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Frederick DELIUS (1862-1934)
150th Anniversary Edition
rec. 1929-1999, ADD/DDD
Track-listing at end of review
EMI CLASSICS 0841752 [18 CDs: 22:26:00]

Experience Classicsonline

Delius felt much the same about his smoky Bradford birthplace as Walton felt about equally ‘up north’ Oldham. Neither felt any pangs of homesickness. Both composers were drawn to sun-kissed climes. Each imbued his music with sunshine and passion though Delius also had a predilection for things Nordic.
 
Over the years EMI Classics have taken very seriously their role as chatelaine to a small pantheon of British composers and each rated multiple recordings. There were also single projects for some often extravagantly expensive byways. The high noon of that tendency came in the 1970s.
 
This tightly packed set reminds us how much the label has done for Delius since the dawn of the recording era. It also serves as a reminder of what Delius has done for EMI. No company has sustained such an effort for this composer for so long. Even so, since the 1980s, new recording sessions by EMI have been few and far between. Still, with their legacy archive the performances of the 1960s and 1970s still speak to us and are likely to for decades to come.
 
We sacrifice detailed background notes and instead get a lucid and compact essay by Lyndon Jenkins. Printed sung texts have also disappeared. The up-side is that we get a set that is comparable - though with fewer discs - to EMI’s titanic Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams boxes. The lack of sung words affects some two-thirds of the music recorded here; after all Delius wrote a lot of music for voice and only rarely resorted to vocalise: Song of the High Hills being one example and To Be Sung of a Summer Night on the River being another. Some amends are made on CD 17 which provides the words in pdf format but there are still no detailed liner notes. For that you need to plough the internet. Two sites stand out. The EMI Classics/Delius Society site has been specially established for the 150th anniversary and is themed around this box. Then there’s the rewarding Delius Society site: admirable, cleanly designed and with a satisfying emphasis on function and content.
 
A number of other things are notable about this set quite apart from its trigger being the 150th anniversary of Delius’s birth. For a start there’s not as much Beecham here as you might expect. The first CD is all-Beecham but after that things change. The second disc showcases Barbirolli while the third mixes Mackerras – who was to record a grand selection for Decca in the 1980s – with Handley and three orchestras two from the M62 corridor and one at the Southern end of the M1. Hickox and Marriner hold court over CD 4 with Groves, Meredith Davies and Sargent in CDs 5 and 6. CDs 7 and 8 are pretty much Fenby discs in one way or another while Beecham does put in an appearance or so in the songs on CD 9. Handley bestrides the tenth disc with works that are particular favourites of mine. CDs 11-12 (Songs of Sunset, Arabesque and A Mass of Life) are very much a case of Groves in Liverpool. CD 13 is a mixed sequence with Meredith Davies in the wonderful and grievously overlooked Requiem and Idyll. Sargent addresses the Songs of Farewell and A Song Before Sunrise. Sea Drift and the opera Koanga (CDs 14 and 15) are Groves recordings. Meredith Davies directs EMI’s illustrious 1970s A Village Romeo and Juliet.
 
If you want Beecham’s Delius then you are already well catered for: go for the recent EMI box of his English music recordings. To complete the overall ‘Tommy’ conspectus there are two sets from 2003: the 4 CD Sony box and the still available earliest recordings on Naxos. Then again we should not overlook Somm’s Beecham-Delius series: Seadrift; In a Summer Garden; A Village Romeo and Juliet; A Mass of Life - prelude; An Arabesk, Brigg Fair. Beecham’s excellence in Delius - or more accurately the recognition and assertion of his music by the English journalist fraternity - has tended to suffocate new generations of Delius conductors. Woe betide you if, like Ormandy or Slatkin (Felix) each of whom did some Delius, you were also a non-Brit or at least non-Commonwealth. Things are a shade more catholic now – look for a start at the Danacord series in the hands of Bo Holten. The EMI set presents the world beyond Beecham even if it is dominated by English conductors albeit some of them just about ‘redeemed’ by having played under Beecham. It’s as well that the march of mortality and the progress of technology have helped break the benign/malign Beecham monopoly. Delius’s music, like that of other composers, needs new blood and while the present recordings are hardly new they do and did point the way forward for later generations. Quite apart from that they continue to yield massive satisfaction.
 
