Beecham, Fenby, Warlock, Grainger, and other well-known "classical" musicians are closely associated with Delius. But Delius' music has also influenced many popular music artists and programs through the years. Here are a few of those "Delius Connections". Let me know if you find more.

SIR GEORGE MARTIN (Composer, Recording Artist, Producer of THE BEATLES; AKA "The Fifth Beatle")

Compendia CD 3785 is one of a series featuring favorite classical music as selected by Sir George Martin, the Beatles' producer.    Although the front cover features "Holst and Vaughan Williams" in large print and "PLUS Delius" in tiny print, it is great that Sir George included "La Calinda" in his series.    There is an audio track of his commentary on Delius, and I have transcribed it (roughly) as follows:

Delius as a person was different from Delius the musician, and I look at Delius as the musician and the music.   I always judge a person on what I hear, and the music is out of this world.   He wrote many sort of evocative things, to do with the English countryside, “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring”, and all sorts of things.   This particular one is the music from KOANGA, and it is very English, very gentle, very countryside-ish, very pop – very, you know, it’s good stuff (?), and very easy to listen to, and very good music into the bargain.”

Sir George also makes a comment about his emulating the style of Bernard Herrmann, who in turn had emulated Delius:
“Unquestionably, the music I’ve written for films, Yellow Submarine for example, has been inspired by composers like Debussy and other great composers.   You draw on sources like this.   In “Eleanor Rigby”, the rhythm was being carried by the strings  - there was no other accompaniment.  And I’m quite unashamed about it: I copied the style of Bernard Herrmann when I did the score for “Eleanor Rigby”.   You take what’s there and use it – because it’s all good stuff.”

BERNARD HERRMANN (Hollywood Film Composer - "Citizen Kane", "Jane Eyre", "Psycho", "Jason and the Argonauts", "Taxi Driver", many others)

Bernard Herrmann claimed Delius as his favorite composer.  He included Delius works in many of his radio performances over the years, and included "A Late Lark" on one of his last record releases (Unicorn RHS 340).  His scoring of the film of the Bronte novel "Jane Eyre" led to his composition of his opera "Wuthering Heights".  He was quoted as saying that since Delius had planned to do an opera on "Wuthering Heights" but never got around to it, he (Herrmann) would do it for him (Delius).

"Wuthering Heights" was recorded in 1966 with Herrmann conducting.

LP: Pye CSCL-30173 (4-LP set)

LP: Unicorn UNB 400 (4-LP set)    Photo of 4-LP Unicorn set

CD: Unicorn-Kanchana UKCD 2050/1/2 (3 discs)  CD Insert - Front     CD Insert - Back        CD Booklet - Back

Essay on Herrmann's "Wuthering Heights"

Website:  The Bernard Herrmann Society

FELIX SLATKIN (Violinist, Conductor, Arranger)

Felix Slatkin was a violinist and conductor in Hollywood in the 50's and early 60's. In my childhood days, one of my favorite LPs in my dad's collection was "CHARGE!", conducted by Felix Slatkin. It consisted of drum and bugle corps music and other military band music. In fact, the "Olympic Theme" (Bugler's Dream by Leo Arnaud) was drawn from this album.

The book "Sinatra Sessions: Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording" by Charles Granata provides great insight into Sinatra's working methods as a great musical artist and performer. Felix Slatkin was Sinatra's favorite violinist on his sessions, and Mrs. Slatkin was his favorite cellist. Their sons are Leonard Slatkin, conductor, and Fred Zlotkin, cellist.

Felix Slatkin also conducted the orchestra on many Sinatra sessions, and was the arranger on at least one song for a Sinatra session ("Monique"). The Slatkins also formed the nucleus of the Hollywood String Quartet (HSQ), whose recordings are now available on the Testament CD label. The Sinatra album "Close to You" featured the HSQ on every track, only supplemented by solo wind instruments, playing arrangements by Nelson Riddle.

Only in recent years did I discover that Felix Slatkin recorded an LP's worth of Delius miniatures in 1952 (Capitol P-8182 and Music For Pleasure 2065).  Only "First Cuckoo" is currently available on CD (EMI Classics CD 7243-5-67099-2-8) in a collection with Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite. The LP also featured Summer Night on the River, Intermezzo and Serenade from Hassan, Caprice and Elegy and Prelude to Irmelin.

