Recording from 23. Sep 2022

A Mass of Life

Sir Mark Elder begins his tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra with this landmark performance of Delius’s score, uniting musicians from both sides of the North Sea.

Frederick Delius is one of history’s most fascinating and misunderstood composers. From the mills of Yorkshire in England, he found himself hunting alligators in Florida, where he was deeply inspired by the singing of his African American co-workers.

 

It was in his beloved Norway, however, that the Englishman Delius found his feet as a composer, encouraged by Bergen’s own Edvard Grieg. Here in Norway, Delius also discovered Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophical novel Thus Spake Zarathustra. Nietzsche’s words inspired Delius to write what many consider his masterpiece, a choral fresco titled A Mass of Life setting German texts by the philosopher.

 

Delius’s most virile work, combining exuberance and deep stillness, has never been performed in Norway until now. Sir Mark Elder begins his tenure as Principal Guest Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra with this landmark performance of Delius’s score, uniting musicians from both sides of the North Sea.