The sound throughout is clean and refulgent ‘honest John’ analogue. There’s only a handful of early digital examples here. What we have is mostly stereo and in large part reflective of one of EMI’s halcyon periods: mid-1960s to late-1970s; there are some exceptions. Pretty well all of these recordings were first issued in the heyday of the LP.
 
The first disc is a Beecham festival. These items are very well known and need little comment. Sleigh Ride and the rest are as magical, as beguiling and as swooningly catchy as ever. Brigg Fair is superbly done. Marche Caprice is remarkably Tchaikovskian. The Dance Rhapsody No. 2 is captured in lovely stereo and accommodates an acres-wide dynamic range – very satisfying. The five separately tracked movements of Dance Rhapsody No. 1 include some trippingly spun oboe invention - pure distilled Beecham magic. Paa Vidderne is more obvious and less refined. It has a tendency towards bombast in the Strauss way. Even so, it has its moments and some of them are heatedly Tchaikovskian. This rare piece with other Norwegian Delius pieces can also be heard in modern sound on ClassicO (review review review). The disc ends with Beecham speaking: the promotional presentation in October 1948 for the launch of the 78rpm set of A Village Romeo and Juliet.
 
CD 2 is an all-Barbirolli affair. Barbirolli outlived Beecham by about a decade and has claims to being his successor in Delius. It’s such a pity that he did not tackle the bigger works apart from Appalachia. I would have loved to have heard his way with Song of the High Hills, Sea-Drift, the Cello Concerto and the Double Concerto. As it is we have from the LSO his notably tender Walk to the Paradise Garden followed by a completely coherent A Song of Summer – itself a very successful tone poem – and the singing silver of the miniature Irmelin Prelude. Late Swallows drifts lullingly between Zemlinsky and Finzi. It’s strangely chilly. After the merest smidgeon of rehearsing Appalachia we come to the full work tracked in 17 sections. That recording holds up very well and the Hallé woodwind and harp are so satisfying. The finale (tr. 22) is sung with evident passion by the Ambrosian Singers and baritone Alun Jenkins. This major work, which in its theme, variations and finale template echoes the famous Brigg Fair, sways quietly into a honeyed silence.
 
CD 3: Mackerras’s Delius is to be found in a major way on Decca Classics who have just issued his Welsh National Opera 1980s cycle in a celebratory 8 CD box (4783078 – see list at end). His relaxing – too relaxed - Paris was done afresh for that project but he first recorded it for EMI Eminence CD EMX 2185 (later reissued on CFP) with the Violin Concerto and the Double Concerto. A thoughtfully paced and warm In a Summer Garden marks the start of Handley’s Delius, first issued on CFP in the 1970s and on Chandos in the 1980s. There’s a full-lipped and roseate On Hearing The First Cuckoo in Spring, a frictionless drifting Summer Night on the River and a verdant Intermezzo from Fennimore and Gerda. The Piers Lane reading of the compact Piano Concerto reminds me of Saint-Saëns. It’s an early piece and more of a barnstormer than you might expect – grandstand mode engaged and not a sign of the mature Delius.
 
CD 4: This all-Hickox disc again shows us a conductor essaying Delius as a prelude to his tackling more major works for Chandos. In much the same way his Sea Drift/Appalachia for Decca preceded his EMI recordings. The Florida Suite and Brigg Fair are rendered in finely graduated digital sound from 1989 and were taken down in a kindly acoustic (review). The results are honeyed and feature a tender legato. The Grainger-dedicated Brigg Fair is most affectionately shaped and can stand confidently alongside the various Beecham versions.
 
