Walton: Spitfire Prelude and Fugue, Etc / Daniel, Donohue

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This disc was Gramophone's "Recording of the Month" for May 1999.
William Walton's 'Spitfire' Prelude and Fugue resulted from a commission for a 1942 film that paid tribute to the designer of the Spitfire plane. Appropriately and exuberantly patriotic, this piece is particularly memorable for the passage for solo violin that rises above a single-note rhythm played by double basses.
Walton's Sinfonia Concertante is a mercurial and stately work that occasionally brings Prokofiev to mind, especially the sparkling final movement, which recalls that composer's third piano concerto. The Andante con modo, an exceptionally beautiful movement, features a lyrical string section against the falling figures of the piano.
Variations on a Theme by Hindemith (drawn from Hindemith's Cello Concerto) was written as a return favor to Paul Hindemith who helped bring about the first performance of Walton's Violin Concerto. The Scherzando is memorable for its percussion while the skittery Vivacissimo is a delight for its carefree spirit. The March was originally intended for the 1959 television series, A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Although this piece (so obviously rooted in Walton's 'Crown Imperial' mode) never made it into the series, it has survived as an occasional concert filler. The English Northern Philharmonia gives it a rousing performance.

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: 8553869

  • UPC: 730099486927

  • Label: Naxos

  • Composer: Sir William Walton

  • Conductor: Paul Daniel

  • Orchestra/Ensemble: English Northern Orchestra, English Northern Philharmonia

  • Performer: Peter Donohoe