Author Topic: Sir William Walton  (Read 48854 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #420 on: June 30, 2020, 11:39:50 AM »
I apologize my ignorance, are the sheep mainly for wool production?
Wool or for the meat I guess.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #421 on: July 04, 2020, 06:22:32 AM »
Johannesburg Overture, one of my favorite tunes, by the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. I think they performed excellent and  incredible. I wish I were at the concert hall. If any of the senior members here care to offer a critic of the performance, I would appreciate it.
As for the title of song, is this Johannesburg in the U.K.? What’s the historical/social indication of the title? WW2 related?


https://youtu.be/3OtXM4theDY
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 06:40:06 AM by Forever Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #422 on: July 04, 2020, 06:27:11 AM »
Johannesburg Overture, one of my favorite tunes, by the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. I think they performed excellent and  incredible. I wish I were at the concert hall. If any of the senior members here care to offer a critic of the performance, I would appreciate it.
As for the title of song, is this Johannesburg in the U.K.? What’s the historical/social indication of the title? WW2 related?


https://youtu.be/3OtXM4theDY

This should help:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannesburg_Festival_Overture
“There will be sunshine again and the violins will sing of peace on earth.” - Closing line from Weinberg’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 79

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #423 on: July 04, 2020, 06:38:10 AM »
Johannesburg Overture, one of my favorite tunes, by the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. I think they performed excellent and  incredible. I wish I were at the concert hall. If any of the senior members here care to offer a critic of the performance, I would appreciate it.
As for the title of song, is this Johannesburg in the U.K.? What’s the historical/social indication of the title? WW2 related?


https://youtu.be/3OtXM4theDY

It seems like a very enjoyable performance and I agree with the comments under the video although I'm no expert. Johannesburg is in South Africa not the UK.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #424 on: July 04, 2020, 06:45:22 AM »
Thank you. I thought there may be a city called Johannesburg in the U.K. as well...

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #425 on: July 04, 2020, 06:53:15 AM »
Thank you. I thought there may be a city called Johannesburg in the U.K. as well...

This should tell you everything you need to know about the Johannesburg Festival Overture (taken from the William Walton Trust’s website):

Johannesburg Festival Overture, for orchestra (1956)

• Composition: Composed between February and 31 May 1956. Revised some time before publication in 1958, and again slightly thereafter.
• First Performance: Tuesday, 25 September 1956. Broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, from City Hall, Johannesburg. South African Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent conductor.
• Duration: About 7 minutes
• Tempo: Presto capriccioso  [496 m.]
• Craggs Catalogue Number: C66
• Instrumentation: 3 flutes (third doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 3 clarinets in A, 3 bassoons (third doubling contrabassoon) – 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in B-flat, 3 trombones, tuba – timpani, 3 or 4 percussion (side drum, cymbals, suspended cymbal, bass drum, xylophone, tambourine, triangle, tenor drum, maracas, rumba sticks, castanets, glockenspiel) – harp – strings
• Manuscript: Frederick R. Koch Collection. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Manuscript FRKF 630. Autograph full score in pencil, dated ‘Forio d’Ischia 31.5.56’. 67 pages. Also includes a photocopy of four pages which were cut from the score and had been removed from the manuscript. Frederick R. Koch Collection. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Univesrity. Manuscript FRKF 627a. The originals of the photocopies described above in FRKF 630. 4 pages.
• Publication: Oxford University Press. Study score, 1958, 019 3682508. Score and parts are available on hire. [Purchase online from SheetMusicPlus.com: Study score]
Oxford University Press. Edited by David Lloyd-Jones. William Walton Edition, Volume 14, “Overtures”, 2002, 019 3683148.
• Arrangements: Arranged for reduced orchestra, by Vilem Tausky, 1957.
• Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons – 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba (optional) – timpani, 1 or 2 percussion – harp – strings
• Publication: Oxford University Press. Score and parts are available on hire.
• Recordings:

