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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
10
4.7 out of 5 stars

on 10 March 2015
Before buying this I already owned the EMI Classics Walton Collection Box set 8 CDs which is an excellent collection of EMI discs which can also be bought separately. Many of the pieces in the Walton Collection 8 CD set are actually duplicated in this excellent box set, but there's much that isn't as well. This isn't a definitive collection by any means, and there are some great performances to be found elsewhere for sure, but I carefully compared all the works and then decided to buy this box set as it is, without a doubt, a real bargain!

If you already own many of the EMI Classics Walton discs separately you'll definitely have some of the included works here, so check. I've compiled a complete list of all the works in this bargain of a 12 CD set, including the year each piece was written (just in case you need it for tagging FLAC rips etc.), and also the year given for each performance as given in the included box set booklet. I hope this info will help others compare and decide.

William Walton The Collector's Edition Box set contents:
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A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (1959)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Carl Davis, 1986

A Queen's Fanfare (1959)
Bournemouth Sinfonietta
Martin Neary, 1977

As You Like It - Suite (1936)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Carl Davis, 1986

Belshazzar's Feast (1930-1, r. 48)
Thomas Hampson (baritone)
The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Sir Simon Rattle, 1997

Capriccio burlesco (1968)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Groves, 1969

Carol - What Cheer (1961)
Wordsworth School Choir
Russell Burgess, 1968

Cello Concerto (1955-56)
Lynn Harrell (cello)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle, 1991

Coronation March - Crown Imperial (1937)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Adrian Boult, 1977

Coronation March - Orb and Sceptre (1953)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Adrian Boult, 1977

Coronation Te Deum (1952)
Francis Grier (organ)
Choristors of Worcester Cathedral, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Louis Frémaux, 1976

Façade - An Entertainment (1921-26)
Fenella Fielding (reciter), Michael Flanders (reciter)
Academy of St Martin in the Fields
Sir Neville Marriner, 1971

Façade - Two Suites for Orchestra (1926-38)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Louis Frémaux, 1976

Five Bagatelles for guitar (1970-71)
Tom Kerstens (guitar), 1994

Gloria (1961)
Barbara Robotham (mezzo-soprano), Anthony Rolfe Johnson (tenor), Brian Rayner Cook (baritone)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Louis Frémaux, 1976

Hamlet - Funeral March (1947, 1967)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Groves, 1983

Henry V - Suite (1963) - 1st. arr. Mathieson 2nd. arr. Sargent
Philharmonia Orchestra
Sir William Walton, 1963
London Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir
Carl Davis, 1986

Improvisations on an Impromptu of Benjamin Britten (1969)
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, 1972

In Honour of the City of London (1937)
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Richard Hickox, 1984

Johannesburg Festival Overture (1956)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Groves, 1969

Partita for Orchestra (1957)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Sir William Walton, 1959

Piano Quartet (1919, r. 1921)
Janice Graham (violin), Paul Silverton (violin), Moray Welsh (cello), Israela Margalit (piano), 1995

Portsmouth Point Overture (1925)
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, 1973

Richard III - A Shakespeare Suite (1955, r. 63)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Groves, 1983

Richard III - Prelude (1955, 1963)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Groves, 1983

Scapino, Comedy Overture (1940, r. 49)
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, 1973

Set Me as a Seal upon Thine Heart (1938)
Gautam Rangarajan (tenor)
Choir of King's College, Cambridge, Stephen Cleobury, 1991

Siesta (1926, r. 62)
Northern Sinfonia of England
Richard Hickox, 1989

Sinfonia concertante (1926-1927, r. 1943)
Phyllis Sellick (piano)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Sir William Walton, 1945

Sonata for Strings (1971)
City of London Sinfonia
Richard Hickox, 1991

Spitfire Prelude and Fugue (1942)
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Charles Groves, 1969

String Quartet No. 2 in A minor (1944-47)
Felix Slatkin (violin), Paul Shure (violin), Paul Roby (viola), Eleanor Aller (cello) (Hollywood String Quartet), 1950

Symphony No. 1 in B flat minor (1932-35 r. 51)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Bernard Haitink, 1981

Symphony No. 2 (1957-60)
London Symphony Orchestra
André Previn, 1973

The Battle of Britain Suite (1969)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Carl Davis, 1986

The Bear (1967)
Monica Sinclair (mezzo-soprano) (Popova), John Shaw (baritone) (Smirnov), Norman Lumsden (bass) (Luka)
English Chamber Orchestra
James Lockhart, 1967

The Wise Virgins - Ballet Suite (1940)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Louis Frémaux, 1976

Troilus and Cressida (1947-54 r. 1972-76) Complete
Richard Cassilly (tenor), Dame Janet Baker (mezzo-soprano), Benjamin Luxon (baritone) et al.
Royal Opera House Orchestra & Chorus
Lawrence Foster, 1976

Troilus and Cressida (1947-54 r. 1972-76) Act 2. Sc 2. Interlude (orchestral piece)
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Carl Davis, 1986

Variations on a Theme by Hindemith (1962-63)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Vernon Handley, 1988

Viola Concerto (1928-29 r. 61)
Nigel Kennedy (viola)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
André Previn, 1987

Violin Concerto (1936-39 r. 43)
Ida Haendel (violin)
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Paavo Berglund, 1997

Violin Sonata (1949 r. 1950)
Janice Graham (violin)
John Alley (piano), 1995

Where Does the Uttered Music Go (1946)
BBC Chorus
Leslie Woodgate, 1946

I'd also like to recommend the following CDs to accompany this set. Of course there are just loads of terrific CDs available, but here I recommend just a few that I think may add to this collection:

Oh, and the first CD is actually my personal favourite version ever of Belshazzar's Feast.. Benjamin Luxon just nails it for me!

