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The William Walton Trust and the Fondazione William Walton e La Mortella have the following general objectives:

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You do not know Giardini la Mortella?

Visit the site of the spectacular subtropical and mediterranean garden developed since 1956 by the late Susana Walton.

Giardini la Mortella

Concerto for Viola and Orchestra (1928–9/61)

• Composition: 1928–9, revised 1961
• First Performances: 3 October 1929. Queen’s Hall, London. Paul Hindemith viola, Henry Wood Symphony Orchestra, Sir William Walton conductor
Revised Version: 18 January 1962. Royal Festival Hall, London. John Coulling viola, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Malcolm Sargent conductor.
• Duration: About 25 minutes
• Movements: I. Andante comodo - II. Vivo, con molto preciso - III. Allegro moderato
• Dedication: to Christabel McLaren, Lady Aberconway
• Craggs Catalogue Number: C22
• Instrumentation
: Viola solo 2 flutes (second doubling piccolo), oboe, cor anglais, 2 clarinets (second doubling bass clarinet), 2 bassoons – 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones – timpani – harp – strings Orchestral Instrumentation of Original Version: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon – 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba – timpani – strings • Manuscript: Frederick R. Koch Collection. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Manuscript FRKF 586.
FRKF 586a – Autograph full score of the original version. 100 pages.
FRKF 586b – Autograph full score of the revised version, partly in Walton’s hand, partly in that of a copyist. 118 pages. Royal College of Music, London. Special Collections. MS 4234.
Publication: Oxford University Press. Full score, 1930. Miniature score, 1930. Discontinued.
Oxford University Press. Full score, 1964, 019 3684616. Discontinued.
Oxford University Press. Edited by Christopher Wellington. William Walton Edition, Volume 12, 2002, 019 3681307, includes both original and revised versions. Also includes both the original viola part and Frederick Riddle’s revisions, authorized by the composer. Piano/viola score and viola part, piano reduction by Geoffrey Pratley (with some corrections by Christopher Wellington), 1993, 019 3681315. Score and parts are available on hire.
[Purchase online from SheetMusicPlus.com: Piano/viola score]
[Purchase online from SheetMusicPlus.com: William Walton Edition, Volume 12]
• Arrangements: Arranged for viola and piano, by Geoffrey Pratley. Viola part edited by Lionel Tertis.Publication: Oxford University Press, 1930 and 1964, 019 3684624 (discontinued).
Arranged for viola and piano, by Christopher Wellington.Publication: Oxford University Press, 2002, 019 3681315. [Purchase online from SheetMusicPlus.com: Piano/viola score]
• Adaptations: The music for the Viola Concerto formed the basis of the following ballet:

  • O.W. Choreography by Joe Layton. Also incorporated the score of The Quest.
    • First performance: 22 February 1972. Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London. Royal Ballet. Frederick Riddle viola, Royal Ballet Touring Orchestra, David Taylor conductor. Design and costumes by Joe Conklin.

• Recordings:

Soloist Orchestra Conductor Year Compact Disc Timing
Frederick Riddle London Symphony Orchestra Sir William Walton 1937 Pearl GEM 0171 22’52”
William Primrose Philharmonia Orchestra Sir William Walton 1946 Avid Classic AMSC 604 22’44”
Sir Yehudi Menuhin New Philharmonia Orchestra Sir William Walton 1968 EMI Classics 5 65005 2 25’44”
Nigel Kennedy Royal Philharmonic Orchestra André Previn 1987 EMI Classics 7 49628 2 25’51”
Nobuko Imai London Philharmonic Jan Latham-Koenig 1992 Chandos CHAN 9106 26’21”
Yuri Bashmet London Symphony Orchestra André Previn 1994 BMG 74321 92575 2 25’46”
Lars Anders Tomter English Northern Philharmonia Paul Daniel 1995 Naxos 8.553402 25’58”
Maxim Vengerov London Symphony Orchestra Mstislav Rostropovich 2002 EMI Classics 5 57510 2 30’28”

• Program Note: See Ian Lace’s article on this work and the Violin Concerto.