Tag Archives: Percy Grainger

Delius’s taste

Today, on Delius’s 160th birthday, let’s eavesdrop on the reminiscences of his friend Percy Grainger.

“Composer never had truer colleague than I had in Frederick Delius, and when he died I felt that my music had lost its best friend.”

“Our outlook on life was very similar, our artistic tastes met at many points. Both of us considered the Icelandic sagas the pinnacle of narrative prose. Both of us knew the Scandinavian languages and admired the culture of Scandinavia as the flower of Europeanism.”

“Both of us worshipped Walt Whitman, Wagner, Grieg, and Jens Peter Jacobsen. Both of us detested music of the Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven period. ‘If a man tells me he likes Mozart, I know in advance that he is a bad musician’ Delius was fond of saying.”

“One year he would ask for Bach; the next year he would say ‘You know, Bach always bores me.’ But Chopin and Grieg he never turned against. He preferred Ravel to Debussy. He had no patience with Richard Strauss, Mahler, or Hindemith.”

This from “About Delius”, reprinted in Grainger on music (Oxford: Clarendon, 1999, pp. 361–368). Above, Grainger and Delius in 1923. Below, Delius’s On hearing the first cuckoo in spring.

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Filed under Impressionism, Reception, Romantic era

Grainger studies

Grainger studies: An interdisciplinary journal (ISSN 1838-8892) was launched in 2011, the 50th anniversary of Percy Grainger’s death, by the University of Melbourne Library, the custodian of the Grainger Museum.

Edited by David Pear and Belinda Nemec, this peer-reviewed scholarly journal is published annually and distributed electronically for free, with print copies available for purchase from the Custom Book Centre at the Melbourne University Bookshop.

Related article: Grainger and world music

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Filed under 20th- and 21st-century music, New periodicals