Frederick Delius

~ Person


Frederick Theodore Albert Delius, CH (/ˈdlɪəs/ 29 January 1862 – 10 June 1934) was an English composer. Born in the north of England to a prosperous mercantile family, he resisted attempts to recruit him to commerce. He was sent to Florida in the United States in 1884 to manage an orange plantation. There he soon neglected his managerial duties, and in 1886 returned to Europe. Having been influenced by African-American music during his short stay in Florida, he began composing. After a brief period of formal musical study in Germany beginning in 1886, he embarked on a full-time career as a composer in Paris and then in nearby Grez-sur-Loing, where he and his wife Jelka lived for the rest of their lives, except during the First World War.

Delius's first successes came in Germany, where Hans Haym and other conductors promoted his music from the late 1890s. In Delius's native Britain, it was 1907 before his music made regular appearances in concert programmes, after Thomas Beecham took it up. Beecham conducted the full premiere of A Mass of Life in London in 1909 (he had premiered Part II in Germany in 1908); he staged the opera A Village Romeo and Juliet at Covent Garden in 1910; and he mounted a six-day Delius festival in London in 1929, as well as making gramophone recordings of many of Delius's works. After 1918 Delius began to suffer the effects of syphilis, contracted during his earlier years in Paris. He became paralysed and blind, but completed some late compositions between 1928 and 1932 with the aid of an amanuensis, Eric Fenby.

