Delius: Composer, Lover, Enigma

Delius: Composer, Lover, Enigma


John Bridcut has written and directed portraits of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and Parry, all of course British composers, so it was inevitable he’d add Delius to that list. But as this superb film points out, it’s hard to know if Delius was really British at all.

Born 150 years ago into a German family of wool manufacturers in Bradford, he spent most of his adult life outside the UK. Running a citrus grove in Florida, he absorbed the harmonies of plantation spirituals, before making his home in France.

An array of experts and extracts elucidate the sensuality and eroticism underpinning his output.


Feature-length documentary by John Bridcut offering an insight into the life and career of Frederick Delius, revealing the contradictory nature of his colourful life. Although the composer is renowned for his depiction of the natural world in pieces including On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring, the programme explores how his music is also steeped in sensuality and eroticism. With performances by the Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bo Holten, and the chamber choir Schola Cantorum of Oxford.