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ARTIST
TITLE
Follies & Façades
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
ACMEM 157CD ACMEM 157CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
11/3/2008

"Edith Sitwell and Lord Berners did more than most to dispel the nationalistic insularity that dominated so much English literature and music in the decade that followed the First World War. The work that brought the Sitwells their greatest fame -- and notoriety -- was Façade, an entertainment that combined Edith's idiosyncratic verse with the music of the young William Walton. With Cocteau s Parade the obvious precedent, the family delighted in creating a first-class scandal in literature and music . Here, the 1929 premiere recording with Constant Lambert appears alongside that made in 1954 with Peter Pears; by all accounts, the only performances of which Edith really approved. Façade owed its existence to the support and encouragement of, among others, Lord Berners. Considered by Stravinsky to be the most gifted composer of his generation, Berners was famously eccentric (A fine biography Lord Berners -The Last Eccentric by Mark Amory was recently published), a diplomat, an accomplished writer, painter, composer and missionary of the arts. As with the Sitwell's, his idealism, openness to new ideas and willingness to embrace humor made for a peculiarly British avant garde. The Berners piece featured in this edition is one of his most widely regarded; the suite from the ballet The Triumph of Neptune which was commissioned by Serge Diagilev in 1926."