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Walton's Façade, conducted by John Wilson

  • CD Release - Orchid Classics (map)

Zeb and Carole Boyd (best known for playing Lynda Snell in The Archers) have made a new recording of Façade, Edith Sitwell's eccentric poetry set to music by William Walton, conducted by John Wilson, founder of the John Wilson Orchestra.  Produced by Andrew Keener.

We have on this recording two of the loveliest, most characterful voices on British radio.
— Andrew Keener, Producer, Gramophone Magazine
...[Carole and Zeb] hurl themselves into the mix with impressive enthusiasm and a real feel for the rhythms of the poems ... John Wilson conducts his chamber ensemble with brisk efficiency and a full appropriation of Walton’s pungent and colourful score. The recording itself is interesting. It avoids the temptation to balance the voices way forwards, as sometimes happens – instead, they’re part of the ensemble ...  this is a good’un from Orchid Classics. And, it comes with a considerable bonus of a 1955 radio interview with Edith Sitwell in which her character really came across.
— Record Review, BBC Radio 3
Carole Boyd, actor, and Zeb Soanes, newscaster, find a variety of voices to entertain the listener, and Wilson is an expert, committed Waltonian.
— The Sunday Times
[Carole and Zeb] sound like [they are] having far too much fun ... [Edith Sitwell tries] to make poetry dance – to make it like music ... it’s a great album, I really enjoyed it.
— In Tune, BBC Radio 3
These two celebrated voices chant the strange poems of Edith Sitwell with an infallible rhythm and a perfect, stretched or swift diction. The originality of this new version comes from the judicious way in which Boyd and Soanes distributed not only the twenty-one poems but sometimes the verses within each. Boyd and Soanes allow the listener to constantly grasp striking fleeting images and revel in not only the associations of words but their sonority. The charm, the off-the-wall bravery and the apparent carefreeness of this new version deserve much attention.
— Christine Labroche,
Earlier Event: March 25