Author Topic: Sir William Walton  (Read 78341 times)

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Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #680 on: August 09, 2021, 06:32:17 AM »
Agree with all RS's points. Before I give up completely with my Walton Film Music recommendations let me recommend this one which features no narration in Henry V. I much prefer Sargent's Henry V Suite to Muir Mathieson's as the Sargent features the moving and atmospheric 'Prelude - The Globe'. This is the same CD with different covers:

Dave - more a film buff thing and something we've touched on a few times here..... the story behind Walton's score for The Battle of Britain is fascinating (and its a great score too).  Walton's old mate Sir Larry is in the film (and very good he is too).  Walton produces a score but its deemed not enough music to fill an LP/OST.  So the producers dump Walton and bring in "safe pair of hands" Ron Goodwin.  Goodwin has NO IDEA this is happening!  Sir Larry goes all Luvvy and threatens to have his name removed from the credits unless Walton's name is retained in the film.  The compromise is that the final "Battle in the Air" sequence by Walton is kept in the film (actually conducted by another old mate of Walton - Malcolm Arnold).  The story goes that Walton ran out of time and ideas for this section so Arnold wrote/orchestrated AND conducted musch of what you hear - it does sound very Arnold-esque.

For many years it was assumed that the original session recordings of the Walton score were lost - not so.  The bit I love is that the early DVD release of Battle of Britain (NOT the blu-ray - crying shame....) gave the viewer the option of watching the film with either the Walton score (complete) or the Goodwin/Walton hybrid.  Its a fascinating study in the emotional impact of music in a film.  Take the opening credits - Walton wrote a "Crown Imperial" noble British march and Goodwin a kind of jaunty Germanic one.  If you can (and are interested!) try and see this..

   

Thanks again Guys - love RS's comments above - BTW, I do own the 9-BD The World at War set narrated by Olivier, who does a great job!  Furthermore, the blu-ray restoration is spectacular (Amazon has some side by side comparisons and I'm sure others are on the web).  I'm a BIG war buff, especially of the American Revolution and the Civil War - living in North Carolina puts you right in the middle of the historic events of these wars.  Dave :)

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #681 on: August 09, 2021, 08:17:10 AM »
Thanks again Guys - love RS's comments above - BTW, I do own the 9-BD The World at War set narrated by Olivier, who does a great job!  Furthermore, the blu-ray restoration is spectacular (Amazon has some side by side comparisons and I'm sure others are on the web).  I'm a BIG war buff, especially of the American Revolution and the Civil War - living in North Carolina puts you right in the middle of the historic events of these wars.  Dave :)

Ah! The World at War - I remember watching that SO clearly when it was first run.  Sunday afternoons on ITV as I recall.  I just googled it - 1973 - so I was 12 and absolutely riveted.  That Carl Davis theme is seared into my brain (and the title sequence I can see in my mind's eye as I write this).  Olivier's rather laconic delivery of the narration was brilliant in its understatedness!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #682 on: August 09, 2021, 08:27:49 AM »
Ah! The World at War - I remember watching that SO clearly when it was first run.  Sunday afternoons on ITV as I recall.  I just googled it - 1973 - so I was 12 and absolutely riveted.  That Carl Davis theme is seared into my brain (and the title sequence I can see in my mind's eye as I write this).  Olivier's rather laconic delivery of the narration was brilliant in its understatedness!
Totally agree - I watched it first time round on TV (aged 17) and then in the 'TV Room' (like a cinema with a TV in it) when I was at university. Oh dear - I think I need that Blu-Ray set although I have the DVD boxed set  ::)
"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 SonicMan46

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #683 on: August 09, 2021, 08:31:50 AM »
Ah! The World at War - I remember watching that SO clearly when it was first run.  Sunday afternoons on ITV as I recall.  I just googled it - 1973 - so I was 12 and absolutely riveted.  That Carl Davis theme is seared into my brain (and the title sequence I can see in my mind's eye as I write this).  Olivier's rather laconic delivery of the narration was brilliant in its understatedness!

Same here, i.e. first watched when showing in the USA, then bought when the BD package was restored and released (end of 2017) - for the holidays I replaced my old 42" HDTV w/ a 50" 4K Sony - must rewatch to see if the image is upscaled, and will be more impressive on the larger screen.  Dave :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #684 on: August 09, 2021, 08:34:01 AM »
I also have this CD:
"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 SonicMan46

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #685 on: August 09, 2021, 09:53:59 AM »
Totally agree - I watched it first time round on TV (aged 17) and then in the 'TV Room' (like a cinema with a TV in it) when I was at university. Oh dear - I think I need that Blu-Ray set although I have the DVD boxed set  ::)