Orchestra   Conductor   Year   Compact Disc   Timing
New York Philharmonic   André Kostelanetz   1959   Sony Classical 58931   7’23”
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra   Sir Charles Groves   1969   EMI Classics 5 67222 2   7’12”
London Philharmonic   Bryden Thomson   1991   Chandos CHAN 8968   7’49”
English Northern Philharmonia   Paul Daniel   1995   Naxos 8.553402   7’48”

• Program Note: The South African city of Johannesburg, whose seventieth anniversary Walton celebrated in 1956 with this spritely overture, is a radically different city today. It was a painfully divided city then, with racial oppression the law of the land. Yet a common thread links the city’s past and present. Like many California towns, it grew spectacularly during the nineteenth-century gold rush. It remains the wealthiest city on the entire continent. As a recent travel brochure states, “Johannesburg is high voltage nouveau riche territory — fast-paced, fun, a modern cosmopolitan metropolis packed with vitality and verve.”
Much of that travel bureau prose aptly describes Walton’s overture which was written in a complex rondo form (the main section recurs between subsidiary episodes, and concludes the piece.) It opens with strings and woodwinds making a nimble, carefree, flamboyant rhythm. The opening theme is breezy, even a tad jazzy, suggestive of a captivating soundtrack fitting a fast-aced film travelogue. This is a portrait of an African city in English guise, fit music for an English Commonwealth nation.

But it is to Walton’s credit that, halfway through the overture, he introduces percussion parts adding a most un-English flavor. Although he never actually visited Africa, for inspiration, he requested recordings of traditional African music from the African Music Society. The impact of these recordings can be clearly heard. The score calls for three percussionists performing upon eleven instruments, and these percussionists bring complex African rhythms (some traditionally Zulu) to the foreground, reminding listeners, then and now, of the multi-racial richness at the heart of Johannesburg.
“There will be sunshine again and the violins will sing of peace on earth.” - Closing line from Weinberg’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 79

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #426 on: July 04, 2020, 06:58:28 AM »
This is very helpful. Thanks a lot!

This should tell you everything you need to know about the Johannesburg Festival Overture (taken from the William Walton Trust’s website):

Johannesburg Festival Overture, for orchestra (1956)

• Composition: Composed between February and 31 May 1956. Revised some time before publication in 1958, and again slightly thereafter.
• First Performance: Tuesday, 25 September 1956. Broadcast by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, from City Hall, Johannesburg. South African Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent conductor.
• Duration: About 7 minutes
• Tempo: Presto capriccioso  [496 m.]
• Craggs Catalogue Number: C66
• Instrumentation: 3 flutes (third doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 3 clarinets in A, 3 bassoons (third doubling contrabassoon) – 4 horns in F, 3 trumpets in B-flat, 3 trombones, tuba – timpani, 3 or 4 percussion (side drum, cymbals, suspended cymbal, bass drum, xylophone, tambourine, triangle, tenor drum, maracas, rumba sticks, castanets, glockenspiel) – harp – strings
• Manuscript: Frederick R. Koch Collection. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Manuscript FRKF 630. Autograph full score in pencil, dated ‘Forio d’Ischia 31.5.56’. 67 pages. Also includes a photocopy of four pages which were cut from the score and had been removed from the manuscript. Frederick R. Koch Collection. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Univesrity. Manuscript FRKF 627a. The originals of the photocopies described above in FRKF 630. 4 pages.
• Publication: Oxford University Press. Study score, 1958, 019 3682508. Score and parts are available on hire. [Purchase online from SheetMusicPlus.com: Study score]
Oxford University Press. Edited by David Lloyd-Jones. William Walton Edition, Volume 14, “Overtures”, 2002, 019 3683148.
• Arrangements: Arranged for reduced orchestra, by Vilem Tausky, 1957.
• Instrumentation: Flute (doubling piccolo), 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets in A, 2 bassoons – 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba (optional) – timpani, 1 or 2 percussion – harp – strings
• Publication: Oxford University Press. Score and parts are available on hire.
• Recordings:

