Portrait of Walton

Portrait of Walton

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William Walton's place in 20th century music cannot easily be assessed only a few years after his death. Regarded in his youth as an experimentalist and then hailed as Elgar's successor, he was increasingly "written off" by some critics for repeating himself and for failing to fulfil the promise of his early masterpieces. He was displaced by Britten and later by Tippett, yet he had champions among international conductors and soloists and his works retained their popularity with audiences. This biographical study of Walton draws on correspondence with his friends and colleagues, including Siegfried Sassoon, Benjamin Britten, Malcolm Arnold and Andre Previn, to provide a portrait of his contribution to 20th century classical music. Correspondence with the poet Christopher Hassall is included, with whom Walton fashioned the libretto of the opera "Troilus and Cressida". Assessing individual compositions, the author faces squarely the issue of whether the post-1945 works represented a decline in inspiration and creativity. Michael Kennedy has also written "Portrait of Elgar", "The Works of Ralph Vaughan Williams" and the "Oxford Dictionary of Music".show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 359 pages
  • 139.7 x 218.44 x 33.02mm | 598.74g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 12 pp illustrations, bibliography, index
  • 0193154188
  • 9780193154186

Table of contents

Part 1 Willie: Oldham and Oxford, 1902-20; London and Salzburg, 1920-3; "Facade", 1921-79; with the Sitwells, 1923-9; Viola Concerto, 1928-9; "Belshazzar's Feast", 1929-31; in Switzerland, 1931-3; unfinished symphony, 1933-4; finished symphony, 1934-5. Part 2 William: "Crown Imperial", 1936-7; Violin Concerto, 1938-9; war films, 1939-42; "Columbus" and "Henry V", 1942-5; post-war quartet, 1944-7; birth of an opera, 1947-8; making an opera, 1948-52. Part 3 Sir William: Coronation interlude, 1952-3; finishing an opera, 1953-4; "Troilus and Cressida", 1954-76; Cello Concerto, 1955-7; "Partita" and second symphony, 1957-60; "The Bear", 1964-7; Britten and "Bagatelles", 1969-72; seventieth birthday, 1972; roaring fanfares, 1972-7; the haunted end, 1977-83. Appendices: "Troilus and Cressida" synopsis; discography - Walton conducts Walton.show more

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