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Façade: First Suite for Orchestra (1926/36)

• Composition: 1926. Music arranged from Façade. First Performance: 3 December 1926. Lyceum Theatre Orchestra, William Walton conductor. Lyceum Theatre, London. Season of Russian Ballet, as orchestral interlude to Lord Berners’ ballet The Triumph of Neptune.
Duration: About 11 minutes
Movements: I. Polka - II. Valse - III. Swiss Jodelling Song. Lento - IV. Tango-Pasodoblé. Lento - V. Tarantella-Sevillana
Craggs Catalogue Number: C12c
Instrumentation: 2 flutes (second doubling piccolo), 2 oboes (second doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets in A (both doubling clarinets in B-flat), 2 bassoons – 4 horns in F (third and fourth ad lib.), 2 trumpets in C, trombone, tuba – timpani, 2 or 3 percussion (triangle, side drum, glockenspiel, castanets, xylophone, cymbals, bass drum, tambourine) – strings
Manuscript: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin. Music Collection, among the papers of Edith Sitwell. Autograph manuscript score.
Publication: Oxford University Press. Study score, 1936 and 1968, 019 368148X. Score and parts are available on hire. [Purchase online from SheetMusicPlus.com: Study score]
Arrangements: Arranged for piano duet, by Constant Lambert. Publication: Oxford University Press. Score, 1927, discontinued.
The music of this suite formed the basis of the following ballets.

    Façade: Ballet in One Act. Choreography by Günter Hess.
        First Performance: 22 September 1929. Chamber Ballet Dancing Theatre, Hagen, Westphalia, Germany. W. G. von Keller producer.
    Façade: Ballet in One Act. Choreography by Sir Frederick Ashton.
        First Performance: 26 April 1931. Cambridge Theatre, London. The Camargo Society. Cambridge Theatre Orchestra, Constant Lambert conductor. John Armstrong decor.
        The First Suite made up the bulk of the music for this ballet, but also included were ‘Scotch Rhapsody’ and ‘Popular Song’. It is possible that Constant Lambert made the orchestrations for this ballet production, as Angus Morrison has suggested. However, it is also possible that Walton himself made the orchestrations and only later incorporated them into the Second Suite for Orchestra.
    Familien-Album. Choreography by John Cranko.
        First Performance: 16 March 1961. Württemberg States Theatre, Stuttgart. The States Theatre Ballet. Stuttgart Philharmonic Orchestra, Josef Dünnwald conductor. Richard Beerscenery and costumes.

Orchestra Conductor Year Compact Disc Timing
London Philharmonic Orchestra Sir William Walton 1936 EMI Classics 7 63381 2
Pearl GEM 0171
New York Philharmonic André Kostelanetz 1957 Sony Classical 58931 10’26”
London Philharmonic Orchestra Sir William Walton 1968 BBC Legends 4098-2 * 4’22”
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Louis Frémaux 1976 EMI Classics 7 64201 2 11’21”
London Philharmonic Jan Latham-Koenig 1991 Chandos CHAN 9148 11’49”
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra Andrew Litton 1996 Decca 470 200-2 11’09”

* Only ‘Tango-Pasodoblé’ and ‘Tarantella-Sevillana’ were released.