amazon.com/Sir-William-Waltons-Film-Music/dp/B000000AL8/ref=sr_1_3/102-7134284-2880939?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177458593&sr=1-3
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: tjguitar on April 24, 2007, 05:25:09 PM
This is in my purchase queue:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51H0777XB9L._AA240_.jpg)

Samples here:

http://www.amazon.com/Sir-William-Waltons-Film-Music/dp/B000000AL8/ref=sr_1_3/102-7134284-2880939?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177458593&sr=1-3


That's a good disc.


TJ
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on April 25, 2007, 12:39:38 AM
Symphony No 1 is magnificent.  The Viola Concerto is better than the Violin Concerto. Music for Henry V

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Walton-Scenes-Henry-Richard-III/dp/B00004LCB6/ref=sr_1_5/026-0945451-0042845?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177493931&sr=1-5
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Guido on April 27, 2007, 09:25:20 AM
The first Symphony is an absolute stunner - incredibly beautiful. The second is not quite so obviously appealing - it comes from a more veiled and mysterious sound world but I still enjoy it very much.

The general consensus is that the viola concerto is the best, but Walton thought the cello concerto was (and I agree!). The viola concerto is the most conventional in terms of harmony, whereas the violin concerto and cello concerto are more individual, and I would say closer to the real Walton sound, but I'm sure I will get flamed for this. All three are absolutely brilliant though (me liking the viola concerto is a recent thing though - I was dissapointed that it wasnt weird!). Get the Naxos CD for the cello and violin concerto - the best cello concerto recording going and a very good violin concerto.

http://www.amazon.com/Walton-VIOLIN-CONCERTO-CELLO/dp/B000026CUA/ref=sr_1_7/102-3810771-9378539?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1177698278&sr=8-7

There is also a fabulous Sinfonia Concertante for piano and orchestra that is very early but obviously very Waltonesque and extremely beautiful.

And my final (initial) recommendation is the violin Sonata.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: tjguitar on May 16, 2007, 09:35:55 AM
Holy smokes, EMI has apparently re-issued it's Handley's 1988 recording of Walton's 1st (in the UK at least).  This is my favorite recording of the work, much better than Handley's other recording for ASV.


(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41A20VQ20GL._SS500_.jpg)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BTDLRY/
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on May 17, 2007, 02:28:11 AM
Holy smokes, EMI has apparently re-issued it's Handley's 1988 recording of Walton's 1st (in the UK at least).  This is my favorite recording of the work, much better than Handley's other recording for ASV.


(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41A20VQ20GL._SS500_.jpg)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BTDLRY/

Yes, it is a great performance. Adrian Leaper's Arte Nova version with the Orchestra of Grand Canary is surprisingly effective, especially in the last movement.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/William-Walton-Symphony-Scapino-Siesta/dp/B000H7J9MG/ref=sr_1_15/026-0945451-0042845?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1179401311&sr=1-15
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Boris_G 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?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SonicMan46 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
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: bwv 1080 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
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Don on July 12, 2007, 12:59:16 PM
Let's not forget that Walton didn't live the exceptional life of Elgar.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Boris_G 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).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: tjguitar 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.

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/41A20VQ20GL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Brewski 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.)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/412EXDV8APL._AA240_.jpg)

--Bruce
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Don 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: bwv 1080 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.)

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/412EXDV8APL._AA240_.jpg)

--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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Montpellier 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
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Kullervo 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?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Dundonnell 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Dundonnell 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!! :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: johnQpublic 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Guido 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?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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:

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Dundonnell 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?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Guido 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!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: gomro 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:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512vt2tURuL._SS500_.jpg)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/512vt2tURuL._SS500_.jpg)


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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Wanderer 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)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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  ;)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Wanderer 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)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on June 08, 2008, 01:24:05 PM
A temporary parting of the ways, then. See ya at the Feast!  8)

 ;D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Guido 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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!

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: drogulus 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 :))

     (http://img175.imageshack.us/img175/842/xxxw.jpg)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Guido 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Guido 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!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on September 02, 2009, 04:55:12 AM
Nice reissue this month:
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Guido 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?"
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Sergeant Rock 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
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen 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
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 03, 2010, 05:20:05 AM
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.

That would take it to the wrong side of the pond. I live in Germany :)  But thanks for the information. Your review, and MusicWeb's, make it sound a very interesting alternative to my few recordings (both Previns, Gibson, Rattle). By the way, I first heard it in 1972 at a Cleveland Orchestra concert at Severance Hall, Previn coducting. Sir William and Prince Charles were in the audience. Walton took a bow afterwards. It had been an all Walton concert: besides the Symphony, Facade (Hermione Gingold) and the Violin Concerto (Kyung Wha Chung) were peformed.

Sarge
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on June 03, 2010, 05:53:06 AM
That would take it to the wrong side of the pond. I live in Germany :)  But thanks for the information. Your review, and MusicWeb's, make it sound a very interesting alternative to my few recordings (both Previns, Gibson, Rattle). By the way, I first heard it in 1972 at a Cleveland Orchestra concert at Severance Hall, Previn coducting. Sir William and Prince Charles were in the audience. Walton took a bow afterwards. It had been an all Walton concert: besides the Symphony, Facade (Hermione Gingold) and the Violin Concerto (Kyung Wha Chung) were peformed.

Sarge

That sounds a really interesting concert experience.  Yes, I could have realised that you were in Germany by looking at the info under your Avatar  ::)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 03, 2010, 06:07:05 AM
That sounds a really interesting concert experience.  Yes, I could have realised that you were in Germany by looking at the info under your Avatar  ::)

It was an interesting concert; first time I'd heard any of those works. He and Previn were touring the States as part of Walton's 70th birthday celebration. I can't recall why Charles was there. Well, he is a classical music enthusiast, isn't he?

I spent ten years stationed in Germany (Munich, Bad Toelz, Mannheim, Heidelberg) while I was on actve duty. Fell in love with the country, and with a beautiful Fräulein. Decided to remain in Germany when I retired. The expat life suits me  8)

Sarge
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on June 03, 2010, 12:42:41 PM
It was an interesting concert; first time I'd heard any of those works. He and Previn were touring the States as part of Walton's 70th birthday celebration. I can't recall why Charles was there. Well, he is a classical music enthusiast, isn't he?

I spent ten years stationed in Germany (Munich, Bad Toelz, Mannheim, Heidelberg) while I was on actve duty. Fell in love with the country, and with a beautiful Fräulein. Decided to remain in Germany when I retired. The expat life suits me  8)

Sarge

Well, that sounds like a satisfactory explanation to me  :D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on June 04, 2010, 01:02:21 AM
I just did a count - it's actually my 25th recording of Walton's Symphony No 1 (excluding copies I have of the same recording in different transfers)  :o
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Sergeant Rock on June 04, 2010, 03:35:56 AM
I just did a count - it's actually my 25th recording of Walton's Symphony No 1 (excluding copies I have of the same recording in different transfers)  :o

You collect Walton the way I collect Mahler ;D  We both need therapy. See you in the Compulsive Disassociative CD Collecting Disease thread.

Sarge
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on June 04, 2010, 05:08:50 AM
You collect Walton the way I collect Mahler ;D  We both need therapy. See you in the Compulsive Disassociative CD Collecting Disease thread.

Sarge

I'm already there Sarge  :D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: karlhenning on July 08, 2010, 04:26:33 AM
I just did a count - it's actually my 25th recording of Walton's Symphony No 1 (excluding copies I have of the same recording in different transfers)  :o

Sacrée vache, I should never have guessed that so many recordings of the symphony are in existence!  Of Façade, sure . . . .
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: karlhenning on July 08, 2010, 04:34:59 AM
Having now fetched this one in, I can scarce wait to wade into the symphonies.  There was one day when I was in the car and the radio was tuned to (probably) WHRB, and I switched on in the middle of the Second (I think) Symphony, found the music very exciting, was stumped in my efforts to play Guess the Composer, and was genuinely surprised to hear that it was Walton.
 
And here, while I've just voiced my impatience to get to the symphonies, I'm listening twice to the Hindemith Variations.  My composition teacher at Wooster played a bit of this for our final quarter of Music Theory (which was essentially ten weeks of Intro to the 20th Century).  Strong positive impression from that preview, so strong that I bought an LP with the piece on it . . . I remember not much caring for that LP (as in many other instances, could well be no fault of that performance, but just my ears being 'targeted' somewhere else).
 
Anyway, looking forward to making my way through this box.



(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ewW%2BJj-UL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Walton – Centenary Edition (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005YW0X?ie=UTF8&tag=goodmusicguide-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00005YW0X)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 09, 2010, 04:10:25 AM
Sacrée vache, I should never have guessed that so many recordings of the symphony are in existence!  Of Façade, sure . . . .

And this is my recording No 26 of Walton's First Symphony (released later this month)  :o

Best cover picture of all.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: karlhenning on July 28, 2010, 10:26:35 AM
And this is my recording No 26 of Walton's First Symphony (released later this month)  :o

Best cover picture of all.

Is any of the 26 a complete turkey? : )
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 29, 2010, 11:10:32 PM
Is any of the 26 a complete turkey? : )

To be honest I was a bit disappointed with the new BIS Karl(I found it to be a bit underpowered) but I would not call it a 'complete turkey' and I shall need to listen again. I am not that keen on the versions by Litton, Slatkin (a conductor I greatly admire) and perhaps unusually I do not especially like the much hyped Previn RCA version which is usually considered the market leader. For me, Walton's 1st symphony must start with a mysterious sense of nervous intensity - Previn's version sounds too confident at the start for me - paradoxically I really like his later 'homeric' RPO version, which has had a bad press. The later Handley version on EMI is much better than the earlier version, Daniel on Naxos is not great in my view - but much praised generally. The old Boult version (just reissued on Somm) starts off in just the right way for me, although the slightly muffled recording has always been a bit problematic. BBC Music Magazine recently issued a Boult recording from the Proms which was great. The recent New Haven SO version is my No 1 choice at the moment and Sargent's old recording needs reissuing by EMI.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: karlhenning on July 30, 2010, 02:53:15 AM
Thanks; I was indeed hoping that none of the 26 might descend to turkeydom . . . but I am curious as to which recordings might be to some extent disappointing, and why.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 30, 2010, 10:33:47 AM
Thanks; I was indeed hoping that none of the 26 might descend to turkeydom . . . but I am curious as to which recordings might be to some extent disappointing, and why.

I can tell within a few moments if I am going to like the performance - it has to do with the feel of the opening which IMHO must be tentative, nervously anxious and conveying a sense of slumbering power. There is a very good version (surprisingly?) by the Orchestra of Grand Canary conducted by Adrian Leaper on thesuper budget Arte Nova label. Actually, it doesn't start that well (so I have just subverted what I said earlier on!) but the performance grows in strength and has the most affirmitive and convincing conclusion of any version.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Sid on July 30, 2010, 06:51:49 PM
I first started to get to know Walton's music as a teenager - I had a tape of the 1st symphony and Portsmouth Point Overture (with Slatkin). But I was in my early 20's when I borrowed a number of cd's from the local library - the Violin & Viola concertos, Henry V, and the String Quartet in A minor & I have been a fan of his music ever since. These have remained some of my favourite works by him, especially the String Quartet, which would be great to see live. I like this work, because it has not only the lyricism of the Romantics, but also the spikiness of Prokofiev and a touch of Schoenberg's pantonality. Recently, I borrowed Wispelwey's account of the Cello Concerto, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. He definitely wasn't the most innovative British composer of the time (I think Tippett was more experimental), but his music really engages me with it's contrast between wistful lyricism and abraisive spikiness...
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 31, 2010, 05:48:10 AM
I first started to get to know Walton's music as a teenager - I had a tape of the 1st symphony and Portsmouth Point Overture (with Slatkin). But I was in my early 20's when I borrowed a number of cd's from the local library - the Violin & Viola concertos, Henry V, and the String Quartet in A minor & I have been a fan of his music ever since. These have remained some of my favourite works by him, especially the String Quartet, which would be great to see live. I like this work, because it has not only the lyricism of the Romantics, but also the spikiness of Prokofiev and a touch of Schoenberg's pantonality. Recently, I borrowed Wispelwey's account of the Cello Concerto, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. He definitely wasn't the most innovative British composer of the time (I think Tippett was more experimental), but his music really engages me with it's contrast between wistful lyricism and abraisive spikiness...

I hardly know the string quartet - so your post inspires me to listen to it - thanks.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 22, 2011, 04:40:28 AM
Another fine performance from Martyn Brabbins just released:

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Dundonnell on July 22, 2011, 05:37:22 AM
Brabbins new cd of the Walton symphonies has had rave reviews!

Apparently the idea of getting him to record the Walton had been discussed for some years. Excellent that it has turned out to be a success.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 22, 2011, 07:01:22 AM
Brabbins new cd of the Walton symphonies has had rave reviews!

Apparently the idea of getting him to record the Walton had been discussed for some years. Excellent that it has turned out to be a success.

