Ballet freely adapted and music originally written as settings to poems by Edith Sitwell.
The BBC Television Orchestra
Leader, Boris Pecker
Conducted by William Walton
William Walton's 'Façade' was written in 1923 when the composer was twenty-one years of age. It was originally conceived as a series of poems by Edith Sitwell to be recited through a megaphone with musical accompaniment, for flute, clarinet, saxophone, cello, trumpet, and percussion. These accompaniments are mostly in the form of very clever and witty parodies of popular dance tunes, ranging from the polka to the foxtrot.
In 1926 Walton revised the music and also arranged an orchestral suite for concert use, in which form it was played as an interlude during the Diaghilev Russian Ballet seasons. A few years ago, however, the Vic-Wells Ballet had the happy idea of adapting the music of 'Façade' for a ballet, and accordingly one of the cleverest and wittiest of modern ballets was produced.