So certainly Slatkin was a Delius fan. He brought that musical perspective to the Sinatra sessions, particularly on "Close to You", Sinatra's acknowledged masterpiece.

Fred Zlotkin informed me that one of Felix Slatkin's Delius recordings was played during his memorial service in 1963.

NELSON RIDDLE  (Arranger / Conductor)

Delius is mentioned in Charles Granata's "Sessions with Sinatra"  in a section about Nelson Riddle. Riddle was influenced by the impressionist composers as he developed his style of arranging for Sinatra.

Peter J. Levinson's book "September in the Rain: The Life of Nelson Riddle" (2001) makes the following references to Delius as an influence on Riddle's arranging style:

"The ever musically conscious teenager (Riddle) wore out many cactus needles listening to these records. After that he began enjoying the Impressionist composers - Ravel, more Debussy, and later on Delius." (p. 28)

(While touring with the Tommy Dorsey band as a trombonist and fledging arranger:)

"Nelson would get up early every morning even though we worked late the night before...he would walk to a coffee shop before going over to a publisher's office. there he would listen to his records - mostly the hot classical records of the day: Delius, and of course, Debussy, Ravel - all very romantic music with beautiful chord structures. He was able to make use of them in arranging popular music." (p. 55)

(Nelson's arrangements for Sinatra's "In the Wee Small Hours" album) "were maudlin-sounding charts written without any brass, but rather for a concentration of woodwinds, celli, and violins. As Nelson once observed, 'Bill Finegan taught me to enjoy and appreciate the classics as the primary source of musical richness.' Listening now to the arrangements from "In the Wee Small Hours", one is struck by the symphonic quality of Nelson's backgrounds."

This information comes from an excellent article by David J. Eccott in the Autumn 2007 Delius Society Journal:

In 1960, Nelson Riddle orchestrated Delius' Three Piano Preludes for a concert at the Hollywood Bowl.  

These orchestrations were revived for a concert at the University of Arizona School of Music on April 5, 2007.

Here is a link to an MP3 file of the concert recording (15 MB).

According to author Charles Granata, FRANK SINATRA himself was a devotee of the music of Delius, along with other impressionist composers, including Ravel.
Audio conversation with Charles Granata

AXEL STORDAHL (Arranger for Frank Sinatra in the 1940's and early 1950's)

In another great book about Sinatra, Will Friedwald in "The Song is You" states that the arranger Axel Stordahl was also influenced by the impressionist composers, including Delius.

DUKE ELLINGTON (Jazz Pianist, Composer and Bandleader)

It is well documented that Duke Ellington was an aficionado of Delius' music. Ellington acknowledged that Delius was an influence on his musical style. Ellington composed and recorded a work which takes its name from one of Delius' most innovative orchestral works. "In a Blue Summer Garden" is not obviously derivative, but rather is Ellington's tribute to a fellow composer and innovator.

ALFRED NEWMAN (Hollywood Composer)

In director Joshuah Waletzky's 1995 documentary "The Hollywood Sound", the major Hollywood composers' styles are examined through following John Mauceri as he prepares and conducts new recordings of several scores.   

Delius is mentioned prominently in "The Hollywood Sound" as an influence on Alfred Newman, and this influence is particularly notable in Newman's score for "How Green Was My Valley".   

Here is a transcription of the narrative that mentions Delius as an influence on Hollywood composers, particularly Alfred Newman.