Hi Colin,

As with the Brian 'Gothic' performance Brabbins ensures that there is great rhythmic drive in the Walton - it is the best performance I have heard of the last movement of Symphony no 1 and finally demolishes the view of it as an 'afterthought' - it was very exciting listening to it. I see that another fine performance by the late Sir Charles Mackerras is also reissued on EMI; another favourite - the underrated Sargent version, which I prefer it to the LSO Previn recording, will be back as part of a Walton EMI boxed set next year.
Jeffrey
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Dundonnell on July 22, 2011, 07:14:21 AM
Sorry if I have asked this before...but how do you rate Rattle in the 1st?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 22, 2011, 07:32:16 AM
Sorry if I have asked this before...but how do you rate Rattle in the 1st?

Good but not my favourite - nobody would be disappointed with it I think.  The Lille SO on BIS is very disappointing (apart from the striking cover picture) so I'd avoid that one. The Mackerras on a new EMI twofer is excellent as is the Brabbins and also the New Haven SO - a terrific performance. For me the classic recording (other than Harty of course) is the  Boult 1956 Nixa-Westminster LPO version, on a great new First Hand 3 CD collection (a great set by the way). I am increasingly sounding like the classical music nutter in the 'Great Bores of the World' Private Eye cartoon of many years ago (my consolation being that the cartoonist or originator of the cartoon was clearly one himself). I remember the cartoon being reprinted, with Private Eye's permission, in 'Gramophone' under the title 'As others see us'!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on December 26, 2012, 09:03:20 AM
I've had a bit of a Walton reawakening today and bought these:

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/jaquettes/0034/0034571177946_600.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0084HGZKK.01.L.jpg)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 26, 2012, 03:30:42 PM
I've had a bit of a Walton reawakening today and bought these:

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/jaquettes/0034/0034571177946_600.jpg) (http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0084HGZKK.01.L.jpg)

Two great choices as the box includes a fine version of the Symphony No 1 by Haitink.  The Brabbins is outstanding in all respects.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on December 26, 2012, 03:32:32 PM
Two great choices as the box includes a fine version of the Symphony No 1 by Haitink.  The Brabbins is outstanding in all respects.

This is good to hear, Jeffrey. I think Walton composed some good music, but he's not a composer I listen to very much.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Octave on April 30, 2013, 08:07:13 AM
Re: FACADE:

Recommendations for a recording of Facade please!

In response to this old request, Vandermolen recommended the historic recording with Peter Pears and Edith Sitwell, reissued by Alto.  It looks like most if not all of that disc is available as an Eloquence disc; I've no idea how comparable the sound is.




I wonder if there might be any supplemental recommendations in more modern sound, as long the performance is excellent? 
I see a Marriner recording is on that EMI 12cd box (which I'm considering), but with the other pieces on that disc, I wonder if that's a truncated version of Facade?  I ran across a recommendation (maybe) of the complete work by the Melalogos Ensemble...I'm curious about that one.  I see several others, though it's not always clear if all these are complete versions of the work.  Nash Ensemble (Hyperion) is another that seems to bill itself as complete.  Any help would be appreciated!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on April 30, 2013, 08:29:53 AM
Walton drew two (instrumental) suites from Façade, a total of 11 of the movements (IIRC the source piece has 21 numbers, mirroring Pierrot Lunaire). Perhaps it is the suites which are included in the EMI box.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on August 01, 2014, 11:10:43 PM
Attended fine concert at Proms in London last night featuring an excellent performance of Walton's First Symphony BBC SO conducted by Martyn Brabbins. I was so pleased to hear this work live. I took my daughter who thought it the best classical work she has heard so far. Also featured was Ivor Gurney's moving, Elgarian 'War Elegy' and an enjoyable work for accordion and orchestra by Sally Beamish, whose Violin Concerto was not performed as the soloist was ill. I have rarely attend a concert where I enjoyed all three works but the Walton was of course the highlight.
(Shostakovich's 4th next week  :))
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on August 02, 2014, 07:06:50 AM
Attended fine concert at Proms in London last night featuring an excellent performance of Walton's First Symphony BBC SO conducted by Martyn Brabbins. I was so pleased to hear this work live.

Lucky you, that's an awesome piece to hear live. I heard CSO do it last year under Bychkov.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on August 03, 2014, 12:06:03 AM
Lucky you, that's an awesome piece to hear live. I heard CSO do it last year under Bychkov.

Yes, I was lucky and it was a great performance. I was also lucky as we were moved from £15 seats to £40 ones as the Albert Hall was, surprisingly, not very full. Maybe a programme of exclusively British music had limited appeal.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 11:27:48 AM
Anyone else think that Walton's Viola Concerto is a better work than the more popular and more often recorded Violin Concerto?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 11:41:37 AM
Anyone else think that Walton's Viola Concerto is a better work than the more popular and more often recorded Violin Concerto?

I do have quite a fondness for his Violin Concerto. I need to re-listen to the Viola Concerto. I'll probably revisit that one tonight. Any performances you suggest I listen to, Jeffrey? I own Imai/Latham-Koenig, Power/Volkov, Tomter/Daniel, and Bashmet/Previn.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: ritter on January 07, 2015, 11:45:11 AM
Anyone else think that Walton's Viola Concerto is a better work than the more popular and more often recorded Violin Concerto?
I must revisit Walton's music, which I have neglected for quite some time  :-[, but yes, I remember rating the Viola and (to a slightly lesser extent) the Cello Concerto much higher than the Violin Concerto. The latter's lushness appears to me a bit run-of-the-mill (for lack of a better term), while the Viola Concerto seems to me to offer a much more personal voice.

Cheers,

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:12:33 PM
I do have quite a fondness for his Violin Concerto. I need to re-listen to the Viola Concerto. I'll probably revisit that one tonight. Any performances you suggest I listen to, Jeffrey? I own Imai/Latham-Koenig, Power/Volkov, Tomter/Daniel, and Bashmet/Previn.

Thanks for replying John. I have just ordered a new version on Melodiya ( ???) which looks of great interest ( orange image below, if it comes out). If it was good as the Melodiya set of the VW symphonies under Svetlanov I shall be well pleased. Svetlanov also recorded Elgar's Second Symphony, so there is some interest in British music in the old USSR and Russia. I am currently playing the very fine Hyperion recording, which I would certainly recommend, with its interesting Rubbra coupling:


Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:14:29 PM
I must revisit Walton's music, which I have neglected for quite some time  :-[, but yes, I remember rating the Viola and (to a slightly lesser extent) the Cello Concerto much higher than the Violin Concerto. The latter's lushness appears to me a bit run-of-the-mill (for lack of a better term), while the Viola Concerto seems to me to offer a much more personal voice.

Cheers,

Totally agree with you. Thanks for replying.  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 12:15:24 PM
Thanks for replying John. I have just ordered a new version on Melodiya ( ???) which looks of great interest ( orange image below, if it comes out). If it was good as the Melodiya set of the VW symphonies under Svetlanov I shall be well pleased. Svetlanov also recorded Elgar's Second Symphony, so there is some interest in British music in the old USSR and Russia. I am currently playing the very fine Hyperion recording, which I would certainly recommend, with its interesting Rubbra coupling:




Don't you mean Rozhdestvensky in the RVW symphonies?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:18:46 PM
Don't you mean Rozhdestvensky in the RVW symphonies?

Yes I do, sorry about that, but it was Svetlanov I think who recorded the Elgar.
If you like historic performances/recordings this is terrific:

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 12:22:08 PM
Thanks for the recs, Jeffrey. I'll probably give that Power/Volkov performance a listen tonight (if I can actually find it). :) If not, then I have Bashmet/Previn within arms reach as we speak.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:25:31 PM
Thanks for the recs, Jeffrey. I'll probably give that Power/Volkov performance a listen tonight (if I can actually find it). :) If not, then I have Bashmet/Previn within arms reach as we speak.
Both are great John. The Viola Concerto is well served on CD. I also like the old Menuhin/Walton version although some, if I remember correctly, consider it too slow.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 12:26:15 PM
While there seems to be some influx of interest in Walton yet again, I have to say this performance of his Symphony No. 1 has completely floored me each time I listen to it:

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/26/81/0822231168126_600.jpg)

It seems that Previn's classic account with the LSO remains for many the benchmark in this symphony, but I prefer the grander sweep of Davis/LSO.

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:32:38 PM
While there seems to be some influx of interest in Walton yet again, I have to say this performance of his Symphony No. 1 has completely floored me each time I listen to it:

(http://static.qobuz.com/images/covers/26/81/0822231168126_600.jpg)

It seems that Previn's classic account with the LSO remains for many the benchmark in this symphony, but I prefer the grander sweep of Davis/LSO.

I think that Previn is a great conductor (VW/Shostakovich etc etc) but I have never really been that keen on his RCA recording of Walton's 1st Symphony and actually prefer the contemporaneous Sargent recording which most critics don't like as much. For me, the opening of the symphony has to have a kind of nervous, tentative and vulnerable quality which is completely lacking in that Previn version which, to my ears, starts much too confidently. Boult in his old PYE version gets it just right as does Sargent. The Colin Davis version is excellent too. The CD below (2CDset) is available on Amazon UK at £2.99  ???.

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 07, 2015, 12:35:54 PM
Yes I do, sorry about that, but it was Svetlanov I think who recorded the Elgar.

Yes, Svet in the Second...with a bizzare Russian Sea Pictures  8)

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/ngmg/ESvet.jpg)


Sarge
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: ritter on January 07, 2015, 12:37:53 PM
Both are great John. The Viola Concerto is well served on CD. I also like the old Menuhin/Walton version although some, if I remember correctly, consider it too slow.
I don't know that many recordings of the Viola Concerto, but do own the Menuhin conducted by the composer in a long OOP "Walton conducts Walton" 4-CD set on EMI. I wasn't really impressed (it seems to me Walton wasn't as great a conductor as he was a composer  ::) )I still much prefer the first version I bought:



Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:43:45 PM
I don't know that many recordings of the Viola Concerto, but do own the Menuhin conducted by the composer in a long OOP "Walton conducts Walton" 4-CD set on EMI. I wasn't really impressed (it seems to me Walton wasn't as great a conductor as he was a composer  ::) )I still much prefer the first version I bought:



I have that version too (OCD 8)) and it is a great one and fine coupling + great cover painting.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 12:43:48 PM
I think that Previn is a great conductor (VW/Shostakovich etc etc) but I have never really been that keen on his RCA recording of Walton's 1st Symphony and actually prefer the contemporaneous Sargent recording which most critics don't like as much. For me, the opening of the symphony has to have a kind of nervous, tentative and vulnerable quality which is completely lacking in that Previn version which, to my ears, starts much too confidently. Boult in his old PYE version gets it just right as does Sargent. The Colin Davis version is excellent too. The CD below (2CDset) is available on Amazon UK at £2.99  ???.



I should also add that I like Alexander Gibson's Walton 1st on Chandos in addition to Davis/LSO Live. I don't think I've heard Sargent's. I'm not actually that familiar with Sargent's conducting with the exception of a few performances of other composers whose names escape me now.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 07, 2015, 12:45:35 PM
I should also add that I like Alexander Gibson's Walton 1st on Chandos in addition to Davis/LSO Live.

The Gibson was my first Walton First...still a favorite. JPC has the Davis for next to nothing. I think I'll grab it.

Sarge
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:46:01 PM
Yes, Svet in the Second...with a bizzare Russian Sea Pictures  8)

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/ngmg/ESvet.jpg)


Sarge

Yes, but there is something very fine about his Second Symphony, complete with characteristic Soviet brass section. I love those old Soviet recordings of a British music as they are a refreshing change from usual approaches and allow you to hear the music differently.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 12:49:22 PM
The Gibson was my first Walton First...still a favorite. JPC has the Davis for next to nothing. I think I'll grab it.

Sarge

Excellent and a good idea. :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:50:36 PM
I should also add that I like Alexander Gibson's Walton 1st on Chandos in addition to Davis/LSO Live. I don't think I've heard Sargent's. I'm not actually that familiar with Sargent's conducting with the exception of a few performances of other composer whose names escape me now.

Gibson is great. I think that I have every recording of Walton's  First Symphony, maybe almost 30 including the same recording in different manifestations. It is my worst example of mad collecting disorder and includes rare recordings by Horenstein and Karajan.

On a completely separate note I had loads of school marking (grading) work to do tonight but have done nothing yet thanks to this thread. So if I get fired it will be the fault of John, Sarge and Ritter!  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 07, 2015, 12:53:41 PM
On a completely separate note I had loads of school marking (grading) work to do tonight but have done nothing yet thanks to this thread. So if I get fired it will be the fault of John, Sarge and Ritter!  :)

Screw work...music rules...even if it doesn't put bread on the table  ;D ;)

Sarge
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:55:39 PM
Screw work...music rules...even if it doesn't put bread on the table  ;D ;)

Sarge

Excellent point Sarge. I'd much rather be doing this.  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 12:55:59 PM
Gibson is great. I think that I have every recording of Walton's  First Symphony, maybe almost 30 including the same recording in different manifestations. It is my worst example of mad collecting disorder and includes rare recordings by Horenstein and Karajan.

