Delius, Frederick

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Delius, Frederick (1862–1934). Composer. Born in Bradford (Yorks.) of German descent, Delius spent most of his life abroad. As a young man he worked in Florida and for many years was domiciled in France, yet his music often evokes a sense of the English landscape. He rejected traditional formalism and as a disciple of Nietzsche believed that the artist's primary duty was to fulfil himself in life and art. His greatest music depicts the beauties of nature and the transience of human life with poetic imagination and a mastery of orchestration. His most popular pieces are short and idyllic, such as On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring or Brigg Fair, but in Appalachia and A Mass of Life he wrote superbly on a large scale. In his final years he was blind and paralysed but was able to continue composing through the devoted assistance of Eric Fenby, his musical amanuensis.

John W. Derry

Delius, Frederick

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Delius, Frederick (1862–1934) English composer. He combined elements of Romanticism with impressionism, most notably in orchestral pieces, such as Brigg Fair (1907) and On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring (1912). His interest in nature is evident in the operas A Village Romeo and Juliet (1901) and Fennimore and Gerda (1910).

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Frederick Delius

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Frederick Delius