FRED STEINER (Composer and scholar; no relation to Max Steiner)
One of the things about the Hollywood composers is that they were always interested in the latest developments.    They would study the music of Ravel, and Shostokovich when his music came out.    [Steiner is seated at the piano, playing "An Irish Elegy"] This particular melody, that was used as the love theme in "How Green Was My Valley", is an old tune called "The Sixpence", a true Irish folk song with very simple harmonization.   But if you listen to the way that tune is treated, the sound is absolutely that of the very famous English composer FREDERICK DELIUS.   And the story there is that Cyril Mockridge, a British composer working over at the Fox Studio, and who found the melody for Alfred Newman, was enamored at that time of the music of FREDERICK DELIUS, and introduced Newman and others to his wonderful, rich harmonizations.  The character of the tune changes completely when you give it this modern harmony, rather than the simple, almost schoolboy harmonies that we found in this other version.   And it was interesting that the original melody featured this flatted seventh, as we call it.   Alfred Newman, in some talk that he gave, referred to this as a kind of "blue note".
JOHN MAUCERI (Conductor):
The "blue note", the flatted seventh, which became a kind of symbol of jazz, existed, of course, way before jazz, and in a funny way, the two meet each other in Hollywood because Hollywood was unafraid to use jazz in its big orchestral compositions, just as a few who didn't go to Hollywood tried to use it in the concert hall, but were usually "slapped down" and made to behave.   And it also meets the traditions of these European folk melodies that use the flatted seventh, as in "How Green Was My Valley".
GLYNNE JONES (Chorus Master, Pendyrus Male Choir):
And of course this note, like the minor mode in Wales, pulls at the heartstrings.    The flatted seventh - we have a special word for it in Wales - "hiraeth" - and hiraeth means "longing"; and it's a longing where sentiment and feeling pulls and pulls.   And you get it, of course, in all these lovely love songs where you talk about unrequited love.
[from "The Hollywood Sound" (1995), directed by Joshuah Waletzky]

I found that "The Hollywood Sound" film has been posted in its entirety to YouTube in 10 parts.   Here are links to the parts that include the Delius reference:

Part 8: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCzrDou4ytE    (from 2:39 to the end) 
        (NOTE: the beginning of Part 8 shows an interview with Eleanor Slatkin, wife of Felix Slatkin and cellist for the Hollywood String Quartet)

Part 9: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m84e1zEq1QA   (from 0:00 to 1:02)

You will definitely hear echoes of Delius in Newman's score for "How Green Was My Valley".

CYRIL MOCKRIDGE (British Film Composer)

Cyril Mockridge (1896-1979) was an English composer and arranger and an indispensable member of the Twentieth Century-Fox music department under Alfred Newman in the 1940s and '50s, where he scored dozens of films in all genres (including classics like Miracle at 34th Street), but for the most part specialized in lighter fare that were collaborative assignments—a perfect example being the Marilyn Monroe film How to Marry a Millionaire.

HUGO FRIEDHOFER (Hollywood Film Composer and Orchestrator)

Here is the excerpt from a letter by Hugo Friedhofer to Page Cook, dated July 30, 1974.
"You spoke of your friend, the Delius freak. I must confess that when I was in my late teens and early twenties, I too went through a period of swooning admiration for some of the Delian harmonic writhings. Strangely enough, it was hearing the "Florida Suite," "Koanga," and the "Paris Symphony" (sic) which ultimately turned me off.   However, I can take his "Dance Rhapsody," "Brigg Fair," "The Walk to the Paradise Gardens" (sic) and the two truly lovely miniatures, "On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring," which some joker rechristened "On Cooking the First Hero in Spring," and its companion piece "Summer Night on the River."  Even at the outset, a certain lack of rhythmic vitality coupled with his over-lush and sticky chromaticism troubled me.  It got to be the tonal equivalent of floundering waist-deep through a sea of molasses, so I bade old Freddie a not-so-fond farewell, and haven't listened to him, except in my mind's ear, since that time.
My old friend and colleague Cyril Mockridge had an amazing talent for perpetrating Delian forgeries.  Many of the luscious treatments of thematic material in Alfred Newman's scores were contrived by Cyril when he was on staff at 20th Century Fox."
from the book "Hugo Friedhofer: the best years of his life : a Hollywood master of music for the movies" by Linda Danly (Rowman & Littlefield, 2002: ISBN 0810844788), page 169.

ANN SOTHERN (American TV and Movie Actress)

Ann Sothern had a successful Hollywood movie career before starring on TV in the 1950's in the "Private Secretary" (aka "Susie") series, and later on "The Ann Sothern Show".  She brought personal charm and a warm and wry sense of humor to her roles.

During a dinner at the Delius Festival in Jacksonville in 2004, Fran Kinne (Dean of Jacksonville University) made a comment that Ann Sothern was a fan of Delius' music.   I made a note of her comment for future reference.  In "Ann Sothern: A Bio-Bibliography", the author Margie Schultz acknowledges the help of Jeff Driggers (Jacksonville Public Library) and Thomas H. Gunn (Swisher Library at JU) for their help.

