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Walton: Façade 1 & 2 (complete) CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

Price: £13.48 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Orchestra: City of London Sinfonia
  • Conductor: Richard Hickox
  • Composer: William Walton
  • Audio CD (1 Oct. 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000AL7
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 160,162 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Susana Walton & Richard Baker, narrateurs - The City of London Sinfonia - Richard Hickox, direction

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
`Drivel they paid to hear' was how one newspaper reviewed Façade when it received its first public performance in 1923! This mainly referred to Edith Sitwell's poetry - it is often referred to nonsensical, but she was actually aiming for abstract patterns in words (reflecting art of the time). Sounds complicated? Well, yes, it is best not to over analyze the poems, but there are some fantastic images:

The hard and braying light
Is zebra'd black and white (from the Long Steel Grass)

Sir Beelzebub called for his syllabub in the hotel in Hell
Where Prosperine first fell (Sir Beelzebub)

Originally, these words were spoken through a megaphone while orchestra played Walton's luscious music. In this recording, it is spoken by the once-well-known BBC announcer Richard Baker and William Walton's wife: Susanna. Richard is clear and quick, while Susanna is beguiling despite her definite Argentinean accent.

The music Walton composed is lively, deep and quirky; and is often played without words. To sever words from music, though, is a mistake. They are perfect partners and enhance each other.

The result is, as you would probably expect, eccentric! But it's none the worse for it. If you like Edward Lear, The Two Ronnies and Vaughan Williams, you're in for a treat!
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Format: Audio CD
Susana Walton is understandably vibrant and wonderful in this performance of what is essentially Posh Rap. She understands her husband's music and the humour intended by Sitwell's dreamworld verse. Richard Baker was a splendid chap but a sad disappointment as choice for this version. He is terminally English in his approach, so reaches gamely for the exotic and the weird but not far enough to be convincing. Simon Rattle does it so much better with the Berlin Phil, if one has to choose. I do wish that the powers that be at the time had more of the courage of their convictions and chosen someone for the male voice who have understood something of Sitwell's oblique, subversive humour: Peter Ustinov? Christopher Lee? Too late now. Otherwise a scintillating performance, not least by the London Sinfonia.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not the finest recording, but good enough.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Fine music.
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