Orchestra   Conductor   Year   Compact Disc   Timing
New York Philharmonic   André Kostelanetz   1959   Sony Classical 58931   7’23”
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra   Sir Charles Groves   1969   EMI Classics 5 67222 2   7’12”
London Philharmonic   Bryden Thomson   1991   Chandos CHAN 8968   7’49”
English Northern Philharmonia   Paul Daniel   1995   Naxos 8.553402   7’48”

• Program Note: The South African city of Johannesburg, whose seventieth anniversary Walton celebrated in 1956 with this spritely overture, is a radically different city today. It was a painfully divided city then, with racial oppression the law of the land. Yet a common thread links the city’s past and present. Like many California towns, it grew spectacularly during the nineteenth-century gold rush. It remains the wealthiest city on the entire continent. As a recent travel brochure states, “Johannesburg is high voltage nouveau riche territory — fast-paced, fun, a modern cosmopolitan metropolis packed with vitality and verve.”
Much of that travel bureau prose aptly describes Walton’s overture which was written in a complex rondo form (the main section recurs between subsidiary episodes, and concludes the piece.) It opens with strings and woodwinds making a nimble, carefree, flamboyant rhythm. The opening theme is breezy, even a tad jazzy, suggestive of a captivating soundtrack fitting a fast-aced film travelogue. This is a portrait of an African city in English guise, fit music for an English Commonwealth nation.

But it is to Walton’s credit that, halfway through the overture, he introduces percussion parts adding a most un-English flavor. Although he never actually visited Africa, for inspiration, he requested recordings of traditional African music from the African Music Society. The impact of these recordings can be clearly heard. The score calls for three percussionists performing upon eleven instruments, and these percussionists bring complex African rhythms (some traditionally Zulu) to the foreground, reminding listeners, then and now, of the multi-racial richness at the heart of Johannesburg.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #427 on: July 04, 2020, 07:01:15 AM »
This is very helpful. Thanks a lot!

You’re welcome. FWIW, Walton is one of my favorite British composers.
“There will be sunshine again and the violins will sing of peace on earth.” - Closing line from Weinberg’s Symphony No. 6, Op. 79

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #428 on: July 04, 2020, 08:03:36 AM »
Thank you. I thought there may be a city called Johannesburg in the U.K. as well...
Not that I'm aware of  :)
I originally came across the work on this fine old LP:
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 08:07:32 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #429 on: July 04, 2020, 09:02:19 AM »
Such a cool jacket! We need covers like that for the recordings today!
I think all (or almost all) of the pieces  in the album are in the EMI 12 disc set.
They all are great tunes.

I just thought that the ex-colony country is least likely to ask for a music for her honor to a composer in her ex-empire. I could be misunderstanding.

P.s. Not a big fan of the cover art of the 12 disc set. The art of this jacket could have been a lot better for the box.



Not that I'm aware of  :)
I originally came across the work on this fine old LP:

« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 09:31:58 AM by Forever Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #430 on: July 04, 2020, 01:50:49 PM »
Such a cool jacket! We need covers like that for the recordings today!
I think all (or almost all) of the pieces  in the album are in the EMI 12 disc set.
They all are great tunes.

I just thought that the ex-colony country is least likely to ask for a music for her honor to a composer in her ex-empire. I could be misunderstanding.

P.s. Not a big fan of the cover art of the 12 disc set. The art of this jacket could have been a lot better for the box.

Good point although S.Africa, like Australia, New Zealand and Canada were considered to be 'Dominions' (to put it frankly they were the 'white' part of the Empire) and were self-governing, so they were independent parts of the Empire with their own governments and, unlike the colonies, were not ruled directly from London. S. Africa left the Commonwealth in 1961 before they were expelled due to their racist policies of apartheid but that was a few years after Walton composed his overture.
Here's the CD cover - not as nice as the LP version I think. The original CD release was closer to the LP and there's a good recording of the overture on Naxos as well:

[/img]
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 02:06:35 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #431 on: July 04, 2020, 02:28:45 PM »
I originally came across the work on this fine old LP:

