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Walton: Symphony No 1 [Live]

William Walton , Colin Davis , London Symphony Orchestra Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: Colin Davis
  • Composer: William Walton
  • Audio CD (8 May 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: LSO Live
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,343 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Allegro Assai
2. Scherzo: Presto, con malizia
3. Andante Con Malincolia
4. Maestoso-Brio ed ardentemente Vivacissimo Maestoso

Product Description

Product Description

By the time he began working on his First Symphony, William Walton had already established himself as the most exciting young British composer of the day. The work proved to be one of the twentieth century's greatest symphonies. Volcanic sentiments simmer beneath its surface and the music conveys the tensions of the 1930s whilst always remaining consistently timeless in its appeal.


'...power and eloquence and tragic intensity that show the orchestra, their conductor, Colin Davis, and the work at their splendid best. Even André Previn's 1966 account wilts alongside this dazzler' -- The Times, 30 April 2006

'...this orchestra is quite incapable of playing a wrong note - and Sir Colin's reading is astounding ... he shapes the structure with unerring mastery.' -- International Record Review (UK), June 2006

'No-one has exposed its troubled heart with greater care than Sir Colin. The sound is terrific ... don't hesitate!
Classical CD of the Month -- Hi-Fi News, July 2006

EDITOR'S CHOICE -- Gramophone, August 2006

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 20th century classic 20 Mar 2012
By freddie
Format:Audio CD
This is a powerfull but rich recording of Walton's great symphony. Colin Davis provides the energy and power needed for the outer movements of the work but gets to the heart of the piece in the slow movement (and also in the slower part of the first movement). He never becomes merely aggressive or restless with the slower music as some other conductors do. The first movement has a real jagged power and the final movement provides a true sense of apotheosis. Overall, the interpretation has thrust and drive allied to a feeling for the emotion behind the work. Whilst I think Paul Daniel has a real feeling for the Walton idiom in his Naxos recording this version has better orchestral playing and better sound. I also like other versions by Previn and Vernon Handley but think that this version is now the one to have and that the recording quality is some of the best from the LSO Live source. This is a highly recommendable version of a classic of 20th century British Neo - Romanticism.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great performance 15 April 2010
By enthusiast TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This is an exceptionally powerful account of Walton's great symphony. From the first thrilling opening moment you know you are in for something special. The whole performance has real thrust and drive without losing Walton's essentially luxuriant approach to music. This is a must buy!
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3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Becomming an obsession... 6 Jan 2008
Format:Audio CD
1st Movement is particularly mindblowing. Buy it on SACD, turn the volume up and marvel...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mellow reading from Colin Davis, removing Walton's edge 12 July 2006
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Walton Sym. #1 sounds cinematic--by turns slinky, aggressive, gaudy, insinuating, and always playing for surface excitement--but in its day seventy years ago it was the height of British modernism. English critics tend to give the palm to an American conductor, Andre Previn, for the best recording of the work (1966, RCA), but the current Gramophone picked this new LSO Live recording under Colin Davis as one of its recordings of the month, calling it a 'scorching' reading. Strange.

Compared to Previn, Davis plays down the motor rhythms and snarling raw chords that shocked earlier audiences. Even with some of the edges smoothed, this is aggressive music in the opening movement and finale. In the wrong hands it can sound crude and blatant, not for its modern idiom but in the composer's intentions--is he driving hard just for the sake of driving hard? We've heard a lot fiercer music since then, of course. The LSO plays with the kind of enthusiasm and extra flair one expects in concert. The engineers place us up close, and I'd say overall this new CD beats even Previn's remake on Telarc for natural, detailed sound. The absence of a filler, however, makes for a stingy timing of 45+ min.

Davis hasn't ventured into Walton's music before this to my knowledge, and there are plenty of people who don't like this brash, unsettling work, but if you want to hear a committed, very musical reading in excellent sound, here it is.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Digital Pit Stop Before the Treasure Hunt 20 Mar 2010
By Ed Luhrs - Published on Amazon.com
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If you're new to this symphony and are absolutely amazed, welcome. Walton's First stands with giants. This Colin Davis recording lets you know that. It is worth a digital download, though I think you'll find yourself wondering if there are better performances out there. There are - Andre Previn's 1966 RCA recording with the London Symphony Orchestra is chief among them. Currently the easiest way to hear that performance is to get "Sir William Walton: Collected Works" on the RCA Victor Europe label. Don't hesitate: go find it. All the other performances on that Collected Works album are also great choices. As for this recording by Davis, I listened to it for the sonic clarity until I found Slatkin's 1987 recording at a local library. If Previn gets the gold star, Slatkin gets a silver. Davis gets a bronze. The drama is a not always so well articulated here (needs a little more jazz), and the bumpadumps at the end of each movement (that is, the concluding chords, for lack of a technical word) come across more awkward than necessary.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow 11 April 2007
By Biblibio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I wasn't exactly new to Walton when I first heard this CD, but this piece was new to me. It stunned me. I haven't heard other recordings of it, but this one honestly made me go "wow", and sit back in my seat. Walton's symphony is powerful and intense. I loved the beautiful moments, the hard moments, and the positively powerful moments. It's played well, and sounds well. I can't compare this to anything else or to previous recordings, but I know that I love it.
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