Talk:William Walton

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Featured article William Walton is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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I believe he also wrote a set of five short guitar pieces called "bagatelles"(dedicated to Julian Bream?) I heard them back in 1993 in a concert during my first visit to London, and just a few days ago over the BBC, too. I believe he orchestrated them (as the Varii Capricii (sp??) poss.) later on as well. Very few of the composer pages here aim for an exhaustive worklist, though - perhaps more should, if not exhaustive, at least more complete! Schissel : bowl listen 16:18, Apr 26, 2005 (UTC)


I recently added some wikilinks that ended up getting changed around a bit, so I changed some of them back. My feeling is that the disambiguation term (musical composition) or (opera) should be used in cases where a given title might apply to multiple things outside of music. For example, Crown Imperial (disambiguation) links to Crown Imperial (musical composition), because a Crown Imperial is also a type of car. However in cases where the title would be something in the realm of music, such as Symphony No. 1, the disambiguation term (Walton) should be used, because there may be several articles about first symphonies, all of which are musical compositions. The idea is that the term should be used thats most appropriate for what the other pages that need to be disambiguated from are. I also don't think the disambiguation term is needed for Orb and Sceptre, as there is not an article there already, so the disambiguation is not needed until other terms are added to the encyclopedia. Also, I don't really think this article is a stub, there's a little meat to it, if not a lot. If there are any questions, let me know. Ëvilphoenix Burn! 18:16, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

I strongly disagree. The purpose of disambiguation is to disambiguate. To take one of the examples, Crown Imperial (musical composition) could potentially be another disambiguation page, whereas Crown Imperial (Walton) is unquestionably unambiguous. I have more sympathy with (opera) as a disambiguation qualifier, but even then Troilus and Cressida (Walton) seems to me more specific and unambiguous than Troilus and Cressida (opera). --RobertGtalk 11:35, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I don't think we should go for specificity though, I think we need to evaluate disambiguation based on what disambiguates something at the highest level, not the lowest. Crown Imperial is a term that applies to things in a broader sense than just music, so the disambiguation should seperate it out based on what makes them distinct within that level, so in this case you have Crown Imperial (automobile) and Crown Imperial (musical composition), whereas things that apply mainly to music, such as Symphony No. 1, which there will be several of, should disambiguate based on what will distinguish them within the world of music, which would be composer names. Disambiguation should be as simple as possible, not as specific is posssible.
To give an example, say somebody writes a play called Bob and Bill. So we have Bob and Bill. Now let's say someone opens a Fast food chain called Bob and Bill, so we'd have Bob and Bill (restaurant). Now if Philip Glass adapts that play into an opera, we'd then have Bob and Bill (play) and Bob and Bill (opera). Now let's say 100 years later, some composer named Svengardt decides he wants to write an operatic version of Bob and Bill, so then we would have Bob and Bill (Glass opera) and Bob and Bill (Svengardt opera). But what if, 100 years later, there's no restaurant anymore and no one produces the play anymore, but we still have the operas? Then Bob and Bill could be Bob and Bill (Glass) and Bob and Bill (Svengardt), because Bob and Bill of itself implies an opera. However if you also have a play and a restaurant chain to disambiguate with, you need to provide the (opera) distinction. Do you follow my meaning at all? We shouldn't disambiguate unless we need to disambiguate, and when we do, we need to evaluate how specific the disambiguation needs to be, and in my mind, it should be more general before it gets more specific. Crown Imperial (Walton) might be more specific, but unless you happen to know who Walton is, and that he wrote a piece called Crown Imperial, you might not know what Walton is referring to, whereas if you see Crown Imperial (musical composition), you at least know youre looking at a musical piece. Ëvilphoenix Burn! 17:50, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
I do not feel as strongly about this as you do, obviously! I would totally agree with you if we were forbidden to explain anything on disambiguation pages or to have any content in articles. The introduction to the article would be, however, "Crown Imperial is an orchestral march by the English composer William Walton written for the coronation of King George VI in 1937," so anyone coming to the article immediately finds out who Walton was and that it's a musical composition; the only Wikipedia links which aren't explained are the category links, and the category does the explanation. In fact, that's quite a good introduction, I'll post it as a stub rather than waste it here (I'll even go with your disambiguation, although it still looks odd to me). --RobertGtalk 10:51, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
That is a good introduction, I was thinking "I'm totally stealing that" before I got to the part where you'd actually started the article. Thanks, that filled in a red link for me on an article I'm trying to clear red links from. You make a good point on that we can explain things on disambiguation pages and in article content. For some reason I'm still feeling the page title itself though needs to get as much mileage as it can, regardless of the article content. What would really be nice would be to get some more opinions, as right now it's just been you and me discussing it. Thanks again for your work, and nice intro. Ëvilphoenix Burn! 16:30, 15 December 2005 (UTC)