Ann Sothern was artist in residence at JU in September 1974.   Ann's schedule included a series of workshops on the Stanislavsky method of acting for university students, a tea in her honor, and a lecture open to the public.   In 1977, Ann donated a complete set of 16mm film copies of her two TV series (196 episodes) and audio recordings of her radio programs to the Swisher Library at JU.   The films and recordings are still in the library's collection.  Previously, in October 1973, Ann was performing in a dinner theater production of "Everybody Loves Opal" in Jacksonville when a large piece of scenery fell on her and caused serious injury to her back and legs.   She returned to Jacksonville several times over the next few years in connection with a lawsuit relating to the accident.

Although neither of the books on Ann Sothern mentions Delius specifically, it is clear that Ann was a talented musician, singer and composer, and had a genuine love for good music. 

In the course of her visits to Jacksonville over the years, Ann Sothern became good friends with Fran Kinne.  Per Virginia Chester of the Swisher Library, the current Director of the Library, David Jones, spoke to Fran Kinne in January 2014.  Fran said that "Ann, in addition to being a Delius fan, hoped to sing his music."  

An audio CD titled "Sothern/Lamour" is available that features Ann Sothern singing 14 songs and Dorothy Lamour singing 10 songs.

"Ann Sothern: A Bio-Bibliography" by Margie Shultz (ISBN 0313264635)
"Cordially Yours, Ann Sothern" by Colin Briggs (ISBN 1593930607)

MEL TORME' (Jazz/Pop Vocalist and Songwriter) and GEORGE SHEARING (Jazz/Pop Pianist)

The popular singer Mel Torme' (who wrote the music for "The Christmas Song") was an avid fan of Delius and was a member of The Delius Society. He was interviewed by Christopher Redwood  for The Delius Society Journal in 1977 (Number 55). Torme' also conducted Delius works in England in the early 1980's (see Number 74).

Torme' made many recordings and concert appearances with pianist George Shearing, who was also a Delius Society member. Their recording of "It Might As Well be Spring" featured musical quotations from Delius works.  Here is Torme's description of how this arrangement came about:

"I had walked into a little club in Chicago, and George Shearing, who is mad about Delius - we spend hours talking about it - he surprised me by sitting there and playing, in dead silence, the first few bars of "First Cuckoo".  Then he turned it around and tied it into a lovely setting of "It Might As Well Be Spring", and then in the middle he played a little droplet of "Brigg Fair", and then at the end there was a snatch of "Appalachia".  Well, at the end I went round and said, "George, please, I won't steal it from you, but would you allow me...?" and he said "By all means", so I wrote an arrangement wherein I play the first three or four bars of "Cuckoo" and then play and sing "It Might As Well Be Spring".  Then in the middle the orchestra comes in and at the end they stop and I play one full stanza of "Brigg Fair".  Then they come in with the last portion of "It Might As Well Be Spring" and when I sing the last word they play the horn-calls from "Appalachia" and then a very pure triad, and I run up the piano.  I must say it's got absolutely brilliant notices....Rex Reed, who can be very difficult, called it "the most beautific piece of music I've heard in a night-club in aeons."

(NOTE: "It Might As Well Be Spring" in the "Delian" arrangement by Mel Torme' and George Shearing is available on CONCORD JAZZ CD CCD-4190)

From an article in Newsweek magazine dated March 22, 1982:

"My main love in life is to open the blinders.  I feel sorry for people who only love jazz, only love rock, only love classical, only love country.  I'm a great fan of Steely Dan, and my favorite all-time composer is Delius - his orchestral tone poems.  He was (Duke) Ellington and Gene Krupa's favorite, too."

From an interview with Les Tomkins in 1984:

"I go on the road and do an enormous amount of symphony dates. I conduct Grainger, I conduct Delius; I sing a few things that are not in the popular or the jazz idiom—and the truth of the matter is that I detest being labelled. I don’t like to be labelled a pop singer and/or a jazz singer -  I’m a singer."

"...my awareness of it (classical music) grew as I was able to lay my hands on more and more classical records... For the romantics—absolutely Number One—Delius."

Mel Torme' passed away on June 5, 1999.