On a completely separate note I had loads of school marking (grading) work to do tonight but have done nothing yet thanks to this thread. So if I get fired it will be the fault of John, Sarge and Ritter!  :)

You're a mad collector like I am, so I can certainly relate. :) Oh and I'm with Sarge, screw work! Music comes first! Those kids can take rain checks. ;D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 12:56:38 PM
Screw work...music rules...even if it doesn't put bread on the table  ;D ;)

Sarge

 :P Rock on, Sarge!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: mc ukrneal on January 07, 2015, 12:57:16 PM
On a completely separate note I had loads of school marking (grading) work to do tonight but have done nothing yet thanks to this thread. So if I get fired it will be the fault of John, Sarge and Ritter!  :)
I'm sure they'd all put you up for a spell...as long as you brought some Walton recordings with you... :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:58:06 PM
You're a mad collector like I am, so I can certainly relate. :) Oh and I'm with Sarge, screw work! Music comes first! Those kids can take rain checks. ;D
:) :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 12:59:02 PM
I'm sure they'd all put you up for a spell...as long as you brought some Walton recordings with you... :)
Very true.  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: ritter on January 07, 2015, 01:07:30 PM
On a completely separate note I had loads of school marking (grading) work to do tonight but have done nothing yet thanks to this thread. So if I get fired it will be the fault of John, Sarge and Ritter!  :)
Just allocate grades randomly... ;)

All this Walton talk has led me to listen to the Viola Concerto again, in William Primrose's 1946 recording under the composer with the Philharmonia :

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81-Cu9uxGUL._SY550_.jpg)

Waiting for the last movement, allegro moderato, which IIRC is IMHO the highlight of the whole work..
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 01:10:55 PM
Just allocate grades randomly... ;)

All this Walton talk has lead me to listen to the Viola Concerto again, in William Primrose's 1946 recording under the composer with the Philharmonia :

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/81-Cu9uxGUL._SY550_.jpg)

Waiting for the last movement, allegro moderato, which IIRC is IMHO the highlight of the whole work..

Brilliant point about grades although that is what I do anyway  8)

I have that CD too and it is terrific with the best ever version of the Sinfonia Concertante - a very underrated work of Walton's.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 01:45:44 PM
Brilliant point about grades although that is what I do anyway  8)

I have that CD too and it is terrific with the best ever version of the Sinfonia Concertante - a very underrated work of Walton's.

I often have wondered why the Sinfonia Concertante gets so very little record time. It's a great work. I prefer the more up-to-date sonics of the Naxos recording however and it also doesn't hurt that it's a superb performance. :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 01:57:49 PM
I often have wondered why the Sinfonia Concertante gets so very little record time. It's a great work. I prefer the more up-to-date sonics of the Naxos recording however and it also doesn't hurt that it's a superb performance. :)

Yes, it's terrific John. I guess that it is quite short and therefore not a 'grand piano concerto' but I find it oddly moving and highly memorable.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: ritter on January 07, 2015, 02:04:10 PM
I should revisit the Sinfonia concertante...but for today, my Walton session (the Viola concerto, followed by--as reported in the WAYLTN thread--Anon in love and A Song for the Lord Mayor's table) comes to an end with this little jewel as a sort of encore:

https://www.youtube.com/v/eX4vWSHhdIw

Good night, vandermolen, John, and all fellow GMGers!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 07, 2015, 02:26:42 PM
I should revisit the Sinfonia concertante...but for today, my Walton session (the Viola concerto, followed by--as reported in the WAYLTN thread--Anon in love and A Song for the Lord Mayor's table) comes to an end with this little jewel as a sort of encore:

https://www.youtube.com/v/eX4vWSHhdIw

Good night, vandermolen, John, and all fellow GMGers!

When I tapped on the image the screen just went blank, but many thanks and good night from me too.  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 07, 2015, 03:24:29 PM
I should revisit the Sinfonia concertante...but for today, my Walton session (the Viola concerto, followed by--as reported in the WAYLTN thread--Anon in love and A Song for the Lord Mayor's table) comes to an end with this little jewel as a sort of encore:

https://www.youtube.com/v/eX4vWSHhdIw

Good night, vandermolen, John, and all fellow GMGers!

Very nice, ritter. Good night to you as well.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 08, 2015, 10:06:48 PM
Agh...I never got around to listening to the Viola Concerto, but I will later on. I have pulled the Power/Volkov performance from my collection. The Rubbra works will be of interest to me as well.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 09, 2015, 05:08:58 AM
Agh...I never got around to listening to the Viola Concerto, but I will later on. I have pulled the Power/Volkov performance from my collection. The Rubbra works will be of interest to me as well.

Am sure you'll enjoy it John.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Rons_talking on February 26, 2015, 11:06:05 AM
Anyone else think that Walton's Viola Concerto is a better work than the more popular and more often recorded Violin Concerto?

How about the Cello Concerto? It was a favorite of mine when I had it on vinyl. I'll revisit the other concerti this afternoon (and put off exercise).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 26, 2015, 11:55:50 AM
How about the Cello Concerto? It was a favorite of mine when I had it on vinyl. I'll revisit the other concerti this afternoon (and put off exercise).

Fine work - I like the Tortelier recording with Paavo Berglund conducting I think.
Here it is in a fine inexpensive set as the Mackerras version of Symphony 1 is excellent too:


Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Rons_talking on February 27, 2015, 02:19:17 AM
Fine work - I like the Tortelier recording with Paavo Berglund conducting I think.
Here it is in a fine inexpensive set as the Mackerras version of Symphony 1 is excellent too:



Wow! You must have a huge record collection! I can't afford to buy multiple recordings of the same work; or rather, I prefer to get something I don't already have. So it's pretty much Naxos all the way down. I live on a remote island near the Alaska panhandle so shopping can get inconvenient (I'll be here for another two years...)

I'm very impressed with the 2nd S. as well. I streamed the 1947 SQ as well and that's a terrific piece. All too often composers fall into the pattern of writing overly contrapuntal and chromatic string quartets...as if that's the only sound that can be conveyed through the group. Like Barber and RVW, Walton makes good use of lyricism and rhythm in the quartet.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 27, 2015, 06:35:46 AM
Wow! You must have a huge record collection! I can't afford to buy multiple recordings of the same work; or rather, I prefer to get something I don't already have. So it's pretty much Naxos all the way down. I live on a remote island near the Alaska panhandle so shopping can get inconvenient (I'll be here for another two years...)

I'm very impressed with the 2nd S. as well. I streamed the 1947 SQ as well and that's a terrific piece. All too often composers fall into the pattern of writing overly contrapuntal and chromatic string quartets...as if that's the only sound that can be conveyed through the group. Like Barber and RVW, Walton makes good use of lyricism and rhythm in the quartet.

I have over 20 recordings of Walton's 1st Symphony - it is know as Obsessive-Compulsive CD Collecting Disorder (OCCDCD). There is a thread on it in the 'Diner' section. Your approach is far more sensible and cost-effective. The Paul Daniel Naxos recording is very fine.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Rons_talking on February 27, 2015, 08:06:06 AM
Ah! A symphony hoarder! Good thing it's not cigars...
Do you have the scores as well? I like to see just how true to the page the performers are. I believe a lot of composers get a better sounding performance than what's written if a work is performed across the board. That might sound blasphemous but they can lose sight of what is intended and the score might be micro-managed. Look at Stravinsky's super-dry performances of the early ballets (when he conducted them in the 50s) which were supposed to be a bit more lush IMO.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 27, 2015, 09:47:52 AM
Ah! A symphony hoarder! Good thing it's not cigars...
Do you have the scores as well? I like to see just how true to the page the performers are. I believe a lot of composers get a better sounding performance than what's written if a work is performed across the board. That might sound blasphemous but they can lose sight of what is intended and the score might be micro-managed. Look at Stravinsky's super-dry performances of the early ballets (when he conducted them in the 50s) which were supposed to be a bit more lush IMO.

No, I don't have the scores as I cant read music.  :(
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Christo on February 27, 2015, 01:41:42 PM
The Paul Daniel Naxos recording is very fine.

Side remarks like this are not without risks to the lives of innocently bypassing readers, here. Am playing it now.  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Peter Power Pop on February 27, 2015, 04:45:34 PM
I have over 20 recordings of Walton's 1st Symphony - it is know as Obsessive-Compulsive CD Collecting Disorder (OCCDCD). There is a thread on it in the 'Diner' section.

The thread is here:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,15426.0.html (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,15426.0.html)

It started out as "Compulsive Disassociative CD Collecting Disease" (CDCDCD), but morphed into "Obsessive-Compulsive CD Collecting Disorder" (OCCDCD).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 28, 2015, 04:15:40 AM
The thread is here:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,15426.0.html (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,15426.0.html)

It started out as "Compulsive Disassociative CD Collecting Disease" (CDCDCD), but morphed into "Obsessive-Compulsive CD Collecting Disorder" (OCCDCD).

They are closely related medical conditions.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 28, 2015, 04:16:08 AM
Side remarks like this are not without risks to the lives of innocently bypassing readers, here. Am playing it now.  :)
8)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Dax on February 28, 2015, 07:57:20 AM
I'm not particularly a Walton fan, but I've always had a lot of time for the Johannesburg Festival Overture. Anybody else?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1gQhemb5L4
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 28, 2015, 12:45:03 PM
I'm not particularly a Walton fan, but I've always had a lot of time for the Johannesburg Festival Overture. Anybody else?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1gQhemb5L4

Yes, I like that work too. I have the version conducted by Sir Charles Groves:

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Rons_talking on March 01, 2015, 05:44:10 PM
No, I don't have the scores as I cant read music.  :(

That's not important. It's just that you think like a conductor ;).  How do you compare Walton's own performances with those of others? Copland is the one composer whom I tend to prefer his own conducting to those of the pros. Performers I know have said he's so likable they just wanted to get their best sound. I never saw him live, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on March 02, 2015, 09:15:13 AM
That's not important. It's just that you think like a conductor ;).  How do you compare Walton's own performances with those of others? Copland is the one composer whom I tend to prefer his own conducting to those of the pros. Performers I know have said he's so likable they just wanted to get their best sound. I never saw him live, unfortunately.

Thank you  :)

Actually I did see Copland conduct Roy Harris's Third Symphony in London decades ago. I love Copland's music but did not think that the performance of the Harris was that great. I think that Copland was a great conductor of his own work and his Everest recording of Symphony 3 with the LSO is perhaps the best. For some reason he recorded a lot of his works with British orchestras. I think that the Everest recording has much more urgency than the later CBS version and is much better than Bernstein's Sony version.
As for Walton he was a fine conductor of his own music and I really like his live recording of Symphony 1 with the New Zealand SO and his account of the Henry V film music is the best too.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Christo on March 02, 2015, 10:46:02 AM
One of my favorite classical miniatures.
Seconded. Always found the 'two pieces' from Henry V, the passacaglia and this little elegy, extremely moving. Bach revidivimus.  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on March 03, 2015, 07:46:26 AM
Seconded. Always found the 'two pieces' from Henry V, the passacaglia and this little elegy, extremely moving. Bach revidivimus.  :)
This is one of my very favourite Walton discs and the one I find most moving apart from the First Symphony. Not to be missed in my view.

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Scion7 on September 19, 2015, 03:56:58 PM
Listening to the variations on Hindemith tonight . . .
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on September 21, 2015, 07:23:59 AM
Listening to the variations on Hindemith tonight . . .
Great work. Which recording? I like the Szell version very much.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Scion7 on September 21, 2015, 02:08:22 PM
yup, the Szell
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on September 21, 2015, 09:39:13 PM
yup, the Szell
Good to hear. That is a great CD with Symphony 2 and the Partita all in best ever recorded performances in my opinion.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 16, 2016, 02:03:00 AM
Bumping up this thread. Am currently greatly enjoying this super double CD. Excellent recordings and performances and great value. If you only want one (actually two) Walton CD this would be a good choice as it features his greatest orchestral scores:

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on December 16, 2016, 07:14:03 AM
Bumping up this thread. Am currently greatly enjoying this super double CD. Excellent recordings and performances and great value. If you only want one (actually two) Walton CD this would be a good choice as it features his greatest orchestral scores:



After many years of being on the fence with Walton, I have to say now I'm not really a fan of his music. There's something missing inside of it. It seems to me that so much of his music is surface with no kind of emotional depth. There are a few works I really enjoy like Symphony No. 1, the Violin Concerto, Sinfonia Concertante, and the Hindemith Variations. These works are the only ones I've really been taken by. I know you're not a particularly big fan of Britten, Jeffrey, but, for me, Britten is the best Brit composer of that generation (even though there's about an 11 year difference in age between Walton and Britten).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on December 16, 2016, 08:04:09 AM
I must say I tend to agree with what MI has written here. There I was trying to think why I'm not attracted to his music as much as I feel I should be,and there it is spelled out in front of me. Incidentally,I'm listening to a s/h cassette of Britten's own recording of his Spring Symphony,right now. I love this. In fact,I like allot of his music. I've got the Previn recording on cd. We all like different things,though. Rumour has it,some people even like Joseph Holbrooke!! ??? ;D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 16, 2016, 11:16:12 AM
Thank you John and cilgwyn for your thoughtful responses. I agree that Walton has his weaknesses and many do not find his music especially engaging. For me there are a few works I am really gripped by, most notably Symphony 1, the Viola Concerto, the Sinfonia Concertante and the Henry V film music. I am coming to appreciate Symphony 2 and the Hindemith Variations more and enjoy the 'As you Like It'. Film music which is very engaging.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on December 16, 2016, 02:54:28 PM
I'm ll have a listen to that emi cd of his First and Second symphonies soon! I think the Second is conducted by Sargent,and I think (I may be wrong) I might have bought the cd after reading one of your posts. I also have the famous Previn one. We'll see how I go? I think it is a powerful symphony. I'm not disputing that. It's just I find more depth in,for example,Vaughan Williams or say,Bax. Or even going back a bit further,Parry!! That said,I really do need to have a good listen to those symphonies again.

