Best Walton "Battle in the Air" - BBC Proms 2007

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Best Walton "Battle in the Air" - BBC Proms 2007

Post by hollowman » Wed Jan 05, 2011 7:55 am

YouTube link:

From "The Battle of Britain" (1969)
I think I've heard almost all versions, including ... orig. 1969 M. Arnold-conducted score (2nd best, but see comments below); Chandos (Neville Marriner, AoSMitF, 1990; So-so perf.); EMI (Carl Davis, 1987. AWFUL perf.!)

But this one from BBC Proms 2007 blew me away: Very tight, dynamic, and CONTROLLED performance. Conductor John Wilson (who, importantly and from the start, appears to be very much INTO this piece) directs with an almost mechanical precision, and his tightly-coupled orchestral "gears" (indiv. players/instrument sections) respond very effectively. The performance is fast-paced but never rushed. "Rushed" with what I might call "asymmetric tempo/meter" is how I'd describe Arnold's orig. 1969 performance (but he may have HAD to do this -- i.e., sacrifice pace and flow performance, by compressing or stretching tempo/meter -- to fit film edits/cues).

The YouTube version's sound quality is decent (and hints at what full-rez may be capable of!!), but, alas, not in stereo and image is cropped from 16x9 to 4:3.

Can't find the 2007 Proms on DVD or CD (source, anyone?). I would LOVE to have a higher-quality version -- video, audio-only, whatever. Please reply in-thread or we can communicate off-list. Thx!

Refs/ Links:
BBC Proms page (2007 program line-up): ... html#prom2

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