PEGGY LEE (Popular Vocalist)

In May 1977, Peggy Lee appeared on the British radio programme "Desert Island Discs", where the guest names the recordings that they just could not do without.   The eight records she selected included music by Respighi, Brahms, Bach and Delius.  When asked to narrow her choice down to just one work, Peggy Lee opted for "The Walk to the Paradise Garden" by Delius.

Ms. Lee also appeared as vocalist on the recording of fellow Delian Mel Torme's "California Suite".

DAVID ROSE (Hollywood Composer - "Holiday for Strings", "The Stripper", "Bonanza", many others) Mel Torme' credited David Rose with turning him on to the music of Delius.   He quoted Rose as saying, "Everything I write I got directly from Delius."
JUDY GARLAND (Hollywood Actress and Singer) Delius was one of Judy Garland's favorite composers.
(see article about Judy Garland and David Rose).
"A common enthusiasm for music drew them together first. Judy thirsted after knowledge. She loved to hear Dave play Rachmaninoff and Delius, still her favorite composers."
LES BAXTER (Film Composer and Pop Music Arranger - "Poor People of Paris") Baxter had been a  member of Mel Torme's vocal group, The Mel-Tones.  He owned all the Delius Society record sets, and would often play them for friends, including Torme.
GENE KRUPA (Big Band Drummer)

Krupa was "a mad Delius fan, a real admirer, knew everything.  We used to talk for hours about the varying moods of Delius..."
(Mel Torme')

KATE BUSH (Pop Vocalist and Recording Artist)

The innovative British pop singer Kate Bush wrote and recorded her tribute song "Delius (Song of Summer)" in 1980. It appeared as a single and also as a track on her album "Never for Ever". She had seen the Ken Russell film "Song of Summer" and it made a strong impression on her. The lyrics of "Delius (Song of Summer)" refer to "summer night on the water", and also to Delius' dictation of music to Eric Fenby. Bush also appeared on a BBC interview program along with Eric Fenby, where they discussed Delius and his music.

Watch the YouTube video of the song "Delius (Song of Summer)"

YouTube video of Kate Bush and Eric Fenby on The Russell Harty Show
JEFF GOWER (Jazz Guitarist) Jeff included a track called "Delius" on his solo acoustic guitar CD "Lakeside Drive."

E-Mail Jeff Gower for information about ordering the "Lakeside Drive" CD

A review of the "Lakeside Drive" CD
JOHN WILLIAMS AND THE BOSTON POPS ORCHESTRA Film composer extraordinaire John Williams recorded "Brigg Fair" by Delius.  This recording was included on the 1988 CD release "Pops Britannia."

DUDLEY MOORE (Actor, Comedian, Musician)

Dudley Moore was best known for his talent as a comedian, but was also an accomplished and dedicated musician. He graduated with degrees in music and composition from Oxford.  He performed many concerts of classical and jazz piano music. 

A June 6, 1983 article from People Magazine

Here is the paragraph about Dudley's piano-playing in which Delius is mentioned:

'Moore took a giant step in 1982 when he joined (violinist Robert) Mann at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art for a concert of Bach, Mozart, Bartók and Delius. A New York Times critic wrote that "Mr. Moore neither advanced the cause of music nor caused himself one moment of disgrace. All in all, he fought the concert stage to a draw."'

Here is a mention in the NY Times from Jan. 5, 1982 about that concert.

Dudley accompanied Robert Mann in Delius' Violin Sonata No. 3, and the reviewer says that Moore displayed "a real sympathy for Delius's charms ".

In an interview during his 1992 concert tour of America, he said that his "fairly small"  repertoire included works by Schumann, Bartok, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Delius.

Dudley Moore passed away on March 27, 2002.

NICK DRAKE (Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist)

"Lost Boy: In Search of Nick Drake" (BBC Radio 2 audio documentary narrated by Brad Pitt)   YouTube link

In this audio documentary about the late and lamented Nick Drake, producer Joe Boyd says that Nick mentioned Delius when describing to the arranger Harry Robinson what kind of string arrangement he wanted on his song "River Man".

