Walton: Viola Concerto, Sonata for String Orchestra & Partita for Orchestra Edward Gardner
- William Walton (1902 - 1983): Viola Concerto (1961 Version):
- 1Viola Concerto (1961 Version): I. Andante comodo07:48
- 2Viola Concerto (1961 Version): II. Vivo, con molto preciso04:03
- 3Viola Concerto (1961 Version): III. Allegro moderato11:31
- Sonata for String Orchestra:
- 4Sonata for String Orchestra: I. Allegro08:31
- 5Sonata for String Orchestra: II. Presto04:07
- 6Sonata for String Orchestra: III. Lento08:56
- 7Sonata for String Orchestra: IV. Allegro molto04:21
- Partita for Orchestra:
- 8Partita for Orchestra: I. Toccata04:31
- 9Partita for Orchestra: II. Pastorale siciliana06:08
- 10Partita for Orchestra: III. Giga burlesca04:59
Info zu Walton: Viola Concerto, Sonata for String Orchestra & Partita for Orchestra
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.
“…This is an excellent recording, in which James Ehnes and the BBC Symphony are on wonderful form… it is a performance to savour. The recorded sound and the booklet notes are up to the usual high Chandos standard, making this a most desirable disc, one for all fans of the music of Walton and English music in general.” (Stuart Sillitoe, MusicWeb-International)
“... splendid new account [Viola Concerto] from James Ehnes with the BBC Symphony Orchestra ... A winning interpretation ... Gardner conducts a lithe performance of the Sonata for string orchestra ... and a suitably boisterous Partita to fill out the disc. The Toccata swaggers along with tremendous vigour, The BBC SO brass in great form and in characteristically red-blooded Chandos sound, while the Giga burlesca finale is guaranteed to raise a smile.” (Mark Pullinger, Gramophone magazine)
“…This new recording [Viola Concerto] with James Ehnes is distinguished, as are the supporting performances by the BBC Symphony under Edward Gardiner. It is a fast performance, which is the way Walton was said to prefer it… The Sonata for String Orchestra was composed for The Academy of St Martin in the Fields in 1971; it was based on Walton’s A Minor String Quartet. Lastly comes the energetic three movement Partita written for the Cleveland Orchestra in 1958. All are top performances, with good separation between pieces on the CD, necessary between works with similar soundscapes.” (James McCathy, Limelightmagazine)
James Ehnes, violin
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor
Recognised as one of the most talented conductors of his generation, Edward Gardner began his tenure as Music Director of English National Opera in May 2007 with a new critically acclaimed production of Britten’s Death in Venice. Under his direction, the ENO has presented a series of stellar productions, including Boris Godunov, Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci, Der Rosenkavalier, Punch and Judy, Peter Grimes and most recently a double bill of The Rite of Spring and Bluebeard’s Castle. In recognition of his talent and commitment, Edward received the Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2008 for Best Conductor and this year, the Olivier award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Equally successful outside ENO, Edward’s future operatic engagements include debuts with Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Metropolitan Opera New York and La Scala, Milan. A regular at Paris Opera since 2004/5, Edward’s most recent production there was Stravinsky’s Rake's Progress in 2007/8.
In 2008 Edward returned to Glyndebourne Festival Opera with a production of Britten’s Turn of the Screw.Since making his successful debut in 2005 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Aldeburgh Festival, Edward has been re-invited each year to the orchestra and in 2008 conducted the UK premiere of Saariaho’s Adriana Mater in concert at the Barbican as well as making his Proms debut. Edward works regularly with the Halle Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the UK. Internationally, he works with the Bamberg Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic, Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, NAC Ottawa and the Indianapolis Symphony amongst others.
In 2009/10 he will make his debut with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and return to the BBC Proms. Future seasons include the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic and Rotterdam Philharmonic.Edward has signed an exclusive contract with Chandos Records from 2009 with plans to record 2 discs per season. He has also made a number of recordings for EMI Records; Alison Balsom/Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Kate Royal/the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and Kate Royal/English National Opera Orchestra.Born in Gloucester in 1974, Edward was educated at Cambridge, and the Royal Academy of Music where he studied under the instruction of Colin Metters. He graduated in 2000 and went on to assist Mark Elder at The Hallé Orchestra for 3 years before being named as Musical Director of Glyndebourne Touring Opera in 2004, a position he held for 3 years.
The BBC Symphony Orchestra
The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930; and (as the flagship orchestra of the BBC) it provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year including the First and Last Nights. The BBC SO has a strong commitment to 20th-century and contemporary music—recently it has given world premieres of BBC commissions by leading composers such as John Adams, Elliott Carter, Brian Elias, Vic Hoyland, Matthias Pintscher, Karlheinz Stockhausen, and Judith Weir. The 2009–10 season included commissions and premieres from Ian McQueen, Bill Frisell/Mike Gibbs, Ryan Wigglesworth and Peter Eötvös.
Jiøí Bìlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in 2006 and he and the BBC SO perform together frequently across the season both in the UK and internationally. The orchestra also works regularly with Principal Guest Conductor David Robertson, Oliver Knussen, recently appointed Artist in Association, and Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis.