Fiona Maddocks
The Guardian
July 2017

William Walton (1902-83), still overshadowed by his younger contemporary Benjamin Britten, is pivotal to mid-20th century British music: a beneficiary of the early commissioning ethos of the BBC, the distinctive musical voice of Elizabeth II’s coronation, and central to the burgeoning tradition of British film music. Anthony Marwood is the incisive, poetic soloist in Walton’s Violin Concerto (1939, revised 1943), a work bursting with shrill, spiky exuberance and gleams of lyricism, written for the great violinist Jascha Heifetz. Conductor Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra relish the showpiece Partita (1957); Variations on a Theme by Hindemith (1963) and, from the film The First of the Few, the Spitfire Prelude and Fugue complete this exhilarating disc.