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Frederick Delius: Eventyr, "Once Upon a Time"
Eventyr (Once upon a time)
Frederick Delius: 3 Small Tone Poems
3 Small Tone Poems: No. 2. Winter Night (Sleigh Ride)
Frederick Delius: 5 Songs from the Norwegian (arr. B. Holten)
No. 1. Slumber Song
No. 2. The Nightingale
No. 3. Summer Eve
No. 4. Longing
No. 5. Sunset
Frederick Delius: The Song of the High Hills
The Song of the High Hills
“Bo Holten and the excellent Aarhus Symphony Orchestra include here a collection of Delius works inspired by Norway, a country to which he was specially attracted. His first major visit was in 1887 during a summer vacation while studying at the Leipzig Conservatory, when he spent more than six weeks joyfully exploring fjords, moors and mountains. Later that year his Leipzig contemporary, Christian Sinding, introduced him to Grieg, for whom as a Christmas present Delius wrote Sleigh Ride, a piano piece buried for many years that finally surfaced in the composer's orchestration in 1946 long after his death. It's a jolly little piece, not at all Delian in style, that by rights should have been a popular hit from the start; here it's given a delightful, lightly sprung performance. The Five Songs from the Norwegian were written the following year in 1888 in gratitude for Grieg's intervention with Delius's father over giving him an allowance so as to devote himself to composition. Dedicated to Grieg's wife, they're charming pieces, setting poems by Bjornsen and others that Grieg himself had set, and are here made the more seductive in Bo Holten's sensitive orchestrations, with Henriette Bonde-Hansen the fresh, pure-toned soprano. The most ambitious Delius work inspired by Norway is The Song of the High Hills, the most substantial item on the disc. Though Beecham recorded it in the days of 78, it has been curiously neglected on disc when over its 25-minute span it offers some of the most hauntingly atmospheric music that Delius ever wrote, notably in the passages for wordless choir. Holten conducts a beautiful, refined performance which keeps the music moving, never letting it meander, building to powerful climaxes thrillingly recorded. With a wide dynamic range the sound is evocatively atmospheric, not least in the offstage choral passages.”
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