While Groves avoided the Delius concertos he was happy to tackle other major scores. This took him to A Mass of Life, Song of the High Hills and Sea Drift - all with his beloved RLPO - the latter with John Noble. Dance appears to have been something of an idée fixe with Delius as we can see – as it was also with Grainger- witness his The Warriors, English Dance and Scotch Strathspey and Reel. The first two pieces are presented by the RPO with Groves. Life's Dance is among his least known scores. From 1904 and based on the Helge Rode drama The Dances Goes On this is Straussian, discursive and rapturous. It is distinctively Delian but the melodic ideas do not linger. The North Country Sketches were also recorded by Beecham - several times (CBS-Sony, Naxos, Somm). They have a leafy, brisk and poetic air and an enlivening shiver. Groves keeps things moving forward. Delius's example in Dance - the third movement - also deeply affected Patrick Hadley in The Hills and Scene from ‘The Woodlanders’. This is followed by a movingly sung Sea Drift from John Noble and the Liverpool Philharmonic Choir with the RLPO. Delius and Dowson are just as potent as Delius and Whitman. The glowing ten minute setting of Cynara is in a very fine-sounding vintage recording by John Shirley-Quirk, again with the RLPO.

The sixth disc is given over very neatly to Delius’s three concertos for strings. Stringed instruments lend themselves to unendliches melodie and in this Delius is centre-stage. The coupling is an inescapably logical and economical one; even so EMI resisted it for years. Chandos led the way with their very recent CD (review). Menuhin seems occasionally overwhelmed by languor and is less than ideally equipped when it comes to eloquence and smooth tone production. Meredith Davies is suitably dreamy and exultant in both the Violin Concerto and the Double Concerto – the latter a sadly underestimated and under-performed work. Menuhin is in better fettle here and Tortelier is excellent. Perhaps a French soloist is more than apt given the many years Delius spent at Grez. However it is Florida that one thinks of at the start of the finale. Sargent’s 1965 Cello Concerto was set down with Du Pré at about the same time that she recorded the Elgar with Barbirolli. The recording is fabulous. One would never think it was getting on for half a century old. The RPO appear in all three concertos. The Florida lilt also suffuses the Cello Concerto.
 
CD 7’s Fenby arrangements present Elena Duran in three ingratiating pieces for flute and strings. The Five Little Pieces also reflect Fenby’s midwifery handiwork on Delius originals. They’re all very pleasing and the last shares a vigorous atmosphere with the North Country Sketches. The Sonata for String Orchestra is Fenby’s dreamy and then sturdy arrangement of the String Quartet including the Late Swallows penultimate movement; again a momentary link with the similar treatment of the mature Walton quartet. After this comes the Britten Quartet’s 1995 recording of the String Quartet original. It’s warm and flowing and has more of a sense of movement than you might expect. The luscious sound compares well with the still pleasing Fitzwilliam version on Eloquence (also in the Decca 8CD Mackerras set). The breezy glancing charm of the finale registers very nicely indeed. Lovely! The next disc takes us back to Delius in chamber mode and to Menuhin. The three violin sonatas are presentably performed in recordings made in 1973 with ardent disciple Fenby as pianist. Menuhin is better in the more vigorous moments than in the dominant pensive vein. Tasmin Little has the passionate full-lipped style down to a tee in the little Légende. The cellist Moray Welsh should have been more prominently celebrated. I recall his stunning broadcast premiere of the Foulds Cello Sonata with Robert Stevenson in 1978. His reading of the Delius Cello Sonata with the equally passionate Israela Margalit is amongst the finest. It is to be counted alongside that of Julian Lloyd Webber. We end with the assertive silver-filigree metallic tracery of Igor Kipnis in the Dance for Harpsichord.
 
