Frederick Delius’s Brigg Fair (1907) is a set of variations for large orchestra based on the folksong ‘Unto Brigg Fair’. Delius heard the latter arranged for solo tenor and choir by his friend, the composer Percy Grainger, who himself had heard the song performed by Joseph Taylor in the town of Brigg, Lincolnshire, in 1906. The eminent conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham, was an enthusiast for Delius’s music, performing and recording much of it and later acting as the editor of the collected edition of the composer’s works.
This recording was made for Columbia in 1928 as part of a concerted programme of recording Delius’s major works that Beecham undertook at the time. According to Eric Fenby, this recording was heard by the composer himself, who remarked “That is how I want my music played.” It was re-released by EMI in 1990.