Well, the reviews are terrific, HERE1 & HERE2 - now for the version that I own the aspect ratio was restored from the 4:3 original to 16:9 to best fit current HDTV - some have complained, as discussed in the reviews.  Apparently, there is a more recent restoration using the original 4:3 aspect ratio (second image below), BUT as described on Amazon USA, playback is only for Region B/2 - SO, for those wanting to upgrade to the blu-ray restorations and have a definite preference for aspect ratio, then pay close attention as to the regional playback.  NOW, if a 4:3 BD Region 1 becomes available would I get yet another copy, don't know?  But, I might stream if a possibility?  Dave :)

 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #686 on: August 09, 2021, 10:17:24 PM »
Well, the reviews are terrific, HERE1 & HERE2 - now for the version that I own the aspect ratio was restored from the 4:3 original to 16:9 to best fit current HDTV - some have complained, as discussed in the reviews.  Apparently, there is a more recent restoration using the original 4:3 aspect ratio (second image below), BUT as described on Amazon USA, playback is only for Region B/2 - SO, for those wanting to upgrade to the blu-ray restorations and have a definite preference for aspect ratio, then pay close attention as to the regional playback.  NOW, if a 4:3 BD Region 1 becomes available would I get yet another copy, don't know?  But, I might stream if a possibility?  Dave :)

 
Thanks Dave. I have a multi-region DVD player but it only plays Region 2 Blu-Ray.
"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 SonicMan46

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #687 on: August 20, 2021, 12:37:51 PM »
String Quartets, an early one from 1922 and later work from 1947 - enjoying the performances of the Emperor Quartet - the two quartets are as expected different; the earlier one evokes Bartok, Berg and others from that era; the latter more mature Walton - several reviews attached if interested; there appear to be a considerable number of recordings of these quartets, usually the second one and typically combined w/ other composers.  This was an inexpensive 'used' CD from the Amazon MP which played fine.  Dave :)


Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #688 on: October 27, 2021, 07:56:05 AM »
One to cross off the bucket list.  Recently back from a week on Ischia where Walton lived for the latter part of his life with his wife Susanna.  Together they created a remarkable set of gardens (Giardini La Mortella) on a volcanic hillside that now has achieved international fame (it was voted Italy's most beautiful garden in 2002).  It is stunning although in some ways Walton's fame as a composer is almost an adjunct to the garden itself.  That said I doubt there's another cafe in the world where Belshazzar's Feast is the "background" music.  You can't visit any of the house where they lived or see where Walton worked (which I would have liked to a lot) but there is a small/recent recital room built that doubles as a mini-museum.  The gardens are filled with water and fountains and I loved the one which is a representation of the mouthpiece used on Piper's frontcloth for the original production of Facade.  Over the months the gardens are open (April to October) they run concerts so it was nice to sit in the recital room and listen to some live music exactly where Walton lived for so long.  Unfortunately when we were there the young pianist in question was really not very good at all!

« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 08:00:24 AM by Roasted Swan »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #689 on: October 27, 2021, 08:38:26 AM »
One to cross off the bucket list.  Recently back from a week on Ischia where Walton lived for the latter part of his life with his wife Susanna.  Together they created a remarkable set of gardens (Giardini La Mortella) on a volcanic hillside that now has achieved international fame (it was voted Italy's most beautiful garden in 2002).  It is stunning although in some ways Walton's fame as a composer is almost an adjunct to the garden itself.  That said I doubt there's another cafe in the world where Belshazzar's Feast is the "background" music.  You can't visit any of the house where they lived or see where Walton worked (which I would have liked to a lot) but there is a small/recent recital room built that doubles as a mini-museum.  The gardens are filled with water and fountains and I loved the one which is a representation of the mouthpiece used on Piper's frontcloth for the original production of Facade.  Over the months the gardens are open (April to October) they run concerts so it was nice to sit in the recital room and listen to some live music exactly where Walton lived for so long.  Unfortunately when we were there the young pianist in question was really not very good at all!
Fabulous! Am most jealous. Is that where Walton is buried (I can't read the inscription). A pity that you couldn't stroll around the house. I have to say that I'd rather have 'Belshazzar's Feast' as background Café music than 'Facade', which I can't stand. What a great experience.
PS Nice to see Osbert Sitwell's head of WW on display:
« Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 08:53:15 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 Roasted Swan

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #690 on: October 27, 2021, 10:39:13 AM »
I tried to upload a higher-res version of the inscription but the limit on photo size stopped me.  Here is a better/legible one of the same pic - yes apparently Walton's ashes are interred inside this stone which overlook the bay of Forio.  If you look in the distant corner of the Piper/Facade front cloth there is a bust of Osbert Sitwell too.  Curiously, Susanna Walton's ashes which are also in the garden have a spelling mistake in the inscription; "belived" [sic]!!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #691 on: October 27, 2021, 10:54:55 AM »
Thanks very much RS. There's a memorial stone in Westminster Abbey as well.
"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 Irons

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #692 on: October 29, 2021, 01:42:08 AM »
I tried to upload a higher-res version of the inscription but the limit on photo size stopped me.  Here is a better/legible one of the same pic - yes apparently Walton's ashes are interred inside this stone which overlook the bay of Forio.  If you look in the distant corner of the Piper/Facade front cloth there is a bust of Osbert Sitwell too.  Curiously, Susanna Walton's ashes which are also in the garden have a spelling mistake in the inscription; "belived" [sic]!!