YouTube video of the Nick Drake song "River Man" with string arrangement by Harry Robinson

My article in the Delius Society Journal (DSJ 174) about "Frederick Delius, Nick Drake and River Man" (PDF file)


From the book "White Bicycles" by Joe Boyd (ISBN 1852429100):
(p. 196) 
           Five Leaves Left's final piece fell into place when (Robert) Kirby announced that he was not up to 'River Man'.  He had tried but just couldn't manage what he knew Nick wanted and what the song deserved.  John Wood immediately suggested Harry Robinson, aka Lord Rockingham.  When rock'n'roll first invaded British television with 6.5 Special, the resident band was Lord Rockingham's Eleven.   Harry had also been on the board of Island Records in the early years but had sold his shares years before.   As a composer he had scored all those Hammer horror movies starring vampires-in-chief Christopher Lee and Barabar Steele.   After telling us these colourful but irrelevant facts, John came to the point: as an orchestrator, Harry was a master mimic.   You want Sibelius?   He could give you Sibelius.   Since Nick wanted 'River Man' to sound like
Delius, Harry, said John, was our man.
            Nick and I went to visit Robinson at his house hidden in the middle of Barnes Common, just below the tree that was to kill Marc Bolan ten years later.  Having heard a tape, Harry was already intrigued when we arrived.   Nick played the song through, then strummed chords as the tape played, showing Harry what textures he wanted for the string parts.   I had never heard him (Nick) so articulate or so demanding.   Harry made notes and nodded.   The result was a track which - next to the Volkswagen ad's Pink Moon - is the most often played and discussed of all Nick's songs.   Whenever I saw Harry in later years, he would talk about the day we recorded it, with Nick surrounded by the orchestra, playing and singing while Harry conducted - just like Nelson Riddle and Frank Sinatra.
(p. 262)
            Nick listened carefully to Dylan, to Bert Jansch and Davey Graham, and to genteel bluesmen like Josh White and Brownie McGhee.    He enjoyed
and Chopin, Miles Davis and Django Reinhardt, and read English poetry...   But analyses of his influences have difficulty explaining the originality of his music, particularly the shape of his chords.    When I visited the family home in Tanworth-in-Arden, I saw a piano in the hall with music paper scattered on top.   His mother Molly, a wonderfully energetic and funny woman, mentioned that she had written 'a few amateur things.'  Many years after Nick's and Molly's deaths, (Nick's sister) Gabrielle gave me a tape of her mother's songs.  There, in her piano chords, are the roots of Nick's harmonies.  His reinvention of the standard guitar tuning was the only way to match the music he heard as he was growing up.   Molly's compositions are of a period but very beautiful and not just because they foreshadow Nick's.   Perhaps the core of his musical nature was so strong because his greatest influence had nothing to do with the world outside his home.


From the book "Nick Drake: The Complete Guide To His Music" by Peter Hogan (ISBN

    ...there are other influences audible as well that are not usually found in folk music, such as modern jazz and baroque and classical music (Nick was particularly fond of Delius and Chopin).

(p. 28)
    Robert Kirby had struggled to come up with an arrangement for 'River Man' that fitted Nick's aspirations for the song, and had finally admitted defeat.   Instead, Boyd brought in veteran arranger and session man Harry Robinson, who had once been a member of Lord Rockingham's Eleven and had also scored the soundtrack music for number Hammer horror movies.  Nick had wanted the arrangement to be reminiscent of Delius, and had very specific ideas about how the string passages should be phrased, which he discussed with Robinson at length before the latter commenced work.  

(p. 31)
    ('River Man') is also a strange blend of jazz and classical influences (some see an influence of Ravel here, others see Delius) in 5/4 time.


From the book "Nick Drake: The Life" by Richard Morton Jack (2023) (ISBN 9781529308082):

(p. 229)
    Up in the control room, recalls Joe (Boyd), the subject of 'River Man' came up and Nick explained that Robert (Kirby) felt unequal to the task. 'I have a vivid memory of being disappointed that Robert wouldn't tackle "River Man",' he says.  he and John (Wood) could clearly see that the song required the best possible treatment.   John says: 'When Nick said he envisaged a Ravel/Debussy/Delius feel, I suggested Harry Robinson, with whom I'd worked on various film soundtracks.'  Joe arranged for Harry to be sent a tape of the song, and shortly afterwards Joe and Nick took a cab to Harry's house on Barnes Common.  By Joe's account, 'Having played the song through, then strummed chords as the tape played, showing Harry the textures he wanted for the string parts, I had never heard him (Nick) so articulate or so demanding.  Harry made notes and nodded.' 

