Walton Viola Concerto. Sinding (arr Røsth) Suite im alten Stil, Op 108:00, 22nd January 2018
Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad (vla); Oslo PO/Joshua Weilerstein (Walton), Arvis Engegård (Sinding)
LAWO LWC 1133 42 mins
This is short measure in terms of duration, but there is easily enough interest to make it viable. Written at the suggestion of Beecham, the Walton viola concerto remains underplayed to this day, and Holtsmark Ringstad makes a powerful, confident case for it, nimble in the central Vivo, e molto preciso, gentle in the first movement (superbly ruminative at times) and locating the open-air aspect to the finale. Walton himself recorded this piece several times, of course, but this serves as an expressive modern recording.
The coupling is Sinding’s Suite in the Old Style, heard here in a nicely expressive performance. True, the first movement pales in comparison with Heifetz’ violin version, but this is a fascinating piece, the ‘old style’ particularly noticeable in the composer’s way with cadences. Those who know Sinding as a one-work composer (Frühlingsrauschen) should hear this.