Prelude an orchestral miniature.
His first opera
composed in 1892 and
dedicated to his associate Eric Fenby in 1931. This Prelude is an expansion
of the opening bars of the opera.
Princess Irmelin sits gazing out of the window of her room in the royal castle. Her maid chides her with ignoring knights close at hand whilst longing for a dream lover. None of the real ones interest Irmelin, but her father has insisted that she marry within six months. A servant announces the King, who introduces three suitor knights, the first old, the second fair, the third grasping. Irmelin turns them all down. The second act opens in a swampy thicket where the swineherd Nils is minding the pigs of the robber Rolf. In reality a prince, Nils regrets having been lured away from the silver stream he was following by the fatal forest flowers that have led him to his current state of subservience. Rolf calls him back to his castle, where his men are carousing. Nils refuses to sing for them, and announces his intention to leave, despite the attractions of Rolf’s women. The morning finds him back in the forest, where he once more follows the silver stream. Back at Irmelin’s castle, six months have passed and the betrothal of the unwilling princess is taking place. Nils enters and starts at the sight of Irmelin. She in turn is transfixed by him. He sings and plays for the assembled company. The king and his guests go hunting, leaving Irmelin behind. She calls Nils to her, and they agree to meet at midnight in the garden, where they sing of their happiness before disappearing into the forest together at dawn.Search Amazon.com for Delius 'Irmelin
Frederick Theodore Albert Delius CH (29 January 1862 – 10 June 1934) was an English composer. Born in Bradford, Yorkshire, to a prosperous mercantile family of German extraction, he resisted attempts to recruit him to commerce. He was sent to Florida in the United States in 1884 to manage an orange plantation, where he neglected his managerial duties; influenced by African-American music, 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 (except during the First World War) for the rest of their lives.Wikipedia