Next comes a pleasingly magpied-together disc of 21 songs and a diptych for cello and orchestra. Bostridge is all thoughtful precision. Warmth radiates from Philip Ledger’s two vocalises To Be Sung of a Summer Night on the River – sheer magic and when first issued a nice complement to Hadley’s The Hills. It was set down in 1975. Arthur Symons’ Dowson-influenced Wanderer’s Song is nicely floated. For the Straussian Heimkehr – and the following ten songs - Beecham returns variously as conductor and as pianist. Elsie Suddaby is in sweet voice for three Nordic songs. Those four tracks from 1949 and 1951 sound very good. The four Dora Labette tracks have a somewhat tempered surface bristle but the signal is strong and healthy. Labette is clarity itself for her eleven tracks. Aren’t those words at the end of Twilight Fancies (When the sun goes down) archetypical Delius. The mannered Heddle Nash was recorded in 1934 in To the Queen of My Heart and Love’s Philosophy – the latter also a Quilter marque. Gerald Moore is magnificently sensitive and keeps things moving. From the year after the four songs sung by Labette and accompanied by Beecham comes the Caprice and Elegy recorded by an unnamed orchestra conducted by Fenby at a time when Delius had just five more years to live. It is easy to overlook how special this sounds. It has been extremely well transferred. For a more systematic and uniformly-voiced approach to the songs do turn to Stone’s two volume complete survey.
 
CD 10 includes two of my favourite Delius works. Eventyr was recorded by Handley with the Hallé. It’s brooding yet lilting progress is lent additional pep by the saga atmosphere. This includes the malevolent xylophone impacts and the famous goblin shouts by members of the orchestra at the climactic moments. See also the Handley/Delius CFP review. It is very good to have Handley’s complete Hassan music. The music is very imaginative indeed – perfectly in keeping with the exoticism and cruelty of Flecker’s play. Strange that Delius never set any of Flecker’s poetry. A Delius setting of The Gates of Damascus remains a great might-have-been. Had Bantock been drawn to the same words he too would have made something remarkable of Flecker’s saturated imagery. I keep hoping that one of these days the play as broadcast by the BBC on Radio 3 in 1973 (Robert Hardy and Sarah Badel were among a strong cast) will be issued on disc. To hear the music in situ adds potently to the words and vice versa. We Take The Golden Road to Samarkand is vintage and unmissable Delius. The music featured is far more extensive than that used in the various Beecham-derived and recorded suites though my impression is that more still was included in the BBC broadcast. It also featured a special supplementary studio concert of some pieces the Corporation could not fit into the play as broadcast. The orchestra was the BBC Welsh conducted by Rae Jenkins.

CDs 11-12 present Delius in the grandeur of choral sound rather than the delicacy of the orchestral miniatures. The effortless honey of the Songs of Sunset is heard in Groves’ 1968 Liverpool version. These Dowson settings remain affecting not least when Baker and Shirley-Quirk are heard in duet. The Danish-inspired and cloud-hung An Arabesque works well leading to the start of A Mass of Life, another Groves product, this time with the LPO. The singing is lovely and an obvious improvement technically on later versions including the much earlier though unrefined-sounding Beecham (Sony and Pristine) and the presumably unauthorised Del Mar off-air recording (Intaglio). The latter sports none other than the young Kiri Te Kanawa as the soprano. Still it is wonderful again to hear Heather Harper – she who made such a memorably voluptuous event of the Chandos recording of Harty’s Ode to a Nightingale. Groves is very good indeed, lavishly enjoyable – much more than respectable. EMI may well be tempted to muster a Groves/Delius set; there’s plenty of material there. However, for that blood-rush you need to hear Beecham and Del Mar.
 
CD 13 is a replica of one first issued in 2002 and reviewed here. The Sargent items appeared once before that. This was on an odds-and-ends Delius miscellany entitled La Calinda - A Delius Festival on EMI Classics CDM 769534 2. EMI have cut their Delius patrimony in many permutations … quite right too. Even among Delians the Requiem has inhabited the dubious twilight. Why is this? Hickox recorded it for Chandos as a partner for Mass of Life. A different off-air Requiem was similarly harnessed on the Italian Intaglio label (INCD 702-2, long deleted). The Intaglio was a taping of a BBC Third Programme broadcast of the RLPO conducted by Groves. The soloists were Thomas Hemsley and again Heather Harper. Oddly enough the Unicorn Fenby Legacy series (1980s) never reached it though it would have made a much better balance with the glorious Song of the High Hills than the Scandinavian songs with orchestra.
 
