Delius and Norway

June 2017
25 black and white, 49 line illustrations
344 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781783271993
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

Delius and Norway

Andrew J. Boyle

The first detailed study of the vital role that Norway played in the life and work of Frederick Delius
This is a study of the vital role that Norway played in the life and work of Frederick Delius. Norway was a primary source of inspiration for Delius: 20 summers of his adult life were spent there, and almost 40 works express his experiences of Norwegian nature or were composed to Norwegian texts. Yet, although his attachment to Norway was at the core of his creative life, this book is the first in-depth study of the influence the country and its artists had on the composer. It includes significant new material regarding Delius's friendships with Edvard Munch, Edvard Grieg and Knut Hamsun. Previously unknown visits to Norway are detailed, as are close ties to a whole raft of Norwegian artists and political figures that have never previously been documented. For the first time, Delius's alter ego is uncovered, several mythologies regarding the composer are clarified, and the Norwegian background to some of his most well-known works is considered. The Delius that emerges from these pages is little known, even to most enthusiasts of his music: a driven and energetic personality and an artist searching for a language with which to express the existential crisis facing modern man in the early twentieth century.

ANDREW J. BOYLE is an author and musician. He gained his PhD on the music of Frederick Delius from the University of Sheffield.

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Keywords: Music

Table of Contents

Norway's awakening
1862-1888: Bradford, Florida and Leipzig
1888-1889: With Grieg on the heights
1890-1891: 'C'est de la Norderie'
1892-1895: Norway lost
1896: Norway regained
1897: Front page news
1898-1902: Unshakeable self-belief
1903-1907: Breakthrough in Germany and England
1908-1912: Changes of direction
1912-1918: High hills, dark forests
1919-1934: Myth and reality in Lesjaskog
Appendix I: List of visits to Norway
Appendix II: Works with Norwegian and Danish texts and associations
Selected bibliography and archival sources


Having set the scene so thoroughly, Boyle goes on to chronicle Delius's Norwegian wanderings, dalliances and intellectual meanderings in prose that is ever well-researched, candid and elegant. The places and people Delius encountered are vividly drawn, and one develops a tangible sense of the composer's foibles and tastes...The lively topic and sparkling writing ensure an unprecedented volume of high worth for scholar and enthusiast alike. SPIRITED, THE GAZETTE OF THE ENGLISH MUSIC FESTIVAL

[E]ssential to every serious Delius enthusiast. Highly recommended. THE DELIAN

[F]ills many gaps in our knowledge of Delius's life, and further expands our understanding of his music. . . . So many different cultures, countries, philosophies, and experiences made up the personality and music of Delius and it is timely that this particular long-overlooked aspect -- his relationship to Norway -- receives the meticulous and sympathetic attention that it does here. NABMSA REVIEWS

[A] satisfying readable analysis of Delius, his world and his music. COSCAN MAGAZINE

The whole book is written with the love, poetry and insight that Delius' music deserves. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

A delight to read!...a private journey into unexplored territory...with images and such vivid descriptions of the Nordic lands and its music...the majority of the book was new to me...a must read. Peter Byrom-Smith, THE BRITISH MUSIC SOCIETY

It opens a wider window for the first time on an essential element within the composer's creative world. MUSICAL OPINION [Peter Dickinson]

Boyle's research has thrown up much new material on Delius' personal relationships with composers, musicians, artists, political figures and other Norwegian notables, plus hitherto unknown facts regarding his travels to the country. It makes for an absorbing read. MUSICWEB

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