RIC Faculty Chamber Players to perform Walton’s “Façade” April 14

The Wednesday Chamber Music Series concludes the semester with a concert featuring RIC Faculty Chamber Players and special guests performing English composer William Walton’s “Façade: An Entertainment with Poems by Edith Sitwell” on Wednesday, April 14, at 1 p.m. in the Nazarian Center’s Sapinsley Hall.

Edward Markward
“Façade” was written as an accompaniment to the poetry of Dame Edith Sitwell. Judith Lynn Stillman, RIC music professor and artist in residence, and Thomas Lawlor, RIC adjunct faculty member, will take the parts of the reciters during the performance. Stillman is also director of the Wednesday Chamber Music Series.

Edward Markward, RIC professor of music, will conduct the performance. Markward serves as conductor for the RIC Symphony Orchestra and the R.I. Civic Chorale & Orchestra.

Judith Lynn Stillman (Photo: Tom Stio)
RIC faculty performers Mary Ellen Guzzio (flute), Ian Greitzer (clarinet), Joseph Foley (trumpet) and Michael DeQuattro (percussion) will join Markward in the performance.

Jennifer Bill (saxophone) and Daniel Harp (cello), who are on the music faculty at Providence College and Brown University respectively, will join the RIC faculty.

Walton spent much of his time in the 1920s living and composing in Sitwell family’s attic. According to the book, “A portrait of Walton” by Michael Kennedy, the Sitwells considered Walton to be an “adopted, or elected, brother.”

The 43 numbers comprising the full work were composed between the winter of 1921 and the summer of 1928, said Markward. Their origin was rooted in the new style of poetry that Sitwell evolved.

The poems were described by Edith Sitwell’s brother Osbert as “experiments in obtaining through the medium of words the rhythm of dance measures such as waltzes, polkas, foxtrots... All possessed a quite extraordinary and haunting fascination.”

Osbert thought the poems might further be enhanced if spoken to a musical accompaniment. The obvious choice of composer was William Walton.

The RIC performance will present 16 of the original 21 numbers. A question and answer session will follow.

General admission is free.