The Requiem has been hampered in its concert life by being a defiantly unChristian and, for that matter, unIslamic work. Delius preached the gospel of glory in the high noon of life and meeting death fearlessly. For him after death there was nothing. The Requiem offered none of the then popular comforting spiritualism of the post-Great War days. The message was: bask in life and all its joys because when it’s gone it’s gone. The effect was intensified by having the choirs sing 'alleluia' and 'La il Allah' antiphonally - a blasphemous coup. It is no wonder the work found no place at the Three Choirs! It is however amongst the best Delius being more concise than A Mass of Life and vastly more effective. Its sad sweetness is utterly uncloying. Part of its grip on success is down to the clarity of the mingled lines and textures. It achieves a wonderful transparency from which Howells and Hadley were later to learn.
 
Idyll is even stronger, melodically speaking, with well rounded themes - mature and extremely expressive. The slow roll of the theme at 00.47 in track 6 manages to sound Sibelian. Shirley-Quirk is impressive. Idyll ends in transcendent peace.
 
Sargent's Song Before Sunrise is a little short on mystery and sounds rushed. It’s beefy and red-blooded - an approach flooded with virile potency. The choral singing in his Songs of Farewell is golden. Listen to those acres of burnished tone at Joy Shipmate Joy. In one of the songs you hear the same music that Delius uses in the dawn episode from Hassan.
 
Then for the final five discs we come to the operatic Delius. The early Koanga (CDs 14-15) is more virile and exultant than we might have expected. It is resonant with the atmosphere of the young Delius’s Florida orange plantation time. It’s far more Puccinian than any of the other operas. Contrary to my recollections of the LPs the sound has come up very brightly indeed without unwelcome glare. It’s extremely enjoyable and might well surprise you; it certainly surprised me. Practically speaking it’s the only game in town although I see that from ebay that there are two obscure alternatives: a 2 CD set of a 1958 broadcast conducted by Stanford Robinson and a 2 LP (IGS081/2) box of the American premiere where the lead is taken by Eugene Holmes. CD 15 ends with four tracks allocated to a rather urgent Song of the High Hills – originally issued on LP (ASD2958) alongside Groves’ Sea Drift. Meredith Davies conducts a ripely adroit cast, choir and orchestra for A Village Romeo and Juliet. It’s centred in history between Beecham’s HMV recording - and now the wireless broadcast preserved by Somm - and Mackerras’s early 1990s recording; nothing more recent than that. Rather like EMI’s Vaughan Williams opera projects of the same era the cast roster reads like an honour roll not only of the then great but a predictive sampling of a new generation of fine singers. The singing is, in general, pretty attentive to word shaping and enunciation. The playing and singing are full of character and there is far more spirited writing here than the clichés about Delius might lead you to believe. CD 17 finishes with a half hour illustrated talk about Delius by Fenby. It is packed tight with rewarding revelations and instructive insights. Helpfully – just as with the operas – this talk is plentifully tracked so one can jump around each work or item with targeted ease. Fennimore and Gerda was fashioned from the novel by Jens Peter Jacobsen. Davies’s EMI recording mixes a Danish cast, choir and orchestra with one grand internationally recognised name (Söderström, in glorious voice) and two yeoman English singers: Tear and Rayner Cook. Their enunciation is crystalline. The project dates from March 1976 so represents the highest tide of EMI’s Delius operas. It betrays no shadow of weakness. Should you wish to explore the Delius operas further afield then there are long deleted BBC CDs of Irmelin (BBC CD3002) and The Magic Fountain and Margot La Rouge (BBC CD3004).

2012 will see a gratifying crop of performances and perhaps more recordings. The concerts include Paris, the Song of a Great City, and a complete performance of Hassan at the Cheltenham Festival (5-6 July), the Cello Concerto and Sea Drift in Hereford Cathedral as part of the Three Choirs Festival (22 and 26 July), a Study Weekend at The British Library (22-23 September) and a four-day Delius Celebration in Manchester and Bradford (17-20 October). We can look forward also to John Bridcut’s BBC4 documentary and a Royal Mail commemorative postage stamp has been issued.
 
