Music: Escape Music

The driver of a wartime ambulance in England was pleased to hear last week that one of his musical compositions had been loudly applauded. He had never heard the piece himself. The ambulance driver was William Walton, a tall, long-faced, 39-year-old Englishman who seems not to mind the gruesome sights of airraid victims, but says he hates the sweat and agony of musical composition. Nevertheless, William Walton has sweated out some of England's finest contemporary scores.

Composer Walton has lived with the celebrated, long-faced Sitwell family; to Sister Edith's verses he wrote Faç;ade, his best-known, though least profound, orchestral work. Driving an...

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