Delius: Florida Suite

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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
Delius: Florida Suite 1:19:08 $17.98
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# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 Florida Suite: I. Daybreak - Dance 11:44 44.1/24 Album only
2 Florida Suite: II. By the River 7:09 44.1/24 Album only
3 Florida Suite: III. Sunset - Near the Plantation 10:10 44.1/24 Album only
4 Florida Suite: IV. At Night 8:10 44.1/24 Album only
5 Over the Hills and Far Away 13:30 44.1/24 Album only
6 Idylle Printemps 8:01 44.1/24 Album only
7 La Quadroone 4:05 44.1/24 Album only
8 Scherzo 5:49 44.1/24 Album only
9 Koanga, Act II: Closing Scene (arr. T. Beecham) 10:30 44.1/24 Album only

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Frederick Delius (1862-1934)

English Northern Philharmonia
David Lloyd-Jones
, conductor 

David Lloyd-Jones leads the English Northern Philharmonia in the Florida Suite written by composer Fritz Delius.

Fritz Delius was born in the Northern English city of Bradford, where his father Julius had moved from Germany to take advantage of the opportunities offered there by the then flourishing wool trade. Julius Delius saw a possible future for his son in the Florida orange groves and in 1887 Delius set sail from Liverpool, bound for New York and thence south to reach Solano Grove, a plantation of a hundred acres of orange orchards on the banks of the St Johns River. Here there was a substantial enough house and Delius, showing more inclination to music than to business, was able here to acquire a grand piano and to embark on lessons in counterpoint from Thomas Ward in Jacksonville. He later moved to Danville in Virginia, abandoning his plantation and seeking now to earn his living as a musician, teaching violin, piano and theory and taking part in local musical activities.

Delius left America to attend the Leipzig Conservatory, studying with Reinecke, Jadassohn and Sitt and formed an important friendship with Grieg. As a composer Delius owed much to the conductor Sir Thomas Beecham in England, while in Germany he had been helped in his early years by the particular support of Hans Haym, the young Music Director in Elberfeld.

His Florida Suite was written in Leipzig in 1887 and first played to a limited audience of Christian sinding, Grieg and the composer by the musicians of the band at Bonorand's restaurant in the Rosenthal Park, conducted by Hans Sitt, who taught violin at the Leipzig Conservatory and had succeeded Brodsky as director of the Conservatory Orchestra. The orchestra on this occasion was rewarded with a hundred marks and free beer. Delius hoped for a London performance, but in March 1889 August Manns returned the score and parts, claiming that his schedule left no time for rehearsal for inclusion of the Suite in the Crystal Palace concert season.

In Paris in June Delius revised the work, ironing out what he described as unnecessary orchestral brutalities. It was published posthumously by Sir Thomas Beecham, who conducted the first English public performance of three of its four movements in London in 1937. The first movement, Daybreak leads to the well known La Calinda, that he was later to use in the opera Koanga. The second movement, By the River, much favoured by Beecham, relies on a repeated theme of less obvious provenance than the material of the third movement, Sunset - Near the Plantation, which makes use of a well enough known theme sung, it may be supposed, by the black plantation workers in Florida, the setting of the sun leading to a dance with elements of apparent Spanish origin, heard through the prism of black America. The last movement suggests Grieg rather than Florida, as the oboe leads into an evocative night-piece.

Recorded August 22 & 23, 1995 at the Leeds Town Hall in England.

Producer: Paul Myers
Recording engineer: Dave Harries