Choral

Walton: Belshazzar's Feast & Symphony No 1

LSO0681 SACD

Walton Belshazzar's Feast, Symphony No 1

Walton Belshazzar's Feast, Symphony No 1

Sir Colin Davis conductor

Disc of the Week Sunday Times
*****
Audiophile Audition  (US)
9/9
ClassicsToday (US)

‘If you like your Walton unleashed at full and scalding voltage, look no further... their performance penetrates straight to the heart of the music' BBC Music Magazine (UK)

Walton’s Symphony No 1 and Belshazzar’s Feast, which were written consecutively, helped him consolidate his reputation as the most exciting British composer of his generation. Belshazzar’s Feast, a superbly crafted oratorio, vividly depicts the story of Babylon’s excesses and subsequent downfall, brilliantly coloured by the orchestral forces, including two brass bands. Similarly effervescent, volcanic sentiments simmer beneath the surface of the First Symphony, the music conveying the tensions of the 1930s, whilst remaining timeless in its appeal.

 

Walton’s Symphony No 1 and Belshazzar’s Feast, which were written consecutively, helped him consolidate his reputation as the most exciting British composer of his generation. Belshazzar’s Feast, a superbly crafted oratorio, vividly depicts the story of Babylon’s excesses and subsequent downfall, brilliantly coloured by the orchestral forces, including two brass bands. Similarly effervescent, volcanic sentiments simmer beneath the surface of the First Symphony, the music conveying the tensions of the 1930s, whilst remaining timeless in its appeal.Walton’s Symphony No 1 and Belshazzar’s Feast, which were written consecutively, helped him consolidate his reputation as the most exciting British composer of his generation. Belshazzar’s Feast, a superbly crafted oratorio, vividly depicts the story of Babylon’s excesses and subsequent downfall, brilliantly coloured by the orchestral forces, including two brass bands. Similarly effervescent, volcanic sentiments simmer beneath the surface of the First Symphony, the music conveying the tensions of the 1930s, whilst remaining timeless in its appeal.

 

 

Price: £8.99

 
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Reviews

Disc of the Week 'an outstanding bargain ... The LSO Chorus give Walton’s grateful choral writing all they have, and the orchestra revel in his brilliant and unconventional orchestration. Davis, too, proves an absolutely authentic performer' Sunday Times (UK)

9/9 'it comes in tandem with an absolutely smoking version of Belshazzar's Feast, easily the finest performance in a decade or so, and the combination of the two earns this particular pairing a firm recommendation' ClassicsToday (US)

***** Audiophile Audition  (US)

'(Belshazzar's Feast's) effervescent choruses are meat and drink to a top-flight choir such as the LSC ... the LSO at its virtuoso best' Financial Times (UK)

**** Prise de son homogène, dynamique, bien définie
‘Sir Colin en signe une des meilleures versions modernes… une approche qui le démarque nettement de la plupart de ses confrères… profondément originale, avec un orchestre au meilleur de sa forme’ Classica (France)

‘If you like your Walton unleashed at full and scalding voltage, look no further. The LSO’s trademark virtuosity and panache are so great, and the players’ unravelling of Walton’s demanding part-writing in the First Symphony so clear, that their performance penetrates straight to the heart of the music’ BBC Music Magazine (UK)

'Sir Colin and his LSO forces are in sizzling form in this truly revolutionary take on the often turgid oratorio form' Limelight Magazine (Australia)

Belshazzar’s Feast manages both to be unusually operatic in its approach and also essentially symphonic, which can make it a tricky balancing act. Sir Colin Davis demonstrates his understanding of this conundrum in these concert performances in 2008 with Baritone Peter Coleman-Wright in commanding form, and full-blooded commitment from the LSO & LSC … a gripping performance, only slightly softened by the balance in the Barbican. It’s coupled with Symphony No 1, and that’s brilliantly played as well’ BBC Radio 3 CD Review,20 August 2011

‘‘No one has exposed its troubled heart with greater care than Sir Colin’ I wrote. He had a way, too, of making the course of this powerful symphony sound inevitable.’ Classical Companion 

'outstanding performance' ClassicalCDReview.com (UK)

 

Artists

Sir Colin Davis conductor
Peter Coleman-Wright baritone
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra

Recording Details

James Mallinson producer
Neil Hutchinson for Classic Sound Ltd balance engineers
Neil Hutchinson and Jonathan Stokes for Classic Sound Ltd audio editors

Belshazzar's Feast recorded September 2008, Barbican, London
Symphony No 1 recorded September and 4 December 2005, Barbican, London
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) recording

Notes in English/en français/auf Deutsch
Text in English
Sung in English

SACD - compatible with all CD players
Catalogue number - LSO0681
UPC - 822231168126

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