William Walton and Paul Hindemith - Façade & The Viola Connection
Join us for our collaborative faculty–student celebration of two icons of the 20th century.
The composers William Walton (1902-1983) and Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) met almost by accident. In 1929, when Walton’s intended soloist for his new Viola Concerto backed out, Hindemith, who also played the viola, agreed to play the premiere. Hindemith’s performance was key to the work’s success, and the two men remained lifelong friends. As this program attests, Hindemith loved to compose chamber works across the full instrumental spectrum, including clarinet, horns, classical guitar.
Walton’s 1923 “entertainment,” Façade, was a succès de scandale. The performance consisted of Dame Edith Sitwell's verses, which she recited through a megaphone protruding through a decorated screen, while Walton conducted an ensemble of six players. His “jazz-inflected, witty music, full of music-hall parodies” (Edward Greenfield) and her poetry, dubbed 1920s surreal rap, was intended to make people laugh. Who couldn’t use some more of that?
M. JANE ERWIN
In addition to Sonoma State, Jane Erwin is on the faculty at American Conservatory Theater (ACT) and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Summer Music West). At ACT she has taught singing, acting and musical theater in both the Young Conservatory and the MFA Progam, as well as served as Musical Director for five Young Conservatory world premiere musicals, and co-directed, with Young Conservatory Director Craig Slaight, the Young Conservatory Cabaret and Musical Ensembles.