Walton's Symphony No. 1 and Belshazzar's Feast, which were written consecutively, helped him consolidate his reputation as the most exciting British composer of his generation. Belshazzar's Feast, a superbly crafted oratorio, vividly depicts the story of Babylon's excesses and subsequent downfall, brilliantly coloured by the orchestral forces, including two brass bands. Similarly effervescent, volcanic sentiments simmer beneath the surface of the First Symphony, the music conveying the tensions of the 1930s, whilst remaining timeless in its appeal.
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