Delius - Sea Drift, Songs of Farewell, Songs of Sunset
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Label: Chandos - Classics
Cat No: CHAN10868X
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 31st July 2015
ArtistsSally Burgess (mezzo-soprano)
Bryn Terfel (baritone)
Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra
This set of Delius’s masterpieces conducted by Richard Hickox was recorded in 1993 and won a Gramophone Award in the choral category the following year, with the Penguin Guide ranking it in the 1000 Greatest Classical Recordings, stating that ‘in this second recording of Delius’s masterpieces Hickox finds even more magic, again taking a spacious view - which keeps the flow of the music going magnetically’.
Both Sea Drift (1903-04) and Songs of Sunset (1906-07) belong to the fertile decade following the turn of the century when Delius had assumed complete maturity and was producing a string of masterpieces. If in Sea Drift it is the emotions of bereavement in the wake of tragedy that are explored, in Songs of Sunset it is the brevity of life as epitomised by the work’s original title, 'Songs of Twilight and Sadness'.
By the time he created Songs of Farewell (1929-30), Delius was blind, crippled and helpless. As a composer he had been mute since the early 1920s, until the offer from a young musician, Eric Fenby, to be his amanuensis kindled the sparks of creativity once more. Songs of Farewell, for double chorus and orchestra, was the finest achievement of this late harvest.
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