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Composer: Delius, Frederick (1862-1934)

Fact file
Year of birth1862
Year of death1934
NationalityUnited Kingdom
PeriodRomantic
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Evening performance
Matinee performance
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BirminghamOslo Philharmonic Sibelius Fifth

Delius, Grieg, Sibelius
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra; Vasily Petrenko; Nikolai Lugansky

LowestoftBest of British

Best of British
Hess, Delius, Vaughan Williams, Walton, Jenkins, Elgar
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Stephen Bell; Duncan Riddell

StockholmRoyal Stockholm Philharmonic play Tommie Haglund

Royal Stockholm Philharmonic play Tommie Haglund
Haglund, Delius
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Tobias Ringborg; Ilya Gringolts; Miah Persson

LondonQuintessentially English

Quintessentially English
Delius, Walton, Vaughan Williams
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Mark Wigglesworth

PamplonaOrquesta Sinfónica de Navarra

Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra
Delius, Velázquez, Beethoven
Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra; Pablo González; Asier Polo
Latest reviewsSee more...

The Dutch premiere of A Village Romeo and Juliet

Sir Mark Elder © Russell Hart
Gorgeous playing under Sir Mark Elder wasn’t enough to mask the lack of theatrical drive in the scrupulously cast Dutch premiere of Delius’ most successful opera.
***11
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Nisbeth and Forsberg in Grieg’s living room

Ellen Nisbeth © Nikolaj Lund
An impressively well-planned programme of mostly viola transcriptions by Grainger, Bach, Delius, Ellington and Grieg.
****1
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Lupo’s Ravel with Mena & the LPO steals the show

Benedetto Lupo © Carlo Cofano
Impressive Ravel from Benedetto Lupo, with pleasing Debussy and Delius, and a strong performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring from Juanjo Mena and the LPO.
****1
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Stolid performances from the Vienna Philharmonic

Michael Tilson Thomas conducts the Vienna Philharmonic © BBC | Chris Christodoulou
The aesthetic delights of the Vienna Philharmonic fail to enliven its Beethoven.
***11
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Prom 13: a warm, if fatiguing, tribute to Sir Malcolm Sargent

Sir Andrew Davis and the BBC Symphony Orchestra © BBC | Chris Christodoulou
Sir Andrew Davis led the BBC SO in a recreation of Sir Malcolm Sargent's 500th Prom, a lengthy programme that failed to inspire.
***11
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Biography

Frederick Delius (1862 – 1934) is generally considered to be a truly international composer, having lived and worked across Europe and America - in Germany, France, Norway and Florida - and much of his music is inspired by the literature and natural world of these surroundings.

Although pastoral miniatures, such as On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring and The walk to the Paradise Garden, are today probably most popular with listeners, the composers’ output is in fact much more diverse, with a wealth of compositions that include concertos, operas, chamber works, symphonic poems and dances, a Mass, and a Requiem.

His impressionistic and rhapsodic style is truly unique, often creating a special atmosphere from the very first bar, and can be characterized by individual orchestration and use of chromatic harmony. His compositional output offers the listener rich soundscapes; from African-American spiritual music to the vast stillness of snow-covered mountains.

Delius was one of the most important British composers working in the early years of the 20th Century during the re-flowering and divergence of British music, socialising with many of the influential writers and artists of the time including Gauguin, Strindberg and Munch, and cultivating significant musical friendships with composers Edward Grieg and Percy Grainger which were to last his lifetime.

From 1907 his works were increasingly championed by the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, helping to establish him as a leading British composer between the wars. In spite of ailing health he was to continue composing into old age, finally, with the extraordinary collaboration of his amanuensis, Eric Fenby, to whom a number of late master-works were dictated.

Many composers and musicians - from Duke Ellington to Ernest Moeran and Kate Bush - have acknowledged the influence of Delius on their work, not least composers from the world of jazz, and many a film director has turned to his music for use in documentaries and films.

www.delius.org.uk