This wartime Cello Sonata (1916), by the English composer Frederick Delius, was written for the cellist Beatrice Harrison and dedicated to her. The surviving manuscript sources bear witness to her editorial contribution towards the cello part, which she marked up extensively with performance suggestions. Composed in a single movement, the work is famously difficult to convey, with Delius’s amanuensis, Eric Fenby, commenting that ‘No work by Delius has been more misread through failure to grasp the sense of flow in the subtle inflexions of the cello lines which he found he could not convey on paper, but left to the soloist’s intuition’. In this context, this 1926 recording, one of the earliest of Delius’s music, is especially valuable for the insights to be gained from Beatrice Harrison’s performance.
- Delius: Cello Sonata (recording)
- 1926 (re-released by Symposium Records in 1992)
- Sound recording
- Frederick Delius, Beatrice Harrison
- © Symposium Records
- Usage terms
© Symposium Records 1140. Extract used under fair dealing copyright exception.
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Joanna Bullivant
- Musical style, Performance and reception
Joanna Bullivant explores how Delius’s compositions were brought to life by various interpreters. Did he give his performers enough information and how important are the contributions made by the famous musicians with whom he worked?
Composed, like his String Quartet, in 1916, the Cello Sonata belongs to a period of wartime composition in which ...