Correction! I looked it up now. Sargent conducting the First! Previn the Second. Sounds very interesting!! Hm!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on December 16, 2016, 03:19:18 PM
I've found the cd. I'm enjoying Sargent's performance now! I've also been reading your comments,vandermolen,underneath the cd,on Amazon!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on December 16, 2016, 03:24:17 PM
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
Interesting! I took the wrong Previn to the charity shop!! ??? ;D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on December 16, 2016, 03:30:58 PM
I'm eating at least some of my words now. I AM enjoying listening to this!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on December 16, 2016, 03:44:25 PM
I'm eating at least some of my words now. I AM enjoying listening to this!

Spoken like a gentleman!

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Ken B on December 16, 2016, 06:31:24 PM
The famous recording of 2 is the Szell. Justly famous too. Usually coupled with the Hindemith Variations, equally splendidly done.

I like a core of Walton very much, especially 1, the concerti (which are all masterpieces and his best stuff) the quintet, and Feast. The Henry V with reciter really is marvellous too.  All the chamber music is good. I certainly don't know any better concerti for Viola!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Heck148 on December 16, 2016, 07:34:20 PM
The famous recording of 2 is the Szell. Justly famous too. Usually coupled with the Hindemith Variations, equally splendidly done.

The Partita for Orchestra is on that disc as well  - CBS Masterworks Portrait" disc. another fine performance...tough piece!!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on December 17, 2016, 01:42:13 AM
Spoken like a gentleman!

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
And still listening,right now! :-[ ::) ;D I knew I shouldn't have posted that when I posted it!! It's those  'jazzy' syncopations or whatever you composers call them? The feeling of sheer orchestral power. I love his slow movements. The Second sounds just as good to my ears. No emotion? Actually,yes. I can see what MI means. It's restrained,in a stiff upper lip British sort of way. But it's there;and like Elgar,probably all the more powerful because of it.
Come to think of it,I liked some of those Overtures,too.  I'm sure I even liked Scapino?! No third symphony,though. Nothing in the back of his sock drawer then for someone to complete? (They're never as good,anyway!) I'll have to find something similar? The John Veale Dutton cd's on the side at the ready. I've only got two Walton cds!!
 :( :(
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 17, 2016, 01:59:39 AM
I'm ll have a listen to that emi cd of his First and Second symphonies soon! I think the Second is conducted by Sargent,and I think (I may be wrong) I might have bought the cd after reading one of your posts. I also have the famous Previn one. We'll see how I go? I think it is a powerful symphony. I'm not disputing that. It's just I find more depth in,for example,Vaughan Williams or say,Bax. Or even going back a bit further,Parry!! That said,I really do need to have a good listen to those symphonies again.

Correction! I looked it up now. Sargent conducting the First! Previn the Second. Sounds very interesting!! Hm!

The EMI disc is Sargent doing No. 1 and Previn No. 2 unless it is the CD with Mackerras doing both also on EMI. I prefer the Sargent to the famous Previn version. Most people prefer the first to the second Previn version, as with his recordings of Shostakovich's 8th Symphony.
Sorry - I've just read your later points. I like the Partita too, especially in the old Szell (I think - Ormandy actually) version.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 17, 2016, 02:21:06 AM
I've found the cd. I'm enjoying Sargent's performance now! I've also been reading your comments,vandermolen,underneath the cd,on Amazon!

Good to know.  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on December 17, 2016, 02:33:24 AM
Yes,it's still on!!! ;D I'm going to have to look up why you don't like the 'famous' Previn account. It's not exactly as long as the HB thread,so I should be back before I die of old age?!! (If I get there!) I must admit there is definitely one thing I didn't like about the Previn cd,and the cassette version I once owned. The Wasps! It seems such a naff choice of fill up. Not that I hate the Wasps Overture;but it just doesn't go with the Walton. I actually bought the later Previn cd because it was just Walton,and no blinking Wasps!! Then I needed to move house,so I had to get rid of some stuff,so off it went!! Someone's probably enjoying it somewhere,right now?! I know you can skip & program tracks;but I just like to bung a cd on!! ;D

Not having any other Walton cds,bar the Previn you dislike,I might just put that Veale symphony on,now. Unless the postman has something.............?!!!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 17, 2016, 04:03:06 AM
Yes,it's still on!!! ;D I'm going to have to look up why you don't like the 'famous' Previn account. It's not exactly as long as the HB thread,so I should be back before I die of old age?!! (If I get there!) I must admit there is definitely one thing I didn't like about the Previn cd,and the cassette version I once owned. The Wasps! It seems such a naff choice of fill up. Not that I hate the Wasps Overture;but it just doesn't go with the Walton. I actually bought the later Previn cd because it was just Walton,and no blinking Wasps!! Then I needed to move house,so I had to get rid of some stuff,so off it went!! Someone's probably enjoying it somewhere,right now?! I know you can skip & program tracks;but I just like to bung a cd on!! ;D

Not having any other Walton cds,bar the Previn you dislike,I might just put that Veale symphony on,now. Unless the postman has something.............?!!!
The RCA Previn lacks, IMHO, urgency at the start - that oboe theme should sound tentative, fragile and expectant - it just sounds too matter of fact in my view. The original Boult version is much better. I can't stand The Wasps.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on December 17, 2016, 04:43:34 AM
Actually,The Waps is placed second on the cd. It shows how long it's been since I last played it. It's not much cop for VW! You get the second symphony as well on the emi cd,which I've been playing. I think I'll skip the Previn cd,anyway! I love those whoops from the horns in the Second symphony. Thrilling!I suppose,one problem with Walton is you can't go on a symphony cycle binge like you can with VW or Bax? Still,that's what he wrote! Listening to the Veale now,with my previous comments in mind,I can't help wishing it had been an all Veale cd. Dutton have a thing about coupling different composers. I prefer one composer to one cd,with certain exceptions. One reason why I never bought the Lyrita cd of Brian symphonies and downloaded instead. But there's me being ungrateful!! ::) ;D

NB: I typed 'The Waps' by mistake. I usually try and correct mistakes in my posts;but I quite like that one,so I'm leaving it. The Waps Overture by Vaughan Williams!! ;D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 17, 2016, 11:45:32 PM
Actually,The Waps is placed second on the cd. It shows how long it's been since I last played it. It's not much cop for VW! You get the second symphony as well on the emi cd,which I've been playing. I think I'll skip the Previn cd,anyway! I love those whoops from the horns in the Second symphony. Thrilling!I suppose,one problem with Walton is you can't go on a symphony cycle binge like you can with VW or Bax? Still,that's what he wrote! Listening to the Veale now,with my previous comments in mind,I can't help wishing it had been an all Veale cd. Dutton have a thing about coupling different composers. I prefer one composer to one cd,with certain exceptions. One reason why I never bought the Lyrita cd of Brian symphonies and downloaded instead. But there's me being ungrateful!! ::) ;D

NB: I typed 'The Waps' by mistake. I usually try and correct mistakes in my posts;but I quite like that one,so I'm leaving it. The Waps Overture by Vaughan Williams!! ;D
I didn't notice the typo. There is a debate as to whether the final movement of Symphony 1 is as good as the other three movements as it was composed later. I think that it works very well and actually I don't think that any of the movements are as good as the first movement which is a symphony in itself. I find the slow movement of Symphony 2 more moving than the one for Symphony 1. I am getting to like Symphony 2 much more although No.1 is Walton's masterpiece. I have every recording often in multiple copies.  ::)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Ken B on December 18, 2016, 09:00:38 AM
I didn't notice the typo. There is a debate as to whether the final movement of Symphony 1 is as good as the other three movements as it was composed later. I think that it works very well and actually I don't think that any of the movements are as good as the first movement which is a symphony in itself. I find the slow movement of Symphony 2 more moving than the one for Symphony 1. I am getting to like Symphony 2 much more although No.1 is Walton's masterpiece. I have every recording often in multiple copies.  ::)

To me the first movement is as good as anything any Brit ever wrote and the fourth movement is a let down.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 18, 2016, 10:13:58 AM
To me the first movement is as good as anything any Brit ever wrote and the fourth movement is a let down.
I very much agree with you about the first movement. The end of the symphony is clearly influenced, as is Moeran's fine Symphony, by Sibelius's 5th Symphony with its spaced out explosive chords but I still think that it works well in the overall conception.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on December 18, 2016, 11:20:49 AM
From what I remember reading, Walton struggled with the completion of the last movement of Symphony No. 1. It does come across as sounding a bit 'forced' if this would be the correct adjective to use. Overall, though, it's an enjoyable symphony. I never thought the slow movement, Andante con malinconia was very memorable. I suppose I was expecting a bit something more somber and anguished.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 18, 2016, 11:24:38 AM
From what I remember reading, Walton struggled with the completion of the last movement of Symphony No. 1. It does come across as sounding a bit 'forced' if this would be the correct adjective to use. Overall, though, it's an enjoyable symphony. I never thought the slow movement, Andante con malinconia was very memorable. I suppose I was expecting a bit something more somber and anguished.
I agree about the slow movement John - I prefer the one in the underrated Second Symphony.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on January 20, 2017, 07:40:06 AM
I have to say that given cilgwyn's more recent enthusiasm for Walton, I should probably do a bit more listening on my part to see if the opinion I gave earlier still holds any water.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: calyptorhynchus on January 20, 2017, 12:04:37 PM
Recently I went on a conductor binge on YouTube, in this case it was Horenstein, that sadly neglected genius of a conductor. I listened to him conducting all sorts of stuff I wouldn't normally listen to (stuff I don't like, but which he made sound much better). Walton of course I do like, and H's recording of Walton's first symphony is outstanding, makes it sound like a piece you've never heard before.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on January 20, 2017, 12:07:44 PM
Recently I went on a conductor binge on YouTube, in this case it was Horenstein, that sadly neglected genius of a conductor. I listened to him conducting all sorts of stuff I wouldn't normally listen to (stuff I don't like, but which he made sound much better). Walton of course I do like, and H's recording of Walton's first symphony is outstanding, makes it sound like a piece you've never heard before.
Horenstein was a great conductor. At the age of 16 I heard him conduct Bruckner's 8th Symphony in London. A magnificent performance which was recorded on disc (Vox/Turnabout).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Mirror Image on February 06, 2017, 03:06:50 PM
This may surprise some...

Cross-posted from the 'Purchases' thread -

Just paid a pretty penny for this rare, OOP set, but I only owned a few single issues from it and the ones I've heard are absolutely smashing:

(http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-NonVocal-BIG/Thomson-B-T01-2a[Chandos-23CD].jpg)

Probably the last anything I buy of Walton. Looking forward to digging into this set. Also, the fact that I bought this set brand new is quite a find.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 06, 2017, 11:29:18 PM
This may surprise some...

Cross-posted from the 'Purchases' thread -
You have many hours of listening pleasure ahead of you with that set!
 :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 04, 2017, 11:55:11 AM
Today I listened to the Violin Concerto with Heifetz as soloist and the composer conducting. If there is ever such a thing as definitive this is it guys. I don't even know how soloists record something like this when there is something like this in the catalogue.

Also just found out that the Viola Concerto was premiered with Paul Hindemith as soloist ! Talk about greatness performing greatness !
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: listener on May 04, 2017, 03:30:24 PM
James Ehnes  played the viola concerto in Vancouver last week.  A comment
" After a finely-judged and moving epilogue, I firmly felt that there have been few performances of the work that combine the poise, strength and feeling contained in this one. Ehnes will make a recording with Edward Gardner in June of this year."     There are two versions, the original and a revised and shortened one, Ehnes plays the later one that has clearer orchestration.
He did not know what else would be on the disc, only that it would be part of a series.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on May 04, 2017, 05:06:10 PM
I prefer the lesser-known Viola Concerto to the better known Violin Concerto. Good to hear that the former was played in Vancouver. It is IMHO one of Walton's very greatest works and my favourite Viola Concerto.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on May 04, 2017, 05:31:42 PM
James Ehnes  played the viola concerto in Vancouver last week.  A comment
" After a finely-judged and moving epilogue, I firmly felt that there have been few performances of the work that combine the poise, strength and feeling contained in this one. Ehnes will make a recording with Edward Gardner in June of this year."     There are two versions, the original and a revised and shortened one, Ehnes plays the later one that has clearer orchestration.
He did not know what else would be on the disc, only that it would be part of a series.
he has already recorded the violin cto with the same orch
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on August 13, 2017, 11:14:22 AM
Wooh! ??? This is a powerful performance of Walton's First! Great to have both symphonies on one cd. Not that this is the only time it's been done!! I bought this cd,a while back,after reading a post by vandermolen (I think)?

