After Elgar's removal from banknotes here in the UK, I thought I'd better make a stand for another great English composer, Sir William Walton, especially as it would have been his birthday today.
Walton was born in Oldham, Lancashire, but lived the later years of his life on the Mediterranean Island of Ischia. I can't say I blame him, Lancashire is known for its wet weather, which is why there used to be a huge cotton industry here. Sorry Oldham, but I think Ischia would win every time.
In the 1920's and 30's Walton was considered the most important English composer of his generation.
In 1970/1 he composed 'Five Bagatelles for Solo Guitar', as a 50th birthday present for Malcolm Arnold which were dedicated to the guitarist Julian Bream.
In fact Walton was so pleased with the Bagatelles that in 1972 he composed 'Varii Capricci for Orchestra' based on them, which was one of the last pieces he wrote before his death in 1983. (He did actually rewrite the final movement in 1977).
So Happy Birthday Walton.
Meanwhile, Robin has been working hard on finalising two programmes for next week, so the music room door has been firmly shut whilst he prepares. He did emerge to take the dogs for a walk in the Lancashire drizzle though...
'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman