Walton: Façade –  An Entertainment – The Complete Extant Numbers

Walton: Façade – An Entertainment – The Complete Extant Numbers

Eleanor Bron (reciter), Richard Stilgoe (tenor), The Nash Ensemble


Here is a new and complete recording of the unique and fascinating work, which brought William Walton's name and fame to the fore in the early 1920's. The history of Façade is extremely complex since there are over thirty extant numbers setting the virtuoso and extraordinary poems of Dame Edith Sitwell, and ever since its premiere different performances and recordings have assembled only some of them, and those in differing order.

This CD presents the complete extant numbers of Façade; in addition the booklet includes the dozen or so Sitwell poems which Walton either never set or which have been lost. The poems are spoken to Walton's widely differing 'orchestrations' by two well-known and popular personalities of the English stage and TV screen—Eleanor Bron and Richard Stilgoe.

The disc also includes the first recording of the incidental music to Salome by Constant Lambert, the fiftieth anniversary of whose death occurs this year. Lambert, of course, was involved with Façade from the beginning as he used to share the recitations with Dame Edith.

The front illustration reproduces John Piper's curtain design for the 1942 performances of Façade.

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