Aaaar, mateys! For whatever reasons, there is no current image of Walton. Oddly enough, the image labeled William_Walton.jpg is of William Wilton, and appears at the article on William Wilton. Did Walton's image get bumped for this wrongly named image? Signinstranger 17:04, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article for the Composers project. You can read it on the Comments page. If you have any questions, feel free to comment there, here, or on my talk page. -- Magic♪piano 17:40, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Hindemith photo[edit]

I added the image of Hindemith. See if the image experts are happy with it. -- Ssilvers (talk) 01:25, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Introduction: Best Known Works[edit]

I would suggest that the introduction be edited to include British coronation works – 'Orb and Sceptre' and the 'Crown Imperial' coronation marches are more well-known than the examples given. Surely his Viola Concerto is also, equally famous. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:49, 2 May 2011 (UTC)


The article needs one in spite of the consensus reached among the small percentage of total Wikipedias who frequent the Composer wikiproject. Night Ranger (talk) 00:22, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

This has been very thoroughly discussed, and reviewed and confirmed, already. Tim riley (talk) 09:24, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
Yep but they're wrong. Night Ranger (talk) 13:54, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
Totally agree with Night Ranger; he's right and the rest of the world is out of sync[sarcasm]. Eisfbnore (下さいて話し) 14:29, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
What's funny is how 4 or 5 people on a Wikiproject consider themselves the entirety of the Wikipedia community, or in this case, the entire world. Night Ranger (talk) 02:40, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Belshazzar's Feast[edit]

An anonymous editor changed "cantata" to "oratorio" in the text. I have changed it back again. The work has from the outset been categorised as a cantata: see Howes Frank "The Leeds Festival", The Musical Times, Vol. 72, No. 1065 (November 1931), pp. 991–992 (subscription required); Latham, Alison (ed). "Belshazzar's Feast", The Oxford Companion to Music. (subscription required); and Kennedy, Michael, "Belshazzar's Feast", The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. (subscription required). Tim riley (talk) 10:29, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

All works of Walton released on CD? Hardly[edit]

It's common for people to take mention of a "complete works edition" at face value, but as usual Chandos's marketing is a bold faced lie. The source cited, [1], even contradicts itself -- if "complete works of Sir William are available on Chandos Records." then how could "the last major work of Sir William’s to be recorded", "be released next year"? (especially telling is that said 'complete works' were done by 1996 [2]). But more importantly, there are a number of works that HAVEN'T been recorded, or at least released on CD as claimed: [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], and [8] for starters. Not to mention, the ONLY complete version of any of his film scores actually released away from the film itself was, ironically, Battle of Britain -- everything else has been an arrangement by someone else. Now MAYBE this could all be construed as WP:SYNTH (plus is gone and the archives are from 2010 with some of the pages needed to go back to 2008), but I certainly didn't remove the sentence 'in error'. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 14:21, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

I really don't know what to do for the best here. I understand what you are saying about the fanfare etc, and however reliable a "reliable source" actually is or isn't one wouldn't want to perpetuate misinformation. I suppose one could say something like "all but a handful of minor works". What think you? Tim riley (talk) 14:34, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
'The majority' seems like it'd be a perfect compromise. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:22, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Can I persuade you that "almost all" wouldn't be stretching it? Tim riley (talk) 15:52, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Fwiw, "almost all" was my thought too. —MistyMorn (talk) 16:13, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
That works. Done (with a couple other fixes too). ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:14, 15 May 2012 (UTC)
Thanks to Melodia and MistyMorn for a brisk resolution without bloodshed. Tim riley (talk) 18:47, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

US Premiere[edit]

Under "1930s" it is stated that Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra gave the US Premiere of Walton's First Symphony. In his programme note for a performance of the work given in 2005 by the National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin, Richard Freed stated that the US Premiere was given by Sir Hamilton Harty and the Chicago Symphony on 23 January 1936. (See the full text on-line in the Kennedy-Center org website.) Can the date of the Ormandy performance be verified, so as to clarify who was in fact the first in the US to conduct the work's premiere there? Philipson55 (talk) 14:07, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

