89, Judd Street | London - UK | WC1H 9NE



I am delighted to introduce to you the website of William Walton Trust. As international appreciation continues to grow for one of the great men of British music we hope that this site will prove interesting and informative both to those who are looking for general information and to those seeking specialist help.

Read more


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

Read more

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

The Wise Virgins, for orchestra (1940)

• General Information:
I.     What God hath done is rightly done - [Vivace assai]
II.    Lord, hear my longing - [Adagio]
III.   See what his love can do - [Tranquillo]
IV.  Ah! how ephemeral - [Vivace]
V.   Sheep may safely graze - [Adagio]
VI.  Praise be to God - [Moderato]
Arrangement: Arranged by the composer in 1940, from the score to the ballet The Wise Virgins.
First Performance:  Unknown
Duration: About 19 minutes
Craggs Catalog Number: C38a
Instrumentation: 2 flutes, piccolo, 2 oboes, cor anglais, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons – 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones – timpani – harp – strings
Manuscript: There is no known surviving manuscript of this suite.
Publication: Oxford University Press, 1942. Score, parts, and piano reduction are available on hire. Materials available for purchase:

The Wise Virgins Suite 1986 Study score ISBN 019 3613840 Buy from SheetMusicPlus.com
No. 4, ‘Ah! how ephemeral’, arr. Walter Goehr 1960 Two pianos   Discontinued
No. 5, ‘Sheep may safely graze’ 1942 Score   Discontinued


Ah! how ephemeral’, arranged for two pianos, by Walter Goehr, c.1960. See publication information above.
The Wise Virgins: complete ballet, arranged by Philip Lane. This version incorporates the entire orchestral suite.
Adaptations: The suite to The Wise Virgins was itself used as the basis for the following ballet:
Cantus Firmus. Jeanne Brabants choreography. First Performance: Friday, 15 May 1970. Royal Flemish Opera House, Antwerp. Ballet van Vlaanderen. Frieda Brijs, Philip Vervoort principals. Royal Flemish Opera House Orchestra, Luigi Martelli conductor.


Orchestra Conductor Year Compact Disc Timing
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Louis Frémaux 1976 EMI Classics 5 73998 2 19’29”
London Philharmonic Bryden Thomson 1990 Chandos CHAN 8871 19’46”
English Northern Philharmonia David Lloyd-Jones 2001 Naxos 8.555868 18’12”
BBC Concert Orchestra Barry Wordsworth 2003 ASV DCA 1168 17’55”