Walton: Symphony No. 2 / Gardner
Catalog: CHSA 5153
Format: Hybrid SACD
Watkins; BBC SO; Gardner
Composed by: Walton, William
Edward Gardner conducts the BBC Symphony in late music of Sir William Walton.This release follows the successful recording of Walton’s First Symphony and Violin Concerto – one of Chandos’ best-selling recordings for 2014.The Second (and last) Symphony was commissioned for the 750th anniversary, in 1957–58, of the founding of the city of Liverpool, but, delayed by the composition of the Cello Concerto, was only premiered in 1960.Scored for a large and colorful orchestra, it is of compact duration, in the key of G minor, and features angular melodies, sharply dissonant harmonies, and motoric rhythms.The BBC Symphony itself premiered the Cello Concerto in London in 1957.The cello soloist here, exclusive Chandos artist Paul Watkins, is highly praised as a member of the Emerson String Quartet. In this piece, the traditional structure of Walton’s earlier concertos – a moderately paced opening movement followed by a central scherzo – ends in a rich finale consisting of a theme and four ‘improvisations’.The concept of ‘improvisation’ occurs again in the last work on the disc, based on the ‘Impromptu’ of Benjamin Britten’s Piano Concerto.