4.00pm (BST), Sun 20th September 2020

A smorgasbord of jazz-inspired miniatures, Façade sets Edith Sitwell’s wonderfully quirky verse to William Walton’s kaleidoscopic score in this hugely entertaining work that brings to mind the tea dances of a golden age.


  1. Walton / Sitwell - Façade [50"]

Conductor: David Corkhill
Narrator: Johnny Herford

Brimming with jazz-soaked charm and colour, William Walton’s Façade gained immediate notoriety for its unconventionality; at its public premiere in 1922, poet Edith Sitwell recited her delightfully quirky verse with a megaphone protruding through an ornate screen, with Walton conducting the work’s six-piece ensemble hidden from view. In the audience that night sat Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward.

This "entertainment" comprises twenty-one miniatures in a multitude of musical styles and forms, its deft and playful pastiche leading one reviewer to say of Walton "As a musical joker, he is a jewel of the first water".