During a 60 year career, he wrote music in several classical genres and styles, from film scores to opera. Born in OldhamLancashirethe son of a musician, Walton was a chorister and then an undergraduate at Christ Church, Oxford. On leaving the university, he was taken up by the literary Sitwell siblings, who provided him with a home and a cultural education.
In middle age, Walton left Britain and set up home with his young wife Susana on the Italian island of Ischia. By this time, he had ceased to be regarded as a modernist, and some of his compositions of the s were criticised as old-fashioned.
His only full-length opera, Troilus and Cressidawas among the works to be so labelled and has made little impact in opera houses. In his last years, his works came back into critical fashion; his later compositions, dismissed by critics at the time of their premieres, were revalued and regarded alongside his earlier works. Walton was a slow worker, painstakingly perfectionist, and his complete body of work across his long career is not large.
His most popular compositions continue to be frequently performed in the 21st century, and by almost all his works had been released on CD. Walton's musical talents were spotted when he was still a Un Dia En El Convento - Ataud Vacante - Ni Chiquita Una Mosca boy, and he took piano and violin lessons, though he never mastered either Four In The Morning - Edith Sitwell.
He was more successful as a singer:  he and Four In The Morning - Edith Sitwell elder brother sang in their father's choir, taking part in performances of large-scale works by HandelHaydnMendelssohn and others.
Walton attended a local school, however in his father saw a newspaper advertisement for probationer choristers at Christ Church Cathedral School in Oxford and applied for his son to be admitted.
Walton and his mother Louisa missed their intended train from Manchester to Oxford because Walton's father had spent the money for Four In The Morning - Edith Sitwell fare in a local public house. Walton remained at the choir school for the next William Walton* - Façade years. At the age of 16 Walton became an undergraduate of Christ Church. It is sometimes said that he was Oxford 's youngest undergraduate since Henry VIII and though this is probably not correct, he was nonetheless among the youngest.
Allen introduced Walton to modern musicincluding Stravinsky's Petrushkaand enthused him with "the mysteries of the orchestra". He neglected his non-musical studies, and though he passed the musical examinations with ease, he failed the Greek and algebra examinations required for graduation. Four In The Morning - Edith Sitwell survives from Walton's juveniliabut the choral anthem A Litanywritten when he was 15 years old, anticipates his mature style.
Walton graduated from Oxford in without a degree or any firm plans. Walton took up residence in the attic of their house in Chelsea, later recalling, "I went for a few Four In The Morning - Edith Sitwell and stayed about fifteen years". The last was so outraged by the avant-garde nature of Sitwell's verses and the staging, that he marched out ostentatiously during the performance.
Walton's works of the s, while he was living in the Sitwells' attic, include the overture Portsmouth Pointdedicated to Sassoon and inspired by the well-known painting of the Four In The Morning - Edith Sitwell name by Thomas Rowlandson. It was first heard as an entr'acte at a performance in Diaghilev's ballet season, where The Times complained, "It is a little difficult to make much of new music when it is heard through the hum of conversation. The Viola Concerto brought Walton to the forefront of British classical music.
When Tertis received the manuscript, he rejected it immediately. The composer and violist Paul Hindemith stepped into the breach and gave the first performance. In The Manchester GuardianEric Blom wrote, "This young composer Blue Skies (Delphinium Days) - BT Featuring Tori Amos - Blue Skies a born genius" and said that it was tempting to call the concerto the best thing in recent music of any nationality.
A performance by him at a Three Choirs Festival concert in Worcester in was the only occasion on which Walton met Elgarwhom he greatly admired. Elgar did not share the general enthusiasm for Walton's concerto. Walton's next major composition was the massive choral cantata Belshazzar's Feast It began as a work on a modest scale; the BBC commissioned a piece for small chorus, orchestra of no more than fifteen players, and soloist.
As Walton worked on it, he found that his music required far larger forces than the BBC proposed to allow, and Beecham rescued him by programming the work for the Leeds Festival, to be conducted by Malcolm Sargent.
Walton later recalled Beecham as saying, "As you'll never hear the work again, my boy, why not throw in a couple of brass bands? In the s, Walton's relationship with the Sitwells became less close.
He had love affairs and new friendships that drew him out of their orbit. She and Walton met in the late s and they were together untilwhen she left him. A legacy from a musical benefactress in further enhanced his finances, and in he left the Sitwells' house and bought a house in Belgravia. Walton's first major composition after Belshazzar's Feast was his First Symphony. It was not written to a commission, and Walton worked slowly on the score from late until he completed it in He had composed the first three of the four movements by the end of and promised the premiere to the conductor Hamilton Harty.
Walton then found himself unable to complete the work. The end of his affair with Imma von Doernberg coincided with, and may have contributed to, a sudden and persistent writer's block. After a break of eight months, Walton resumed work on the symphony and completed Pop The Glock (SebastiAn Remix) - Uffie - Pop The Glock / Ready To Uff in Elgar having died inthe Heaven Shall Burn - Endzeit turned to Walton to compose a march in the Elgarian tradition for the coronation of George VI in His Crown Imperial was an immediate success with the public, but disappointed those of Walton's admirers who thought of him as an avant garde composer.
