Facade, King's Lynn

ALISON CROOSE A prestigious chamber group teamed up with a distinguished actress and a much-respected broadcaster to present one of the liveliest entertainments in the classical repertoire.

ALISON CROOSE

A prestigious chamber group teamed up with a distinguished actress and a much-respected broadcaster to present one of the liveliest entertainments in the classical repertoire.

Facade may be regarded as a “lollipop” but that does not to degrade the poems by Edith Sitwell with complementary music composed instinctively by a 19-year-old William Walton.

The work, first performed in 1923, created a sensation. It is no longer treated as “a high class cabaret” but has an established place in the repertoire as an idiosyncratic, but nevertheless, evergreen piece which slotted comfortably into Lynn Festival's Tributes theme in Walton's centenary year.

The Nash Ensemble, Eleanor Bron and Richard Baker gave exuberant performances. The only disappointment for some of the large audience at St Margaret's Church was that they could not appreciate all the words because of sound balance which meant voices were sometimes drowned by musical instruments.

Before this light-hearted fun, festival-goers were challenged by Ibert's Le Jardinier de Samos, and even more so by Ravel's Sonata for Violin and Cello which was a vehicle for the virtuosity of cellist Paul Watkins and violinist Marianne Thorsen who won new fans of this esoteric work.

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