Walton: Belshazzar's Feast / Choral Works / Three Sitwell Songs, etc.
Heather Harper (soprano), Benjamin Luxon (baritone)
London Philharmonic, Oxford Choir of Christ Church Cathedral
Sir George Solti, Simon Preston
Label: Decca
ASIN: B0085VA2EA

Walton: Symphonies 1 & 2
The London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra
Charles Mackerras
Label: EMI Eminence
ASIN: B00004SE9W

Walton: Symphony No.1/Belshazzar's Feast (Belshazzar's Feast is in the box set, but Symphony No.1 is not)
Thomas Hampson (baritone)
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
Sir Simon Rattle
Label: EMI
ASIN: B00000C2JG

Walton: Violin and Viola Concertos/Partita
London Symphony Orchestra, New Philharmonia Orchestra
Sir Yehudi Menuhin
Label: EMI Classics
ASIN: B00004LCB5
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 27 December 2012
This collection is great value for money, particularly as the performances include Haitink's recording of the 1st Symphony, Nigel Kennedy playing the Viola Concerto, Ida Haendel's classic interpretation of the Violin Concerto, Rattle's 1997 Belshazzar's Feast, Previn's Symphony No.2 and the complete Troilus and Cressida, with Janet Baker. Not all of the recordings are digital, which may deter some buyers, but the quality of the analog sound is perfectly good.

The works contained are as follows:

CD1 Symphonies 1 & 2

CD2 Violin Concerto, Viola Concerto

Improvisations on an Impromptu of Benjamin Britten

CD3 Portsmouth Point, Scapino, Siesta

Sonata for Strings, Cello Concerto

CD4 Coronation Marches, Johannesberg Festival Overture

Capriccio Burlesco, Spitfire Prelude and Fugue

The Battle of Britain, Variations on a Theme by Hindemith

CD5 Music for Shakespeare films, Troilus and Cressida, Act II: Interlude

A History of the English Speaking Peoples

CD6 Facade, The Wise Virgins

CD7 Henry V - Suite, Partita for Orchestra

Sinfonia Concertante, String Quartet

CD8 Piano Concerto, Violin Sonata, Five Bagatelles for guitar

CD9 Belshazzar's Feast, In Honour of the City of London

Coronation Te Deum, Gloria

CD10-11 Troilus and Cressida

CD12 The Bear, Set me as a seal upon thine heart, What Cheer?

Where does the uttered music go?, A Queen's Fanfare

Overall, this collection is a great survey of Walton's music; all for less than the price of a couple of CDs.
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on 7 January 2013
An excellent collection of all Walton's major works and one or two minor ones which are less well known. Good to have Haitink's version of the First Symphony and Ida Haendel's of the Violin Concerto. Other orchestral works are conducted by Previn, Boult and Groves among others. Walton himself conducts the Henry V suite, the Partita and the Sinfonia Concertante (with Phyllis Sellick). This last item is in mono but, like the Hollywood Quartet version of the String Quartet, that's justified by its historical significance. Back in stereo there is Simon Rattle's account of Belshazzar's Feast with Thomas Hampson and Lawrence Foster's complete live recording of Troilus and Cressida in the version revised for Janet Baker. All in all, this is marvellous bargain.
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on 3 March 2013
A very nicely produced retrospective of William Walton's output. Some of the recordings date from the 1940's but they have been very well restored and sound much fresher than you would expect.
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on 19 December 2013
At the price on Amazon this is an amazing set (£18.99!! on 19th Dec 2013). Walton deserves greater recognition and produced some great music. Not sure about the Trioilus and Cressida but everything else is just wonderful in my view.
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on 1 February 2016
Ah! this is a lovely CD and I am so glad I bought it! The music is truly wonderful and sums up the music of our British heritage and all that we love about our country. I would definitely recommend this CD and I therefore would give it five stars without hesitation!
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on 14 May 2015
Essential listening for all lovers of 20th century English music.
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on 1 May 2013
I've always loved the expansive sound of Walton's orchestration, from the huge percussion section and two brass bands of Belshazzar's Feast (Slain!), to the film music and the symphonies. Now I can have all the rest. Great British music.
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on 22 July 2013
Great value box set The Previn 2nd Symphony and Kennedy performances and recordings are worth getting it for alone
and the full inclusion of Janet Baker's Troilus and Cressida is amazing
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on 20 February 2013
I have always enjoyed Walton's music,which is good considering he was born in Oldham just 4 miles from where I came from.What I've learned from the collection,however,is that there were some pieces that I had never heard before.
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