Order of the Cynthian Palm

Delius Florida Suite

Frederick Delius This is the earliest orchestral work of the British-born composer Frederick Delius and dates from 1886-87. It was inspired by the young man's residence on a Florida orange plantation (Solano Grove) some distance from Jacksonville.

The Suite is in four movements: the first is subtitled "Daybreak-Dance" and the "Dance" section is also known as "La Calinda" due to its later use in the opera "Koanga" (1895-97) under that name.

This MIDI sequence was created February-March 2005 and is an unabridged version of a piece usually somewhat cut in performance.

The second movement of the Suite is titled "By the River" which, in this case, is the St. Johns River that flows through the Grove. And flow it does with two gorgeous "technicolor" tunes!! Like the first movement, it's really, to my mind, quite successful for what it is.

The third movement, "Sunset - Near the Plantation" resembles the first movement in that it has a slow introduction and a fast section subtitled "Danza", again with similar percussion especially the tambourine. (the slow section returns at the end in this case.) It has been pointed out that this tune resembles Porgy's "I Got Plenty o' Nuthin'" which was written over 40 years later.

Unfortunately, I haven't had the time to reduce this 32 channel setup to 16 but will try in a less crowded season.

The last movement is titled "At Night" and is a lovely, rather Wagnerian, work which quotes from the rest of the Suite except for the third movement. We get, even momentarily, a hint of the Good Friday music from Wagner's Parsifal but brought in naturally in the context of Delius' early style. A much slowed-down and disguised version of the "Calinda" theme of the first movement ends the Suite.

Edward Gold

Download Florida first movement
Download Florida second movement
Download Florida third movement
Download Florida fourth movement

MP3 versions of these files:

Delius: Florida Suite: 1.Daybreak-dance (10.1MB)
Florida Suite: 2.By the River, mp3 file using Myriad Gold Base 2 (5.8MB)
Florida Suite: 3.Sunset-Near the Plantation (8.5MB)
Florida Suite: 4.At Night, Gold Base 2 version, updated 8/16/05 (7.1MB)

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