Delius and Friends

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The music of Frederick Delius is unique. Born in Yorkshire, England, Delius was a citizen of the world. His music showed influences from his travels to America, Norway and France. But his approach to composition was all his own. While there was never a “Delius School” of composers to emerge from his output, he did inspire some composers to mimic his style to some degree.

Arnold Bax fell under Delius’s spell for a while, creating at least three works that have a Delius-like touch: Summer Music, The Happy Forest, and the Romantic Overture. Bax developed his own style, however, and forever left the orchestral subtleties that Delius originated.

Peter Warlock was an early disciple of Delius as a young musician. Warlock wrote the first biography of the older composer. But later in his career, Warlock turned on his old mentor and his music as Warlock’s enthusiasm turned elsewhere.

Eric Fenby was a young Yorkshire musician when he read in the paper that the composer Delius could no longer compose due to his paralysis and blindness. Fenby wrote to Delius and offered his services as a musical collaborator. The result was an outpouring of new compositions and completed works that had been previously left unfinished. Fenby related his experiences in the fascinating book, “Delius As I Knew Him.

We’ll explore the music inspired by Delius on the next English Pastorale, Sunday at 9 am. Here is the playlist:

Frederick Delius – In a Summer Garden
Arnold Bax – Summer Music
Peter Warlock – Serenade to Frederick Delius
Eric Fenby – Late Swallows
Stephen Reynolds – Rustic Idyll and Serenade and Dance of Spring

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