The present generous set has no parallels nor would I anticipate that there will be for many years. The performances and recordings are healthy and pleasing. They will win many new friends for the composer. The box is competitively priced – remarkably so. Apart from those for whom duplication is a problem this almost comprehensive set is irresistible.

Rob Barnett

Track-listing

CD 1 [79.20]
[1] Sleigh Ride (Winternacht) 5.30
[2] Marche caprice (ed & arr. Beecham) 4.00
[3] Over the hills and far away (ed. Beecham) 12.57
[4] A Dance Rhapsody no. 2 7.40
[5] -[9] A Dance Rhapsody no. 1 12.01
[10] On the Mountains (Paa vidderne) 12.17
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham
[11] -[15] Promotional presentation by Sir Thomas Beecham in October 1948 for the launch of the 78rpm set of A Village Romeo and Juliet 25.02
 
CD 2 [78.50]
[1] The Walk to the Paradise Garden from A Village Romeo and Juliet (arr. Beecham) 9.45
[2] A Song of Summer 11.19
[3] Irmelin Prelude 5.44
London Symphony Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli
[4] Late Swallows (arr. Fenby) 10.49
Hallé Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli
[5] Rehearsing Appalachia (16.VII.1970) 2.32
[6] -[22] Appalachia – Variations on an Old Slave Song with final chorus 37.19 (rev. & ed. Beecham)
Ambrosian Singers (chorus master: John McCarthy)
Hallé Orchestra/Sir John Barbirolli

CD 3 [75.50]
[1] Paris – The Song of a great City 21.49
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Mackerras
[2] In a Summer Garden 14.12
Hallé Orchestra/Vernon Handley
Two Pieces for Small Orchestra
[3] No. 1 On hearing the first cuckoo in Spring 5.42
[4] No. 2 Summer night on the river 6.23
[5] Intermezzo from ‘Fennimore and Gerda’ (arr. Fenby) 4.54
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley
[6] -[8] Piano Concerto in C minor 22.40
Piers Lane, piano
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley

CD 4 [78.55]
[1] -[4] Florida, suite (Revised and edited by Sir Thomas Beecham) 38.15
[5] -[27] Brigg Fair – An English Rhapsody 16.02
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Richard Hickox
[28] Summer Evening (arr. Beecham) 6.30
[29] La Calinda from Koanga (arr. Fenby) 4.05
[30] Air and Dance 4.05
[31] Intermezzo & 2.13
[32] Serenade from Hassan (arr. Beecham) 2.23
Northern Sinfonia of England/Richard Hickox
[33] -[34] Two Aquarelles, arr. Fenby 4.11
The Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields/Sir Neville Marriner

CD 5 [76.50]
[1] Lebenstanz (Life’s Dance) 15.21
[2] -[5] North Country Sketches 26.46
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves
[6] -[13] Sea Drift (Whitman) 25.02
John Noble, baritone/Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves
[14] Cynara (Dowson) 9.30
John Shirley-Quirk, baritone
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves

CD 6 [69.30]
[1] -[3] Violin Concerto 27.14
Yehudi Menuhin, violin
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Meredith Davies
[4] -[6] Double Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra 21.50
Yehudi Menuhin, violin/Paul Tortelier, cello
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Meredith Davies
[7] -[11] Cello Concerto 24.37
Jacqueline du Pré, cello
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent

CD 7 [79.00]
ALL WORKS ARRANGED BY ERIC FENBY 1906-1997
[1] Dance* 2.36 Two Pieces for flute and strings*
[2] 1. La Calinda 3.36
[3] 2. Air and Dance 4.56
[4] -[8] Five Little Pieces for small orchestra 9.50
[9] -[12] Sonata for String Orchestra 28.54
*Elena Duran, flute
Bournemouth Sinfonietta/Eric Fenby
[13] -[16] String Quartet 28.44
Britten Quartet
Peter Manning & Keith Pascoe, violins
Peter Lale, viola _ Andrew Shulman, cello

