“Naxos opts for the original version of the Sinfoniaconcertante rather than Walton's revision, with piano writing and orchestration slimmed down. Walton himself, before he died, suggested such a return. As soloist Peter Donohoe plays with power and flamboyance, brought home the more when the piano is very forwardly balanced, too much so for a work which doesn't aim to be a full concerto, leaving the orchestra a little pale behind. Even so, hopefully this account, broad in the first movement, flowing in the central Andante, will persuade others to take it up, young man's music built on striking, colourful ideas, used with crisp concision.
Paul Daniel is splendid at interpreting the jazzy syncopations with the right degree of freedom, and in the Spitfire Prelude and Fugue he adds to the impact by taking the big march tune faster than many, similarly demonstrating that The History ofthe English Speaking Peoples March, buried for rather too long, is a match for Walton's other ceremonial marches. Best of all is the performance of the Hindemith Variations, given here with winning panache. The strings of the English Northern Philharmonia may not be as weighty as in some rival versions, but the articulation is brilliant, and the complex textures are all the more transparent. The fire and energy of the performance has never been surpassed on disc.”