Frederick Delius’s On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring (composed 1912) is, with Summer Night on the River, one of a pair of short pieces composed at the suggestion of his friend and fellow-composer Percy Grainger, after he pointed out the practical difficulties for amateur orchestras of performing Delius's scores for large forces. Inspired by a Norwegian folksong, ‘I Ola-Dalom, i Ola-Kjønn’ (‘In Ola Valley, in Ola Lake’), first transcribed by Edvard Grieg’s neighbour Frants Beyer, the work demonstrates Delius’s interest in the music and culture of Scandinavia. He spent long periods of time in the Nordic countries, and befriended many Scandinavian artists including August Strindberg and Edvard Munch.
Despite the origins of the work in the Norwegian landscape, this recording comes from a collection made by Saga, Music of England, alongside such English musical portraits as Vaughan Williams’s Linden Lea, Holst’s A Somerset Rhapsody and Butterworth’s A Shropshire Lad.
- Delius: On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring
- Saga Records
- Sound recording
- Frederick Delius, Charles Groves, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
- Usage terms
- Public Domain
- Held by
- British Library
- Article by:
- Lionel Carley
- Music and place, Musical style
Lionel Carley explores composer Frederick Delius’s long association with France, and how the distinctive landscapes of Paris and Grez-sur-Loing inspired some of his most famous scores.