CD 8 [78.40]
[1] -[3] Violin Sonata No. 1 22.50
[4] -[6] Violin Sonata No. 2 13.32
[7] -[9] Violin Sonata No. 3 17.10
Yehudi Menuhin, violin _ Eric Fenby, piano
[10] Légende in E flat 8.15
Tasmin Little, violin _ John Lenehan, piano
[11] -[13] Cello Sonata 14.19
Moray Welsh, cello _ Israela Margalit, piano
[14] Dance for Harpsichord 2.21
Igor Kipnis, harpsichord

CD 9 [67.00]
[1] Twilight Fancies (Evening Voices) (Bjørnson; English: Copeland) 3.49
Ian Bostridge, tenor _ Julius Drake, piano
[2] -[3] To be sung of a summer night on the water (wordless) 4.15
Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Sir Philip Ledger
[4] Wanderer’s Song (Symons) 3.35
Baccholian Singers of London
Rogers Covey-Crump, Ian Partridge, Ian Thompson, Paul Elliott, tenors
Ian Humphris, Stephen Varcoe, baritone; Michael George, Brian Etheridge, bass
[5] Heimkehr (The Homeward Journey) (Vinje) orch. Sondheimer 4.40
Marjorie Thomas, mezzo-soprano
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham
[6] Twilight Fancies (Evening Voices) (Bjørnson) orch. Beecham 4.12
[7] Whither (Autumn) (Holstein) orch. Beecham 2.42
[8] The Violet (Holstein) orch. Gibson 1.53
Elsie Suddaby, soprano
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham
[9] Whither (Autumn) (Holstein) orch. Beecham 2.45
[10] The Violet (Holstein) orch. Gibson 1.48
[11] I-Brasîl (MacLeod) orch. Heseltine (Warlock) 2.45
[12] Klein Venevil (Bjørnson) [sung in German] 1.51
Dora Labbette, soprano
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Thomas Beecham
[13] Twilight Fancies (Evening Voices) (Bjørnson) 4.18
[14] Cradle Song (Ibsen) 2.13
[15] The Nightingale (Welhaven) 2.03
Dora Labbette, soprano _ Sir Thomas Beecham, piano
[16] Irmelin Rose (Jacobsen) } 4.20
[17] So white, so soft, so sweet Is she (Johnson)
[18] Le ciel est, par-dessus le toit (Verlaine) 4.24
[19] La lune blanche (Verlaine)
Dora Labbette, soprano _ Gerald Moore, piano
[20] To The Queen Of My Heart (Shelley) 4.47
[21] Love’s Philosophy (Shelley)
Heddle Nash, tenor _ Gerald Moore, piano
[22] Caprice and Elegy 9.25
Beatrice Harrison, cello
Chamber Orchestra/Eric Fenby

CD 10 [79.10]
[1] Eventyr (Once upon a time) 16.14
Hallé Orchestra/Vernon Handley
[2] -[27] Hassan, Incidental music (Flecker) 62.56
Martyn Hill, tenor _ Brian Rayner Cook, baritone
Bournemouth Sinfonietta Choir
Bournemouth Sinfonietta/Vernon Handley

CD 11 [75.08]
[1] -[8] Songs of Sunset (Dowson) 29.31
Dame Janet Baker, mezzo-soprano _ John Shirley-Quirk, baritone
Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves
[9] An Arabesque (Jacobsen) 11.38
John Shirley-Quirk, baritone
Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves
A Mass of Life (from Nietzsche: Also sprach Zarathustra)
[10] -[14] FIRST PART 33.41

CD 12 [1] -[8] SECOND PART [66.07]
A Mass of Life (from Nietzsche: Also sprach Zarathustra)
 
Heather Harper, soprano _ Helen Watts, contralto
Robert Tear, tenor _ Benjamin Luxon, baritone
London Philharmonic Choir
London Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves
 
