Tag Archives: Derbyshire

Gerald Finzi – Eclogue for Piano and Strings Op. 10


To my surprise, I first came upon this piece only last year (2009). And I really don’t know how that happened given my love of English music, and also of Finzi‘s nods to the Baroque idiom throughout this work. I was driving home from Boston to Worcester along the (hideous) Massachusetts Turnpike when I heard “Eclogue” for the first time on the radio (NPR I think). I was so affected, I had to take the nearest off-ramp. It immediately seized my heart and mind. “If this doesn’t break your heart, you haven’t got a heart to break” as one reviewer has said of this piece. Finzi gave this work an early Opus number (perhaps misleadingly in terms of his evolution as a composer) even though he revised it towards the end of his life. His “Elegy” for violin and piano, which shares elements of “Eclogue” is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_qKAi… My pics here are of a snowy Derbyshire Peak District at Christmas 2009. Again, these photos are centred on the village of Great Longstone, of its lovely medieval church and some of the surrounding landscape. I shall get better with the timings! For more videos and other information about the Peak District please visit Let’s Stay Peak District at http://www.peakdistrict-nationalpark.com Piano: Peter Donohoe Northern Sinfonia Conducted by Howard Griffiths A Naxos Recording

Advertisements

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

 

EYAM, ENGLAND


Eyam, England

The village of Eyam in Derbyshire, England, is best known for its decision to voluntarily quarantine itself when the Great Plague of London spread there in 1665. Villagers further tried to contain the disease by burying their own relatives and by leaving money disinfected in vinegar on a stone outside the village to pay for goods being delivered. The plague raged for 14 months and devastated Eyam, wiping out between 50 and 75 percent of its population. How was the plague brought to the village? More… Discuss