Author Topic: Sir William Walton  (Read 51958 times)

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Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #580 on: July 24, 2020, 05:25:03 AM »
Fine performance of Bagatelles by Ana Vidovic. It was recorded when the Croatian guitar player was 18 years old. I purchased the album in the week it was released. Her rendition is a little fast, but it is not a machine-gun guitar. The tone of her guitar is deep and versatile. Her dexterous execution is very accurate and clear. Her music is festive and colorful while Julian Bream’s version is dark and atmospheric. Sharon Isbin’s version is at the middle between the two. Other works in the album, including Bach’s pieces, are wonderful too. Worth listening to this set.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #581 on: July 25, 2020, 12:22:55 AM »
Best performance of the 'Prologue - The Globe' I have heard. Played very slowly with great dignity and gravitas:
"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 #582 on: July 25, 2020, 05:50:38 AM »
Best performance of the 'Prologue - The Globe' I have heard. Played very slowly with great dignity and gravitas:


I need to get the Slatkin set. I really like Penny and Marriner (Palmer suite), as well as Davis/Sargent and Walton/Mathieson.

P.s. Jeffrey, what’s the name of Scriabin album you wrote a liner note for?
Thanks.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #583 on: July 25, 2020, 05:59:24 AM »
I need to get the Slatkin set. I really like Penny and Marriner (Palmer suite), as well as Davis/Sargent and Walton/Mathieson.

P.s. Jeffrey, what’s the name of Scriabin album you wrote a liner note for?
Thanks.

I like all those as well DBK. I've always rated Slatkin highly. I think that I've only seen him conduct live once and that was at the Proms many years ago - Copland's 3rd Symphony - a great performance (his two CDs are great as well, on Sony and Naxos - with the original ending).

As for Scriabin - here it is  :)
"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 #584 on: July 25, 2020, 06:14:45 AM »
I like all those as well DBK. I've always rated Slatkin highly. I think that I've only seen him conduct live once and that was at the Proms many years ago - Copland's 3rd Symphony - a great performance (his two CDs are great as well, on Sony and Naxos - with the original ending).

As for Scriabin - here it is  :)


Thank you Jeffrey. I will order both the two discs!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #585 on: July 25, 2020, 06:29:18 AM »
Thank you Jeffrey. I will order both the two discs!
Great! I really like the restored original ending of Copland's Third Symphony (which Bernstein encouraged Copland to excise). However, opinions on the forum have been 'mixed' about it - there was discussion on the Copland thread about it when Slatkin's Naxos version originally appeared. I note that John Wilson also recorded the original ending for Chandos. As for WW I really enjoyed listening to the Slatkin recording of Henry V earlier today.
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #586 on: July 25, 2020, 07:48:58 AM »
Great! I really like the restored original ending of Copland's Third Symphony (which Bernstein encouraged Copland to excise). However, opinions on the forum have been 'mixed' about it - there was discussion on the Copland thread about it when Slatkin's Naxos version originally appeared. I note that John Wilson also recorded the original ending for Chandos. As for WW I really enjoyed listening to the Slatkin recording of Henry V earlier today.

Count me as an admirer of the original ending of Copland’s 3rd, Jeffrey. The Slatkin performance on Naxos was outstanding.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #587 on: July 25, 2020, 08:03:45 AM »
Count me as an admirer of the original ending of Copland’s 3rd, Jeffrey. The Slatkin performance on Naxos was outstanding.
Good to know! Thanks John.
"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 #588 on: July 25, 2020, 08:31:15 AM »
The Cello Concerto gnarly? That lush, mysterious first movement is anything but "gnarly" to my ears. ;) It's one of my favorite concerti for the instrument and my admiration for it has only grown since playing in the orchestra for a performance of it earlier this year (I hope to learn the solo part soon). Have you heard Paul Watkins' superb recording (with the BBCSO under Gardner) on Chandos, John?

