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Appalachia (a native American word for North America) is a set of variations based on a slave song about the tragedy of the cotton planters ‘being sold down the river’. Delius heard the song when teaching the violin in Virginia, but the primary inspiration was his formative experience of the semi-tropical beauty of Florida’s Solano Grove where he had managed an orange plantation. In Sea Drift Delius absorbed a further American influence in the nature mysticism of Walt Whitman. The symphonic poem, one of his greatest works, is a song of love and death in which the baritone soloist is both a participant in the drama and offers a commentary upon it.
Frederick Delius: Appalachia: Variations on an Old Slave Song (arr. T. Beecham for orchestra)
Appalachia: Variations on an Old Slave Song (arr. T. Beecham for orchestra)
Frederick Delius: Sea Drift (arr. T. Beecham for orchestra)
Sea Drift (arr. T. Beecham for orchestra)
“This fine orchestra has a superb violinist leader (crucial in Sea Drift) plus serious class in every department, the brass in particular. The choral singing, too, is exemplary in its firm-toned accuracy...Sanderling's approach to both works is at once more tight-reined and more sweeping than the familiar Beecham/Groves/Hickox way.”
“Sanderling's interpretation of this imaginative score is sympathetic, especially in the protracted evocation of the dawn. The tempi are well chosen and the handling of Delius's poetic orchestration, not least in its richer Straussian garb, is nicely poised. The chorus also evinces a sense of quasi-informality in its 'free' sound and delivery.”