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Saturday, November 3, 2018

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy Paris: Song of a Great City by Frederick Delius (1862-1934):


About the above piece:
Paris: The Song of a Great City" is a nocturne for orchestra composed over the period of 1899–1900. Hans Haym, to whom Delius dedicated the work, conducted the premiere on 14 December 1901 in Elberfeld, Germany. Sir Thomas Beecham conducted the UK premiere of the work in Liverpool on 11 January 1908. The critical edition of the score, published in the late 1980s, incorporated revisions by Beecham, and included editorial work from Eric Fenby and Norman Del Mar.

...Whilst drawing upon Delius' own memories of his residence in Paris, the work is "impressionist" in nature. Philip Heseltine noted this quality as follows:

"For Delius, Paris is not merely a city of France, whose collective life is something to be studied objectively, from a place apart, much as an entomologist studies an ants' nest; it is a corner of his own soul."

Delius had a special fondness for Paris. He lived there from 1888 to nearly the end of the century. In 1896 he met his future wife there. And in 1899 he wrote "Paris: The Song of a Great City."

In his sketches for the piece, Delius wrote a series of impressions such as “mysterious city,” “city of pleasures,” “of gay music and dancing.” These images are painted in music with brushstrokes ranging from delicate to bold. The slow opening reflects the “mysterious city." This is followed by the teeming merry-go-round of Parisian nightlife, which is then interrupted by a lushly lyrical passage that may indicate the intimacies of love. Next, music from the café and music-hall are heard again, and the piece ends as the night ends, and the sounds of awakening streets can be heard as dawn slowly breaks and a new day begins.

The images on this video attempt to portray this impressionistic study of Paris in terms of daybreak, night time and evening sequences. There is an element of love and spectacular entertainment, the Hurley burly of the city in contrast peace and solitude of quiet corners of the city awakening or sleeping. The video includes vintage photographs some taken from Delius' day and impressionist paintings in keeping with the style of the music. It closes with modern day iconic images of Paris which maintain the romantic and impressionistic theme.

14 comments:

  1. Great selection...an "unknown" to me that I have come to enjoy a great deal. Thanks.

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  2. What a lovely way to begin a new day!

    Thank you so much, AOW, for featuring Delius's music as you have done periodically this past year. I don't believe his unique late-Romantic, quasi-Imressionistic voice has ever achieved the full measure of recognition and adulation it deserves.

    Whoever compiled the PICTURES accompanying this piece did Delius a great service. Paris has never been better represented in Art.

    I love the way the music appears to span a dawn to dusk then nocturnal view of the great, unforgettably beautiful city.

    The pre-dawn beginning sounds almost sinister at first, but as the the portraits and vignettes of various spects of Paris emerge it takes on a tone of quiet-yet-joyful appreciation, but always –– as with most of Delius' music I know –– the brightness and richness always seems tinged with poignant awareness of the immense comlexity and the darker aspects of the history and develoment of Western Civilization, yet it is never bitter or mournful.

    As with all works of True Beauty this music never stoops to the level of mere "prettiness," unrestrained peasantine vulgarity, or superficial "charm." There is nothing shallow or pretentious about Frederick Delius, His music is always filled with what the Germans call "Innigkeit" –– sober, meditative, reflective, often expressive of longing, and almost prayerful at times. There's a STILLNESS abut it I find calming and empathetic. LOVELY STUFF!

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    1. WIKIPEDIA on Paris, the Song of a Great City (partial quote):

      ... Whilst drawing upon Delius's own memories of his residence in Paris, the work is not a literal depiction, but more "impressionist" in nature. Whilst drawing upon Delius' own memories of his residence in Paris, the work is not a literal depiction, but more "impressionist" in nature.


      "For Delius, Paris is not merely a city of France, whose collective life is something to be studied objectively, from a place apart, much as an entomologist studies an ants' nest; it is a corner of his own soul.

      Delius had a special fondness for Paris. He lived there from 1888 to nearly the end of the century. In 1896 he met his future wife there. And in 1899 he wrote Paris: The Song of a Great City.

      In his sketches for the piece, Delius wrote a series of impressions such as “mysterious city,” “city of pleasures,” “of gay music and dancing.” These images are painted in music with brushstrokes ranging from delicate to bold.

      The slow opening reflects the “mysterious city." This is followed by the teeming merry-go-round of Parisian nightlife, which is then interrupted by a lushly lyrical passage that may indicate the intimacies of love. Next, music from the café and music-hall are heard again, and the piece ends as the night ends, and the sounds of awakening streets can be heard as dawn slowly breaks and a new day begins.

      Anglo-Welsh compser and critic Philip Heseltine noted this quality as follows:

      "For Delius, Paris is not merely a city of France, whose collective life is something to be studied objectively, from a place apart, much as an entomologist studies an ants' nest; it is a corner of his own soul.
      Delius had a special fondness for Paris. He lived there from 1888 to nearly the end of the century. In 1896 he met his future wife there. And in 1899 he wrote Paris: The Song of a Great City.


      In his sketches for the piece, Delius wrote a series of impressions such as “mysterious city,” “city of pleasures,” “of gay music and dancing.” These images are painted in music with brushstrokes ranging from delicate to bold. The slow opening reflects the “mysterious city." This is followed by the teeming merry-go-round of Parisian nightlife, which is then interrupted by a lushly lyrical passage that may indicate the intimacies of love. Next, music from the café and music-hall are heard again, and the piece ends as the night ends, and the sounds of awakening streets can be heard as dawn slowly breaks and a new day begins ...

      Delete
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    Replies
    1. Franco,
      I've become inured to the lack of response.

      I will post what I will. My blog, my property.

      Delete
    2. Whoever suggested that you should not?

      Certainly not I.

      Delete
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  6. Let's please avoid anything political in this thread. There is a political blog post below this one.

    Thank you.

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  7. Jersey Jack's birthday today...please come wish him happiness!

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  8. Such a wonderful piece! I'm so glad you posted it, AOW.

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    Replies
    1. I do make a conscious effort to choose respite selections -- most of the time, anyway.

      Delete
    2. I know that, AOW, and I've always applauded you for it.

      I only wish that at least a FEW more of your "regulars" appreciated it, even HALF as much as I do.

      I posted a magnificent performance of the Duruflé Requiem at my place on Saturday, and very stirring arrangement sof Once to Every Man and Nation with other splendid orchstrations of patriotic songs for today, and I doubt very much if ANYONE other than myself will bother to listen to so much as a single NOTE of any of it.

      Yes, we can say "It's THEIR loss," but if I live a housand years, I'll never be able undersand why the great majority are either openly HOSTILE to great cultural achievements or absolutely INDIFFERENT at best.

      As King Chula Longkhorn said, "IT'S a PUZZLEMENT!" };^)>

      Delete

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