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Simpson and Walton's 70th birthday.


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Author Topic: Simpson and Walton's 70th birthday.  (Read 368 times)
Gauk
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« on: February 19, 2020, 10:17:46 pm »

In 1972, the BBC aired a programme to celebrate Walton's 70th birthday, in which were played tributes by several British composers. The highlight was a very clever piece by Robert Simpson, which started off as the opening of Walton's first symphony, but in which the statement of the first subject morphed subtly into "Happy Birthday to You". I'd love to hear it again. Does anyone know if it was ever preserved?
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Paulp
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 06:16:49 pm »

It has found its way onto Youtube.

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Christo
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... an opening of those magic casements ...


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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2020, 09:26:33 pm »

Actually six composers deliver a one minute 'Happy Birthday' piece, No. 5 being Robert Simpson's, starting at 09:25 - and doing what you remembered he did.
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… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.  RVW, 1948
jimfin
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2020, 12:05:14 pm »

Of course there is a phrase in Walton's own Viola Concerto that sounds very like "Happy birthday to you". In the scherzo
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Gauk
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 10:02:16 pm »

Many thanks! Actually, the version I recall was not in the RFH but a BBC studio, and each piece was introduced by Joseph Cooper. I distinctly remember that before Malcolm Arnold's contribution, Cooper said to Walton, "By the way, Malcolm's lost weight!" To which Walton replied, "Impossible!"
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