Hyperion celebrates the Coronation Jubilee with an interesting traversal of William Walton's choral music through the decades. Actually, the only works connected to this great event are a short Fanfare written for some NATO Conference which the Queen attended in 1957, and a Te Deum which was played during the ceremony. The deeply informative and very exciting notes that accompany the CD are of crucial interest since they delve quite deeply into the personal mechanics of William Walton's often quite hilariously bitter correspondence.
The works are of varied interest, they range from the outstandingly ebullient, 'The Twelve' to the rather bland and frankly uninspired, 'King Herod and the Cock', a carol that is pretty featureless. The 'Missa Brevis' on the other hand, is quite charming for its construction and intense drive that are packed into a compact yet powerful exterior. Of the various shorter works, I would single out the Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis for sheer unabashed invention and magnificence of inspiration.
The Wallace Collection and Polyphony play with composure and fine vitality to round off a fine disc just in time for the celebrations.
Copyright © 2002, Gerald Fenech