Frederick Delius – On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring

On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring is a tone poem composed in 1912 by Frederick Delius CH; it was first performed in Leipzig on 23 October 1913. It is the first of “Two Pieces for Small Orchestra”, the second piece being Summer Night on the River, although these have for many years existed separately on recordings and in the concert hall.

The piece opens with a slow three-bar sequence; its first theme is an exchange of cuckoo calls, first for oboe, then for divided strings. The second theme is scored for first violins, and is taken from a Norwegian folk song, “In Ola Valley”, which was brought to his attention by the Australian composer and folk-song arranger Percy Grainger. (The theme was also quoted by Edvard Grieg in his 19 Norwegian Folksongs, Op. 66.) The clarinet returns with the cuckoo calls before the piece ends in pastoral fashion. (Courtesy of Wikipedia).

I took these photographs of places in and around the Derbyshire Peak District: places just outside include the villages of Kirk Ireton and Brassington, which I shot today, and after a very long Winter and cold spring it truly felt like the first day of Spring! I have seen swallows return within the last week, but as yet haven’t heard a cuckoo. It won’t be long now though, and is always a joy!

For more videos and other information about the Peak District please visit Let’s Stay Peak District at http://www.peakdistrict-nationalpark.com

Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields
Conductor: Sir Neville Marriner
A Decca Recording

 

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One response to “Frederick Delius – On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring

  1. Pingback: Make Music Part of Your Life Series: Frederick Delius – Florida Suite | euzicasa

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