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Delius: On Hearing The First Cuckoo In Spring, Brigg Fair / Beecham


Release Date: 04/10/2001 
Label:  Emi Great Recordings Of The Century Catalog #: 67553   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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This CD is reissued by ArkivMusic.

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Perhaps Thomas Beecham wasn't a "great" conductor in the cosmic scheme of things, but he could bring certain composers' music to life in a way that few have equalled, and in Delius at least, his performances seldom have been eclipsed. That's why you should hear this disc: the regular Delius favorites are all here, and the recordings have an aura of mastery that makes you feel that little could go wrong with Beecham on the podium. The rhapsody Brigg Fair, the most substantial piece here, unfolds so expressively and ardently that you're immediately captivated by the mellifluous playing Beecham draws from his orchestra. That's not to suggest that his mid-1950s Royal Philharmonic was the equal of the BBC Symphony under Andrew Davis on Read more its 1992 Teldec recording--rather that in this work, as in most by Delius, Beecham usually could conjure something from the ether that others only glimpse dimly in their own recordings.

The rest of the program, including the exultant daybreak scene from the Florida Suite (in Beecham's revision) comprises smaller pieces, such as the atmospheric First Cuckoo and Summer Night on the River, and the bewitching Irmelin prelude. Every performance has identical qualities of natural, unforced expressivity, reflecting Beecham's symbiotic understanding of this composer. EMI's transfers invest these mid-'50s masters with adequate clarity and depth, and even if you'd normally side-step English romanticism, you shouldn't miss this reissue.

--Michael Jameson, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Brigg Fair - An English Rhapsody by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1907; France 
Date of Recording: 1956-57 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 15 Minutes 51 Secs. 
2. Dance Rhapsody no 2 by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1916; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1956 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 7 Minutes 40 Secs. 
3. A Song Before Sunrise by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1918; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1956 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 6 Secs. 
4. Pieces (2) for Small Orchestra: no 1, On Hearing the First Cuckoo by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; France 
Date of Recording: 10/31/1956 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 7 Minutes 4 Secs. 
5. Pieces (2) for Small Orchestra: no 2, Summer Night on the River by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; France 
Date of Recording: 03/28/1957 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 36 Secs. 
6. Summer Evening by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 10/31/1956 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 6 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Notes: Arranged: Sir Thomas Beecham 
7. Irmelin: Prelude by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1890-1892; Paris, France 
Date of Recording: 10/31/1956 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 3 Secs. 
8. Florida Suite: Daybreak by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1887/1889; Florida, USA 
Date of Recording: 1956 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 10 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Sir Thomas Beecham 
9. Fennimore and Gerda: Intermezzo by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1908-1910; France 
Date of Recording: 11/1956 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 11 Secs. 
Notes: Orchestrated: Fenby 
10. Sleigh Ride by Frederick Delius
Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1887-1888; USA 
Date of Recording: 11/1956 
Venue:  EMI Abbey Road Studio no 1, London, UK 
Length: 5 Minutes 28 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Brigg Fair (An English Rhapsody)
A Dance Rhapsody No. 2 (2001 Digital Remaster)
On hearing the first cuckoo in Spring (2001 Digital Remaster)
Summer Night on the River (2001 Digital Remaster)
A Song before sunrise (2001 Digital Remaster)
Intermezzo from Fennimore and Gerda (2001 Digital Remaster)
Irmelin Prelude (2001 Digital Remaster)
Sleigh ride (Winter night) (2001 Digital Remaster)
Summer Evening (2001 Digital Remaster)
I. Daybreak - Dance from Florida Suite RTVI/1 (2001 Digital Remaster)

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