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William Walton: The Collector's Edition

William Walton: The Collector's Edition / Various
Release Date: 08/14/2012 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 40858   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Sir William Walton
Performer:  Ida HaendelNigel KennedyLynn HarrellDavid Bell,   ... 
Conductor:  Bernard HaitinkAndré PrevinPaavo BerglundRichard Hickox,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia OrchestraLondon Symphony OrchestraBournemouth Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 12 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

R E V I E W S:

Symphony no 2, Overtures
"The succinct and pithy Symphony No. 2 is led with urgency and attention to detail, and the two overtures are buoyant and rhythmically alert."

-- Fanfare [5/2002]

Johannesburg Festival, Capriccio Burlesco, Scapino
"The Johannesburg Festival wears well: it is a jolly, nimble, well-handled piece with pleasantly off-beat (in more ways than one) tunes and not too much of the big drum. If Scapino remains the finer piece of work, this is partly because the whole enterprise of writing a cheerful overture that maintained the highest artistic standards was easier even in 1941 than it was by 1956. The Capriccio Burlesco,
Read more really another overture, is again a lively piece of work, and I suspect that it too will prove to wear better than is now thought. There is a cunning use of the unexpected in it which is a good deal subtler than in the earlier overtures, where a missed beat or a batch of middle-period Stravinsky bar changes could easily produce a nice kick for audiences with a taste for spiced romanticism. Charles Groves plays it brilliantly...and knocks off the Johannesburg piece delightfully."

-- J.W., Gramophone [10/1969]

Cello Concerto with Tortelier
"Piatigorsky's playing had an aristocratic, rather aloof severity that was ideal for certain of the Walton Concerto's elusive moods, but Tortelier's warmer, more impulsive lyricism makes it easier to understand Walton's at one time perplexing preference for this above his other concertos. It can seem the most private of the three, and the enigmatically brooding coda seems to confirm this, but Tortelier's emphasis on its deep but reticent emotion makes it more direct than it once seemed. It is still an under-played piece, but his performance is an eloquent plea for its revaluation...the orchestral playing is very accomplished (the solo horn player is not named, but deserves to have been) and the recording is beautifully transparent.

-- M.E.O., Gramophone [7/1989]

Cello Concerto with Lynn Harrell
"Written for the great Gregor Piatigorsky, Walton's gloriously ruminative and lyrical Cello Concerto is a work that has really come into its own of late. Few partnerships display such spellbinding cogency and rapt dedication in this unashamedly luxuriant music as do Lynn Harrell and Sir Simon Rattle with the CBSO. On its release Edward Greenfield called it 'the most powerful version of the Cello Concerto yet'."

-- Gramophone [3/2000]

Symphony no 1
Last November, anticipating Walton's 80th birthday by several months, Bernard Haitink conducted the Philharmonia in this symphony at the Royal Festival Hall, and promptly went on to record it. At the live concert I had my reservations, particularly in the first two movements, in which the voltage seemed too low for a work which, dating from the troubled early 1930s, reflects not only the composer's personal tensions but those of the period. In tension at least the recorded performance is quite different, riveting from first to last in its concentrated rethinking of a work which, like Elgar's symphonies, is already the subject of a 'traditional' view. Previn's superb RCA reissue, still sounding splendid at mid-price, represents that traditional view as much as the composer's own reading. In obvious ways Haitink's reading is less idiomatic. At least, to judge by the stopwatch, his speeds in the first three movements are on the slow side, yet I am not sure you would immediately register that without testing it. Starting with an oboe solo in the first theme which is poignant and mysterious rather than sharply tense, Haitink's reading of that first movement is marked by speeds not only slower than Previn's but steadier too. The result may be less immediately exciting with little or no stringendo in the development section, but with one climax piled on another, and with the nagging ostinatos rarely if ever still, Haitink gives the movement extra symphonic strength, helped by the superb digital recording which allows the detail of Walton's complex orchestration to come through as never before.

The Scherzo, marked Presto con malizia, finds 1-laitink less malicious than playful, the skipping rhythms delightfully sprung. Plainly there Previn outshines all comers, even the composer himself, if that marking is to be the decisive factor. In the slow movement Haitink's patience, his preference for a measured speed pursued steadily, pays off superbly. Poised and pure at the start with a hint of noble restraint, this is a performance of Sibelian grandeur. Indeed, Haitink more than most brings out the obvious influences from the Finnish master. Amazingly his timing for the movement, just over 14 minutes, is exactly double that of Sir Adrian Boult when he gave a disconcertingly rushed account at the Royal Festival Hall in December 1975. As in a Bruckner slow movement Haitink sustains that speed with no sense of dragging.

