View RSS Feed

Pierre's Tuesday Blog

Walton / Nigel Kennedy / André Previn / RPO ‎– Violin & Viola Concertos

Rate this Entry
What do Maxim Vengerov, Sir Yehudi Mnuhon and Nigel Kennedy have in common? They are all renowned violinists who traded their violin for a viola in a recording of William Walton's viola concerto. Today’s Cover2Cover share, my last in that series before mu annual summer hiatus, is a 1987 coupling of Walton’s viola and violin concerti featuring Kennedy as soloist with the Royal Philharmonic under Andre Previn.

The pair of concertante works are workhorses of 20th-century British repertoire, and both were revised years after their creation. The viola concerto was created by none other than Paul Hindemith; the violin concerto by Jacha Heifitz.

Nigel Kennedy is a colourful personality in the musical world; his early career was primarily spent performing classical music with highly acclaimed recordings, and he has since expanded into jazz, klezmer, and other music genres. One could say his eclectic repertoire has dominated his records and performances for about three decades. This Walton recording, made in the early phase of his career, allows us to appreciate his unique brand of music making.

As stated earlier, Menuhin recorded both these works with Walton conducting. Not surprisingly, Kennedy's jazz sympathies give his playing a natural bite in the sharply syncopated passages so typical of Walton, matching Previn's similarly jazz-founded understanding.

Happy Listening!

Sir William Turner WALTON (1902 –1983)
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, C22
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, C37

Nigel Kennedy, viola (C22) and violin (C37)
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Andre Previn, conducting
Recorded in No.1 Studio, Abbey Road, London 27 June and 9 September 1987

EMI – CDC 7 49628 2
Format: CD, Album
Released: 1987
Discogs -
YouTube -
Likes haydnguy liked this post