I like the 2nd and final mvt., they are very Walton-esque.   I thought that the Wispelwey/Sydney Orchestra set sounded very good, but I am not very familiar with Cello Concerto. I would appreciate if any knowledgeable member can provide a review.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #589 on: July 25, 2020, 09:15:20 AM »
Good to know! Thanks John.

Actually, if memory serves me correctly, I think it was I who alerted you to this newer recording of the 3rd with Slatkin.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #590 on: July 25, 2020, 11:03:29 AM »
My nice and cheap copy of the Leaper/Gran Canaria/Symphony 1 arrived yesterday.  Very impressive as both performance and recording.  NOT as fraught or stressful as other versions but some really beautifully poised playing - check out the flute at the opening of the slow movement which is very elegiac rather than tormented.  I think generally that Waltonian term "Brioso" suits this performance well.  At a push I probably like a tad more venom overall but this is a version that picks its path and then executes those choices extremely well.

Just ordered this version of the Cello concerto too.  The Elgar is a predictable coupling but the Boyle is a good extra "novelty".  I love the sound of the Weimar Staatskapelle and I'm fascinated to hear how they respond to Walton's more astringent orchestral sound.  They made a fine version of the Elgar Violin Concerto and that Germanic rich sound suits that music so well....


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #591 on: July 25, 2020, 09:13:06 PM »
Actually, if memory serves me correctly, I think it was I who alerted you to this newer recording of the 3rd with Slatkin.
Very likely  :)
"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 #592 on: July 25, 2020, 09:16:58 PM »
My nice and cheap copy of the Leaper/Gran Canaria/Symphony 1 arrived yesterday.  Very impressive as both performance and recording.  NOT as fraught or stressful as other versions but some really beautifully poised playing - check out the flute at the opening of the slow movement which is very elegiac rather than tormented.  I think generally that Waltonian term "Brioso" suits this performance well.  At a push I probably like a tad more venom overall but this is a version that picks its path and then executes those choices extremely well.

Just ordered this version of the Cello concerto too.  The Elgar is a predictable coupling but the Boyle is a good extra "novelty".  I love the sound of the Weimar Staatskapelle and I'm fascinated to hear how they respond to Walton's more astringent orchestral sound.  They made a fine version of the Elgar Violin Concerto and that Germanic rich sound suits that music so well....


Interesting RS and glad that you did not feel let down by the Grand Canary version of Walton's First Symphony. I totally agree with your observations. I remember feeling more involved in the performance as I listened to it. It is a long time since I heard it, so I must rectify that soon. I remember being especially impressed by the finale.
"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 Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #593 on: July 25, 2020, 11:28:31 PM »
Interesting RS and glad that you did not feel let down by the Grand Canary version of Walton's First Symphony. I totally agree with your observations. I remember feeling more involved in the performance as I listened to it. It is a long time since I heard it, so I must rectify that soon. I remember being especially impressed by the finale.

Definitely worth a revisit and quite the opposite of a let-down.  In fact I much preferred this to other more "esteemed" performances.  I always enjoy versions of pieces that challenge my preconceptions by following through their musical choices with logic and conviction.  Generally tempi are quite bright but with the opposite effect to Previn's driven aggression...

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #594 on: July 26, 2020, 12:19:41 AM »
Definitely worth a revisit and quite the opposite of a let-down.  In fact I much preferred this to other more "esteemed" performances.  I always enjoy versions of pieces that challenge my preconceptions by following through their musical choices with logic and conviction.  Generally tempi are quite bright but with the opposite effect to Previn's driven aggression...
Right! Will try to listen to it later. Thanks.
"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 #595 on: July 27, 2020, 03:05:32 AM »
I like all those as well DBK. I've always rated Slatkin highly. I think that I've only seen him conduct live once and that was at the Proms many years ago - Copland's 3rd Symphony - a great performance (his two CDs are great as well, on Sony and Naxos - with the original ending).

As for Scriabin - here it is  :)


Talking about Slatkin, I received these books last week. They will be good readings!

