Tuesday, August 25, 2015
DELIUS : THE MAGIC FOUNTAIN
REVIEW (of the recording)
Frederick (Fritz) Delius (1862 - 1934) composed this 'lyric drama' in 1893-5, but it did not receive its first performance till 1977, and this was as a concert in London, recorded by the BBC, and issued on vinyl discs. I snapped up a set, and later acquired the CD version, coupled with Margot la Rouge, a short opera (50m) from 1901-2.
Delius was influenced in this project by Wagner's Tristan und Isolde: he wrote the libretto himself; the action begins on a ship (Act 1); his story has a woman of one ethnic group (Irish/ Amerindian) seeking revenge on a man of another group (Cornish/Spanish), but the pair die together as lovers; the leitmotif device is used; the music flows.
Solano, a Spanish nobleman dreams of finding a fountain of eternal youth. He is shipwrecked on the coast of Florida. Witawa rescues him, but she intends to kill him. Eventually she takes him to the magic fountain, acknowledges her love for him, and the waters cause them to die together.