The Music of Delius
Vol. 1: The Early Recordings
(1927-1938, 1948)

Boxed Set of Five LPs (World Records SHB 32) issued 1976


Trk Title of Selection Performers Date Recorded (MM-DD-YY) Dutton CD* Naxos CD*
RECORD 1, SIDE 1 LPO, Beecham
1 Paris- The Song of a Great City 4-9-34 1
2 Summer Night on the River 10-4-35 7011
RECORD 1, SIDE 2 LPO, Beecham
1 Sea Drift w/ John Brownlee and London Select Choir 4-3-36 & 11-2-36 2
2 Irmelin Prelude 7-18-38 3
RECORD 2, SIDE 1 LPO, Beecham
1 Intermezzo (Fennimore & Gerda) 11-28-36 3
2 Appalachia (Part 1) w/ BBC Chorus 1-6 & 7-38,
7011 3
RECORD 2, SIDE 2 LPO, Beecham
1 Appalachia (Conclusion) w/ BBC Chorus 7011 3
2 La Calinda (Florida Suite) 1-7-38
3 La Calinda (Koanga) 2-11-38 3
4 Final Scene from Koanga w/ London Select Choir 12-4-34 & 12-11-34 7011 1
RECORD 3, SIDE 1 LPO, Beecham
1 Eventyr (Once Upon a Time) 11-14-34 1
2 Over the Hills and Far Away 9-28-36 2
RECORD 3, SIDE 2 LPO, Beecham
1 In a Summer Garden 10-2-36 2
2 Hassan: Intermezzo and Serenade 12-11-34 7011 1
3 Hassan: Unaccompanied Chorus w/ London Select Choir 11-?-34
4 Hassan: Closing Scene w/ Royal Opera Chorus 6-28-38 7011 3
RECORD 4, SIDE 1 Beecham
1 Brigg Fair - An English Rhapsody w/ Symphony Orch. 11-20-28 & 12-11-28 3
2 On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring w/ Royal Philharmonic 12-19-27 7011 1
3 The Walk to the Paradise Garden w/ Royal Philharmonic 12-20-27 2
RECORD 4, SIDE 2 Dora Labbette, soprano
1 Whither (Autumn); The Violet w/ LPO, c. Beecham 2-11-38
2 I Brasil; Klein Venevil w/ LPO, c. Beecham 2-11-38
3 Twilight Fancies w/ Beecham, piano 7-10-29 7011
4 Cradle Song; The Nightingale w/ Beecham, piano 6-24-29 7011
5 Irmelin Rose;So White, So Soft is She w/ Gerald Moore, piano 4-9-38
6 Le Ciel est par-dessus le toit;
La Lune Blanche
w/ Gerald Moore, piano 4-9-38
1 Irmelin Rose Labbette (Beecham, p.) 6-24-29
2 Le Ciel est par-dessus le toit;
The Violet
Labbette (Beecham, p.) 7-10-29
3 To the Queen of my Heart;
Love's Philosophy
Heddle Nash (tenor) w/ G. Moore, piano 12-7-34
4 Interview with Sir Thomas Beecham (BBC TV biography) Beecham w/ Edmund Tracey, interviewer 11-22-59
1 Radio Talk by Beecham on Delius' A MASS OF LIFE 6-5-51
2 Mass of Life: Prelude to Part 2 RPO, Beecham 5-8-48
3 Mass of Life: Prelude to Part 2, No. 3 LPO, Beecham 2-11-38

* NOTES on the CD Reissues -

Complete Catalog Numbers:
DUTTON LABORATORIES 7011 (CDLX 7011) issued 1994
NAXOS HISTORICAL VOL. 1 (8.100904) issued 2000
NAXOS HISTORICAL VOL. 2 (8.110905) issued 2000
NAXOS HISTORICAL VOL. 3 (8.110906) issued 2000

Both labels used the CEDAR Noise Reduction System in their digital remastering, but the results are noticeably different. To this listener, the Dutton Labs tracks are brighter and more spacious, while the NAXOS Historical tracks have a more booming bass sound. Both do an amazing job of largely eliminating the skritches, pops and clicks in the original shellac recordings.

From the liner notes of the World Records Box Set:

Introduction by Eric Fenby:
"I little thought when sitting with Delius a few days before he died in June, 1934, waiting in vain for the post to bring the promised recording of Paris which Sir Thomas Beecham had made that April, that instead of the heavy old 78 discs of Brigg Fair, On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring and The Walk to the Paradise Garden which had given Delius such infinite pleasure being the sum of his Beecham recordings, the time would come when I would be asked to introduce the bulk of his work recorded by Sir Thomas himself and reissued with undreamt-of skills.
"It seems to me appropriate that this retrospective Delius anthology should open with that recording of Paris. It is good to hear those once familiar personal qualities of sound again, now belonging to the past, yet fully alive in artistry today - the exquisite oboe of Leon Goossens and the Intermezzo from Fennimore and Gerda; the haunting horn calls of Dennis Brain, Ian Beers and Ray White with Sir Thomas hovering in magical flow in the prelude to Part II of A Mass of Life; the charming voice of Dora Labbette...It was a happy thought, too, to include also Sir Thomas's inimitable BBC talks and his eloquently authoritative biography of Delius with its new introduction by Felix Aprahamian to place the recordings in historical context (NOTE: a paperback copy of Beecham's book was included in the box set).
"This celebration of half a century of devoted championship of Delius by the greatest exponent of his work unites the felicitous artistries of two of the most remarkable figures in music."

From The Beecham-Delius Recordings by Douglas Pudney:

It was inevitable that in the course of time LP transfers of the 78 rpm recordings which Sir Thomas Beecham made of the music of Delius would appear. These 78's were made principally for the Columbia Gramophone Company, later part of EMI, and most of this collection forms part of what was originally called The Delius Society. This was first founded as a private organisation for recording the music of Frederick Delius...The particular object of the Delius Society was to form a permanent memorial to Delius by making records available of the highest artistic standard and to spread the knowledge of this great English composer's finest works. A few weeks before he died, Delius said that this project was "The greatest interest I have in life - that those who admire my music should have good records of my works conducted by Beecham."
Fortunately, the music of Delius continues to be performed and recorded in the land of his birth. This is due in the main to the Delius Trust, with such persuasive advocates as Felix Aprahamian and Robert Threlfall. There is also the present day Delius Society, an organisation of music lovers devoted to this composer.
Live performances, broadcasts and recordings come through the efforts of such dedicated conductors as Sir Charles Groves, Meredith Davies and Vernon Handley. They follow the trail blazed by Sir Thomas Beecham, whose unique performances of this unique composer are enshrined in these invaluable recordings.

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