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#2103670 - 06/17/13 03:53 AM Delius
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
It was while listening to a work by Frederick Delius
“An English Rhapsody ... Brigg Fair” with all it’s
gentle wispiness and scented romanticism, that
had me speculating why the music of Delius is more heard.

Sir Thomas Becham played a big hand in popularising his works.

Brigg Fair had me floating on a cloud ... anybody want to chip in?

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#2103673 - 06/17/13 04:15 AM Re: Delius [Re: btb]
bennevis Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 6444
I'm sure that aficionados will jump on me for saying this, but some hack (actually, the English composer Elisabeth Lutyens) said something about the English 'cowpat' pastoral school of composers.

Personally, I don't think that applies to Vaughan Williams and Holst (didn't the latter write "Mars, the bringer of War"? grin), but Delius?
_________________________
"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."

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#2103681 - 06/17/13 05:12 AM Re: Delius [Re: btb]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4264
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Everybody, jump on bennevis ... the chappie is educated enough to guess that Holst might have composed "The Planets" ... I personally switch off Vaughan Williams
as being truly "'cowpat' pastoral school of composers."
but then I also give galling Sir James Galway a miss.

Any others who can find a niche for Delius? ... don't be shy.

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#2103727 - 06/17/13 08:16 AM Re: Delius [Re: bennevis]
wr Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 8361
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I'm sure that aficionados will jump on me for saying this, but some hack (actually, the English composer Elisabeth Lutyens) said something about the English 'cowpat' pastoral school of composers.

Personally, I don't think that applies to Vaughan Williams and Holst (didn't the latter write "Mars, the bringer of War"? grin), but Delius?


I think the "cow-pat" remark was just a riff on an earlier remark from Peter Warlock about Vaughn Williams' music: "it is all just a little too much like a cow looking over a gate".

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#2103769 - 06/17/13 10:31 AM Re: Delius [Re: wr]
worov Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/13/08
Posts: 122
Loc: Paris
I love his preludes. The 2nd is my favorite :


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#2104027 - 06/17/13 07:53 PM Re: Delius [Re: worov]
Frankni Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 187
Loc: UK
Originally Posted By: worov
I love his preludes. The 2nd is my favorite :



This is almost French in musical style and atmosphere. Ravel springs to mind.
_________________________
Yamaha C3, Sauter Delta 185

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#2104120 - 06/17/13 11:23 PM Re: Delius [Re: Frankni]
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18822
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Frankni
Originally Posted By: worov
I love his preludes. The 2nd is my favorite :



This is almost French in musical style and atmosphere. Ravel springs to mind.


Of coincidental interest is the fact that the copyright was held, in 1923, by the Anglo-French Music Co. Ltd.

Regards,
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BruceD
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Estonia 190

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#2104306 - 06/18/13 10:47 AM Re: Delius [Re: btb]
argerichfan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/15/06
Posts: 9053
Loc: Pacific Northwest, US.
Originally Posted By: btb
I personally switch off Vaughan Williams
as being truly "'cowpat' pastoral school of composers."

The VW 6th symphony 'cowpat' school? crazy
Quote:
Any others who can find a niche for Delius? ...

'Brigg Fair', his most popular piece (at least judging by the frequency of radio b'cast), seems far too stretched out for its material. Tedium sets in quickly.

Otherwise, I think Delius' Piano Concerto very unfairly neglected. There is a terrific recording by Piers Lane on EMI, appropriately coupled with the solo piano version of the Vaughan Williams. (Personally I think his later revision for two pianos works better.)

The unaccompanied part songs are sheer delight, and for a fresh take on the Shakespeare classic, the opera 'A Village Romeo and Juliet' is an orgy of voluptuous music and love making.

If you're into this stuff, DON'T MISS the film by Petr Weigl which uses as a soundtrack the Decca/Mackerras recording. It was shot on location in Switzerland (wow- the scenery!), with two protagonists who are as gorgeous (and horny) as the music. An enthralling experience.
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Jason

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#2104336 - 06/18/13 11:42 AM Re: Delius [Re: btb]
timmyab Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/15/08
Posts: 467
Loc: Bristol, UK
I like a bit of Delius when I'm in the mood.This is possibly my favorite.

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#2105238 - 06/20/13 08:26 AM Re: Delius [Re: btb]
SlatterFan Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/09
Posts: 793
Loc: Brighton, UK
Originally Posted By: btb
Any others who can find a niche for Delius? ... don't be shy.

Yes, the music of Delius will always have a special place in my heart. Some people have said that there isn't much of an acquired taste to it: either it grabs one straightaway or not. I agree.

One work in particular - A Song of the High Hills - in my opinion illustrates the special magic and power of music and the way it can communicate across the ages. For example, imagine that someone would very much like to visit the majestic hills and mountains of western Norway, but is unable to, through illness or injury or other reasons. He or she could read descriptions of the experience, have conversations with those who have been, and see photos and videos from the route, but still, a more direct emotional sense of the experience would be missing. Listening to A Song of the High Hills fills that gap, and compensates one in a way that I'm not sure any other medium other than music could. As Delius said in the program notes for the first performance: "I have tried to express the joy and rapture felt in the high mountains and to depict the lonely melancholy of the highest altitudes of the wide expanses." I have never visited Norway, and I hope I do get around to it, but in the meantime Delius has enriched my life while giving me the uncanny feeling that in spirit, I sort of have already been walking in those mountains. The 8-part wordless choral climax at the end of the middle third of the work is amazingly powerful, especially when one hears it for the first time.

Also I recommend Appalachia, which is another large-scale work for orchestra, chorus and baritone soloist. A double introduction and set of variations introduce the concluding song, where a slave laments that he is being sent down the river and thus separated from his true love. As the variations progress they become more and more intimate, moving from scenes in nature to human experiences. The piano part of the vocal score is beautifully arranged by Otto Singer.

And as Jason/argerichfan has said, his opera A Village Romeo and Juliet is indeed voluptuous and well worth hearing.

For a nice general introduction to Delius's orchestral works, I think this CD is wonderful. I have listened to it with pleasure for around 20 years now! I am also fond of the violin sonatas as played by Tamsin Little and Piers Lane.
_________________________
Julian

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