Frederick Delius and The Walk to the Paradise Garden

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     Frederick (Fritz) Theodore Albert Delius (January 29, 1862–June 10, 1934) was an English composer.  Delius was born on January 29, 1862, at Bradford in Yorkshire, England, and baptized as “Fritz Theodore Albert Delius.”  He used the forename Fritz until he was about 40.   His parents were Julius Delius (1822–1901) and his wife Elise Pauline, née Krönig (1838–1929).   They were born at Bielefeld in Westphalia, German, of Dutch origin.   Julius moved to England to further his career as a wool merchant, and became a naturalized British subject in 1850. He married Elise in 1856.  Frederick was the second of four sons, along with ten sisters.  The Delius household was musical; famous musicians such as Joseph Joachim and Carlo Alfredo Piatti were guests, and played for the family.  As a boy, Fritz learned to play both violin and piano proficiently before he reached his teens.  The young Delius was first taught the violin by a Mr. Bauerkeller of the Hallé Orchestra, and had more advanced studies under Mr. George Haddock of Leeds.  Achieving enough skill as a violinist to set up as a violin teacher in later years, but his chief musical joy was to improvise at the piano.  From 1874 to 1878, he was educated at Bradford Grammar School, and then attended the International College at Isleworth between 1878 and 1880.

Julius Delius assumed that his son would play a part in the family wool business, and though he finally recognized that there was no prospect that his son would succeed in the family business,  he remained opposed to music as a profession, and instead sent him to America to manage an orange plantation.  Delius was in Florida from the spring of 1884 to the autumn of 1885, living on a plantation at Solano Grove on the Saint Johns River, about 35 miles south of Jacksonville where he continued to be engrossed in music, and in Jacksonville he met Thomas Ward, who became his teacher in counterpoint and composition.  Delius paid little attention to the business of growing oranges, and continued to pursue his musical interests.  While in Florida, Delius had his first composition published, a polka for piano called Zum Carnival. In late 1885 he left a caretaker in charge of Solano Grove and moved to Danville, Virginia, where he pursued a wholly musical career, beginning to give instruction in Piano, Violin, Theory and Composition.

In 1886 Julius Delius finally agreed to allow his son to pursue a musical career, and paid for him to study music formally. Delius left Danville and returned to Europe via New York.  Back in Europe he enrolled at the conservatoire in Leipzig, Germany, studying piano under Carl Reinecke, counterpoint under Salomon Jadassohn, and conducting under Hans Sitt.  Delius met the composer Edvard Grieg in Leipzig. In the spring of 1888, Sitt conducted Delius’s Florida Suite for an audience of three: Grieg, Christian Sinding and the composer.  After leaving Leipzig in 1888, Delius moved to Paris where his uncle, Theodore, took him under his wing and looked after him socially and financially.  Over the next eight years, Delius befriended many writers and artists.  Florent Schmitt arranged the piano scores of Delius’s first two operas, Irmelin and The Magic Fountain.  Delius’s Paris years were musically productive. His symphonic poem Paa Vidderne was performed in Christiania in 1891 and in Monte Carlo in 1894; Gunnar Heiberg commissioned Delius to provide incidental music for his play Folkeraadet in 1897; and Delius’s second opera, The Magic Fountain, was accepted for staging at Prague, but the project fell through for unknown reasons.  Other works of the period were the fantasy overture Over the Hills and Far Away (1895–97) and orchestral variations, Appalachia (1896).

In 1897, Delius met the German artist Jelka Rosen, who later became his wife. Jelka bought a house in Grez-sur-Loing, a village 40 miles outside Paris on the edge of Fontainebleau.  Delius visited her there, and after a brief return visit to Florida, they married in 1903, , by which time he had anglicised his name to Frederick, and, apart from a short period when the area was threatened by the advancing German army during the First World War, Delius lived in Grez for the rest of his life.  In the same year, Delius began a fruitful association with German supporters of his music, the conductors Hans Haym, Fritz Cassirer, and Alfred Hertz at Elberfeld, and Julius Buths at Düsseldorf.  In 1899 Hertz gave a Delius concert in St. James’s Hall in London, which included Over the Hills and Far Away, the choral piece Mitternachtslied, and excerpts from the opera Koanga.   The orchestral work Paris: The Song of a Great City was composed in 1899 and dedicated to Haym.   Most of Delius’s premieres of this period were given by Haym and his fellow German conductors. In 1904 Cassirer premiered Koanga, and in the same year the Piano Concerto was given in Elberfeld, and Lebenstanz in Düsseldorf. Appalachia (choral orchestral variations on an old slave song, also inspired by Florida) followed there in 1905. Sea Drift (a cantata with words taken from a poem by Walt Whitman) was premiered at Essen in 1906, and A Village Romeo and Juliet in Berlin in 1907.  Delius’s reputation in Germany remained high until the First World War; in 1910 his rhapsody Brigg Fair was given by 36 different German orchestras.