I can get access to the archives of The New York Times at the British Library, and will check this tomorrow. Thank you for raising it. Tim riley (talk) 14:50, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
The note at the Kennedy centre's site is spot-on. The reference in The New York Times headline of 17 October 1936 to the work as "new here" referred only to Philadelphia, and not to the USA as a whole. The NYT's archive has a brief article dated 20 January 1936 (p. 22) that confirms that Harty and the Chicago SO gave the American premiere. Thank you so much for spotting this, which I shall correct forthwith. Tim riley (talk) 14:02, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for doing the research. Although it's probably not relevant to the article, a one-time employee of the local Chicago radio station has related that because the reviews of the Walton US Premiere were so "savagely antagonistic," Harty decided against playing it again for the remaining three scheduled performances that followed the first one, and substituted Dvorak's 'New World' Symphony instead! Philipson55 (talk) 15:03, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Good grief! Another clanger narrowly averted. One of the NYT cuttings mentioned that Harty was going to do the Symph three times, and I toyed with the idea of mentioning this in the article. If he ducked out of giving the two later performances it's just as well I refrained. Put not your trust in press cuttings! Tim riley (talk) 15:20, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Persistent attempts to WP:OVERLINK[edit]

An editor keeps inserting multiple links to the same articles. See the Manual of Style which states: "Generally, a link should appear only once in an article, but if helpful for readers, links may be repeated in infoboxes, tables, image captions, footnotes, and at the first occurrence after the lead." Sound advice, and I am reverting accordingly, bringing the article back into line with other composer FAs. Tim riley (talk) 16:10, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Notes and references[edit]

It is getting on for five years since I took this article through FAC, and looking at it again I think it could do with a little refining to bring it into line with more recent composer Life-and-Works articles. Would anyone object to my separating explanatory footnotes from the general citations, as in more recent FAs such as this one? Tim riley talk 21:15, 13 March 2015 (UTC)

While I certainly have no objection, it is my belief that explanatory footnotes should seldom if ever be necessary in a well-written biographical article. Perhaps you can point to an example here of an explanatory note that both contains essential information and at the same time cannot reasonably be incorporated smoothly into the main article text.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:39, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like a reasonable improvement to an excellent article. Some side items of interest and detailed explanations are appropriate for footnotes, and separating the references makes it easier to skim or read them as desired. Reify-tech (talk) 21:44, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
Jerome, You are not alone in your doubts about footnotes (Noël Coward said that having to read footnotes is like having to go downstairs to answer the door when one is in the middle of making love) but others – and I am relieved to see from Reify-tech's comment that I am not alone – feel that there is a place for interesting, relevant but not core information that readers can look at or not, as they wish. Examples in this article are the existing notes 15, 16, 22, 34, 42, 83 and several others, plus a recent interesting but not core addition about a godson. I'm not proposing to add a lot of extra explanatory footnotes, but chiefly to separate them from the citations: a section, in short, of "You may be interested that…" and then a section of just "This is where we got the information". Most composer FAs have this dual form of noting, and I am seeking to bring Walton's article into line. – Tim riley talk 22:06, 13 March 2015 (UTC)
There being no votes to the contrary, I'll put this on my to-do list. Tim riley talk 19:03, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
And now done. Tim riley talk 12:00, 4 April 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:William Walton/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 22:05, 8 December 2008 (UTC). Substituted at 10:43, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Hidden comments[edit]

The problem with hidden comments along the lines of "Don't add an infobox because a WikiProject doesn't like them" is that it has a chilling effect on editors who don't understand that Wikiprojects have no standing to demand that an infobox may not be added. The decision on having an infobox or not is a matter for consensus on each article, and that is policy. If there has already been a discussion on a particular article, and a consensus reached not to have an infobox, then it is helpful to have an html comment drawing the editor's attention to that (possibly archived) discussion, and I'd be very much in favour of maintaining such notes. It is not acceptable to have a note which effectively prevents any consensus from being discussed, as if the matter were already settled by fiat of a single editor or Wikiproject. We build this encyclopedia by allowing people to edit, not forbidding it for no good reason.

First we were told that failure to have a hidden comment made it hard for editors to know not to add an infobox. Now you say that the hidden comment has a "chilling effect." The fact is that you just want to have a pile of code at the top of every article containing redundant infobox information, even in these arts biographies, usually riddled with errors and always emphasizing unimportant factoids at the expense key information. -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:55, 30 July 2016 (UTC)