"Hassan" by Delius - Cheltenham Music Festival
Narrator Amr Waked
Neil Thomson Conductor
Debussy (arr. Adriano) Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune 10’
Delius Complete incidental music to James Elroy Flecker’s ‘Hassan’ 60’
James Elroy Flecker, the son of Dean Close School’s first Headmaster, never lived to enjoy the success of a long-running London production of his play Hassan in 1923; he died of TB in 1915.
Flecker’s fascination for the Orient – he worked for the Consular Service in the Middle East from 1910 – resulted in witty and colourful reworkings of old Turkish tales, set in ancient Baghdad.
Delius’ incidental music for this exotic romance was composed in 1920, for chamber orchestra and chorus. With titles such as ‘The War Song of the Saracens’, ‘Chorus of Beggars and Dancing Girls’, and ‘The Song of the Muezzin at Sunset’, it is music of great variety and melodic appeal.
In this performance, a narrative précis of Flecker’s play will accompany Delius’ score. It will be read by the Egyptian actor Amr Waked, who will be known to western film audiences for his appearances as the Sheikh in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and in Syrianawith George Clooney and Matt Damon.