In early years of the 20th century, Delius composed some of his most popular works, including a Summer Garden (1908, revised 1911), Summer Night on the River (1911), and On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring (1912).  During the First World War, Delius and Jelka moved from Grez to avoid the hostilities soon after the completion of North Country Sketches (1913/4). They took up temporary residence in the south of England, where Delius continued to compose.  One of Delius’s major wartime works was his Requiem, dedicated “to the memory of all young Artists fallen in the war.”  His final purely orchestral work was A Poem of Life and Love (1918/9). By the end of the war, Delius and Jelka had returned to Grez. Albert Coates gave the first performance of A Song of the High Hills by Delius in 1920.  Henry Wood gave the British première of the Double Concerto for violin and cello in 1920, and of A Song Before Sunrise and the Dance Rhapsody No. 2 in 1923. Delius’s last essay in concerto form, for the cello, dates from 1921.  Delius had a financial and artistic success with his incidental music for James Elroy Flecker’s play Hassan (1923), which he completed with the help of his friend, the composer Percy Grainger.  However, he had begun to show symptoms of syphilis that he had probably contracted in the 1880s. He took treatment at clinics across Europe, but by 1922 he was walking with two sticks, and by 1928 he was paralysed and blind, although his mental faculties were to remain unimpaired until his death..

A young English admirer from Yorkshire, Eric Fenby, learning that Delius was trying to compose by dictating to Jelka, volunteered his services as unpaid amanuensis. For five years, from 1928, he worked with Delius, taking down his new compositions from dictation, and helping him revise earlier works. Together they produced Cynara (a setting of words by Ernest Dowson), A Late Lark (a setting of W. E. Henley), A Song of Summer, a third violin sonata, the Irmelin prelude, and Idyll (1932), which reused music from Delius’s short opera Margot la rouge, and their greatest joint production was The Songs of Farewell, settings of Whitman poems for chorus and orchestra, which were dedicated to Jelka. Other works produced in this period include a Caprice and Elegy for cello and orchestra written for the distinguished British cellist Beatrice Harrison, and a short orchestral piece, Fantastic Dance, which Delius dedicated to Fenby.  There was a six-day Delius festival at the Queen’s Hall in 1929 under Thomas Beecham’s general direction, with premières of Cynara and A Late Lark, concluding with A Mass of Life.  Also in 1929 Heseltine persuaded Beecham to record Delius’s Air and Dance, written in 1915 but never performed,

In 1933, the year before both composers died, Elgar, who had flown to Paris to conduct a performance of his Violin Concerto, visited Delius at Grez. With all his outstanding works completed, Delius died at Grez-sur-Loing on June 10, 1934, aged 72. He had wished to be buried in his own garden, but the French authorities forbade it. His alternative wish, despite his atheism, was to be buried “in some country churchyard in the south of England, where people could place wild flowers.”  At this time Jelka was too ill to make the journey across the Channel, and Delius was temporarily buried in the local cemetery at Grez.  By May 1935, Jelka felt she had enough strength to undertake the crossing to attend a reburial in England.  St. Peter’s Church at Limpsfield in Surrey, was chosen. Jelka became ill en route, and on arrival was taken to hospital in Dover and then Kensington in London, missing the reburial on May 26. Jelka died two days later, on May 28, and was buried in the same grave as her husband.

The following works by Frederick Delius are contained in my collection:

Brigg Fair: An English Rhapsody (1907).

Eventyr, Once Upon a Time, after Asbjornsen’s Folklore (1917).

Irmelin (1892): Prelude.

La Calinda (1887; first movement of Florida Suite, later used in opera Koanga).

On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring.

Paris: Nocturne, The Song of a Great City (1899).

Two Aquarelles arr. from two unaccompanied partsongs of Delius by Eric Fenby (1917).

A Village Romeo and Juliet:The Walk to the Paradise Garden.

