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Bittersweet Symphony

Louise Fryer investigates the inspiration behind Walton's powerful First Symphony, and discovers a story of love, heartache, struggle and triumph.

'Symphonies are a lot of work to write. Too much. One has to have something really appalling happen to one, that lets loose the fount of inspiration.' (William Walton)

Walton can be a composer who divides opinion but his First Symphony is generally acknowledged as a masterpiece. But what was his "appalling" inspiration for this turbulent and deeply felt work?

Louise Fryer visits some landmarks of Walton's 1930s London and talks to Walton expert Stephen Johnson and conductor Andrew Litton to tell a story of love, heartache, struggle and triumph.

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20 minutes

Credit

Role Contributor
Composer William Walton

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