Sir Thomas Beecham is often described as having 'championed' the music of Frederick Delius, and this is no exaggeration. From the moment he heard Delius's music as a young man, Beecham was captivated by its strange, romantic beauty, and its hold on him remained firm. During the next 50 years, he promoted Delius's music through a series of unrivalled performances, unearthing early pieces, arranging others and recording most of them, sometimes more than once. Lyndon Jenkins provides the first in-depth study of this extraordinary creative relationship. Starting with the first meeting of the composer and conductor in 1907, Jenkins charts Beecham's gradual introduction of Delius's compositions to British and foreign audiences, the operatic premières and revivals, the Delius festivals that he organized in 1929 and 1946, and the formation of the Delius Trust upon the composer's death in 1934. Also described is Beecham's continuing crusade for Delius's music up to his own death in 1961, which included a model edition of the scores, a biography and an internationally celebrated recorded legacy. The book includes a critical discography. Lyndon Jenkins provides a vivid account of an achievement that remains without parallel in the history of British music.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; 1907-1919: 'I am sure my music has never been played as well by anyone ...'; 1920-1929: 'This Festival has been the time of my life.'; 1930-1939: 'The clue, to my mind, lies in Beecham's temperament ...'; 1940-1949: 'When there is no longer a Beecham to bring his burning sympathy to Delius's music ...'; 1950-1961: 'You know, the old b--- really loves that music!'; Appendices: A critical discography; A Beecham rehearsal of Paris; A selection of Beecham's writings on Delius; Arrangements and orchestrations of Delius's music by Beecham; Bibliography; Indexes.
PRIZE: 2006 Winner of the ARSC 'Best Discography' in the 'Best Research in Recorded Classical Music' category. 'While Spring and Summer Sang chronicles both the personal and professional relationship between two of British music's greatest protagonists. The fact that the relationship blossomed during one of British music's most exciting times ... ensures that Lyndon Jenkins's enthralling narrative is far from being a mere procession of compositions, dates and places. The book's five chapters - divided by date - are followed by four invaluable appendices... Today, Delius's music is horribly neglected.... In these strident times there is perhaps more reason than ever to rediscover its magic, and Lyndon Jenkins's excellent volume - a model of its kind - will surely encourage people to do just that.' Julian Lloyd Webber, The Daily Telegraph '... [an] admirable volume... an elegant and long-deserved tribute to the greatest of all Delian interpreters.' The British Music Society Newsletter '...[a] splendid and richly researched book...' The Gramophone 'For once we have an interesting, well written, nicely produced volume telling us everything about its chosen subject and more besides.' Classical Record Collector 'Not the least remarkable aspect of this book is the discographical commentary in the first appendix, an absolutely invaluable and comprehensive [...[ survey'... Jenkins [...] writes beautiful and elegant prose.' International Record Review '...the book is informative and accomplishes its task, which is to show that Sir Thomas was devoted to Delius and that their relationship was remarkably close...The 27-page discography of Beecham/Delius recordings is valuable and useful...’ Choice '... this is an elegant and long-deserved tribute to the greatest of all Delian interpreters.' Tempo '... an entertaining read... Lyndon Jenkins has researched all of this material meticulously. This book belongs in the library of every Delian. Bravo!' The Delian