(http://i.imgur.com/vhDedx5.jpg)

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on August 13, 2017, 10:14:53 PM
Wooh! ??? This is a powerful performance of Walton's First! Great to have both symphonies on one cd. Not that this is the only time it's been done!! I bought this cd,a while back,after reading a post by vandermolen (I think)?

(http://i.imgur.com/vhDedx5.jpg)
One of the great Walton CDs I think. Sargent was, I think, rather underrated as a conductor. I actually prefer Sargent's recording of Walton's First Symphony to the Previn version on RCA which is usually regarded as the No.1 choice. I actually prefer Previn's later RPO version. There is more tension at the start of the Sargent performance than is the case with Previn, a conductor I greatly admire.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 18, 2017, 06:54:21 PM
Revisiting the thunderous and marvelous Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor, playing a remarkable recording: rendition by Haitink-Philharmonia Orchestra, it's definitely an English blockbuster of epic and glorious English lands, an ode to the majestic material of life (e.g. Respighi Church Windows, Barber Second Essay for orchestra, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11 The Year 1905, Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky, Novák Toman and the Wood Nymph, Khachaturian's Symphony No. 2 The Bells, Tchaikovsky The Voyevode, Rimsky-Korsakov's Schéhérezade, Nielsen Symphony No. 5, op. 50, Tubin Symphony No. 5 in B minor, Ivanovs' Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Atlantis, Melartin - Symphony No. 3, Glière - Symphony No. 3, Braga Santos - Symphony No. 4, Hanson's Sympnony No. 2 Romantic, Franck Le Chasseur Maudit, Wagner Parsifal, Strauss Eine alpensinfonie, Moeran Symphony [nr. 1) in G minor,, Miaskovsky Symphony 17 in G-sharp minor, op. 41, Janácek Taras Bulba, Holst The Planets, op. 32,  ) and so on... (almost all that was symphonies, I suspect I like symphonies  0:)  >:D  :P  ??? ) (you know what I mean :D ):

a banquet of explossive ideas and luminous fellings about life, about to be proud of belonging a nation, about the sweet and powerful, the both good and bad things in every life, about love and hate, about happyness and sadness...

in a few words: a musical orgasm!!  :D  ???  :-[  :'( :blank: ()

Absolutely epic!!!!!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on August 18, 2017, 09:13:56 PM
Revisiting the thunderous and marvelous Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor, playing a remarkable recording: rendition by Haitink-Philharmonia Orchestra, it's definitely an English blockbuster of epic and glorious English lands, an ode to the majestic material of life (e.g. Respighi Church Windows, Barber Second Essay for orchestra, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11 The Year 1905, Prokofiev Alexander Nevsky, Novák Toman and the Wood Nymph, Khachaturian's Symphony No. 2 The Bells, Tchaikovsky The Voyevode, Rimsky-Korsakov's Schéhérezade, Nielsen Symphony No. 5, op. 50, Tubin Symphony No. 5 in B minor, Ivanovs' Symphony No. 4 in E-flat Atlantis, Melartin - Symphony No. 3, Glière - Symphony No. 3, Braga Santos - Symphony No. 4, Hanson's Sympnony No. 2 Romantic, Franck Le Chasseur Maudit, Wagner Parsifal, Strauss Eine alpensinfonie, Moeran Symphony [nr. 1) in G minor,, Miaskovsky Symphony 17 in G-sharp minor, op. 41, Janácek Taras Bulba, Holst The Planets, op. 32,  ) and so on... (almost all that was symphonies, I suspect I like symphonies  0:)  >:D  :P  ??? ) (you know what I mean :D ):

a banquet of explossive ideas and luminous fellings about life, about to be proud of belonging a nation, about the sweet and powerful, the both good and bad things in every life, about love and hate, about happyness and sadness...

in a few words: a musical orgasm!!  :D  ???  :-[  :'( :blank: ()

Absolutely epic!!!!!
I share your views on nearly all those works and am encouraged to listen to the Novak again. For my brother the Walton is about despair turning to defiance and I like that analysis. It remains one of the greatest British symphonies along IMHO opinion with the two (or three) by Elgar, Vaughan Williams's 4-6,Bax Nos.3 and 5,Arnold No.5, Moeran's Symphony, Rubbra's No.4 and 1 and 8 by Havergal Brian.
Haitink's recording is an epic performance of an epic symphony.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Christo on August 19, 2017, 10:43:17 AM
I share your views on nearly all those works
Me too, am even a bit shocked to see this list.  ???
Happily, there are some differences, caused no doubt by different listening experiences; namely:
1. I love Respighi, especially his later pieces, but found the Vetrate a bit bombastic at first hearing (comparable to other war horses like the Pini and Feste Romane) and never played much attention to it since then; my Respighi favourites are the Fontane, Trittico botticelliano, Lauda per la nativitá del Signore, Metamorphoseon Modi XII, Belfagor Overture, Concerto gregoriano, La Primavera, Ciaccona, Antiche danze ed arie per liuto III, Maria egiziaca. Tell me: what am I missing (nodding at Jeffrey too: yes, it must be completely my fault).
2. The same with Tubin: find his symphonies one of the finest cycles that I know and love them dearly; but almost all more so than the trepid Fifth (that I even heard live, in Utrecht, just as I heard the Sixth and (unfinished) Eleventh in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Why not 4, 6, or 8?  ;)
3. For me, Miaskovsky is No. 6 and No. 27. Please tell me more about No. 17.
4. Franck, really?  :D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on August 20, 2017, 03:04:55 AM
Me too, am even a bit shocked to see this list.  ???
Happily, there are some differences, caused no doubt by different listening experiences; namely:
1. I love Respighi, especially his later pieces, but found the Vetrate a bit bombastic at first hearing (comparable to other war horses like the Pini and Feste Romane) and never played much attention to it since then; my Respighi favourites are the Fontane, Trittico botticelliano, Lauda per la nativitá del Signore, Metamorphoseon Modi XII, Belfagor Overture, Concerto gregoriano, La Primavera, Ciaccona, Antiche danze ed arie per liuto III, Maria egiziaca. Tell me: what am I missing (nodding at Jeffrey too: yes, it must be completely my fault).
2. The same with Tubin: find his symphonies one of the finest cycles that I know and love them dearly; but almost all more so than the trepid Fifth (that I even heard live, in Utrecht, just as I heard the Sixth and (unfinished) Eleventh in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Why not 4, 6, or 8?  ;)
3. For me, Miaskovsky is No. 6 and No. 27. Please tell me more about No. 17.
4. Franck, really?  :D
I like all those work by Respighi too but must confess to enjoying the technicolor/Hollywood aspects of 'Church Windows', especially 'Gregory the Great'. 'Ballad of the Gnomes' is also fun. As for Tubin I enjoy the end of the slow movement of Symphony 5, especially in the Jarvi recording, but my favourites are 1-4 and 10. I know that Robert Layton thinks that no.8 is the greatest but it is not my favourite. As for Miaskovsky's 17th Symphony, written during the Stalinist Purges, it is one of my favourites too. It has a beautiful slow movement and great ending, which I find both triumphant and oddly defiant although there is no suggestion that he was following a subversive agenda. You could always get hold of the Alto CD of Symphony 17 coupled with perhaps Miaskovsky's finest symphony - the poetic and concise No.21 - and then you can read the brilliant booklet notes all about it.  8)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 20, 2017, 01:17:57 PM
Me too, am even a bit shocked to see this list.  ???
Happily, there are some differences, caused no doubt by different listening experiences; namely:
1. I love Respighi, especially his later pieces, but found the Vetrate a bit bombastic at first hearing (comparable to other war horses like the Pini and Feste Romane) and never played much attention to it since then; my Respighi favourites are the Fontane, Trittico botticelliano, Lauda per la nativitá del Signore, Metamorphoseon Modi XII, Belfagor Overture, Concerto gregoriano, La Primavera, Ciaccona, Antiche danze ed arie per liuto III, Maria egiziaca. Tell me: what am I missing (nodding at Jeffrey too: yes, it must be completely my fault).
2. The same with Tubin: find his symphonies one of the finest cycles that I know and love them dearly; but almost all more so than the trepid Fifth (that I even heard live, in Utrecht, just as I heard the Sixth and (unfinished) Eleventh in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Why not 4, 6, or 8?  ;)
3. For me, Miaskovsky is No. 6 and No. 27. Please tell me more about No. 17.
4. Franck, really?  :D


I was a little bit moved when I wrote that (I had a overdose of shocking music) :)

About Tubin, any of the 1-7 are splendid, all of them I like so MUCH!!!
The Miaskovsky's 17th has a magical slow movement, one of his finest ones.
Franck... Le Chasseur Maudit is great (maybe not bombastic), his most succesful attempt in the tone poem.


I share your views on nearly all those works and am encouraged to listen to the Novak again. For my brother the Walton is about despair turning to defiance and I like that analysis. It remains one of the greatest British symphonies along IMHO opinion with the two (or three) by Elgar, Vaughan Williams's 4-6,Bax Nos.3 and 5,Arnold No.5, Moeran's Symphony, Rubbra's No.4 and 1 and 8 by Havergal Brian.
Haitink's recording is an epic performance of an epic symphony.

That recording is slower comparing with others. I find it more solemn, the climaxes are overwhelming, there is slightly more time to enjoy. In some works I prefer slower performances to catch some details in a better way. Fortunately, this symphony has had many excellent recordings.

Some time ago I did not listen to it and I was pleasantly shocked. It can't fail!!!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on August 20, 2017, 01:34:21 PM
This is also a fine performance IMO:

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Omicron9 on August 23, 2017, 05:55:42 AM
Big big big (big) fan of his string quartets.  Highly recommended.

https://www.youtube.com/v/vIjAud_NZZ4
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on August 23, 2017, 11:41:33 AM
Big big big (big) fan of his string quartets.  Highly recommended.

https://www.youtube.com/v/vIjAud_NZZ4

The string quartet in A minor is interesting. I prefer the version for string orchestra, though.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on November 01, 2017, 03:50:26 AM
Very much enjoying this new release - the opening of the First Symphony conveys the urgency and tension missing, IMHO, from many other versions, including, in my view, the famous Previn LSO version.


The performance of Symphony 2 is the best I have heard, darker, more intense and beautifully recorded. One jazzy section reminded me of Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from 'West Side Story'. Symphony 2 appears a much greater work in this performance.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on November 18, 2017, 01:00:40 AM
Last night the concert I attended in London featured 'Henry V: A Shakespeare Scenario', Christopher Palmer's adaptation of Walton's magnificent score for the war-time film 'Henry V'. It was such fun to hear it live. It was a great evening of British music as 'Riders to the Sea' by Vaughan Williams was featured in the first half. I rarely attend a concert where I greatly enjoy every work featured.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: kyjo on December 26, 2017, 08:44:59 AM
Very much enjoying this new release - the opening of the First Symphony conveys the urgency and tension missing, IMHO, from many other versions, including, in my view, the famous Previn LSO version.


The performance of Symphony 2 is the best I have heard, darker, more intense and beautifully recorded. One jazzy section reminded me of Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from 'West Side Story'. Symphony 2 appears a much greater work in this performance.

I echo your enthusiasm for this recording of the 1st Symphony, Jeffrey (I haven't listened to the 2nd on this disc yet). I also prefer it to the Previn RCA recording, which I don't really understand all the hype about.

P.S. Am I the only one who thinks the con malizia scherzo of the Walton 1st isn't really that malicious? Don't get me wrong - it's a great movement, but it sounds more mischevious than malicious to me. I can think of many scherzi in the symphonic repertoire that are more "malicious" - Mahler 7 and 9, Shostakovich 8 and 10, Vaughan Williams 4, 6, and 9, even Elgar 2.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on December 26, 2017, 12:38:08 PM
I echo your enthusiasm for this recording of the 1st Symphony, Jeffrey (I haven't listened to the 2nd on this disc yet). I also prefer it to the Previn RCA recording, which I don't really understand all the hype about.

P.S. Am I the only one who thinks the con malizia scherzo of the Walton 1st isn't really that malicious? Don't get me wrong - it's a great movement, but it sounds more mischevious than malicious to me. I can think of many scherzi in the symphonic repertoire that are more "malicious" - Mahler 7 and 9, Shostakovich 8 and 10, Vaughan Williams 4, 6, and 9, even Elgar 2.
I keep reading very good reviews of this disc Kyle, especially Symphony 1. The lack of mystery at the start of the much famed Previn LSOerformance ruins it for me. The oboe should IMHO sound much more 'fragile' and tentative (as it does in Boult's earlier recording) than it does in Previn's performance when it sounds too confident and matter-of-fact for my taste. Only my personal reaction of course. The Mackerras and Bryden Thomson versions are also excellent in my view. As to those who think that the final movement is an anti-climax, I disagree although none of the other movements are as good as the opening one. I prefer the slow movement of Symphony 2 to Symphony 1.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: kyjo on December 26, 2017, 01:08:16 PM
As to those who think that the final movement is an anti-climax, I disagree although none of the other movements are as good as the opening one. I prefer the slow movement of Symphony 2 to Symphony 1.