(p. 231-2)
   On the evening of Monday, 21 April (1969) Nick presented himself at Sound Techniques.  Fourteen musicians awaited him, alongside Harry Robinson.  It was Nick's turn to be apprehensive; he had not yet heard the arrangement for 'River Man'.  In another indication of Nick's confidence where his music was concerned, John Wood remembers him asking for it to be tweaked as it was performed - there were certain figures he wanted played as longer notes instead - and harry graciously assenting.
   There was unanimous agreement that the result was another triumph, nodding both toward Frederick Delius and John Barry, and serving the song immaculately.  Joe says: 'I saw Harry many years later and he said,'"River Man" was so wonderful, all of us together in one room - I felt like Nelson Riddle with Frank Sinatra.'

(p. 333)
   One day Richard Thompson bumped into him (Nick): "I was on the Tube platform at Hampstead, heading into central London...He must have thought it would be more embarrassing to walk past without acknowledging me before waiting further down the platform, so he came and sat down next to me.  This was now awkward for both of us, so I had to strike up a conversation, or what would have to pass for one, between two socially inept introverts."   At Richard's instigation they discussed Delius and Debussy until the train came.


From the book "Nick Drake: Remembered For A While (The Authorized Companion to the Music of Nick Drake)" (2014) (ISBN 9780316340625)

(p. 162) comments on 'River Man' by Pete Paphides:
   Robert Kirby was never shy of paying tribute to Robinson for perfecting the job that had bamboozled him from the outset: 'Harry's string arrangment is barely in 5/4 - it goes along like a limpid river all the way, moving regularly and crossing all over the beats and the 5/4 with it.'

(NOTE: The final movement of the original version of Delius' Piano Concerto was also in 5/4, although neither Nick Drake nor Harry Robinson would not have been familiar with that version of the work.)


Nick Drake was featured on the cover of the March 2018 issue of MOJO Magazine, and the issue included a 17-page article on Nick's life and music.  Delius is mentioned twice in the article as being one of Nick's musical influences.
(Click here to read the excerpts)


In the video film "30 Century Man: Scott Walker" (executive producer: David Bowie) is an interview with Angela Morley, the arranger on Scott Walker's solo albums (1967-1970).   Delius is mentioned during the interview:

"I found this young man sitting on the floor, legs stretched out, with a guitar, and sheets of paper with words on them, all over the carpet; and as he strummed and sang his way through these things, from time to time he would stop, and he would say, "I really hear Sibelius here", or "here I hear Delius", or here I hear all these classical composers that he was fond of, and somehow he wanted that sound in the arrangements."  (When Delius is mentioned, a photo of Delius from 1919 is seen on the screen.)

"We just thought he was different - we didn't realize he was kind of a scout - the avant garde of what was to come."

TONY BANKS (Composer and keyboard player for GENESIS)
Tony mentions Delius as an influence in this video on his Facebook page.


The Hollywood arranger Herbert Stothart utilized selections from Delius' music on the soundtrack of the 1946 film made of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Yearling". The music is very appropriate for the setting of the story, which takes place in the forests of Florida; the ambience of the river, plantation life, and Florida itself had left indelible impressions upon Delius that found musical expression in works such as "Florida", "Koanga", and "Appalachia".

In 2006, Film Score Monthly released the extant soundtrack of "The Yearling" on CD (Volume 9, No. 13).

An excerpt from the soundtrack is included on "The Lion's Roar: M-G-M Film Scores 1935-1965" Turner Classic Movies RHINO R2 75701 [157:16].

The film itself is available on DVD.

"DYNASTY" (Prime Time Television Program)

During the early 1980's, the "previews" segment at the conclusion of many episodes of "Dynasty" featured on its soundtrack approximately 15 seconds of music lifted directly from the climactic moments of "A Walk to the Paradise Garden" by Delius.

 (long-running UK radio programme hosted by Roy Plomley)

Each celebrity guest is asked to select 8 records that they would wish to take with them if they were to be stranded on a desert island.  
The following guests selected a work by Delius. 
(as documented in the book "Desert Island Lists" by Roy Plomley with Derek Drescher, ISBN 0091517613)



Back to the Delius Page