excerpt from 'Delius: A Life in Letters 1862-1908' pp. 240-241 (367 words)

excerpt from 'Delius: A Life in Letters 1862-1908' pp. 240-241 (367 words)

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Delius: A Life in Letters 1862-1908

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"Romeo and Juliet" is very beautiful, just like my idea of your development. If I have to make one reservation, then it is to the effect that the romantic nature of the subject has not allowed your musical language to remain on the absolutely original level of "Koanga". I am so spoiled by Koanga that I would not permit anything of that kind to you, of all people. Among the works of your latest, completely free manner, apart from Palmyra's Aria I also know the "Tanzlied". So I have some idea where your road has led you, and I will not worry myself - or you - unduly if you do not seem to me to be quite as original here and there in your sensibilities in "Romeo and Juliet" as in "Koanga". / Still, these are minor matters. It's only because it concerns you that I did not wish to let anything pass without mention! We have come to such an understanding of each other that it almost seems out of place to me to tell you something good about the work as well. Of course it is very beautiful, there is no dought! And I am very grateful to you for having done it! And for having dared to be so quiet, so simple, so sincere in an opera! And for having forgotten the "Gallery"! One of the finest things is the beginning, which contains so much sunshine and heat, so much "air"! After that, the level drops slightly and then rises right until the end! The third act is the best. In the "Vision" of act II I feel something more striking, more significant ought to take place - however that is a minor detail. I think the first act drags a bit after the prelude. Still, it is a good thing that it is the first. All in all- this repressed ardour, this nearchaste anxiety of the modern soul, this deep, passionate stillness - you are the first who has dared on the operatic stage to speak so softly, to be so - "aristocratic". I say nothing about your music, since it is by - Delius! That prohibits me from - praising it. - -

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excerpt from 'Delius: A Life in Letters 1862-1908' pp. 240-241 (367 words)


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