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Walton: Violin Sonata, Piano Quartet, etc / Ainsley, et al

Album Summary

>Walton, William : Quartet for Piano and Strings
>Walton, William : Anon in Love, song cycle for tenor & guitar or orchestra
>Walton, William : Valse from "Facade", for piano
>Walton, William : Passacaglia, for cello solo
>Walton, William : Sonata for Violin & Piano
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"The Nash Ensemble's contribution on disc to the Walton centenary celebrations is planned with characteristic imagination and generosity. The two main works are the Piano Quartet of his teenage years, and the Romantically expressive Violin Sonatas of his full maturity. Both are played with understanding, subtlety and a wide range of colours." ***** - Anthony Burton, BBC

'The whole thing's a delight' (BBC Radio 3, 'CD Review')

'Planned with characteristic imagination and generosity' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Finely played... [An] excellent Hyperion issue' (Gramophone)

'a first-class account and beautifully recorded... this is a recommendable issue' (International Record Review)

'Everything is performed with the Nash Ensemble's expected care and understanding' (The Irish Times)

'Cette formation peut s'enorgueillir d'un nouveau fleuron indispendsable' (Répertoire, France)

'this superb Hyperion disc will have great appeal both for the general collector and the Walton specialist' (musicweb.uk.net)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
This excellent Hyperion issue brings together a wide-ranging group of Walton's chamber works, from his earliest major work, the Piano Quartet, originally written when he was 16, to his last instrumental piece, the Passacaglia, which he composed for Rostropovich when he was nearly 80. As a substantial bonus there's the little song cycle for tenor and guitar, Anon in Love, as well as the two shorter pieces.

Helped by a spacious recording, the extra lightness and clarity brings an element of fantasy into such a movement as the Scherzo of the Piano Quartet and an extra tenderness into the lovely slow movement. Nowhere else does Walton so enthusiastically use modal thematic material, starting with the mysterious opening theme, which the Nash players take very reflectively at a speed much slower than the movement's main tempo, Allegramente. It's an astonishingly confident work for so young a composer, with adventurous writing for the strings that belies the fact that Walton was no string-player.

The Violin Sonata, a more elusive work, long underestimated, is given an equally persuasive performance, with Marianne Thorsen, accompanied by Ian Brown, freely expressive. John Mark Ainsley is totally undaunted by the taxing vocal writing of Anon in Love, originally designed for Peter Pears. And Craig Ogden is an ideal accompanist, totally idiomatic, adding sparkle to the vigorous songs in this offbeat collection.

Though Ian Brown gives a slightly sluggish account of Façade's 'Valse' - in the awkward piano transcription ascribed to Walton himself - cellist Paul Watkins crowns the disc with a fine reading of the solo Passacaglia.



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Works Details

>Walton, William : Quartet for Piano and Strings
  • Performers: Ian Brown (Piano); Lawrence Power (Viola); Marianne Thorsen (Violin); Paul Watkins (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Nash Ensemble
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (02/01/2002-02/03/2002)
  • Running Time: 29 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1918-1975

>Walton, William : Anon in Love, song cycle for tenor & guitar or orchestra
  • Performers: John Ainsley (Tenor); Craig Ogden (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 35 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1959

>Walton, William : Valse from "Façade", for piano
  • Performer: Ian Brown (Piano)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (02/01/2002-02/03/2002)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1928

>Walton, William : Passacaglia, for cello solo
  • Performer: Paul Watkins (Cello)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (02/01/2002-02/03/2002)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1979-1980

>Walton, William : Sonata for Violin & Piano
  • Performer: Marianne Thorsen (Violin)
  • Notes: Potton Hall, Dunwich, Suffolk, England (02/01/2002-02/03/2002)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 7 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947-1949