The lyricism in Delius's early compositions reflected the music he had heard in America and the influences of European composers such as Edvard Grieg and Richard Wagner. As his skills matured, he developed a style uniquely his own, characterised by his individual orchestration and his uses of chromatic harmony. Delius's music has been only intermittently popular, and often subject to critical attacks. The Delius Society, formed in 1962 by his more dedicated followers, continues to promote knowledge of the composer's life and works, and sponsors the annual Delius Prize competition for young musicians.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1984 Vaughan Williams: The Wasps / Serenade to Music / Delius: Summer Night on the River / On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring / Summer Evening / Air and Dance Vaughan Williams, Delius; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vernon Handley 2
1987 Delius: Songs of Sunset, 2nd Dance Rhapsody, etc. Frederick Delius, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The Ambrosian Singers & Eric Fenby 1
1988 Delius: A Song of Summer (Philharmonia Orchestra - Owain Arwel Hughes) Frederick Delius 1
1988 Songs Sir Edward Elgar, Frederick Delius; Benjamin Luxon, David Willison 1
1989 English Festival Elgar, Delius; CSR Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava), Adrian Leaper 2
1989 Sea Drift / Appalachia Delius; Richard Hickox 1
1989 The Wasps / The Lark Ascending / Florida Suite / Summer Evening Vaughan Williams, Delius; English Symphony Orchestra, William Boughton, Michael Bochmann 2
1990 A Village Romeo and Juliet (Arnold-Schönberg-Chor Wien & Orf Chor und Symphonieorchester feat. conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras) Frederick Delius 1
1990 Brigg Fair / North Country Sketches / The Walk to the Paradise Garden / In a Summer Garden Delius; Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1990 Music for Cello and Piano Frederick Delius, George Dyson; Andrew Shulman, Ian Brown 1
1992 Orchestral Music (Welsh National Opera Orchestra, Mackerras, Tasmin Little) Frederick Delius 1
1992 Music for Strings Elgar, Grieg, Delius, Warlock, Holst; Scottish Ensemble, Jonathan Rees 1
1992 Violin Concerto / On Hearing the First Cuckoo In Spring / Summer Night on the River / Dance Rhapsodies Frederick Delius; Tasmin Little, Welsh National Opera Orchestra, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
1993 Vaughan Williams: Greensleeves, The Lark Ascending, Oboe Concerto / Delius: Summer Night on the River, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring Vaughan Williams, Delius; English Chamber Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim, Pinchas Zukerman, Neil Black 1
1993 Sea Drift / Songs of Farewell / Songs of Sunset (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Southern Voices feat. mezzo-soprano: Sally Burgess, baritone: Bryn Terfel, conductor: Richard Hickox) Frederick Delius 1
1994 Brigg Fair etc. (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Christopher Seaman) Frederick Delius 1
1994 Beecham Conducts Delius Delius; Sir Thomas Beecham 1
1996 Elgar: The Dream of Gerontius / Holst: The Hymn of Jesus / Delius: Sea Drift Elgar, Holst, Delius; Benjamin Britten, Yvonne Minton, Peter Pears, John Shirley-Quirk, London Symphony Chorus, Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, London Symphony Orchestra 1
1997 Orchestral Works Frederick Delius; English Northern Philharmonia, David Lloyd-Jones 1
1997 Cello Concertos Elgar, Walton, Delius; János Starker, Leonard Slatkin, Philharmonia Orchestra 1
1997 A Mass of Life / Requiem Delius; Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Richard Hickox 2 1
1997 The Four Violin Sonatas Delius; Tasmin Little; Piers Lane 1
2001 English String Miniatures, Volume 2 Edward Elgar, Frank Bridge, Haydn Wood, John Ireland, Frederick Delius, Peter Warlock, Geoffrey Bush, Ralph Vaughan Williams; English Northern Philharmonia, David Lloyd-Jones 1
2001 On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring / The Walk to the Paradise Garden / Paris / Brigg Fair / Summer Night on the River (BBC Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor Andrew Davis) Frederick Delius 1
2002 Violin Concertos Elgar, Delius; Albert Sammons 1
2002 Delius / Ravel / Debussy Delius, Ravel, Debussy; Benno Moiseiwitsch, Philharmonia Orchestra, Constant Lambert 1
2002 English String Miniatures, Volume 4 Peter Hope, Frank Bridge, Adam Carse, Ernest Tomlinson, Gustav Holst, Frederick Delius, Paul Lewis; Northern Sinfonia, David Lloyd-Jones 1
2002 Paris / Double Concerto / Cello Concerto Delius; Tasmin Little, Raphael Wallfisch, Sir Charles Mackerras, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra 1
2002 Requiem / Idyll / Songs of Farewell / A Song Before Sunrise Delius; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Choral Society, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Meredith Davies, Heather Harper, John Shirley-Quirk 1
2004 On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring / The Walk to the Paradise Garden / Spring Morning Frederick Delius; Royal Scottish National Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones 1
2005 BBC Music, Volume 13, Number 8: Partsongs Sir Edward Elgar, Frederick Delius, Gustav Holst 1
2006 The Romantic Piano Concerto, Volume 39: Delius: Piano Concerto in C minor / Ireland: Piano Concerto in E-flat major / Legend Frederick Delius, John Ireland; Ulster Orchestra, David Lloyd-Jones, Piers Lane 1
2011 Appalachia / The Song of the High Hills Delius; BBC Symphony Chorus, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis 1
2011 Double Concerto / Violin Concerto / Cello Concerto Frederick Delius; Tasmin Little, Paul Watkins, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sir Andrew Davis 1
2012 A Mass of Life / Prelude and Idyll Frederick Delius 1
2012 BBC Music, Volume 20, Number 9: Sea Drift plus Piano Concerto, and Poem of Life and Love Frederick Delius 1
2012 Appalachia / Sea Drift Frederick Delius; Leon Williams, Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, James K. Bass, The Florida Orchestra, Stefan Sanderling 2
Music of Delius Delius; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Sir Neville Marriner 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1977 Music of England Frederick Delius, Sir Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams; Daniel Barenboim, Eugen Jochum, William Steinberg 1
1987 Beecham conducts Delius Delius; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham 1
1992 Meditations for a Quiet Night Delius, Barber, Elgar, Sibelius, Copland 5 1
1993 Violin Concertos Elgar, Delius; Yehudi Menuhin 1
1994 Orchestral Works Delius; Hallé Orchestra, Sir John Barbirolli 1
1995 BBC Music, Volume 4, Number 1: Smetana: Vltava / Debussy: Ibéria / Delius: Norwegian Suite Smetana / Debussy / Delius 1
1997 Fantasia on Greensleeves Vaughan Williams, Delius, Elgar, Warlock, Butterworth; Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Neville Marriner 2
1999 Orchestral Works Delius; Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera, Sir Charles Mackerras 1
2000 Orchestral Works, Volume 1 Frederick Delius; Sir Thomas Beecham 1
2000 Orchestral Works, Volume 2 Frederick Delius; Sir Thomas Beecham 1
2000 Orchestral Works, Volume 3 Frederick Delius; Sir Thomas Beecham 1
2001 On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring / Brigg Fair / Summer Night on the River Delius; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir Thomas Beecham 1

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