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Walton: Symphony No. 2; Cello Concerto; Improvisation on an Impromptu of Benjamin Britten / Paul Watkins, cello; BBC SO; Edward Gardner

Album Summary

>Walton, William : Improvisations on an Impromptu of Benjamin Britten, for orchestra
>Walton, William : Concerto for Cello
>Walton, William : Symphony no 2
Performer Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Sunday Times, 8th March 2015
Lavishly reproduced in surround sound, these accounts of three of Walton's later, comparatively neglected works are as superbly thought out as they are atmospherically recorded...The heartwarming Cello Concerto finds a masterly exponent in Watkins.

Financial Times, 14th March 2015
The Symphony No. 2 gets a performance of Tlan from Edward Gardner and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Edward Gardner conducts the BBC Symphony in late music of Sir William Walton. This release follows the successful recording of Walton's First Symphony and Violin Concerto - one of Chandos' best-selling recordings for 2014. The Second (and last) Symphony was commissioned for the 750th anniversary, in 1957 - 58, of the founding of the city of Liverpool, but, delayed by the composition of the Cello Concerto, was only premiered in 1960. Scored for a large and colorful orchestra, it is of compact duration, in the key of G minor, and features angular melodies, sharply dissonant harmonies, and motoric rhythms. The BBC Symphony itself premiered the Cello Concerto in London in 1957. The cello soloist here, exclusive Chandos artist Paul Watkins, is highly praised as a member of the Emerson String Quartet. In this piece, the traditional structure of Walton's earlier concertos - a moderately paced opening movement followed by a central scherzo - ends in a rich finale consisting of a theme and four 'improvisations'. The concept of 'improvisation' occurs again in the last work on the disc, based on the 'Impromptu' of Benjamin Britten's Piano Concerto.

BBC Music Magazine, April 2015
If a new Walton release can finally put paid to the notion that his music somehow 'went off' after his move to the Italian island of Ischia in 1956, then this must be it. And the performances of these late-ish works are on a level that have you wishing that the composer had lived to hear them.

Gramophone Magazine, May 2015
Edward Gardner directs a superbly perceptive account of Walton's Second Symphony, exhilarating in its purposeful thrust... make no mistake: with cracking playing from the BBC SO, Gardner's is a conspicuously insightful reading of this underrated score... a gem of a disc.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Watford Colosseum.



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Works Details

>Walton, William : Improvisations on an Impromptu of Benjamin Britten, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: Watford Colosseum (09/18/2013-09/19/2013)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1968-1969

>Walton, William : Concerto for Cello
  • Performer: Paul Watkins (Cello)
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Notes: Watford Colosseum (10/28/2014-10/29/2014)
  • Running Time: 7 min. 59 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1956-1975

>Walton, William : Symphony no 2
  • Conductor: Edward Gardner
  • Notes: Watford Colosseum (10/28/2014-10/29/2014)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 25 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Orchestral
  • Written: 1957-1960