Indeed, the first movement sets a very high bar and I agree that it is the strongest movement (the finale is very good as well despite its rather awkward ending). I also prefer the slow movement of Symphony 2 (quite magical).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Alberich on February 23, 2018, 09:25:52 AM
Walton is a new composer to me, even though I've been familiar with his name for years. But only during the last couple of weeks did I start to really listen to his music and - quite frankly, he just might be my favorite British composer so far. Belshazzar's Feast and Henry V are my favorite works from him so far. He is a truly masterful orchestrator.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 23, 2018, 01:00:12 PM
Walton is a new composer to me, even though I've been familiar with his name for years. But only during the last couple of weeks did I start to really listen to his music and - quite frankly, he just might be my favorite British composer so far. Belshazzar's Feast and Henry V are my favorite works from him so far. He is a truly masterful orchestrator.
Have you tried Symphony 1 and the Viola Concerto yet? Both fabulous works IMHO and the latter better than the more famous Violin Concerto.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Alberich on February 24, 2018, 03:39:07 AM
Have you tried Symphony 1 and the Viola Concerto yet? Both fabulous works IMHO and the latter better than the more famous Violin Concerto.

I have, actually, and liked them very much.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on February 24, 2018, 03:50:22 AM
I have, actually, and liked them very much.
Excellent! Glad to hear that.

Other recommendations:

Sinfonia Concertante: a kind of piano concerto which I like very much.
'As You Like It' Film Music and 'Hamlet' film music (you can find them on the same CD).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: amw on February 27, 2018, 02:19:34 AM
The one piece by Walton that I like is the Piano Quartet, 1921. It was the 19 year old composer's first real success iirc, and it has a youthful energy and elegance and approachability that I don't think he ever managed to achieve again.

Does anyone have any recording recs? I have the Nash Ensemble on Hyperion, which is very fine, and have been eyeing the Maggini Quartet w Peter Donohue.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Omicron9 on March 01, 2018, 09:03:47 AM
My favorites of Walton's are the string quartets.  Yet they seem to somehow get overlooked in his body of work.

Edit: oops... I see I previously mentioned his quartets.  My brain can be rather sieve-like. 
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: kyjo on March 03, 2018, 03:40:57 PM
I had never listened to Belshazzar's Feast until recently, and it really blew me away! It gets off to a rather slow start, but it eventually becomes a really thrilling work. The jazzy, syncopated rhythms throughout are absolutely infectious, and the orchestration and choral writing is superb. I listened to this excellent recording:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Tw1XTUZzL._SX425_.jpg)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Alberich on March 04, 2018, 03:41:18 AM
I had never listened to Belshazzar's Feast until recently, and it really blew me away! It gets off to a rather slow start, but it eventually becomes a really thrilling work. The jazzy, syncopated rhythms throughout are absolutely infectious, and the orchestration and choral writing is superb. I listened to this excellent recording:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Tw1XTUZzL._SX425_.jpg)

Glad you liked it, my favorite work from Walton and quite possibly my favorite composition from British composer, ever.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on March 04, 2018, 07:03:51 AM
I had never listened to Belshazzar's Feast until recently, and it really blew me away! It gets off to a rather slow start, but it eventually becomes a really thrilling work. The jazzy, syncopated rhythms throughout are absolutely infectious, and the orchestration and choral writing is superb. I listened to this excellent recording:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51Tw1XTUZzL._SX425_.jpg)

It's a nice coupling as well! Glad you liked it Kyle.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Christo on June 28, 2018, 04:47:56 AM
Glad you liked it, my favorite work from Walton and quite possibly my favorite composition from British composer, ever.
Really!  :o
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Alberich on June 28, 2018, 04:53:31 AM
Really!  :o

Yes, really. :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on June 28, 2018, 05:00:03 AM
I need to revisit Belshazzar's Feast.  When I first heard it, as an undergrad, I embraced it enthusiastically.  When I revisited it years later . . . I was puzzled at the thought of my earlier enthusiasm  8)


I really do not know how I should react to it, today.  Could be worth trying it out . . . .
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Biffo on June 28, 2018, 05:32:59 AM
I need to revisit Belshazzar's Feast.  When I first heard it, as an undergrad, I embraced it enthusiastically.  When I revisited it years later . . . I was puzzled at the thought of my earlier enthusiasm  8)


I really do not know how I should react to it, today.  Could be worth trying it out . . . .

I think it makes a bigger impact in a live performance, even an amateur one, than in a recording though Previn is excellent.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: kyjo on June 30, 2018, 08:13:02 AM
Belshazzar’s Feast is a magnificent work, full of unbridled energy and irresistibly catchy rhythms. It gets off to a bit of slow start, but things eventually pick up in the third or fourth movement and it’s a nonstop, thrilling ride from there. I can fully understand why it’s possibly Alberich’s favorite work by a British composer!  :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: calyptorhynchus on June 30, 2018, 03:43:14 PM
I always like to play the "Slain!" bit to unsuspecting listeners. Always makes them jump.
 8)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: kyjo on June 30, 2018, 05:01:57 PM
I always like to play the "Slain!" bit to unsuspecting listeners. Always makes them jump.
 8)

A creepy section indeed!  ??? 8)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Biffo on June 30, 2018, 11:32:20 PM
I always like to play the "Slain!" bit to unsuspecting listeners. Always makes them jump.
 8)

At one of the Hoffnung Music Festival concerts Walton conducted an excerpt from BF - it was the single word 'Slain!'
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 01, 2018, 02:53:26 AM
The whole 'Writing on the Wall' sequence can be very powerful and creepy if performed well.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Alberich on July 01, 2018, 04:43:05 AM
My favorite section is the "Praise ye the God of x"-section. Fascinating, awe-inspiring orchestral effects.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 01, 2018, 05:50:48 AM
My favorite section is the "Praise ye the God of x"-section. Fascinating, awe-inspiring orchestral effects.

Yes, that's a very exciting section of the score.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: calyptorhynchus on July 01, 2018, 01:38:27 PM
There aren’t too many scores in the choral tradition that begin with invoking castration anxiety:

“Thus spake Isaiah: the sons that thou shalt beget shall be taken away and be eunuchs in the palace of the King of Babylon”

 :-[

My other favourite bit is the exhultation over fallen Babylon. Magnificently pitiless.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 04, 2018, 02:42:13 AM
I enjoyed listening to the 1943 recording of Belshazzar's Feat with Dennis Noble,yesterday. I also listened to the recording of his First Symphony by Hamilton Harty. I hadn't listened to the 1943 recording of Belshazzar before (Well,not properly!). I must admit I got the recordings off one of those vinyl blogs. I will buy cd's of them,when I've got enough spare dosh. I find myself enjoying Walton's music more and more these days. I even like his Facade! The one with Constant Lambert is my favourite! I like it without the words,too! I also listened to his Scapino Comedy Overture,which I've always liked,and his Sinfonia Concertante,which is new to me! I believe these were conducted by Walton,too? I'll have to look. They sounded old! I don't find his Second Symphony a let down after the First. I think it's a very fine symphony. I particularly like the second movement. They're both great,imho! :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Maestro267 on July 04, 2018, 06:55:48 AM
The two symphonies are products of two totally different eras, so they shouldn't really be compared to each other. They should be appreciated as their own individual creations.

I agree about Belshazzar's Feast, in that it takes a while for it to get going, but when it does, hold on to your hats! The "Praise ye" section provides opportunity for Walton to pull out the orchestral effects, including the anvil, and striking a tam-tam with a triangle beater, and I love the anecdote about Beecham (I think) telling Walton that "as you're not going to hear the work very often, you might as well chuck in a couple of brass bands!"
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 04, 2018, 09:51:34 AM
I've learnt to appreciate the Second Symphony more in recent years, especially the slow movement. I do, however, think that the First Symphony is an incomparably greater work. Having said that I don't think any of the other movements is the equal of the opening movement which could be a short symphony in itself along the lines of Samuel Barber's First Symphony - in his case I now enjoy his Symphony 2 as much as Symphony in One Movement. I don't regard the last movement of Walton's First Movement as some kind of 'after thought' as he had trouble completing the score. I think that it represents a fine conclusion to a great work. I prefer the slow movement of Symphony 2 to the one in the First Symphony. Cilgwyn is right about those pioneering early recordings of British symphonies. Hamilton Harty's recording of the First Symphony has an urgency unlike any other version and it was linked on Dutton with a fine version of the Viola Concerto which I think is a much better work than the better known Violin Concerto. That Harty version ranks with Heward's recording of Moeran's Symphony and Barbirolli's of Bax's Third Symphony as perhaps the greatest performances of this works on disc.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 05, 2018, 03:33:19 AM
By the way,was the Szell recording of the Second symphony the first commercial recording? If so,what was the first British (commercial) recording? I was reading just now,that the initial reception was so lukewarm,that emi cancelled a planned recording. Who was going to conduct that? I've only,recently,found myself really getting "into" Walton,although I have known allot of his music,for years. I think I was more into other composers like VW,Elgar,Bax,Moeran,Brian (among others). I think the emi cd (recommended by you) of his First and Second symphonies (Sargent/Previn) was the one that finally,"did it" for me?!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 05, 2018, 04:06:38 AM
I'm going to look these things up when I've got the time. I'll hazard a guess,it was the Szell? If I wasn't so busy I'd look it up. I haven't heard the Szell. I wonder what vandermolen thinks of that recording? I must admit,I tend to be put off some of his recordings by the dry acoustic . His Beethoven symphonies,which are highly rated by some,also felt a bit under-powered after Wyn Morris' fiery readings. I couldn't really see what all the fuss was about?! The box is in a nice slimline case,though! That said,I did enjoy his Ninth! But I digress!! ::)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Biffo on July 05, 2018, 04:30:21 AM
The two symphonies are products of two totally different eras, so they shouldn't really be compared to each other. They should be appreciated as their own individual creations.

I agree about Belshazzar's Feast, in that it takes a while for it to get going, but when it does, hold on to your hats! The "Praise ye" section provides opportunity for Walton to pull out the orchestral effects, including the anvil, and striking a tam-tam with a triangle beater, and I love the anecdote about Beecham (I think) telling Walton that "as you're not going to hear the work very often, you might as well chuck in a couple of brass bands!"

The first performance of Belshazzar shows two sides of Beecham's character. The BBC commissioned Walton to write a chamber cantata and refused to perform the result. Beecham stepped in and raised the finance to perform the work at the Leeds Festival. The Berlioz Requiem was also being performed at the festival and Walton asked Beecham if he should use extra brass as it was available. Beecham replied with something along the lines of 'why not, you'll never hear it again'.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 05, 2018, 05:18:09 AM
By the way,was the Szell recording of the Second symphony the first commercial recording? If so,what was the first British (commercial) recording? I was reading just now,that the initial reception was so lukewarm,that emi cancelled a planned recording. Who was going to conduct that? I've only,recently,found myself really getting "into" Walton,although I have known allot of his music,for years. I think I was more into other composers like VW,Elgar,Bax,Moeran,Brian (among others). I think the emi cd (recommended by you) of his First and Second symphonies (Sargent/Previn) was the one that finally,"did it" for me?!

