Façade with Berkeley Ensemble

Location: St Augustine's Church, Luton LU3 2JR
Sir William Walton
Dame Edith Sitwell

If we are looking for exemplars of The Ties between Pupil & Teacher then the remarkable mentoring of William Walton by the highly eccentric Sitwell family is one of the more exotic. They took the young composer under their wing when in 1920 he moved from Oldham to London in search of fame and fortune. Installing him in the attic of their house in Chelsea the three siblings, Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell, introduced their talented protégé to London society. One of the products of this mentoring was Façade, a recitation of Edith’s extravagant experiments in sound sculpture over the witty music of Walton, imaginatively arranged for a quirky band of six players.

Richard Sisson (Programme Planner)


Malcolm Arnold – Fantasy for Flute Op 89

Igor Stravinsky – Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo / Edith Sitwell Interlude and Solo for Ear-Trumpet

William Walton – Theme from Music for a Prince

William Walton – Passacaglia for Solo Cello

Hans Werner Henze – Sonatina for Trumpet

William Walton – Façade


  • Sarah Gabriel (narrator)
  • Jonathan Gunthorpe (narrator)
  • Sarah Bennington (flute)
  • John Slack (clarinet)
  • Dominic Childs (saxophone)
  • Stephen Peneycad (trumpet)
  • Gemma Wareham (cello)
  • Sarah Hatch (percussion)


  • David Wordsworth  (conductor)



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