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

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Mayhew L. Lake and Old Timer’s Night at the Pops

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Mayhew Lester Lake (October 25, 1879 – March 16, 1955) was an American composer of band music, music educator, conductor, arranger, and violinist.  He was born on October 25, 1879, at Southville in Worcester County, MA, and studied piano, violin, harmony, and counterpoint at the New England Conservatory in Boston with among others violinist Julius Vogler.  After serving as a violinist in the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the age of sixteen, he then traveled as conductor of various theater orchestras throughout the United States. From 1900, when he was 21, to 1910 he was chief conductor of the orchestra at the Teatro Payret, one of the largest theaters in the Western world, at Havana, Cuba. In 1910 he moved to New York City, NY, and became conductor and artistic director of a theater in New York.  That year he also began arrangements and compositions for concert bands and theaters.

Already familiar with many famous composers, conductors, and artists such as Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson, Mae West, Victor Herbert, George. M. Cohan, Percy Aldridge Grainger, Edwin Franko Goldman, John Philip Sousa, Henry Hadley, and Paul Whiteman, Lake became editor-in-chief in 1913 for wind music and orchestral music at the New York music publisher Carl Fischer and remained in this post until 1948, editing numerous classical works for orchestra and concert band.  The manuscripts in this collection were used by Lake’s concert band, the Symphony in Gold, which he conducted for NBC radio. Also, he was a prolific composer and wrote numerous works for orchestra, and especially for concert band. As a lover of ragtime, he composed two such works, The Rag Baby (1916) and Toreador Humoresque: A Ragtime Travesty on “Carmen” (1918).

While with Fischer in New York, he published his book The American Band Arranger in 1920. In 1924 he became a member of ASCAP.  He composed the special symphonic overtures that were performed weekly at 72 theaters across the United States.  Much in demand as a guest conductor with orchestras in the country and also a jury member during concert events, Lake was a lecturer for orchestration at the University of New York in New York City and a visiting lecturer at several universities and colleges. Like many contemporaries composers he used pseudonyms, most notably Lester Brockton, but also Alfred Byers, Paul DuLac, Charles Edwards, Robert Hall, and William Lester.  He died on March 16, 1955, at Palisades Park, NJ.

My collection includes the following work by Mayhew L. Lake:

Old Timer’s Night at the Pops.

—material selected, adapted, and edited from several different sources

October, 2015: New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me

October, 2015

New Testament Stories My Daddy Told Me

THE PROPHECY OF AGABUS (Acts 21:1-14)

By Wayne S. Walker

     When Paul had finished his tearful meeting at Miletus with the elders of the church in Ephesus, he and his company departed from them and set sail.  They first came to the long, narrow island of Cos or Koos which was the birthplace of Hippocrates, the father of medicine.  Next they stopped at Rhodes, a large island where once had stood a great Colossus or statue of Helios, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.  Then, they landed at Patara, a seaport of Lycia, and found a ship sailing to Phoenicia.

From Patara, they sailed past Cyprus to Syria and landed at Tyre where the ship was to unload its cargo.  Finding a band of disciples, they remained there seven days, undoubtedly to assemble with them on the first day of the week.  At the end of that time, all the Tyrian brethren, with their wives and children, accompanied Paul to the shore, where they all knelt down and prayed.  Then Paul and his company entered the ship, and the disciples went home.   The ship stopped at Ptolmais, also known as Accho, where Paul and his companions greeted the brethren and stayed with them one day.

The next day, they departed and came to Caesarea, where they entered the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the seven servants who had earlier been chosen to serve the Grecian widows in Jerusalem and also had seven daughters who prophesied.  While they stayed there many days, a prophet from Jerusalem named Agabus came, took Paul’s belt, and bound his own hands and feet to warn Paul what would happen if he went to Jerusalem.  Everyone pled with Paul not to go, but he said that he was ready not only to be bound but to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord, so they replied, “The will of the Lord be done.”

Questions

  1. What did Paul and his company do following their tearful meeting with the Ephesian elders?
  2. How long did Paul stay with the Tyrian disciples?
  3. When he left Tyre, what did the Tyrian brethren do?
  4. At Caesarea, in whose house did they stay?
  5. How many daughters did this man have?
  6. What were these daughters able to do?
  7. What did Agabus warn Paul would happen in Jerusalem?
  8. How did Paul respond?
  9. What did everyone say at Paul’s response?

