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Delius: Appalachia; The Song of the High Hills

Audio Samples

>Delius, Frederick : Appalachia - American Rhapsody
>Delius, Frederick : A Song of the High Hills, for wordless chorus & orchestra, RT ii/6

Album Summary

>Delius, Frederick : Appalachia - American Rhapsody
>Delius, Frederick : A Song of the High Hills, for wordless chorus & orchestra, RT ii/6
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"The BBC forces and Andrew Davis conjure exactly the rich transcendence Delius would have enjoyed. The Song of the High Hills, suggested by a visit to the mountains of Norway, is performed with equal lustre." The Observer, 27th March 2011 *** -The Guardian

"Both works, in their different ways, conjure up an evocative atmosphere, harnessing a mastery of orchestral and wordless vocal colour that Andrew Davis and his BBC forces translate into musical pictures, rich in texture and poignant in emotion." -The Telegraph ****

This recording presents two rarely heard but striking works by Frederick Delius (1862-1934). Both works are prime examples of Delius's highly individual and ground-breaking use of voices in predominantly orchestral works. In Appalachia, the somber mood reflects the fate that overcame many black slaves along the Mississippi River, who were sold by one cotton planter to another, simply uprooted from loved ones, and transported to a different place. The inspiration for The Song of the High Hills was the mountains of Norway, which Delius regarded as his spiritual home. In his own words, the work "expresses the joy and exhilaration one feels in the mountains and also the loneliness and melancholy of the high solitudes and the grandeur of the wide far distances."

"With the excellent BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Davis uncovers original turns of phrase in Appalachia, Delius’s heat-haze of variations inspired by the Mississippi swamps. Here, as in the austere choral-symphonic Song of the High Hills, Davis conjures an authentic Delian atmosphere – and brings joy to the heart." -The Financial Times

"This is a magnificent, clear-edged recording of two challenging, problematic works, performed here with vibrancy and confidence...Davis's diligent control of this extraordinary material makes for compelling listening." -Gramophone

"[Davis] guides the BBC Symphony Orchestra through two beautifully expressive performances that challenge accusations [that] Delius is boring...Credit must also go to the chorus, which tackles its integral role with great subtlety and skill, from the stirring final song of the first piece to the transcendent, wordless choral work of the second." -Classic FM

"Davis combines a sensitive feeling for tempo and shape with superfine detail of phrasing and balancing...The BBC Symphony Orchestra plays for its former chief conductor with precision and spirit, the solo voices make an excellent contribution, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra achieves miracles of quiet singing and climactic exultation." -BBC Music Magazine

"This new Chandos issue is such that it would be hard, if not impossible, to imagine a more magnificent performance of this masterpiece: Davis's tempos are absolutely ideal and his sense of structure is astonishingly impressive. The orchestral playing is unfailingly beautiful and is infused with the demanding combination of sensitivity, brilliance of technique and vividness of colour the score demands. The singing of the choir (and of the brief solo parts) is faultless." -International Record Review

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: All Saints' Church, Tooting, London (10/15/2010-10/16/2010).



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Works Details

>Delius, Frederick : Appalachia - American Rhapsody
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: All Saints' Church, Tooting, London (10/15/2010-10/16/2010)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 48 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1902

>Delius, Frederick : A Song of the High Hills, for wordless chorus & orchestra, RT ii/6
  • Performers: Christopher Bowen (Organ); Olivia Robinson (Soprano)
  • Conductor: Andrew Davis
  • Ensemble: BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Notes: All Saints' Church, Tooting, London (10/15/2010-10/16/2010)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 27 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1911