Marking the 40th anniversary of Sir William Walton’s death, this fascinating album presents four world premiere recordings, all composed on and celebrating the island of Ischia, where Walton and his wife established both their home and the famous La Mortella Gardens, still regarded today as one of the most captivating gardens in the world. Walton’s Cello Concerto, composed on Ischia, is heard in a stunning transcription for viola, alongside three colourful scores by Roberto Molinelli, all dedicated to La Mortella.
Anna Serova, Viola Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento Roberto Molinelli
With his distinctive blend of incisive drama and lyrical expressiveness, Sir William Walton was one of the greatest English composers of the 20th century. He and his wife Susana made their home on the Italian island of Ischia where he composed the Cello Concerto – a work he considered to be the best of his three concertos for string instruments – heard here for the first time in a stunning transcription for viola by Anna Serova. The Italian composer Roberto Molinelli pays homage to Susana’s Argentine roots and the beautiful garden she created, La Mortella, with his concerto Lady Walton’s Garden, displaying a colourful use of South American and Neapolitan instruments. William’s Rock and The Missing E are also dedicated to La Mortella.
Listen to an extract from Cello Concerto (arr. for viola and orchestra) II. Allegro appassionato
About the Artists
Violist Anna Serova is the dedicatee of a number of works by notable contemporary composers, including Azio Corghi, Boris Pigovat, Roberto Molinelli, Roberta Vacca and Vittorio Montalti. A student of Vladimir Stopicev at the St Petersburg Conservatory, Bruno Giuranna at the Stauffer Academy of Cremona and Yuri Bashmet at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, she has appeared in some of the most prestigious concert venues and festivals in Italy and abroad.
Italian conductor, composer and violist Roberto Molinelli is a versatile and eclectic musician, who has collaborated with numerous prestigious artists across various genres, from classical to jazz and rock. He currently holds the positions of principal guest conductor of the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, director of special projects of the Istituzione Sinfonica Abruzzese, and director for innovation of the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini.
The Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and Trento was founded in 1960 by the provincial government and local authorities of Trento and Bolzano to perform repertoire ranging from Baroque works to contemporary music. It has participated in numerous international festivals throughout Italy, as well as in Germany, Japan, Hungary and the United States. It has also performed at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Musikverein in Vienna.
‘Both technically and musically, these are exceptional accounts, with Dukes producing the most alluring sound throughout the register, counterpointed by Sophia Rahman’s beguiling pianism and Michael Ponter’s exemplary engineering. Another Naxos winner.’ – The Strad
‘I cannot speak highly enough about Bradley and Wilson. These are two highly intelligent masters of their instruments who deeply feel the music at hand and respond with gorgeous playing.’ – American Record Guide