The English composer William Walton was born in Lancashire on 29 March 1902 and died on Ischia in the Bay of Naples on 8 March 1983. He studied with his father and at Oxford, but was otherwise self-taught. His music for Façade accompanied Edith Sitwell's recited poems. Later significant works are Belshazzar's Feast, the opera Troilus and Cressida and two symphonies.
Ensemble. Simply Outstanding - Mike Wheeler listens to Dukas, Elgar, Tabakova and Walton from Zlatomir Fung, Ben Gernon and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
Ensemble. Suggesting the Possibility of Renewal - Beethoven, Brahms, Vaughan Williams and Walton from Boris Giltburg, Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Great Entertainment - SOMM Recordings' second volume of film music, enjoyed by Gerald Fenech. 'Iain Sutherland and his Promenade players display no want of energy and each track is tackled with effervescence and enthusiasm, making the music sound even more exciting than it was thought to be.'
CD Spotlight. Highly Enjoyable - Gerald Fenech listens to film music played by Iain Sutherland and the Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra. '... brought to light with the utmost conviction.'
Ensemble. Undeniably Exciting - Mike Wheeler listens to Bizet, Ravel, Debussy, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Sibelius and Walton from Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Yan Pascal Tortelier and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Ensemble. Varied in Tone and Style - Mike Wheeler listens to twentieth-century British music played by Derby Concert Orchestra
Ensemble. Packed With Good Things - Roderic Dunnett reports from the 2019 Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester
Ensemble. Near-miraculous - Bach, Copland, Gibbons, Ramsey, Tomkins, Walton, Weelkes and Whitacre from Richard Roddis and the Derwent Singers, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Richly Sonorous - Derby Bach Choir joins forces with Derventio Brass for music by Schütz, Bruckner, Elgar, Walton, Parry, Monteverdi and Rutter, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Infinitely Varied - English music for solo guitar, enjoyed by Geoff Pearce. 'If you love English guitar music, and the performances of Julian Bream in particular, you will truly enjoy this disc.'
Ensemble. Admirably Clear - Elgar, Grieg and Walton from soloists, Nottingham Harmonic Choir, Rory Macdonald and the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Lovely Evening - William Walton's 'Façade' in Rome, alongside a symphony by Alfredo Casella, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi
Ensemble. Refreshingly Inventive - A recital by Soraya Mafi and Ian Tindale captivates Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Widely Spread - Christmas music from Caius College Choir, recommended by Keith Bramich. '... high-quality singing with lovely rounded tone ...'
Ensemble. Deeply Satisfying - John Wilson conducts the CBSO, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. An Unqualified Winner - Christmas music from Voces 8, recommended by Howard Smith. '... breathtaking clarity.'
An Invaluable Book - Gergely Hubai's 'Torn Music: Rejected film scores, a selected history', recommended by Patric Standford
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Ensemble. Strength of Purpose - Nicholas Collon conducts Sinfonia Viva, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Seductive Lyricism - Walton and Barber Violin Concertos, heard by Robert Anderson. 'Bowes is wonderfully convincing on all counts.'
CD Spotlight. A Hint of Bitters - Music by William Ferris, heard by Howard Smith. 'Well worth investigating.'
Ensemble. A Great Occasion - The Derby Roundhouse debut as a concert hall, described by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Beautifully Realised - Haydn, Poulenc, Szymanowski and Walton, sung by Derby Bach Choir and the girl choristers of Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Beautifully Expressive - The Isolani Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Crystalline Lightness - A Symphony of the Americas concert, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen
Effectively Projected - York Minster's Robert Sharpe plays the organ at Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Elegance and Authority - Leila Josefowicz and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Nottingham, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
A Stressful Collaboration - Gerard Schurmann describes his involvement with the music score for 'Lawrence of Arabia'
Ensemble. Heart-rending beauty - Concertos by Elgar and Kopytman, reviewed by Malcolm Miller