Delius: Paris


Paris reveals the same painstaking process of revision and search for a title that characterises a number of Delius's orchestral works. While the published score is a single-movement work with no accompanying textual content beyond the title, the sketches indicate that Delius initially envisaged two distinct movements entitled 'Scènes Parisiennes' and 'Episodes & Aventures' respectively. Adding to the context of inspiration for the work, this autograph score contains an unidentified poem in English and German (struck through in blue pencil), phrases from which were written (in French) into the sketches:

         Mysterious city!

Asleep while the crowds hurry bye [sic]

to their many pursuits and pleasures

Awakening as the twilight softly deepens

tinging all things with mystery

City of pleasure,

of strange sensations

of brazen music and dancing

of painted and beautiful women.

Secret city,

unveiling but to those

who ever shunning day

return home in the pale blue light

of scarcely breaking dawn

and fall asleep to the song of the awakening streets

and the rising dawn.

This score also contains cue numbers and other conductors' markings, indicating its use in early performances. 

Full title:
Autograph score of Frederick Delius’s orchestral work Paris
Frederick Delius
© Delius Trust
Usage terms
Public Domain
Held by
British Library
MS Mus. 1745/2/13/1

Full catalogue details

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