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HENRY V – William Walton

August 22, 2016 1 comment

henryv-walton100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

It was WWII and Great Britain was in the midst of her greatest struggle as the Allies prepared for the 1944 Normandy invasion. Prime Minister Winston Churchill exhorted Laurence Olivier to fashion a film to rally and boost British morale for what he envisioned to be her finest moment – taking the offence to the Nazi’s and liberating France. For Olivier this became a passion project, which consumed him. After William Wyler turned down his offer to direct, Olivier took an unprecedented and audacious move – he would assume the roles of producer, director and actor! He cast himself in the titular role and surrounded himself with a fine cast, which included Renee Asherson as Princess Katherine, Robert Newton as Ancient Pistol, Leslie Banks as the Chorus, Felix Aylmer as the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Robert Helpmann as the Bishop of Ely. Olivier’s vision was clear from the very beginning; he would maintain fidelity to the original Shakespeare play although he would stylize it for the cinematic presentation. Read more…

WILLIAM WALTON – Fathers of Film Music, Part 13

November 1, 2015 Leave a comment

William WaltonArticle by Craig Lysy

Born: 29 March 1902, Oldham, England.
Died: 8 March 1983.

William Turner Walton was born into a musical family of Charles Alexander Walton and Louisa Maria Turner in the English mill town of Oldham in Lancashire, the second son in a family of three boys and a girl. His father was a trained musician who studied under Charles Hallé at the Royal Manchester College of Music. He supported the family as a singing teacher, church organist and choirmaster. His mother before marriage had been a professional singer. William’s musical gift manifested when he was a young boy, taking up both the piano and violin with vigor, although he never truly mastered either instrument. He had however his mother’s gift and was more successful as a singer in his father’s choir. In 1912 at the age of ten his exceptional voice earned him a place at the Christ Church Cathedral Choir School in Oxford. The school’s Dean, Dr. Thomas Strong, cultivated his progress, and by age twelve William was composing choral works, songs and organ music. During his Oxford years Walton came under the influence of Hugh Allen, the dominant figure in Oxford’s musical life who made a lasting impression. Allen introduced Walton to a tableau of modern music, which included the works of Stravinsky, Debussy, Sibelius and Roussel. Although at 16 he was one of the youngest to ever enter Oxford, he regretfully failed after four years to achieve his BA. While he passed his musical examinations with ease, he failed the Greek and algebra courses required for graduation. Read more…