WILLIAM WALTON (1902-1983): Symphony No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Crown Imperial (arr. piano duet Herbert Murrill [1909-1952] - first recordings of duet versions), RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS (1872-1958): Suite for Four Hands (First Recording).
Catalogue Number: 01X045
Label: Albion Records
Description: The duet version of the symphony is dated 1937 and requires professional or very advanced student performers. The VW is a student work from 1893 in four movements (Prelude, Minuet, Sarabande and Gigue) and lasts just over nine minutes. The composer was consistent throughout his life in insisting that craftsmanship had to come before originality; students had to ‘know their stodge’. The Suite suggests that Vaughan Williams knew his stodge pretty well. Even so, his teacher, Parry, awarded the second movement, the Minuet, a ‘must try harder’ rating. One or two red circles and crosses can be linked to sketched ideas in pencil and blue crayon at the bottom of the score, no doubt the result of a discussion between professor and student. Vaughan Williams implemented these improvements in writing out a second version of the Minuet. Lynn Arnold, Charles Matthews (piano duet).