The Mississippi Symphony Orchestra’s final chamber concert is a Rhythmic Romp with William Walton/Edith Sitwell’s unique and spirited “Façade” bringing expressive music and a theatrical flourish to the acoustically rich Woodworth Chapel at Tougaloo College. Franz Schubert’s emotional “Death and the Maiden” richly concludes the evening.
‘Façade’ is a series of poems by avant garde British poet and critic Edith Sitwell, published in 1918.
William Walton, her protégé, set many of the rhythmic poems to music and the resulting theatrical entertainment gained notoriety with its unconventional form.
“Façade” (without the poems) became a popular ballet score.
Sitwell’s great-nephew, in a 2011 piece in The Telegraph, described the colorful poems, which are said in precise time to the music, as “early white rap.”
In her autobiography, Sitwell likened rhythm to the world of sound what light is to the world of sight — it shapes and gives new meaning.
“‘Façade’ is a work for the most part of gaiety, although sometimes there is a veiled sadness,” she wrote in her autobiography. “The audience is meant to laugh.”
The Library of Congress presented “Façade” in 1977 on the occasion of William Walton’s 75th birthday.
Walton composed music for three Shakespearean films featuring Sir Laurence Olivier — “Hamlet,” “Henry V” and “Richard III.”
Walton received a knighthood in 1951.
Sitwell became a Dame Commander in 1954.
‘Death and the Maiden’
Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden,” composed in 1824, takes its name from a song he wrote seven years prior, in 1817.
It’s considered one of the pillars of the chamber music repertoire.
Schubert was suffering from a serious illness and facing death when he composed it.
It wasn’t published until 1831, three years after his death.
Schubert’s later quartets became a vehicle for conveying his inner struggles, noted chamber music encyclopedist Walter Willson Cobbett.
Rhythmic Romp Concert
4.26.19 / Tougaloo College Woodworth Chapel / 7:30 pm / Jackson, MS
William Walton, Façade - An Entertainment Lester Senter Wilson, narrator
Franz Schubert, String Quartet No. 14, in D minor, D. 810 "Death and the Maiden" Mississippi Symphony Orchestra String Quartet: Marta Szlubowska, violin Vince Massimino, violin Ausra Jacineviciute, viola Veronica Parrales, cello
Tickets $22: buy here >
Student tickets only $5
Concert sponsored by:
LESLY GAYNOR MURRAY
STEPHEN C. EDDS