Friday, March 26, 2010

Walton: Symphony No. 1 - Leonard Slatkin

William Walton's Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor is a new favorite of mine. It's a wordless tale of anxiety, struggle, and triumph, composed in the 1930s. Though the 1966 Previn/LSO recording is the benchmark, Slatkin does an awesome job with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in this out-of-print recording from 1987. The recording also includes the Portsmouth Point Overture. The album cover shows the very painting by Rowlandson that inspired Walton to compose the overture.

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I hope you enjoy this. If you like, feel free to check out Previn's recording of the First Symphony on William Walton: Collected Works - an excellent compilation album of classic performances.

Walton also composed a second symphony, which he finished in 1960 - completely different in character but quite excellent in its own strange, cerebral way. See my review page for more thoughts on Walton and other musicians, authors, etc...


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