The Szell LP was available in the UK. Other than that Previn I guess. I think the Szell was the first available recording.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 05, 2018, 08:29:12 AM
I'm listening to the Previn recording of the Second symphony. It might not be on the same,white hot level of inspiration of the First (or at least parts of it) but it's still a magnificent symphony,imho,taken on it's own terms. There is some very exciting orchestration,and the slow movement is very impressive.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on July 05, 2018, 08:47:41 AM
I am not hearing any want of inspiration in the second symphony.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 05, 2018, 09:36:26 PM
I'm listening to the Previn recording of the Second symphony. It might not be on the same,white hot level of inspiration of the First (or at least parts of it) but it's still a magnificent symphony,imho,taken on it's own terms. There is some very exciting orchestration,and the slow movement is very impressive.
+1
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 06, 2018, 03:27:48 AM
Comparisons between No's 1 & 2 aside;I love the orchestration of the Second symphony. I was looking at this on the Wikipedia entry for this symphony. The large orchestra includes military drum, snare drum, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, bass drum, glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone, tambourine, bell, piano, celesta, 2 harps and strings,among all the more usual instruments. I'm no expert on orchestration,but the orchestration has a fantastic,wide-screen sound world to my ears,all of it's own. There is really something quite seductive about it! I think the final movement is probably,the weak point of the symphony,for me;but maybe I was distracted,I had allot of boring things to do yesterday! Funnily enough,looking for a follow up,because Walton didn't compose many symphonies,and I'd just listened through a slew of VW's symphonies;my follow up to Walton's Second was Bax's First!!
Incidentally,I suppose it's just me;but the 'exotic' 'sound world' of parts of Walton's Second symphony made me think of Korngold's Symphony,at times. No I'm not saying Walton sounds like Korngold!!........but that lush,wide-screen quality,some of the more 'exotic' instrumentation (not Villa-Lobos exotic,I should point out) and some of the exciting outbursts from the orchestra,particularly in the First movement. If I'd thought of that,I might have put on the Korngold next,instead of the Bax. (Not that I mind. After listening through Bax No's 1-4,I'm now listening to the Fifth. Bryden Thomson conducting the lot!).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 06, 2018, 03:58:34 AM
Comparisons between No's 1 & 2 aside;I love the orchestration of the Second symphony. I was looking at this on the Wikipedia entry for this symphony. The large orchestra includes military drum, snare drum, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, bass drum, glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone, tambourine, bell, piano, celesta, 2 harps and strings,among all the more usual instruments. I'm no expert on orchestration,but the orchestration has a fantastic,wide-screen sound world to my ears,all of it's own. There is really something quite seductive about it! I think the final movement is probably,the weak point of the symphony,for me;but maybe I was distracted,I had allot of boring things to do yesterday! Funnily enough,looking for a follow up,because Walton didn't compose many symphonies,and I'd just listened through a slew of VW's symphonies;my follow up to Walton's Second was Bax's First!!
Incidentally,I suppose it's just me;but the 'exotic' 'sound world' of parts of Walton's Second symphony made me think of Korngold's Symphony,at times. No I'm not saying Walton sounds like Korngold!!........but that lush,wide-screen quality,some of the more 'exotic' instrumentation (not Villa-Lobos exotic,I should point out) and some of the exciting outbursts from the orchestra,particularly in the First movement. If I'd thought of that,I might have put on the Korngold next,instead of the Bax. (Not that I mind. After listening through Bax No's 1-4,I'm now listening to the Fifth. Bryden Thomson conducting the lot!).
Korngold, Bax, Walton. Three of my favourite symphonists, although Korngold only wrote one and Walton two. I'm sure I heard Walton conduct at the proms in my youth and announce, to rapturous cheers, that he was working on a third symphony. However, I could have hallucinated this experience of wishful thinking.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: kyjo on July 12, 2018, 06:43:40 PM
Comparisons between No's 1 & 2 aside;I love the orchestration of the Second symphony. I was looking at this on the Wikipedia entry for this symphony. The large orchestra includes military drum, snare drum, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, bass drum, glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone, tambourine, bell, piano, celesta, 2 harps and strings,among all the more usual instruments. I'm no expert on orchestration,but the orchestration has a fantastic,wide-screen sound world to my ears,all of it's own. There is really something quite seductive about it! I think the final movement is probably,the weak point of the symphony,for me;but maybe I was distracted,I had allot of boring things to do yesterday! Funnily enough,looking for a follow up,because Walton didn't compose many symphonies,and I'd just listened through a slew of VW's symphonies;my follow up to Walton's Second was Bax's First!!
Incidentally,I suppose it's just me;but the 'exotic' 'sound world' of parts of Walton's Second symphony made me think of Korngold's Symphony,at times. No I'm not saying Walton sounds like Korngold!!........but that lush,wide-screen quality,some of the more 'exotic' instrumentation (not Villa-Lobos exotic,I should point out) and some of the exciting outbursts from the orchestra,particularly in the First movement. If I'd thought of that,I might have put on the Korngold next,instead of the Bax. (Not that I mind. After listening through Bax No's 1-4,I'm now listening to the Fifth. Bryden Thomson conducting the lot!).

Very much agree with your comments about the 2nd Symphony. It's a much different work than the 1st Symphony - in place of the 1st's relentless, Sibelian power, Walton treats us to a dazzlingly kaleidoscopic, unique score which deserves to be appreciated on its own terms. It's a pity that neither Walton nor Korngold composed more symphonies!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on July 12, 2018, 07:41:40 PM
Seeing your positive commentaries of you all, I'm encouraged to hear the 2nd symphony when time allows. What is the best recording as far as it is concerned? I only have the Ashkenazy and the Previn.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Daverz on July 12, 2018, 08:17:59 PM
Seeing your positive commentaries of you all, I'm encouraged to hear the 2nd symphony when time allows. What is the best recording as far as it is concerned? I only have the Ashkenazy and the Previn.

Haven't listened to Previn in a while, but I think Ashkenazy is good.  Szell is a classic, and I'm quite happy with Paul Daniel on Naxos.  I was also very impressed with William Boughton with the New Haven Symphony.

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 12, 2018, 09:14:39 PM
Seeing your positive commentaries of you all, I'm encouraged to hear the 2nd symphony when time allows. What is the best recording as far as it is concerned? I only have the Ashkenazy and the Previn.

I don't know a bad recording of it Cesar. I agree that Szell has great urgency and Previn or Mackerras would be my other recommendations. You can get the two symphonies together on the Mackerras recording - excellent versions of both.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Daverz on July 12, 2018, 10:09:30 PM
Sony seems to be breaking out individual downloads from their big boxes.  Here's the Symphony No. 2 from their big Szell box:

https://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/classical/products/8457793--stravinsky-firebird-suite-walton-symphony-no-2
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 13, 2018, 01:23:52 AM
I don't know a bad recording of it Cesar. I agree that Szell has great urgency and Previn or Mackerras would be my other recommendations. You can get the two symphonies together on the Mackerras recording - excellent versions of both.
I have heard a rumour that you are very fond of Kirill Karabit's recording of the Second on the Onyx label;and rate it very highly?!!! Hope I've got the right Jeffrey? (He certainly has some good,and interesting,taste,anyway!)
Incidentally,I bought a s/h copy of the 2 cd emi set of Walton conducting the First symphony,Belshazzar's Feast,the Violin and Viola (I think?) concertos and Partita. I am looking forward to this. I actually don't know the Partita. Although,I may have heard it,at some time or another,and not paid much attention!! ::) ;D I also snapped up a copy of the emi British composers 5cd box set of Bliss,from a certain well known purveyor of such goods. It's going for very high prices on Amazon and ebay,now;so I just had to grab it. Oh,and the Reference recording of Arnold conducting his Overtures,a Belart cd of Boult's mono recordings of VW's 4 & 6,and,last but not least (!) the old Conifer cd of Ireland's Piano concerto,Bridge's Phantasm & Walton's Sinfonia concertante! A veritable orgy of buying!! ::) ;D Also,another ridiculous Fifties B movie on the way!! ::) (I'm a sucker for Fifties sci-fi and,some of the less repetitive,creature features & some 60's stuff,too! The Fifties is best,though,imho.as they say! S*d Star Trek!! With due respect!! ::) ;D).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: Roasted Swan on July 13, 2018, 02:12:59 AM
Offering a thought or two on Walton 2.  I think Szell, Mackerras & Previn remain the best versions although the Litton/BSO is very good.  Not crazy about Karabits in either symphony.  Good just not great well though the Bournemouth Orchestra play.  But then I think the Sargent/Symphony 1 that Jeffrey rates so highly flabby and lacking in anything like the tension the work needs.  Wasn't that fussed by Brabbins on Hyperion either.  I have this niggling feeling that Brabbins is never less than competent but rarely inspired.  Given Ashkenazy renowned technical limitations as a conductor the RPO do remarkably well for him.  Thomson is good on Chandos as is Gardner but the latter is again someone I find less impressive than many.  Arwel-Hughes on BIS is probably the only clunker - a rare BIS failure both musically and as a recording
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 13, 2018, 02:43:13 AM
I have heard a rumour that you are very fond of Kirill Karabit's recording of the Second on the Onyx label;and rate it very highly?!!! Hope I've got the right Jeffrey? (He certainly has some good,and interesting,taste,anyway!)
Incidentally,I bought a s/h copy of the 2 cd emi set of Walton conducting the First symphony,Belshazzar's Feast,the Violin and Viola (I think?) concertos and Partita. I am looking forward to this. I actually don't know the Partita. Although,I may have heard it,at some time or another,and not paid much attention!! ::) ;D I also snapped up a copy of the emi British composers 5cd box set of Bliss,from a certain well known purveyor of such goods. It's going for very high prices on Amazon and ebay,now;so I just had to grab it. Oh,and the Reference recording of Arnold conducting his Overtures,a Belart cd of Boult's mono recordings of VW's 4 & 6,and,last but not least (!) the old Conifer cd of Ireland's Piano concerto,Bridge's Phantasm & Walton's Sinfonia concertante! A veritable orgy of buying!! ::) ;D Also,another ridiculous Fifties B movie on the way!! ::) (I'm a sucker for Fifties sci-fi and,some of the less repetitive,creature features & some 60's stuff,too! The Fifties is best,though,imho.as they say! S*d Star Trek!! With due respect!! ::) ;D).
You are quite right Iestyn - I did enjoy it but maybe not now one of my very favourites. I should listen again. The other recording of Symphony 1 I should have mentioned is the one by Bryden Thomson on Chandos which, in my view, does everything right - a great performance and I also have a high opinion of Ashkenazy in both symphonies (great recording too) and Edward Gardner in No 1 (I haven't heard No.2 yet). Those CDs you have purchased are all fab - the Bliss box in particular which restores the best performance of his eloquent Oboe Quintet (Melos Ensemble). Boult's Decca/Belart/Eloquence VW Symphony 6 is in a class of its own - complete with composer's speech. I love that Walton/Bridge/Ireland CD as well. The Bliss box bizarrely has two versions of Music for Strings and none of Meditations on a Theme by John Blow or Morning Heroes. Look out for the beautiful 'Soon it is Dawn' from the 'Song of Welcome' (Joan Sutherland's first recording). Delighted to see that you have finally weaned yourself away from Gilbert and Sullivan!  8)

PS that Walton conducts Walton 2 CD EMI set is excellent. He was a fine conductor of his own works. Szell's 'Partita' has more urgency but the Walton is still very fine and I enjoy those Menuhin recordings of the Viola and Violin concertos (concerti?)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 13, 2018, 02:53:43 AM
Offering a thought or two on Walton 2.  I think Szell, Mackerras & Previn remain the best versions although the Litton/BSO is very good.  Not crazy about Karabits in either symphony.  Good just not great well though the Bournemouth Orchestra play.  But then I think the Sargent/Symphony 1 that Jeffrey rates so highly flabby and lacking in anything like the tension the work needs.  Wasn't that fussed by Brabbins on Hyperion either.  I have this niggling feeling that Brabbins is never less than competent but rarely inspired.  Given Ashkenazy renowned technical limitations as a conductor the RPO do remarkably well for him.  Thomson is good on Chandos as is Gardner but the latter is again someone I find less impressive than many.  Arwel-Hughes on BIS is probably the only clunker - a rare BIS failure both musically and as a recording
Pity about the Arwel-Hughes as it has the best cover image. Actually I don't dislike those Lille performances as much as others:

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 13, 2018, 03:31:30 AM
You are quite right Iestyn - I did enjoy it but maybe not now one of my very favourites. I should listen again. The other recording of Symphony 1 I should have mentioned is the one by Bryden Thomson on Chandos which, in my view, does everything right - a great performance and I also have a high opinion of Ashkenazy in both symphonies (great recording too) and Edward Gardner in No 1 (I haven't heard No.2 yet). Those CDs you have purchased are all fab - the Bliss box in particular which restores the best performance of his eloquent Oboe Quintet (Melos Ensemble). Boult's Decca/Belart/Eloquence VW Symphony 6 is in a class of its own - complete with composer's speech. I love that Walton/Bridge/Ireland CD as well. The Bliss box bizarrely has two versions of Music for Strings and none of Meditations on a Theme by John Blow or Morning Heroes. Look out for the beautiful 'Soon it is Dawn' from the 'Song of Welcome' (Joan Sutherland's first recording). Delighted to see that you have finally weaned yourself away from Gilbert and Sullivan!  8)

PS that Walton conducts Walton 2 CD EMI set is excellent. He was a fine conductor of his own works. Szell's 'Partita' has more urgency but the Walton is still very fine and I enjoy those Menuhin recordings of the Viola and Violin concertos (concerti?)
No,I'm afraid G & S are alive and well here (well,at least in spirit!) I just listened through a pile of cd's of them!! And I'm still alive!! ::) ;D The Arnold is going to be sent back,unfortunately. Not because of the music,I might add!! Yes,how strange to leave out Morning heroes. I have never heard the Meditations,and I didn't know Handley had recorded it,until I looked for an emi recording,now. The only recording I was aware of was the Lyrita. I believe (I may be wrong?) that Dundonnell has described it as his masterpiece (?). Or,at least,one of his finest compositions. It's difficult to understand why emi couldn't have included it,and Morning Heroes?! Just one more cd,perhaps?! I haven't heard Morning Heroes,either. (Actually,I think I did hear it on the radio,once?) I'm not usually too keen on musical works with narration. I would prefer the original emi cd,without the War Requiem;but sellers keep asking huge prices (come on Music Magpie!!). I was listening to the Nimbus recording of the Colour Symphony,which was the first one I ever owned,and thinking what a wonderful piece of music it is. I would honestly rate the finale with all that timpani (I'm no expert on orchestration) one of the most viscerally,thrilling climaxes in an orchestral composition. It never fails to make me sit up straight,or,literally,put down everything I'm doing. Any composer who can create a moment like that,has to have a rare talent,of some kind,imho. I was also thinking how wonderful some of the orchestration in his Metamorphic Variations is. Some of those moments of "stillness" are quite ravishing and haunting.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 13, 2018, 03:52:22 AM
Whooo!!! Walton's recordings of Belshazzar's Feast and his First Symphony are really thrilling,imho! Another point! It may be my excitement getting the better of me;but the sound quality of the recording of the symphony is remarkably good for it's age! Exciting!! I think the recording of Belshazzar's Feast is the most thrilling I've heard! I'm no expert on this composer,I might add! The Mene,Mene,Tekel bit is particularly gripping! I'm no expert on Walton,I might add;but I like what I'm hearing!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 13, 2018, 03:53:20 AM
No,I'm afraid G & S are alive and well here (well,at least in spirit!) I just listened through a pile of cd's of them!! And I'm still alive!! ::) ;D The Arnold is going to be sent back,unfortunately. Not because of the music,I might add!! Yes,how strange to leave out Morning heroes. I have never heard the Meditations,and I didn't know Handley had recorded it,until I looked for an emi recording,now. The only recording I was aware of was the Lyrita. I believe (I may be wrong?) that Dundonnell has described it as his masterpiece (?). Or,at least,one of his finest compositions. It's difficult to understand why emi couldn't have included it,and Morning Heroes?! Just one more cd,perhaps?! I haven't heard Morning Heroes,either. (Actually,I think I did hear it on the radio,once?) I'm not usually too keen on musical works with narration. I would prefer the original emi cd,without the War Requiem;but sellers keep asking huge prices (come on Music Magpie!!). I was listening to the Nimbus recording of the Colour Symphony,which was the first one I ever owned,and thinking what a wonderful piece of music it is. I would honestly rate the finale with all that timpani (I'm no expert on orchestration) one of the most viscerally,thrilling climaxes in an orchestral composition. It never fails to make me sit up straight,or,literally,put down everything I'm doing. Any composer who can create a moment like that,has to have a rare talent,of some kind,imho. I was also thinking how wonderful some of the orchestration in his Metamorphic Variations is. Some of those moments of "stillness" are quite ravishing and haunting.