The finale then crowns his reading. The composer may have found difficulty in rounding off what he wanted to say, but Haitink makes the point that the change of mood, the lightening of tension, marks no slackening but an emotional release. A very grand account of the introduction to the movement leads to an exhilarating reading of the main allegro with the Philharmonia strings excelling themselves not least in the first big fugato. The slow coda with its lovely trumpet solo then brings comparable nobility to that of the slow movement and for once the stuttering chords at the very end (so like those which conclude Sibelius's Fifth Symphony) convey not uncertainty but genuine finality.With superb playing and recording of demonstration quality, this is a revelatory reading that no Waltonian should miss, even though he may still not regard it as entirely idiomatic. For myself I am profoundly grateful to have such a favourite work so refreshingly illuminated.

-- E.G., Gramophone [4/1982]

Wise Virgins Suite
"Of the rights and wrongs of arranging music by good composers in a way that differs from their original intention there will never be total agreement. But most will accept that now and again practical circumstances dictate the process—that if the massed bands of the Brigade of Guards must produce the Chopin "Funeral March" by the Cenotaph on Armistice Day then it will sound better in a good military band arrangement (if you can find one) than played on a lorry-borne piano by however good a pianist. Similarly if Bach cantata movements for dissimilar vocal and antique orchestral forces must be played in the theatre by a modern orchestra already sitting there, then a good modern arrangement may, grudgingly, be the answer. In the present case my own ears tell me so, and they tell me so wholeheartedly, not grudgingly at all: I think that Walton's Wise Virgins arrangement is in every respect an unimpeachable model of how to do it, Bach's music coming alive in glowing colours that nevertheless do not in a single out-of-place sparkle betray his original intentions. And I think also that the present performance does the arrangement total justice: in beauty of tone, depth of sonority, internal orchestral balance, and cool dignity of solo playing it would be hard indeed to better the Birmingham orchestra's performance of the music. When the ear is caught by a detail it is just about always caught by a stab of pleasure, not the reverse. And as the quality of recording is also very good this is clearly a version of the Bach-Walton to treasure."

