Saturday, 4 December 2010

Delius Who? A comment in the The Musical Times, 1894

I found this short review of a series of concerts in Monte Carlo as a part of the Musical Times’ Foreign Notes. It is hardly a remarkable piece of writing except for the reference to Frederick Delius. It is worth preserving for this alone.

A series of so called International Concerts is being given this winter on Sundays by M. Arthur Steck's [1] band. On February 25 the programme was selected from the works of British composers-at any rate, they were announced as ‘oeuvres anglaises’ - and included the names of [Michael] Balfe, [Alexander] Mackenzie, [Herbert] Oakeley, [Arthur] Sullivan Overture di Ballo, Elias Parish Alvars [2], [Percy] Godfrey (!), and one Delius, whoever he may be. Sir Herbert Oakeley's Suite [3], with its brilliant rondo finale, was fairly played and well received, the composer himself being present, on his way back from Rome. It seems a pity that the authorities did not call to their councils someone with a competent knowledge of the resources of the English school, and thus save themselves from such inadequate expositions of what the foremost British musicians have been doing during the last fifty years.
The Musical Times April 1 1894 p.267 [with minor edits]
[1] Arthur Steck was conductor of the Monte Carlo Orchestra from 1885-1894.
[2] Elias Parish Alvers 1808-1849 was once known as ‘The Liszt of the Harp.’ He was a performer and composer.
[3] Herbert Oakeley Suite for Orchestra No 1. No 1. Pastorale ... No 2. Minuet & Trio ... No 3. Gavotte & Musette ... No 4. Saraband ... No 5. Rondo scherzoso ... Op. 27. Score, etc. 1893

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recall a critic who said he would only listen to Delius at a maximum of once a year. My introduction to Delius was Boughton/Nimbus Florida Suite. I never tire of it. Paul from Ohio