Delius: Seven Songs from the Norwegian; I-Brasîl; Aus deinen Augen fliessen meine Lieder; Longing etc

COMPOSERS: Delius
LABELS: Hyperion
ALBUM TITLE: Delius
WORKS: Seven Songs from the Norwegian; I-Brasîl; Aus deinen Augen fliessen meine Lieder; Longing etc
PERFORMER: Yvonne Kenny (soprano), Piers Lane (piano)
CATALOGUE NO: CDA 67594
This beautifully recorded disc is a welcome addition to a relatively neglected area of the Delius discography. Delius composed some 62 songs, of which Yvonne Kenny and her sensitive partner Piers Lane have chosen 25; they seem completely attuned to their world, all atmospheric yet achieved with the utmost economy of means.

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Over half of Delius’s songs are settings of Norwegian and Danish, and only a dozen are English. The two sets of Songs from the Norwegian were composed in 1888-90, at the height of his first infatuation with Norway. He dedicated the first set to Grieg whose songs inspired him and for the Second Set turned to Ibsen, Bjørnson and Vinje whose poetry Grieg had set. Yvonne Kenny sings all but one in the translations of Peter Pears, and also includes three of the first set. She also gives us four Verlaine settings, which, incidentally, Delius instructed his publisher not to offer in English translation, as well as Heine and Geibel, and the Danish poet Jens Peter Jacobsen. His fine Shelley, Ben Johnson and Herrick settings are represented too. Robert Layton