-- M.M., Gramophone [3/1977]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1 in B flat minor by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Bernard Haitink
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932-1935; England 
Date of Recording: 11/1981 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 51 Minutes 0 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 2 by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959-1960; England 
Date of Recording: 1973 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 27 Minutes 29 Secs. 
3.
Concerto for Violin in B minor by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Ida Haendel (Violin)
Conductor:  Paavo Berglund
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938-1939; England 
Date of Recording: 06/1977 
Venue:  Guildhall, Southampton, England 
Length: 31 Minutes 24 Secs. 
4.
Concerto for Viola by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Nigel Kennedy (Violin)
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1929/1961; England 
Length: 25 Minutes 51 Secs. 
5.
Improvisations on an Impromptu of Benjamin Britten by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; England 
Length: 16 Minutes 9 Secs. 
6.
Portsmouth Point by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1925; England 
Date of Recording: 1973 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 5 Minutes 32 Secs. 
7.
Comedy Overture "Scapino" by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  André Previn
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
Date of Recording: 1973 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studios, London 
Length: 8 Minutes 40 Secs. 
8.
Siesta by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Northern Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1926; England 
Length: 6 Minutes 6 Secs. 
9.
Sonata for String Orchestra by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1971-1972; England 
Date of Recording: 1991 
Venue:  St Augustine's Churc 
Length: 26 Minutes 53 Secs. 
10.
Concerto for Cello by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Lynn Harrell (Cello)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956/1974; England 
Length: 29 Minutes 43 Secs. 
11.
Coronation March "Crown Imperial" by Sir William Walton
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
Length: 8 Minutes 31 Secs. 
12.
Coronation March "Orb and Sceptre" by Sir William Walton
Performer:  David Bell (Organ)
Conductor:  Sir Adrian Boult
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953; England 
Length: 6 Minutes 47 Secs. 
13.
Johannesburg Festival Overture by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 12 Secs. 
14.
Capriccio burlesco by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1968; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 17 Secs. 
15.
Prelude and Fugue "Spitfire" by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 19 Secs. 
16.
Battle of Britain: Suite by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1969; England 
Length: 12 Minutes 26 Secs. 
17.
Variations on a Theme by Hindemith by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Vernon Handley
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1962-1963; England 
Length: 23 Minutes 24 Secs. 
18.
Henry V: Orchestral Suite by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1944; England 
Length: 13 Minutes 20 Secs. 
19.
Troilus and Cressida: Act 2 - Interlude by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954/1976; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
20.
As you like it: Suite by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; England 
Length: 14 Minutes 37 Secs. 
21.
A History of English Speaking Peoples: March by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Carl Davis
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 45 Secs. 
22.
Hamlet: Funeral March by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; England 
Length: 4 Minutes 51 Secs. 
23.
Richard III: Prelude by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 42 Secs. 
24.
Richard III: Suite by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir Charles Groves
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1955; England 
Length: 12 Minutes 1 Secs. 
25.
Façade by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Michael Flanders (Spoken Vocals), Tristan Fry (Percussion), Ross Pople (Cello),
William Bennett (Flute), Jack Brymer (Clarinet), Hale Hambleton (Bass Clarinet),
Stephen Trier (Alto Saxophone), John Wilbraham (Trumpet), Fenella Fielding (Spoken Vocals),
Kenneth Heath (Cello)
Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1921-1922; England 
Date of Recording: 1971 
Venue:  Kingsway Hall, London, England 
Length: 37 Minutes 5 Secs. 
Language: English 
26.
Façade Suite by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Louis Frémaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1922; England 
Length: 22 Minutes 14 Secs. 
27.
Wise Virgins: Suite by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Louis Frémaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; England 
Venue:  Bedworth Civic Centre 
Length: 19 Minutes 27 Secs. 
28.
Henry V: Orchestral Suite by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Sir William Walton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943-1944; England 
Length: 15 Minutes 5 Secs. 
29.
Partita for Orchestra by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  William Walton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1957; England 
Date of Recording: 1959 
Length: 15 Minutes 48 Secs. 
30.
Sinfonia Concertante by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Phyllis Sellick (Piano)
Conductor:  Sir William Walton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1927/1943; England 
Length: 17 Minutes 32 Secs. 
31.
Quartet for Strings no 2 in A minor by Sir William Walton
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hollywood String Quartet
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1945-1947; England 
Length: 26 Minutes 15 Secs. 
32.
Quartet for Piano and Strings by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Israela Margalit (Piano), Moray Welsh (Cello), Janice Graham (Violin),
Paul Silverthorne (Viola)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 09/29/1995 
Venue:  All Saints Church, East Finchley, UK 
Length: 28 Minutes 52 Secs. 
33.
Sonata for Violin and Piano by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Janice Graham (Violin), John Alley (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra members
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; England 
Date of Recording: 08/28/1995 
Venue:  Conway Hall, London, England 
Length: 25 Minutes 59 Secs. 
34.
Bagatelles (5) for Guitar by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Tom Kerstens (Guitar)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1972; England 
Date of Recording: 09/1994 
Venue:  St John's, Downshire Hill, Hampstead 
Length: 13 Minutes 59 Secs. 
35.
Belshazzar's Feast by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Baritone)
Conductor:  Simon Rattle
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra Chorus,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930-1931; England 
Date of Recording: 1997 
Venue:  Symphony Hall, Birmingham, England 
Length: 34 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: English 
36.
In Honour of the City of London by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Richard Hickox
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; England 
Length: 16 Minutes 24 Secs. 
37.
Coronation Te Deum by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Louis Frémaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Worcester Cathedral Choir,  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1952-1953; England 
Length: 9 Minutes 19 Secs. 
38.
Gloria by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Anthony Rolfe Johnson (Tenor), Barbara Robotham (Mezzo Soprano), Brian Rayner Cook (Baritone)
Conductor:  Louis Frémaux
Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,  City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; England 
Length: 18 Minutes 47 Secs. 
39.
Troilus and Cressida by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Dame Janet Baker (Mezzo Soprano), Richard Cassilly (Tenor), Benjamin Luxon (Baritone),
Elizabeth Bainbridge (Mezzo Soprano), Richard Van Allan (Bass), George MacPherson (Baritone),
Gerald English (Tenor), Malcolm Rivers (Baritone), Robert Lloyd (Bass),
Gwynne Sullivan (Tenor)
Conductor:  Lawrence Foster
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954/1976; England 
Length: 127 Minutes 12 Secs. 
40.
The Bear by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Norman Lumsden (Bass), Monica Sinclair (Mezzo Soprano), John Shaw (Baritone)
Conductor:  James Lockhart
Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Chamber Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1965-1967; England 
Date of Recording: 1967 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 48 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
41.
Set me as a seal upon thine heart by Sir William Walton
Performer:  Gautam Rangarajan (Tenor)
Conductor:  Stephen Cleobury
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cambridge King's College Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1938; England 
Length: 3 Minutes 43 Secs. 
42.
What cheer by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Russell Burgess
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Wandsworth School Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; England 
Length: 1 Minutes 26 Secs. 
43.
Where does the uttered music go? by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Leslie Woodgate
Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Chorus
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; England 
Length: 7 Minutes 25 Secs. 
44.
A Queen's Fanfare by Sir William Walton
Conductor:  Martin Neary
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bournemouth Sinfonietta
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1959; England 
Length: 0 Minutes 50 Secs. 

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