There was always a unique alchemy between the art of sir Thomas Beecham and the music of Frederick Delius, to be heard in every bar of this remarkable January 1938 recording of Appalachia. It’s a performance of beaming dedication, wistful heartache and rapt wonder leaves the listener in no doubt about Sir Thomas’s boundless love for a work that served as his introduction to the composer. By July 1938 Beecham and the LPO had committed to disc the three remaining items that make up The Delius Society’s final volume of the composer’s music issued by Columbia Records; suffice to say, La Calinda skips along entrancingly here, while no true Delian could fail to respond to Beecham’s poignant way with both the closing scene from Hassan and the lovely Irmelin Prelude. Naxos’s curtain-raiser, Brigg Fair, took two days to produce this tender reading.
“There always was a unique alchemy between the art of Sir Thomas Beecham and the music of Frederick Delius, and you can detect it in every bar of this remarkable January 1938 recording of Appalachia. It is, quite simply, a performance to cherish, its beaming dedication, wistful heartache and rapt wonder leaving the listener in no doubt Sir Thomas’ boundless love for a work that served as his introduction to the composer. David Lennick’s transfers have been admirably managed, Appalachia now sounding rather more open and full–bodied than on a rival Dutton compilation.”