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #596 on: July 27, 2020, 03:08:26 AM »
My nice and cheap copy of the Leaper/Gran Canaria/Symphony 1 arrived yesterday.  Very impressive as both performance and recording.  NOT as fraught or stressful as other versions but some really beautifully poised playing - check out the flute at the opening of the slow movement which is very elegiac rather than tormented.  I think generally that Waltonian term "Brioso" suits this performance well.  At a push I probably like a tad more venom overall but this is a version that picks its path and then executes those choices extremely well.

Just ordered this version of the Cello concerto too.  The Elgar is a predictable coupling but the Boyle is a good extra "novelty".  I love the sound of the Weimar Staatskapelle and I'm fascinated to hear how they respond to Walton's more astringent orchestral sound.  They made a fine version of the Elgar Violin Concerto and that Germanic rich sound suits that music so well....




Yes, the German album sounds great. I checked it on the web. As you indicated, the Weimar orchestra sounds wonderful. Its performance is sophisticated and refined. The cellist is excellent too. I ordered the disc. I like the jacket picture as well. I own the YoYoMa/Previn set- It is arguably most popular cello concert recording and not bad actually. But it seems to me the recording sounds a little old and lacking color. Rather, I think the Lloyd Webber/Marriner set sounds good.

I received the Gran Canaria disc a few days ago too. Yes, it is different from other recordings. The performance is a little reserved, and based on nuances and melodic beauty rather than power or energy. If the other recordings are oil paintings, this set is a watercolor painting. It is a nice change. Specially the 3rd and final movements are impressive.


Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #597 on: July 27, 2020, 06:04:33 AM »

Yes, the German album sounds great. I checked it on the web. As you indicated, the Weimar orchestra sounds wonderful. Its performance is sophisticated and refined. The cellist is excellent too. I ordered the disc. I like the jacket picture as well. I own the YoYoMa/Previn set- It is arguably most popular cello concert recording and not bad actually. But it seems to me the recording sounds a little old and lacking color. Rather, I think the Lloyd Webber/Marriner set sounds good.

I received the Gran Canaria disc a few days ago too. Yes, it is different from other recordings. The performance is a little reserved, and based on nuances and melodic beauty rather than power or energy. If the other recordings are oil paintings, this set is a watercolor painting. It is a nice change. Specially the 3rd and final movements are impressive.

Very good painting analogy!  Spot on I'd say.  The Lloyd Webber version of the cello concerto is good I agree.

Offline Dry Brett Kavanaugh

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #598 on: July 30, 2020, 04:40:40 AM »
Two excellent albums called Walton Conducts Walton (there are 3-5 more albums with the same title!). As for the Heritage set, familiar tunes such as Partita, Orb and Sceptre, Portsmouth, and Johannesburg, are played with exuberance and cheerfulness. Especially, Partita swings and fires. For the Lyrita set, while Capriccio B. and Sinfonia Concertante sound sharp and hip, Music for Children is remarkably exquisite.  Peter Katin in Concertante is not a commanding player like Kathryn Stott, but his playing is classy and elegant. Naturally, my hypothesis is that Sir Walton is a very good conductor.  Here is a question: Has Sir WW conducted any music composed by others? I guess such a recoding, if existent, could be a good way to test the hypothesis.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #599 on: July 30, 2020, 06:17:57 AM »
Two excellent albums called Walton Conducts Walton (there are 3-5 more albums with the same title!). As for the Heritage set, familiar tunes such as Partita, Orb and Sceptre, Portsmouth, and Johannesburg, are played with exuberance and cheerfulness. Especially, Partita swings and fires. For the Lyrita set, while Capriccio B. and Sinfonia Concertante sound sharp and hip, Music for Children is remarkably exquisite.  Peter Katin in Concertante is not a commanding player like Kathryn Stott, but his playing is classy and elegant. Naturally, my hypothesis is that Sir Walton is a very good conductor.  Here is a question: Has Sir WW conducted any music composed by others? I guess such a recoding, if existent, could be a good way to test the hypothesis.
Two great choices. I'm unaware of him conducting music by other composers.
"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).