Frederick Delius, DELIUS: American Rhapsody / Paa Vidderne / Spring Morning

Gavin Borchert

By Gavin Borchert

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A musical watercolorist par excellence tackles America.

Delius, musical watercolorist par excellence of English pastoral idylls, also spent a few years in Florida (running an orange grove his family owned) and in Virginia. The American Rhapsody, subtitled Appalachia, is his musical reminiscence of this period, and includes the flavor of African-American work songs as well as outright quotes of “Dixie” and “Yankee Doodle,” all in a delicately colored and harmonized setting that should appeal to anyone with a musical sweet tooth. Delius was a great traveler (another of his tone-poems is entitled Paris), and a later visit to Norway led to two other works on this disc: Paa Vidderne, an orchestral work based on a play by Ibsen, and a Norwegian Suite.