CD 13 [78.15]
[1] -[5] Requiem 30.35
Heather Harper, soprano _ John Shirley-Quirk, baritone
Royal Choral Society
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Meredith Davies
[6] -[11] Idyll (Once I passed through a populous city) (Whitman) 21.32
Heather Harper, soprano _ John Shirley-Quirk, baritone
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Meredith Davies
[12] A Song before Sunrise 6.09
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent
[13] -[17] Songs of Farewell (Whitman) 19.23
Royal Choral Society
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Malcolm Sargent

CD 14 [61.16]
Koanga
[1] -[16] Prologue, Act 1 & 2

CD 15 [76.32]
Koanga
[1] -[13] Act 3 & Epilogue 51.34
[14] -[17] The Song of the High Hills (wordless) 24.58
Liverpool Philharmonic Choir
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir Charles Groves

CD 16 [68.10]
A Village Romeo and Juliet
[1] -[22] Scenes 1 – 4 (inc.)

CD 17 [68.46]
A Village Romeo and Juliet
[1] -[15] Scenes 5 & 6 41.26
John Alldis Choir/John Alldis
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Meredith Davies
 
Illustrated talk by Eric Fenby 27.20

CD 18 [78.24]
Fennimore and Gerda
[1] -[15] Pictures 1 – 11 (inc.)
 
Danish Radio Chorus
Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Meredith Davies

EMI Classics 18cds 0841752
 
===========================

DELIUS Edition. A Village Romeo and Juliet, Brigg Fair, Appalachia, Sea Drift, Florida Suite, Violin & Piano Concertos. Sir Charles Mackerras. Decca 8cds CD / Decca Classics 4783078
 
CD 1
[1] Brigg Fair 16:20
[2] In a Summer Garden 14:07
[3] The Walk to the Paradise Garden 10:11
(A Village Romeo and Juliet)
North Country Sketches
[4] I Autumn 8:09
[5] II Winter Landscape 4:18
[6] III Dance 6:30
[7] IV The March of Spring 8:05

CD 2
[1] -[10] Appalachia (ed. Beecham) 37:50
A Song of the High Hills (ed. Beecham)
[11] With quiet easy movement 9:54
[12] Slow and solemnly 16:08
[13] Over the Hills and Far Away 13:39

CD 3
[1] -[6] Sea Drift 25:03
[7] -[10] Florida Suite 37:36

CD 4
[1] Violin Concerto (ed. Beecham) 24:23
Two Aquarelles (arr.Fenby)
[2] I Lento, ma non troppo 2:23
[3] II Gaily, but not quick 2:18
[4] On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring (ed. Beecham) 6:58
[5] Summer Night on the River (ed. Beecham) 5:55
[6] Intermezzo (Fennimore and Gerda) 5:50
[7] Irmelin Prelude (ed. Beecham) 5:09
[8] Dance Rhapsody No.2 (ed. Beecham) 8:01
[9] Dance Rhapsody No.1 (ed. Beecham) 13:10

CD 5
[1] Cello Sonata 13:24
Two Pieces for cello and chamber orchestra
for cello and piano
[2] I Caprice 3:10
[3] II Elegy 4:42
String Quartet
[4] I With animation 7:45
[5] II Quick and lightly 4:04
[6] II Late swallows 8:53
[7] IV Very quick and vigorously 6:34
Four part songs
[8] Midsummer Song 1:49
[9] Craig Dhu 3:34
[10] To be sung of a summer night on the river 3:41

CD 6
[1] Intermezzo and Serenade (Hassan) 3:54
[2] A Song before Sunrise 4:39
[3] Air and Dance 4:54
[4] La Calinda (Koanga) 4:07
Two pieces for cello and chamber orchestra
[5] I Caprice 3:23
[6] II Elegy 4:45
Piano Concerto
[7] I Allegro - Largo 22:00
Historic bonus track
[8] Paris: The Song of a Great City 23:45

CD 7-8
A Village Romeo and Juliet
Decca 8cds 4783078

 


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