Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Christopher Seaman

Frederick Delius: Brigg Fair; La Calinda from the "Koanga"; Intermezzo and Serenade from "Hassan"; etc.

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If you're looking for seduction music, this disc of the music of Delius with Christopher Seaman leading the Royal Philharmonic should do the trick. Featuring a rich selection of the English fin de siècle composer's most beguiling works, including The Walk to the Paradise Garden, the two-climax excerpt from his opera A Village Romeo and Juliet, this disc is filled with lush melodies, rich harmonies, opulent orchestrations, and textures of utmost sumptuousness. Seaman gracefully yields to temptation and delivers performances of incredible sensuality, eliciting gorgeous playing from the English orchestra. Some listeners may find this to be too much of a good thing, and certainly Thomas Beecham and John Barbirolli found more elegance and tenderness and a Pantheistic love of nature in Delius than Seaman does. But listeners looking for a more overtly sensual, if less subtle, approach should appreciate this disc, particularly in the ultra-ripe digital sound.

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