Not that I’m a military aircraft tragic ( :) ) but that Spitfire looks like a very much later mark than those that fought in the Battle of Britain.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #432 on: July 04, 2020, 05:48:44 PM »
They are good looking art covers!  Plus, I like A. Grimshaw.
Johannesburg Festival is in one of the albums titled Walton Conducts Walton as well.
There are other songs I like, including Partitas, Portsmouth Point, and Orb and Sceptre, in the album.
They all sound superb.
As you previously said, I think Walton is a good/great conductor!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lZt_TKTVIzv_a9oG-qLF_3zb8ijhd46os




Good point although S.Africa, like Australia, New Zealand and Canada were considered to be 'Dominions' (to put it frankly they were the 'white' part of the Empire) and were self-governing, so they were independent parts of the Empire with their own governments and, unlike the colonies, were not ruled directly from London. S. Africa left the Commonwealth in 1961 before they were expelled due to their racist policies of apartheid but that was a few years after Walton composed his overture.
Here's the CD cover - not as nice as the LP version I think. The original CD release was closer to the LP and there's a good recording of the overture on Naxos as well:

[/img]
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 07:02:27 PM by Forever Brett Kavanaugh »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #433 on: July 04, 2020, 10:13:01 PM »
Not that I’m a military aircraft tragic ( :) ) but that Spitfire looks like a very much later mark than those that fought in the Battle of Britain.
I agree. If it has four, as opposed to three, blades on the propellor, which I think it has, it's more likely to be a 'D-Day' type variant I think. I wasn't the son of a war-time RAF navigator for nothing!  ;D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #434 on: July 04, 2020, 10:18:12 PM »
They are good looking art covers!  Plus, I like A. Grimshaw.
Johannesburg Festival is in one of the albums titled Walton Conducts Walton as well.
There are other songs I like, including Partitas, Portsmouth Point, and Orb and Sceptre, in the album.
They all sound superb.
As you previously said, I think Walton is a good/great conductor!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lZt_TKTVIzv_a9oG-qLF_3zb8ijhd46os
+1 for Atkinson Grimshaw - those paintings are so atmospheric. I have a book of his paintings here. I like all those works by Walton, especially the Partita, Crown Imperial and Portsmouth Point. I wonder if you know his Henry V film music (not just the short orchestral extracts). Along with the Symphony No.1, the Sinfonia Concertante and the Viola Concerto it is one of my favourite works by Walton. Two fine recordings below (in a minute!). Here they are:
[/img]
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 10:21:10 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #435 on: July 04, 2020, 11:13:08 PM »
I wasn't the son of a war-time RAF navigator for nothing!  ;D
I am the son of a WW2 RAF navigator too! My father served mainly in India and Burma.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #436 on: July 05, 2020, 06:13:46 AM »
Yes, I like the Henry V, as well as the Richard III. I will look for the Marriner set (premier recording?).


+1 for Atkinson Grimshaw - those paintings are so atmospheric. I have a book of his paintings here. I like all those works by Walton, especially the Partita, Crown Imperial and Portsmouth Point. I wonder if you know his Henry V film music (not just the short orchestral extracts). Along with the Symphony No.1, the Sinfonia Concertante and the Viola Concerto it is one of my favourite works by Walton. Two fine recordings below (in a minute!). Here they are:
[/img]

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #437 on: July 05, 2020, 10:43:21 AM »
I am the son of a WW2 RAF navigator too! My father served mainly in India and Burma.
Interesting! My father was in Coastal Command and flew in the Mosquito aircraft.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #438 on: July 05, 2020, 10:46:27 AM »
Yes, I like the Henry V, as well as the Richard III. I will look for the Marriner set (premier recording?).
The Marriner set is terrific in all respects. First recording of the complete score arranged by Christopher Palmer but I would not be without the version narrated by Laurence Olivier who starred in the original film.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #439 on: July 06, 2020, 04:47:59 AM »
I thought that the Olivier set was in the 12 disc box, but I was wrong. I will get the album. Also the Mackerras No.1 is not in the box either and I need to get it. I must find out what EMI recordings are not included in the box set.


The Marriner set is terrific in all respects. First recording of the complete score arranged by Christopher Palmer but I would not be without the version narrated by Laurence Olivier who starred in the original film.