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Cat. No. CHAN 10437 X Price: £7 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10437 - Walton: Music from the Olivier Films
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Available From: 01 August 2007
Olivier directed nad starred in Henry V, which begins as a recreation of stage production at the Globe Theatre then gradually turns into a stylized cinematic rendition of the play with sets reminiscent of the medieval Book of Hours. The film was made near the end of World War II and was intended as a morale booster for Great Britain, consequently the film was partly sponsored by the British government. The film won Olivier a number of Academy Awards and it also won William Walton an award for Best Score. The score was praised by music critics both as film music and as a concert suite in its own right. When the film was released in 1944 many music critics published detailed reviews of the score and extracts of it were presented at the Prom concerts in 1945.

This recording was made with Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St Martins in the Field. It was fortunate for Chandos that Sir Neville happened to know Christopher Plummer and suggested he might be persuaded to perform as speaker. The recording was a happy occasion and indeed Chandos chairman Brian Couzens still has a photograph in his study taken from these sessions, which shows Brian with Sir Neville and Christopher Plummer. On the recording’s original release the Sunday Telegraph wrote that ‘Chandos has performed a real service by recording [Walton’s] complete score for Olivier’s famous 1944 film of Henry V… the music represents one of the finest scores ever composed for the cinema and deserves to be preserved in this form’.

This remastered recording makes for a distinguished tribute to the composer.
Reviews

"... Sir Neville Marriner caps even his previous recordings in this series, with the Academy and Westminster Choir producing heart-felt playing and singing in sumptuous sound. Christopher Plummer makes an excellent substitue for Olivier, unselfconsciously adopting a comparably grans style."
The Penguin Guide - 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings 2011-12

Superbly arranged by Christopher Palmer, this marvellous recording presents Walton’s stunning music in all its power and glory.
Film Review

Quote at the original release:
Chandos’s stunning sound captures with unflinching ease the rousing spectacle of the battle music at full tilt. In all, another winner of a CD in what’s turning out to be a most distinguished series.

Hi-Fi News

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

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

 

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