Rocky Branch School, Larue, Arkansas

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Rocky Branch School (No. 38)

Larue, Arkansas

Rocky Branch School is a great, vintage one-room schoolhouse located approximately 12 miles east of Rogers, Arkansas.  Originally located about a mile and half north, the school was moved to its current location in 1962 before the filling of Beaver Lake.  Former students undertook the moving project, at their expense, to preserve their beloved schoolhouse.  Originally located on land near the Bland family homestead, all of which is now underwater, the schoolhouse serves as the facility for the annual Bland family reunion, held in conjunction with the annual reunion of former students and their family and friends.  Through the Rogers Historical Museum, hundreds of students get to experience a vintage day of school at the old schoolhouse each year. Their day includes period dress, lessons, lunch and recess.  The cost of the program is paid by the Rogers Historical Museum. The cost of the upkeep of the schoolhouse is paid by friends of the Rocky Branch School Preservation Association, Inc.

http://www.rockybranchschool.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rocky-Branch-School/499373646881218

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Monthly Meditation, October, 2015

October, 2015

Monthly Meditation

GIVING THANKS TO THE LORD’S NAME

By Wayne S. Walker

     “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence” (Psalm 140:13).  Giving thanks is an act of politeness and courtesy.  Some of the first words that we teach our children to say to others are “Please” and “Thank you.”  Nobody likes to spend much time around a person who is ungrateful.  We remember the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus and only “one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks.  And he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15-16).  How often are we more like the nine—especially in our relationship with God!

Certainly, every single human being should be thankful to God, “for in Him we live and move and have our being” as Paul said in Athens (Acts 17:28).  Whatever degree of prosperity that we have to be able to provide the necessities of life, such as food, clothing, and shelter, as well has have various comforts and conveniences (heat in winter may be a necessity, but air conditioning in the summer really is not) are gifts from God.  Even the air we breathe, the sunlight that provides earth’s energy, and the rain that waters the earth come from the Lord.  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17).  Therefore, we should give thanks to His name.

But the righteous should especially be thankful to God.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).  Yes, Christ died for all mankind, but the righteous are those who have believed in Him so that they should not perish but have everlasting life.  They are the ones who have actually obtained “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).  The fact that as those who are upright we may not only dwell spiritually in the presence of God here but also have the hope of dwelling in His actual presence for all eternity is certainly something for which we can and should be thankful.  “Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.”

Sherry School, AuGlaize Village, Defiance, OH

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Sherry School (School No. 7)

AuGlaize Village & Farm Museum

12296 Krouse Road

Defiance, OH 43512

Auglaize Village, located on Krouse Road off US 24 just 3 miles west of Defiance, OH, was founded in 1966 when Mrs. Charles Mansfield, in memory of her late husband, donated the funds that were used to purchase the first 40 acres that held the large red barn now known as the Mansfield Museum/ Street of Shops.  It is operated and maintained solely by volunteers of the Defiance County Historical Society, a nonprofit organization founded in 1953 with over 60 years of preserving the past for the future, using donations from the public.  Numerous buildings have been built by the volunteers or moved from their orginal building sites with several more being planned for the Village in an attempt not only to restore a village with buildings typical of rural northwest Ohio in the early part of the nineteenth century, but also to provide a setting where the visitor becomes uniquely involved in the recreation of history.  AuGlaize Village presently consists of 41 new, restored and reconstructed buildings (circa 1860-1920). Some of the buildings on display include: a cider mill, a cane mill, sawmill, doctor’s office, blacksmith shop, a church, one room school house known as Sherry School or School No. 7, Miami & Erie Canal Lock-keeper’s house, railroad station, village cook shed, two log cabins, barber shop, general store, telephone company building, post office, steam barn, smoke house, and even a two-hole outhouse!  Also found at the site are museums housing farm implements, steam engines, and other early vehicles of transportation, as well as military equipment and uniforms, along with natural history and archaelogy displays. Completing the array is the Mansfield Museum – a huge red barn that is home to the Street of Shoppes, the Hall of Appliances, and an old-fashioned homemade ice cream parlor.

http://www.auglaizevillage.com/

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School Board: Homeschooling Disorganized and Isolationist

This item is from 2011, but it illustrates the kind of obstacles that homeschoolers face from the elite educational establishment, and things like this continue to happen.

School Board: Homeschooling Disorganized and Isolationist
West Virginia August 1, 2011

West Virginia’s Monongalia County Board of Education is proposing a new homeschool policy. In the document’s “statement of purpose,” the board refers to stale objections, which reveal a flawed and stereotyped view towards homeschooling. Despite the fact that homeschooling has decades worth of practical and scientific evidence documenting its success, there are still public school officials who re-use the same old criticism of homeschooling—teacher competency and socialization.

Here is the proposed policy’s first paragraph:

“Monongalia County Board of Education encourages the enrollment of all school-age children [who] are residents in Monongalia County or in registered parochial or private schools so that they may enjoy the benefits a of well-planned educational program and the socialization possible in a group environment.”

Read more at:

http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/wv/20118010.asp