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CHAN 10435
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CHAN 10435

Walton: Richard III

The Classical Shop
release date: August 2007

Recorded in 24 Bit / 96Khz
album available as a Studio Master
Originally recorded in 2006


Academy of St Martin in the Fields

Sir Neville Marriner

Ian Watson

harpsichord and organ

Sir John Gielgud



St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London


Brian Couzens


Ralph Couzens

Richard Lee


Record Label
Chandos Classics


Orchestral & Concertos

Total Time - 60:21
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Richard III: A Shakespeare Scenario

  Arranged by Christopher Palmer  
 Sir John Gielgud narrator
 Ian Watson harpsichord and organ
1 I Prelude 3:12
2 II Coronation 05:09
  i. Fanfare and Homage Music -  
  ii. Fanfare and Processional -  
  iii. 'Sound Drums and Trumpets' -  
  iv. Recessional 5:13      
3 III Monologue: 'Now is the winter of our discontent' 4:15
4 IV The Wooing 4:26
5 V The Prince of Wales 5:04
6 VI Elegy 3:17
7 VII The Princes in the Tower 2:30
8 VIII Nightmare 6:19
9 IX Bosworth Field 5:20
10 X Death of Richard and Finale 4:19

Fanfare and March from 'Macbeth'

  Arranged by Christopher Palmer  

Major Barbara: A Shavian Sequence

  for Orchestra  
  Arranged by Christopher Palmer  
12 1 Titles - 2:13
13 2 Undershaft's factory and his 'garden suburb' - 3:17
14 3 Love-scene - 3:47
15 4 End Titles and Play-out 1:18
With spellbinding narration by Sir John Gielgud, this recording is part of a three-disc retrospective of Walton’s greatest film scores.
The original discs presented the premiere recording of much of this music, and they are here re-issued at Classics price.
Includes the rarely performed music for the cinematic treasure Major Barbara

Among the sumptuous and deeply romantic music on this disc is the substantial selection from Walton’s score for Richard III – ‘A Shakespearian Scenario’ as the arranger, Christopher Palmer, calls it; colourful and richly detailed music, the suite is conducted by Sir Neville Marriner and makes a fitting tribute to William Walton. The music for Richard III was Walton’s last major film score, and this disc presented the world premiere recording of it, with American Record Guide describing it as ‘the peer of anything else that has been composed for the cinema’.

Walton remembered his score of Richard III as “the fruit of mutual confidence and esteem” perhaps forgetting that Olivier had actually locked him away in order to force him to complete the music on time. This is a rousing score filled with pomp and circumstance to add to the feel of pageantry. The music was also used for a reading of the play on audio cassette spoken by John Gielgud. Walton uses the main theme throughout the film especially towards the closing scenes.

This great film score is complemented here by Walton’s music for two other dramatic projects, in which listeners will find much more to admire. The original Chandos series sought to collect not only music from well-known films, but also music from less well-known productions, both on screen and in the theatre, particularly music that had achieved no life away from the original soundtrack. Christopher Palmer arranged this music into suites and other concert works, preserving as much as feasible from the original material, sensitively editing where necessary, and giving some great scores a fresh lease of life. The Fanfare and March from Walton’s music for Gielgud’s wartime theatre production of Macbeth are rarely heard and with their suggestion of Elizabethan dance-music anticipate the film score for Henry V. Vintage Walton material is also found in the music for Major Barbara, a film that ought to be better known, certainly for its music. The contribution by one of the world’s great dramatic actors, speaking Shakespeare’s verses, are spine-tingling, and it is a thrill to have these classic recordings of Walton’s beautiful music for film and theatre available on Chandos.

"Walton’s music to Richard III is hardly less impressive than that of his masterpiece, Henry V. From the vibrant fanfares which open the score, via the imposing music for the Coronation scene, to the dramatic Death of Richard, there is much to relish in this colourful and atmospheric score... Marriner and the Academy give performances just as ripely committed as in their other recordings in the series, helped by sonorous Chandos sound."

The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

The Chandos series of William Walton Film Music is simply and obviously certain to be a great classic of recording art. It serves all the higher purposes of truly distinguished record-making: not only are all aspects of performance and recording absolutely splendid, but the music is also first rate…
Classical Disc Guide

Most of this music was adapted into concert form by Christopher Palmer, who included much more than the familiar short suites and excerpts. Marriner’s direction is flawless, and the sonics are still impressive.
American Record Guide

Immaculately conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, this is nothing short of superb, with bonuses in the form of John Gielgud performing the famous ‘Now is the winter of our discontent’ speech, plus an additional suite from Walton’s score for Major Barbara. Glorious stuff!
Film Review

For all they offer, it’s good to find them available again, this time around at a reduced price. Well worth the purchase.
Fanfare (USA)

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