Frederick Delius 1862-1934
The First Dance Rhapsody c.1908
Many Delius scores have been marked or edited by conductor and greatest advocate of Delius' music Sir Thomas Beecham. This was done with the approval of the composer who knew that only someone with a genuine love of his music would understand the nuances of performance. Beecham was clearly best qualified in this matter and on this recording from the 'Delius Edition' boxed set, it is the case. Delius was familiar with the moorland landscape of North Yorkshire and the West Riding at Bradford where he was born. He apparently used to spend many hours roaming the rugged moorland scenery on horse back absorbing surrounding nature. In later life he would probably have reflected back to these former early days and on the visits to the North Yorkshire coast where the Delius Family used to take holidays. This music I feel breathes the bracing Yorkshire air and is richly imbued with the wild and moody atmosphere of sweeping and remote moorland landscapes as depicted in the video. Welsh National Opera Orchestra Sir Charles Mackerras
Dance Rhapsody No 2
Various dramatic Images of scenic Norway set to the lovely music of Frederick Delius .......Delius and his wife Jelka had a small cottage at Lesjaskog, close to where many of these images were taken. Delius was inspired by the dramatic and pastoral scenery of Norway, having accompanied Grieg on his many walking tours. This is not just the HIgh Hills, but down in the beautiful lushly verdant valleys and the deep azure waters of misty fiords. A landscape of dramatic contrasts that happen to flow in sympathy with the steeply rising and falling cadences and rich harmonic sequences of the lovely 'Dance Rhapsody No2'. On this recording - Sir Thomas Beecham conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra..... this is certainly one of my personal favourites!