In Yorkshire, England was born the composer Frederick Delius on 29 January 1862, making him one of a family of fourteen children. His father was a wool merchant and music lover, but opposed to Frederick's fascination with music, so he eventually escaped by taking a job in Florida. By the time he returned to live in France, his knowledge of music set him on the path that is well known; and the syphilis caught in his youth gradually crippled and blinded him. The timely appearance in 1928 of Eric Fenby to act as Delius' amanuensis has made it our good fortune that the best music is now known and recorded. Delius died in France at Grez-sur-Loing on 10 June 1934.
You spotted snakes - George Colerick muses on incidental music, with particular regard to Mendelssohn
CD Spotlight. Adeptly Handled - String Quartets by Elgar and Delius, heard by Stephen Francis Vasta. 'From the soft yet unified opening attack, we know that the Villiers Quartet will serve the score well.'
Ensemble. Sensitive Handling - Tchaikovsky, Delius and Brahms from the Villiers String Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Fantastic Collection - Little-known harpsichord gems, strongly recommended by Alice McVeigh. '... succeeds utterly, as does the immaculately sensitive [Penelope] Cave.'
CD Spotlight. Utmost Pleasure - English music for strings, praised by Howard Smith. '... a gorgeous new release from Naxos ...'
CD Spotlight. Home and Abroad - Piano music by Delius, Bax, Vaughan Williams and Bridge, heard by Howard Smith. 'Commanding resolute performances of music arisen from harrowing conflict.'
Ensemble. Highly Successful - Roderic Dunnett looks back to Worcester's 2014 Three Choirs Festival, and forward to Hereford's Festival in July 2015
CD Spotlight. Brought to Life - Music for violin and piano completely captivates Geoff Pearce. 'The partnership is incredible ...'
Ensemble. Mad Stampede - Viennese classics from the Derby Concert Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. A Generous Weekend - The third William Alwyn Festival, attended by Patric Standford
CD Spotlight. Uniquely English - A tribute to violinist Ralph Holmes, heard by Howard Smith. '... an invigorating spontaneity ...'
Ensemble. The Finest of Them All - The 2012 Hereford Three Choirs Festival, reviewed by Roderic Dunnett
Nicely Paced - Martyn Rawles at the organ of Derby Cathedral, heard by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Gleaming Sonorities - Handel, Haydn, Delius and Mozart from the European Union Chamber Orchestra impress Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. A Hint of Bitters - Music by William Ferris, heard by Howard Smith. 'Well worth investigating.'
CD Spotlight. Unjustly Neglected - Orchestral tone poems by Boughton and Bainton impress Robert Anderson. '... performed with conviction and sensitivity ...'
An Eloquent Devotee - Ronald Stevenson's writings on Grainger, read by Robert Anderson
CD Spotlight. Powerful and Concise - Blomstedt conducts Richard Strauss, heard by Robert Anderson. '... a composer of infinite promise ...'
CD Spotlight. Gentle Passions - Music by John Jeffreys, heard by Patric Standford. '... beautifully paced ...'
Ensemble. Great Fun - The Hallé Orchestra ends Nottingham's orchestral season, heard by Mike Wheeler
CD Spotlight. Flight of Eloquence - Blomstedt conducts Bruckner, heard by Robert Anderson. '... opulence and splendour ...'
CD Spotlight. An Ideal Exponent - Eniko Magyar plays English viola music, recommended by Gerald Fenech. '... beautifully executed and superbly recorded ...'
CD Spotlight. Fifty Years - Celebrating Lyrita's recordings of British music, by George Balcombe. '... a meticulous reproduction of orchestral sound ...'
Timings - Universal Edition's preparations for the Mahler Centenary years (2010-2011), by Jennifer Paull
DVD Spotlight. Extreme Individuality - A film about Delius, seen by Paul Sarcich. '... a commendable breadth.'
Highly Effective - Peter Gould helps celebrate the seventieth anniversary of Derby Cathedral's Compton Organ, as noted by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Highly Resourceful - Mike Wheeler listens to a new work by Richard Roddis
DVD Spotlight. Engaging Integrity - Mark Dexter plays Peter Warlock, recommended by Robert Anderson. '... a triumphant success ...'
Ensemble. A Geordie Knees-Up - John Wilson conducts the Hallé Orchestra, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Ensemble. Various Challenges - Music by Trevor Hold, Elgar, Parry, Stanford, Delius and Vivaldi from the Derwent Singers, reviewed by Mike Wheeler
Scientific music? - Alistair Hinton replies to Patric Standford's recent provocations
CD Spotlight. Delian subtlety - The inspired Sir Thomas Beecham, admired by Robert Anderson. '... no better than expected ...'
Music matters - Gordon Rumson reads Wilfrid Mellers' book 'Singing in the Wilderness: Music and Ecology in the Twentieth Century'
CD Spotlight. The one authority - Beecham conducts Delius, reviewed by Patric Standford. '... a very worthy CD, remastered with due care ...'
CD Spotlight - A landmark. 'Beecham produces a performance redolent even now of passion and conviction ...' Delius's 'A Village Romeo and Juliet', explored by Peter Dale
Speaking universally - A Yank's appreciation of British music, with Richard Krause
Record Box - Over the hills - Delius before the first cuckoo, with Basil Ramsey