A Love Afffair with African American Sacred Music

Air Date:
Heard On The Odyssey Series

Born in 1862 in the north of England to a prosperous mercantile family, Frederick Delius was an English composer who resisted attempts largely by his father to embrace commerce. To sharpen his appetite for the family’s business, young Frederick was sent to Florida in the United States in 1884 to manage his father’s orange growing plantation. With faint interest in the family business, young Frederick found himself more and more interested in music, particularly that of African American Sacred Music emanating from enslaved Americans who not only worked the plantation but sang what would come to be called spirituals. “It was this singing” Delius later said that first gave him the onus to advance his interest in music.

Episode Credits

  • Tom Blain Technical Director

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