Delius: Appalachia/ Sea Drift (Leon Williams/ Master Chorale of Tampa Bay/ The Florida Orchestra/ Stefan Sanderling) (Naxos: 8.572764)
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Appalachia (a native American word for North America) is a set of variations based on a slave song about the tragedy of the cotton planters 'being sold down the river'. Delius heard the song when teaching the violin in Virginia, but the primary inspiration was his formative experience of the semi-tropical beauty of Florida's Solano Grove where he had managed an orange plantation. In Sea Drift Delius absorbed a further American influence in the nature mysticism of Walt Whitman. The symphonic poem, one of his greatest works, is a song of love and death in which the baritone soloist is both a participant in the drama and offers a commentary upon it.
Since his North American début at the 1989 Tanglewood Summer Music Festival, conductor Stefan Sanderling
has forged a successful career for himself in the United States, serving as Music Director of The Florida Orchestra
from 2002-2012, and now holds the positions of Conductor Emeritus and artistic advisor of The Florida Orchestra and principal conductor and artistic advisor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.