12 Aug 2012

William Walton (1902-1983)

From Composer of the Week, 9:15 am on 12 August 2012


William Walton in 1928

William Walton in 1928 Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Fair Use


Like many young English boys, William Walton began his musical education as a chorister.

He was accepted to the Christ’s College Oxford choir on a scholarship at the age of ten. But by the time he was 14, he had begun to compose.

Originally interested in the avant-garde, Walton became more conservative in his composition, and by the time he was 30, he was writing tonal music for established ensembles.

This wasn’t fashionable though, so for much of his life, Walton was seen as not being progressive enough.

This was to change.

Music Details:

WALTON: Coronation Street theme (EMI 3 40901)
WALTON: Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye – Gracie Fields (vocals) (Hallmark 300 292)
WALTON: Litany – Polyphony. Stephen Layton (Hyperion CDA 67330)
WALTON: Something lies beyond the scene – Edith Sitwell (narrator), Chamber Orchestra/ Frederick Prausnitz (Sony SMK 46685)
WALTON: Viola concerto – Helen Callus (vla), NZSO/ Marc Taddei (ASV CDDCA 1181)
WALTON: Then sing we to God our strength, from Belshazzar’s Feast – LSO/ Andre Previn (EMI CDC 7 47624)
WALTON: Symphony No 1, mvt 2 – BBC Scottish SO/ Marty Brabbins (Hyperion CDA 67794)
WALTON: Violin concerto – Thomas Bowes (vln), Malmo Opera Orchestra/ Joseph Swensen (Signum SIGCD 238)
WALTON: Spitfire Prelude and Fugue – Royal Liverpool PO/ Sir Charles Groves (EMI CDM 7 63369)
WALTON: Troilus and Cressida – Opera North, English Northern Philharmonia/ Richard Hickox (Chandos CHAN 9370)
WALTON: Cello concerto – Raphael Wallfisch (cello), LPO/ Bryden Thamson (Chandos CHAN 8959)
WALTON: Crown Imperial - Royal Liverpool PO/ Sir Charles Groves (EMI CDM 7 63369)

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