^ Back to Top
^ Back to Discography
Classical Music Home

The World's Leading Classical Music Group

Email Password  
Not a subscriber yet?
Keyword Search


William Walton represents a period in English music between Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten. After serving as a chorister at Christ Church, Oxford, he later failed to complete his graduate studies and was for a time dependent on the patronage and encouragement of the Sitwell family. He spent his later years on the island of Ischia.

Orchestral Music

Walton composed two symphonies, the first of which was completed in 1935 and has become part of the standard orchestral repertoire. His Violin Concerto and Cello Concerto are now frequently performed while his Viola Concerto is the most important 20th-century work for that instrument. Among his most popular works are the two orchestral suites from Façade (originally designed to accompany chanted poems by Edith Sitwell), the overtures Portsmouth Point and Scapino, and the coronation marches Crown Imperial and Orb and Sceptre. Walton wrote music for a number of films, some of which has been adapted for concert performance (including music for Henry V).

Incidental Music

Walton’s compositions for the theatre include The Boy David for Sir James Barrie and a score for Macbeth. His work for the cinema dates from 1934, when he wrote music for Escape Me Never, following this with As You Like It. Wartime films provided further opportunities, and his scores from these years include The First of the Few, from which the famous Spitfire Prelude and Fugue is derived. He also wrote music for Laurence Olivier’s Henry V, Hamlet and Richard III.

Chamber and Instrumental Music

Walton’s relatively small addition to chamber music and instrumental repertoire includes an early piano quartet and, in 1947, the String Quartet in A minor, an effective work. Other compositions include a violin sonata, Two Pieces for violin and piano, and a particularly pleasing set of piano duets for children.

Choral and Vocal Works

The oratorio Belshazzar’s Feast, its biblical text adapted by Osbert Sitwell, remains an imposing element in English choral repertoire. Other compositions include settings of the Te Deum, Magnificat and Nunc dimittis, as well as Missa brevis. His songs include the cycle A Song for the Lord Mayor’s Table.

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
20th Century British Orchestral Masterpieces Naxos 8.505077
English Choral Music Naxos 8.501007
Naxos Limited Edition 20th Anniversary Box Set Naxos 8.506013

Albums featuring this artist are available for download from ClassicsOnline.com
View by Role: Classical Composer | Conductor
Role: Conductor 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 

 View Albums

For picture licensing, please contact customer service.

 Tell a Friend |  Bookmark this page Digg It |  Bookmark this page Del.icio.us. |  Add to Facebook Facebook |  FURL FURL |  Add to MySpace MySpace |  Stumbleupon StumbleUpon |  Twitter Twitter

Famous Composers Quick Link:
Bach | Beethoven | Chopin | Dowland | Handel | Haydn | Mozart | Glazunov | Schumann | R Strauss | Vivaldi
11:01:51 AM, 17 April 2014
All Naxos Historical, Naxos Classical Archives, Naxos Jazz, Folk and Rock Legends and Naxos Nostalgia titles are not available in the United States and some titles may not be available in Australia and Singapore because these countries have copyright laws that provide or may provide for terms of protection for sound recordings that differ from the rest of the world.
Copyright © 2014 Naxos Digital Services Ltd. All rights reserved.     Terms of Use     Privacy Policy
Classical Music Home
NOTICE: This site was unavailable for several hours on Saturday, June 25th 2011 due to some unexpected but essential maintenance work. We apologize for any inconvenience.