To Be Sung of a Summer Night on the Water, no. 1
"It is only that which cannot be expressed otherwise," wrote Delius, "that is worth expressing in music." This outlook, a clear reflection of the British composer's highly individualistic Romantic style, is readily apparent in the pair of textless choral vocalises he composed in 1917 entitled To Be Sung of a Summer Night on the Water (not to be confused with his earlier orchestral tone poem, Summer Night on the River - a companion piece to the well-known On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring.)
The pair of choral works To Be Sung of a Summer Night was composed for an important amateur choral group, the Oriana Madrigal Society, which premiered the pieces in 1920. The first of these - heard here - is a dreamy idyll whose rich chromaticism conveys an impressionistic barbershop quality.
- Kip Cranna