I am not for one moment claiming to be a better photographer then you but may be slighter clearer. How did you enjoy the ferry crossing across the Bay of Naples?
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #693 on: October 29, 2021, 04:48:38 AM »
I am not for one moment claiming to be a better photographer then you but may be slighter clearer. How did you enjoy the ferry crossing across the Bay of Naples?
Thanks Lol!
"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 #694 on: October 29, 2021, 07:34:39 AM »
I am not for one moment claiming to be a better photographer then you but may be slighter clearer. How did you enjoy the ferry crossing across the Bay of Naples?

Ah - much better - thankyou!  The crossing was very calm and easy with some great views back to the Bay itself.  The thing that surprised me was just how grotty Naples looked driving from the airport to the ferry.  I get why Walton was smitten by Ischia although we did wonder just how much development there had been down the hill from his house as you look across to Forio.  My guess is the view was quite different/far fewer houses in the late 1940's when he first was there.....

Offline Irons

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #695 on: October 29, 2021, 07:39:03 AM »
Thanks Lol!

A pleasure, Jeffrey. I know RS had a a fabulous visit which will live long in the memory.

At an infinitely smaller scale driving through Barnes last week on my way to football I noticed a blue plaque on a house facing the river just before the railway bridge......Gustav Holst lived here.   
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Irons

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #696 on: October 29, 2021, 07:55:39 AM »
Ah - much better - thankyou!  The crossing was very calm and easy with some great views back to the Bay itself.  The thing that surprised me was just how grotty Naples looked driving from the airport to the ferry.  I get why Walton was smitten by Ischia although we did wonder just how much development there had been down the hill from his house as you look across to Forio.  My guess is the view was quite different/far fewer houses in the late 1940's when he first was there.....

What I have heard Naples is quite a dangerous place. Walton's house and gardens are a tourist attraction, possibly the only one on Ischia although the island itself is lovely. My one regret is we did not visit Capri.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #697 on: October 29, 2021, 08:03:34 AM »
A pleasure, Jeffrey. I know RS had a a fabulous visit which will live long in the memory.

At an infinitely smaller scale driving through Barnes last week on my way to football I noticed a blue plaque on a house facing the river just before the railway bridge......Gustav Holst lived here.   
OT
Nice! He taught at St Paul's Girls' School of course. I visited the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham some years ago, which I liked very much.
It's now been renamed 'Holst Victorian House' presumably to widen the appeal:
https://holstvictorianhouse.org.uk/
I've also seen his grave in Chichester Cathedral.

Back on topic - there is a commemorative stone for Walton in Westminster Abbey, but, as we have seen, his ashes were interred in the garden of his house in Ischia. Holst was buried at Chichester.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2021, 08:10:51 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 Irons

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #698 on: October 30, 2021, 02:11:20 AM »
OT
Nice! He taught at St Paul's Girls' School of course. I visited the Holst Birthplace Museum in Cheltenham some years ago, which I liked very much.
It's now been renamed 'Holst Victorian House' presumably to widen the appeal:
https://holstvictorianhouse.org.uk/
I've also seen his grave in Chichester Cathedral.

Back on topic - there is a commemorative stone for Walton in Westminster Abbey, but, as we have seen, his ashes were interred in the garden of his house in Ischia. Holst was buried at Chichester.


Thanks for link Jeffrey. Enjoyed the short film. I have visited Westminster Abbey.

No doubt you have a copy of "Calling on the Composer" on your shelves. Aware what I paid, shocked to see a copy on eBay for 4 quid! An absolute steal.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303051329380?epid=90792166&hash=item468f444f64:g:lwkAAOSwixNfdzw2
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir William Walton
« Reply #699 on: October 30, 2021, 02:38:38 AM »
Thanks for link Jeffrey. Enjoyed the short film. I have visited Westminster Abbey.

No doubt you have a copy of "Calling on the Composer" on your shelves. Aware what I paid, shocked to see a copy on eBay for 4 quid! An absolute steal.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303051329380?epid=90792166&hash=item468f444f64:g:lwkAAOSwixNfdzw2
Never heard of it! Just ordered it. Thanks Lol.
"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).