UTC’s Department of Music, in collaboration with the UTC Theatre and Art Departments, will present FAÇADE: An Entertainment. Scored for flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, cello, percussion, and reciter, the work brings to the stage the poetry of Dame Edith Sitwell set to music by Sir William Walton.
Review for FAÇADE: An Entertainment:
UTC’s presentation of Façade pays tribute to the interdisciplinary collaborative process between the literary and musical arts. Beyond that, it celebrates artistic and creative innovation, from the newly-created art pieces by hundreds of Chattanooga school children to the animated video inspired by the artwork, said officials.
The origins of this story begin at Oxford University in 1919, when Sacheverell Sitwell (the youngest of three literary siblings from an old aristocratic English family) befriended a music student named William Walton, subsequently introducing him to his sister Edith and brother Osbert. Edith, whose poetry is regarded as the most striking and original of the three Sitwell siblings, began to experiment with the temporal (musical) qualities of language. An eccentric in her own right, Edith’s chief interest was musical, rather than literal or figurative, which led her brothers to suggest that William set these specific poems to music. Concentrating specifically on the exploitation of rhythm, and pacing through the use of rhyme, assonance, dissonance, consonance, and alliteration, the resulting poetry differed from her previous works in that it placed greater importance in the inflection of the words, rather than their meaning. Titled “Façade: An Entertainment”, the composition consisted of sixteen poems, an overture, and an interlude. It premiered at a private concert in January 1922, receiving its first public performance in June of 1923.
Although the poetry served as the point of departure for the majority of the work, there are instances of it being written to accompany previously composed instrumental numbers. During the composer’s and poet’s lifetimes, Façade went through numerous revisions, as well as a variety of versions, including a ballet, two orchestral suites, and arrangements for vocalist and piano and piano solo. The current set, which includes Façade, Façade 2, and an Appendix of four additional numbers, or 35 movements in all, represents the most comprehensive collection of the extant numbers in their original orchestration.
The following UTC faculty members and members of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera will take part in this performance: Jooyong Ahn, conductor, Steve Ray, reciter, Heather Small, piccolo, Nikolasa Tejero, clarinet/bass clarinet, Clint Schmitt, alto saxophone, David Hobbs, trumpet, Ann Camp, cello, and Monte Coulter, percussion. Also included, is a video, directed by Angela Dittmar, inspired by the artwork of Hamilton County K-12 students. The artwork was submitted from the following schools: Battle Academy for Teaching and Learning, Barger Academy of the Arts, Hixson Middle School, Howard School of Academics and Technology, and Normal Park Museum Magnet School.
The performance will take place in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall at the UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St., on Sept. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The performances are presented free of charge and open to the general public.
For more information call the UTC Music Department office at 425-4601 or see the Music Department website at http://www.utc.edu/music/projects/performances.php.