His most important work of the s, alongside the symphony, was the Violin ConcertoWilliam Walton* - Façade by Jascha Heifetz. The concerto, Walton later revealed, expressed his love for Alice Wimborne. These days it is very sad William Walton* - Façade a composer to grow old I seriously advise all sensitive composers to die at the age of I know: I've gone through the first halcyon period and am just about ripe for my critical damnation.
In the late s Walton became aware of a younger English composer whose fame was shortly to overtake his, Benjamin Britten. He is charming, but I feel always the school relationship with him — he is so obviously the head prefect of English music, whereas I'm the promising new boy.
During World War II Walton was exempted from military service on the understanding that he would compose music for wartime propaganda films. In addition to driving ambulances extremely badly, he said he was attached to the Army Film Unit as music adviser. He wrote scores for six films during the war — some that he thought "rather boring" and some that have become classics such as The First of the Few and Laurence Olivier 's adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V Walton was at first dismissive of his No Warning - Scarface - The Untouchable scores, regarding them as professional but of no intrinsic worth; he resisted attempts to arrange them into concert suites, saying, "Film music is not good film music if it can be used for any other purpose.
As with his film music, the composer was inclined to dismiss the musical importance of his work on the programme. Apart from these commissions, Walton's wartime works of any magnitude comprised incidental music for John Gielgud 's production of Macbeth ; two scores for the Sadler's Wells BalletThe Wise Virginsbased Joseph Haydn - Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam*, Nikolaus Harnoncourt - Symphonies Nos.
68 & 100 the music of J. Bach transcribed by Walton, and The Questwith a plot loosely based on Spenser's The Faerie Queene ;  and, for the concert hall, a suite of orchestral miniatures, Music for Children and a comedy overture, Scapinocomposed for the fiftieth anniversary of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Walton's house in London was destroyed by German bombing in Mayafter which he spent much of his time at Alice Wimborne's family house at Ashby St Ledgers in the countryside of Northamptonshire in the middle of England. While there, Walton worked on projects that had been in his mind for some time. In he had been planning a substantial chamber work, a string quartet, but he set it aside while composing his wartime film scores. In early he turned again to the quartet.
Walton was conscious that Britten, with Les Illuminationsthe Sinfonia da Requiemand Peter Grimes inhad produced a series of substantial works, while Walton had produced no major composition since the Violin Concerto Passover - Sedayne - The Raging Of May Because Heifetz had bought the exclusive rights to play the concerto for two years, it was not heard in Britain until The London premiere, with a less famous soloist, and in the unflattering acoustics of the Royal Albert Halldid not immediately reveal the work as a masterpiece.
Kennedy calls it one of his finest achievements and "a sure sign that he had thrown off the trammels of his cinema style and rediscovered his true voice. To take Walton's mind off his grief, the music publisher Leslie Boosey persuaded him to be a British delegate to a conference on copyright in Buenos Aires later that year.
At 22 she was 24 years younger than Walton Alice Wimborne had Welcome To My Mind (Radio Mix) - Psykosonik - Welcome To My Mind 22 years his seniorand at first she ridiculed his romantic interest in her.
He persisted, and she eventually accepted his proposal of marriage. The wedding took place in Buenos Aires in December From the start of their marriage, the couple spent half the year on the Italian island of Ischiaand by the mids they lived there permanently. Walton's last work of the s was his music for Olivier's film of Hamlet After that, he focused his attentions on his opera Troilus and Cressida. This did not help Walton's relations with the Sitwells, each of whom thought he or she should have been asked to be his librettist.
In Walton was knighted. Infollowing the accession of Elizabeth II he was again called on to write a coronation march, Orb and Sceptre ; he was also commissioned to write a choral setting of the Te Deum for the occasion. Troilus and Cressida was presented at Covent Garden on 3 December Its preparation was dogged by misfortunes. In Walton sold his London house and took up full-time residence on Ischia. He built a hilltop house at Forio and called it La Mortella.
Susana Walton created a magnificent garden there. Some critics felt that the concerto was old-fashioned; Peter Heyworth wrote that there was little in the work that would have startled an audience in the year the Titanic met William Walton* - Façade iceberg In Walton successfully underwent surgery for lung cancer.
Walton had become so used to being written off by music critics that he felt "there must be something wrong when the worms turned on some praise. Walton's orchestral works of the s include his Second SymphonyVariations on a Theme by HindemithCapriccio burlescoand Improvisations on Four In The Morning - Edith Sitwell Impromptu of Benjamin Britten His song cycles from this Basher - Divine Empire - Nostradamus were composed for Peter Pears Anon.
He was commissioned to compose a score for the film Battle of Britainbut the film company rejected most of his score, replacing it with music by Ron Goodwin. A concert suite of Walton's score was published and recorded after Walton's death. Walton was never a facile or quick composer, and in his final decade, he found composition increasingly difficult.
He orchestrated his song cycle Anon. The British prime minister, Edward Heathgave a birthday dinner for Walton at 10 Downing Streetattended by royalty and Walton's most eminent colleagues; Britten presented a Walton evening at Aldeburgh and Previn conducted an all-Walton concert at the Royal Festival Hall. Walton revised the score of Troilus and Cressidaand the opera was staged at Covent Garden in Once again it was plagued by misfortune while in preparation.
As inthe critics were generally tepid. Walton died at La Mortella on 8 Marchat the age of Init was said of Walton that he summed up the Sore Throat - Kamikaze Kid past of English music and augured its future.
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