Interesting points. I think that the Groves 'Colour Symphony' (in the box set) is the best version, although I like Bliss's old Decca Eclipse version as well (Dutton CD - probably now available for a million pounds). The EMI Morning Heroes is by far the best. Andrew Davis's new Chandos version is let down by the puny timpani in the finale. It should a great moment - in the Groves/Westbrook version it is. By the way that version is available complete with mini reproduction of the original LP in a boxed set devoted to Groves's recordings (which includes a Colour Symphony and a fabulous Frank Bridge CD).
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 13, 2018, 03:58:39 AM
Whooo!!! Walton's recordings of Belshazzar's Feast and his First Symphony are really thrilling,imho! Another point! It may be my excitement getting the better of me;but the sound quality of the recording of the symphony is remarkably good for it's age! Exciting!! I think the recording of Belshazzar's Feast is the most thrilling I've heard! I'm no expert on this composer,I might add! The Mene,Mene,Tekel bit is particularly gripping! I'm no expert on Walton,I might add;but I like what I'm hearing!

No, I totally agree with you! I sampled the opening of Symphony 1 myself this morning (will play the whole CD in a minute) and I was surprised by the quality of the recording. It also starts with just the degree of fragile nervous tension and hesitancy which I love. The oboe tune is not 'too confident' as it is in the famous Previn version and is full of nervous tension. I think that most of my life is spent in a state of heightened nervous tension and sense of impending catastrophe, which is probably why such performances appeal to me!


Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: cilgwyn on July 13, 2018, 04:18:18 AM
I'm sure the Groves recording is superior. The Nimbus recording is the only one I know,apart from Bliss' own recording,which I have on a cd-r. I'm not sure whether the Metamorphic Variations is Bliss at his best,but there are some moments of "stillness" that really do tickle the old ear drums. The timpani in the Nimbus recording is thunderous,to my ears. It's a "first" ever recording for me,so I'm bound to like it! Groves was a dab hand in music like this so I suspect it will be my favourite,soon! The stereo emi Boult recording of Job is certainly my favourite now. Previously,my only recording was the Vernon Handley,and I was quite happy with that.....until now! I think it's still a good recording,though. I like the way my emi cd allows you to focus your mind on the one work,too. (Which is why I,originally,bought it!) That said,the Job is paired with the Concerto for two pianos,which is a truly excellent choice for a companion,imo, (what do you think?) and the first recording of this work which has truly convinced me. I think it might even be one of my favourite VW compositions,now?!! And,oh dear,I digress!! ::)

I just saw your reply. The recording of the Walton symphony sounds quite stunning to my ears. The whole performance is thrilling,too! (I must stop using that word!!) I could be a Waltonian like you,before long (not the tv program!!! ??? ;D) at this rate!!

NB: I'm going to hazard a guess that Walton's operas are not on your "favourites" list?!! ;D
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: relm1 on July 13, 2018, 05:16:52 AM
Whooo!!! Walton's recordings of Belshazzar's Feast and his First Symphony are really thrilling,imho! Another point! It may be my excitement getting the better of me;but the sound quality of the recording of the symphony is remarkably good for it's age! Exciting!! I think the recording of Belshazzar's Feast is the most thrilling I've heard! I'm no expert on this composer,I might add! The Mene,Mene,Tekel bit is particularly gripping! I'm no expert on Walton,I might add;but I like what I'm hearing!

Which recording are you referring to?
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 13, 2018, 05:57:59 AM
Which recording are you referring to?
Not addressed to me but this one I think:

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 13, 2018, 06:07:47 AM
I'm sure the Groves recording is superior. The Nimbus recording is the only one I know,apart from Bliss' own recording,which I have on a cd-r. I'm not sure whether the Metamorphic Variations is Bliss at his best,but there are some moments of "stillness" that really do tickle the old ear drums. The timpani in the Nimbus recording is thunderous,to my ears. It's a "first" ever recording for me,so I'm bound to like it! Groves was a dab hand in music like this so I suspect it will be my favourite,soon! The stereo emi Boult recording of Job is certainly my favourite now. Previously,my only recording was the Vernon Handley,and I was quite happy with that.....until now! I think it's still a good recording,though. I like the way my emi cd allows you to focus your mind on the one work,too. (Which is why I,originally,bought it!) That said,the Job is paired with the Concerto for two pianos,which is a truly excellent choice for a companion,imo, (what do you think?) and the first recording of this work which has truly convinced me. I think it might even be one of my favourite VW compositions,now?!! And,oh dear,I digress!! ::)

I just saw your reply. The recording of the Walton symphony sounds quite stunning to my ears. The whole performance is thrilling,too! (I must stop using that word!!) I could be a Waltonian like you,before long (not the tv program!!! ??? ;D) at this rate!!

NB: I'm going to hazard a guess that Walton's operas are not on your "favourites" list?!! ;D
No, I'm not a great fan of Walton's operas but like the incidental music. I really like his film music and that wonderful old Lawrence Olivier Henry V etc CD would be a great supplement to your double CD set. Decades ago they were all part of a rather fab 'Walton Edition' EMI boxed set (I must stop using that word - sounds too 'down with the kids' for someone of my age   ::)) Just to clarify as well that I have been referring to Walton the composer and not to 'The Waltons' TV series throughout these exchanges. I don't like the latter but I'm sure that some find it fab (oh no, there I go again). Enough of this - that VW Double PC (Vronsky/Babin/Boult) and Job combination is terrific (nearly wrote 'fab' what is wrong with me?) Barry Wordsworth's 'Job' is being reissued on Alto (from a Collins original) in September. It is the only one I enjoy as much as Boult's final studio recording. I saw Boult conduct it on VW's 100th B'day (12th October 1972) as a tinsy adolescent ( me, not Boult).

I agree the double PC in that recording is my favourite version and I also agree that it's one of VW's finest works though little performed. I like the way that the percussive qualities of the piano are emphasised in the work, especially in the two piano version.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on July 14, 2018, 05:12:31 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on July 15, 2018, 12:50:01 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys!

Always a pleasure.
 :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on July 16, 2018, 09:56:42 AM
Always a pleasure.
 :)

(https://cdn.revistavanityfair.es/uploads/images/thumbs/201529/me_gusta_icono_167_863x680.jpg)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 20, 2018, 06:02:35 PM
At last I've found a recording of the Symphony No. 2 that has convinced me at the point of blowing me away:

(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/270/MI0003270862.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

A high-spirited performance with plenty of details and unsurpassed sonics. Now I've come to appreciate it with a strong sense of conviction. Brabbins and the BBC S.O. give all of them on this fiery fruition. This rendition did click on me and I consider the work almost on par with the more heroic No. 1.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on September 20, 2018, 09:32:05 PM
At last I've found a recording of the Symphony No. 2 that has convinced me at the point of blowing me away:

(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0003/270/MI0003270862.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

A high-spirited performance with plenty of details and unsurpassed sonics. Now I've come to appreciate it with a strong sense of conviction. Brabbins and the BBC S.O. give all of them on this fiery fruition. This rendition did click on me and I consider the work almost on par with the more heroic No. 1.
How interesting Cesar! I just played this recording a couple of days ago and realised how fine it is. I agree that this recording of Symphony 2 is the best available and the Symphony 1 is excellent as well. Seeing that the Walton thread had risen back to the surface I was thinking that I must enthuse wildly about the Brabbins Hyperion CD and post an image of it - but no need to now! Like the cover painting as well.
 :)
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 21, 2018, 08:34:08 PM
How interesting Cesar! I just played this recording a couple of days ago and realised how fine it is. I agree that this recording of Symphony 2 is the best available and the Symphony 1 is excellent as well. Seeing that the Walton thread had risen back to the surface I was thinking that I must enthuse wildly about the Brabbins Hyperion CD and post an image of it - but no need to now! Like the cover painting as well.
 :)

Yes, I agree. This colorful cover art conveys an agreeable impression and makes the music even more appealing.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on September 22, 2018, 05:05:35 AM
Today I've listened to the recording of Symphony 1 by Kiril Karabits with the Bournemouth SO. Also excellent with just the right degree of nervous tension at the start. For some reason I often like recordings featuring this orchestra (Shostakovich Symphony 11 with Berglund for example and Malcolm Arnold's own recording of his First Symphony, which is one of my favourites of his cycle). I don't hold to view that the last movement of Walton's First Symphony is some kind of anti-climax as it was composed some time after the first three movements. On the contrary, I think that it is a fine 'despair turning to defiance' conclusion to a great symphony. Actually I don't think that any of the other movements are quite as good as the first movement and, in some respects, I prefer the slow movement of Symphony 2 to that of Symphony 1.

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 22, 2018, 07:48:39 PM
That Karabits performance is a good choice, it has good playing but I find it underwhelming I'm afraid, not as exciting as Haitink or Thomson. For me, the sheer courage is a key factor in this score.

However, speaking in terms of variety, these symphonies are extremely well served on recordings and there are different conductings and playings for every taste.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on September 23, 2018, 12:00:40 AM
That Karabits performance is a good choice, it has good playing but I find it underwhelming I'm afraid, not as exciting as Haitink or Thomson. For me, the sheer courage is a key factor in this score.

However, speaking in terms of variety, these symphonies are extremely well served on recordings and there are different conductings and playings for every taste.
Thomson's is, I agree, one of the very best. He was rather underrated (and I know that is an overused word, not least by myself) conductor - his Bax and Vaughan Williams cycles for example are very fine in my view.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 24, 2018, 01:14:46 PM
Thomson's is, I agree, one of the very best. He was rather underrated (and I know that is an overused word, not least by myself) conductor - his Bax and Vaughan Williams cycles for example are very fine in my view.

The Bax's Symphony No. 1 in Thomson's cycle is particularly impressive. A terrific cycle indeed. I would add his Martinu and, lately, Nielsen cycle on Chandos. Both are not the last word in performances, but I've come to appreciate them enormously. By the way, Thomson is one of my favorite conductors!
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on September 24, 2018, 10:49:30 PM
The Bax's Symphony No. 1 in Thomson's cycle is particularly impressive. A terrific cycle indeed. I would add his Martinu and, lately, Nielsen cycle on Chandos. Both are not the last word in performances, but I've come to appreciate them enormously. By the way, Thomson is one of my favorite conductors!

Me too Cesar. I also have the fine Martinu and Nielsen cycles. His recording of VW Symphony 6 on Chandos was the No.1 choice in a book I have of the 'Best 1000 Classical CDs'.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on October 03, 2018, 07:22:43 AM
I recently acquired this second-hand as I'd enjoyed the same forces recording of Walton's Symphony 1. The version of Symphony 2 here is fine but not as urgently incisive as the recent Brabbins recording on Hyperion. However the Viola Concerto is given a wonderful performance - as good as any I know. I much prefer it to the Violin Concerto.

Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: PerfectWagnerite on October 04, 2018, 04:11:32 AM
I recently acquired this second-hand as I'd enjoyed the same forces recording of Walton's Symphony 1. The version of Symphony 2 here is fine but not as urgently incisive as the recent Brabbins recording on Hyperion. However the Viola Concerto is given a wonderful performance - as good as any I know. I much prefer it to the Violin Concerto.


Thanks i downloaded it. It states on the NHSO site that release is part of a three volume release. I  didn't see the 3rd disc released.
Title: Re: Sir William Walton
Post by: vandermolen on October 04, 2018, 06:01:52 AM
Thanks i downloaded it. It states on the NHSO site that release is part of a three volume release. I  didn't see the 3rd disc released.

My pleasure. I'm not aware of a third release either. Maybe it will feature the Cello Concerto, if it ever appears, and the fine Sinfonia-Concertante for Piano and Orchestra, which I like very much.