This is an opportunity for Walton's fans to own one of his major works , his cello concerto, and for people new to his works to have a very good taster of his works for cello and orchestra.
The Cello Concerto was written between February and October 1956, in Ischia, on a commission from the Russian cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, to whom he dedicated it.
The concerto has been described as subdued, lyrical, bittersweet and introspective. And it is!
Many cellists have recorded the concerto since Piatigorsky including Pierre Fournier, Paul Tortelier, János Starker, Ralph Kirshbaum, Yo-Yo Ma, Raphael Wallfisch, Lynn Harrell, Pieter Wispelwey, Paul Watkins but Philips has chosen Julian Lloyd Webber's performance with Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin's in the Fields for this album. This was not a casual choice. Julian Lloyd Webber shows a great uderstanding of the complexity and luxuriance of Walton's music and the slightly smaller orchestral resources make the soloist's expressive warmth and passion for British music really stand out.
The Symphony for Cello and Orchestra or Cello Symphony Op. 68 was written in 1963 by the British composer Benjamin Britten. He dedicated the work to Mstislav Rostropovich, who gave the work its premiere in Moscow with the composer and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra on March 12, 1964. The work's title reflects the music's more even balance between soloist and orchestra than in the traditional concerto format.
Julian Lloyd Webber and the Academy of St Martin's in the Fields under Neville Marriner give an excellent interpretation of the work and the recording is very good.
For a more recent release of Walton's cello concerto and violin concerto, viola concerto and symphonies, see Decca's new double album available on Amazon.co.uk 'Walton: Concertos & Symphonies".