NPR logo The Music and Art Behind 'Portsmouth Point'


The Music and Art Behind 'Portsmouth Point'

Shy and reserved in public, English composer William Walton let his satirical sense of humor come out in his music. Many of his works were based on the colorful, bawdy portraits and political cartoons of Thomas Rowlandson, an early 19th-century artist.

Thomas Rowlandson's 'Portsmouth Point' hide caption

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Thomas Rowlandson's 'Portsmouth Point'

Performance Today features Walton's rollicking Portsmouth Point Overture, a piece inspired by an 1811 Rowlandson painting of the same name. Joann Falletta conducts the Juilliard Symphony in Alice Tully Hall at New York's Lincoln Center.