Sir William Walton (1902 - 1983):
Concerto for Viola (1928 – 29, rev. 1936 – 37, 1962)*
Partita for Orchestra (1957)
Sonata for String Orchestra (1971, after String Quartet in A minor, 1945 – 47)
James Ehnes | Viola*
BBC Symphony Orchestra / Edward Gardner
In this third volume of Edward Gardner’s Walton series with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, James Ehnes leaves his violin to tackle the taxing soloist role in the Viola Concerto.
In a recent Strad interview, Ehnes confesses: ‘This is a piece I have loved since I was a teenager, so it is wonderful that the opportunity has come my way to record it... With Walton’s Viola Concerto, none of the writing is impossible but a lot of it is close. And in a way that is exactly where you want it to be: on the edge of technical limitations. There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in that.’ This album in surround sound also features two much later works: the 1957 Partita for Orchestra and
the Sonata for String Orchestra, adapted in 1971 from the String Quartet in A minor of 1945 – 47.
There is a striking contrast between the uncomfortable modernism of the up-and-coming young composer’s Viola Concerto and the relaxed brilliance of the mature Partita. But the Sonata shows Walton late in his life re-engaging as an arranger with his earlier manner, and so with the characteristic vein of restless unease that runs
through most of his output.
Chandos Records SACD CHSA5210
|Awards||BBC Radio 3 Disc of the Week, Gramophone Editors Choice|
|Release Period||April 2018|