Author Topic: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding  (Read 307 times)

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Offline alkan

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William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« on: September 12, 2018, 11:21:00 AM »
This will certainly be a very minority subject.    In fact, I will be surprised to get any replies at all .....

With great sadness, I learned that Fenella Fielding has passed away.    She was a British stage actress, and really nothing to do with classicial music ....... EXCEPT .....
.... except that she made an absolutely fabulous recording of Walton's Facade.       

For those of you who do not know this work, it consists of experimental poetry by Edith Sitwell set to music by William Walton.     It dates from the 1920's.
Two readers (male and female) recite the poems rhymically to Walton's wonderful settings for chamber orchestra.       

In the 1970's (I think) there was a memorable recording with the Academy of St. Martin with Michael Flanders and Fenella Fielding as the reciters.    Both have fabulous voices and timing .... absolutely perfect for this very original work.   

The original recording has been remastered and reissued recently.     It is a fitting reminder of a past era, an inspired performance and two wonderful artists.
The work (and peformance) is also very funny, original, moving, poetic and bizzare.      I know of nothing quite like it.     And the voices of Flanders and Fielding .....   absolute perfection.

If you do not know Facade ... take a chance .... I don't think you will be disappointed.
The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
Harlan Ellison (1934 - )

Offline aligreto

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 12:04:58 PM »
I do not know her recording of Facade but I certainly do agree with you on the recommendation that if one does not know the work that it is definitely worthwhile investigating it. It is certainly something different.
The ability to talk comes with knowledge. The ability to listen comes with wisdom.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 01:24:19 PM »
I was sad to read of this, especially a week after the death of Liz Fraser - both fine comedy actors. Fenella Fielding is very funny as 'Greta' in Tony Hancock's 'The Poetry Society' which I'd strongly recommend. I also liked her performance in 'Carry on Screaming'.
Sorry, I've rather lowered the tone (no pun intended) of this discussion. I don't know her recording of Fa├žade.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Daverz

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 10:51:06 PM »
I only see it on this 2001 issue, coupled with The Bear




Offline alkan

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 11:37:57 PM »
As a tribute to Fenella Fielding, here are a couple of excerpts from her recordng.


Valse - I just love the flow of changes of intonantion in her wonderful voice
https://www.dropbox.com/s/txrhvme0xgab62f/17%20Valse%20MP3.mp3?dl=0

Scotch Rhapsody - Simply hilarious.     Wonderful Scottish accent ..... "... speaking purely as a private person"
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8bcf0idj6xzdy58/19%20Scotch%20Rhapsody%20MP3.mp3?dl=0

The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
Harlan Ellison (1934 - )

Offline Biffo

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 11:51:21 PM »
As a tribute to Fenella Fielding, here are a couple of excerpts from her recordng.


Valse - I just love the flow of changes of intonantion in her wonderful voice
https://www.dropbox.com/s/txrhvme0xgab62f/17%20Valse%20MP3.mp3?dl=0

Scotch Rhapsody - Simply hilarious.     Wonderful Scottish accent ..... "... speaking purely as a private person"
https://www.dropbox.com/s/8bcf0idj6xzdy58/19%20Scotch%20Rhapsody%20MP3.mp3?dl=0

I would  like to hear her recording in better sound - she sounds very indistinct (sure she isn't) in the dropbox extracts played on my PC. I only have the well-known Pears/Sitwell version though I have heard others.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 11:57:19 PM by Biffo »

Offline alkan

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 11:56:32 PM »
I would  like to hear her recording in better sound - she sounds very indistinct (sure she isn't) in the dropbox extracts played on my PC. I only have the well-know Pears/Sitwell version though I have heard others.

I will put up WMA files ..... maybe conversion to MP3 screwed things up.     The CD recording is crystal-clear and the sound is very striking.

Stay tuned ....
The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
Harlan Ellison (1934 - )

Offline alkan

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The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
Harlan Ellison (1934 - )

Offline Biffo

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2018, 12:28:48 AM »

Offline alkan

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2018, 01:10:17 AM »
As a bonus, here is a virtuoso performance of the Tarantella by Michael Flanders.    From the same recording.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/0ng8pcxx5uslk09/10%20Tarantella%20.wma?dl=0
The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
Harlan Ellison (1934 - )

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2018, 07:32:16 AM »
As a tribute to Fenella Fielding, here are a couple of excerpts from her recordng.

Thanks for posting these. Love her performance. Most enjoyable.

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline alkan

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Re: William Walton - Facade - Fenella Fielding
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2018, 01:12:13 AM »
Thanks Sarge.    Glad you enjoyed them.

There are many more.   I wish that I could post the lot, but I think I might be in trouble with copyright ..... >:(
The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity.
Harlan Ellison (1934 - )