Omnibus (1967–2003)
17 user 13 critic

Song of Summer 

Traces last 5 years of the life of Frederick Delius through the eyes of a young composer called Eric Fenby.


Ken Russell


Eric Fenby (scenario), Ken Russell (scenario) | 1 more credit »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Max Adrian ... Frederick Delius
Maureen Pryor Maureen Pryor ... Jelka Delius
Christopher Gable Christopher Gable ... Eric Fenby
David Collings ... Percy Grainger
Geraldine Sherman Geraldine Sherman ... Girl Nextdoor
Norman James Norman James ... Doctor
Elizabeth Ercy ... Maid
Roger Worrod Roger Worrod ... Bruder


Based on Eric Fenby's 1936 memoir 'Delius as I knew him', it traces the last years of Frederick Delius, and Fenby's dedication in giving up five years of his life to helping the blind, paralysed composer set down the unfinished scores he could hear in his head. Perhaps the finest of the series of biographical films that Ken Russell made for the BBC in the Sixties, Song of Summer is an immensely moving story of sacrifice, idealism and musical genius. Written by Philip Kemp

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based on book | See All (1) »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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English | German

Release Date:

15 September 1968 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Ken Russell has remarked that this television film is, in his opinion, the best of all the films he has ever made, either for cinema or television, and said that "I don't think I would have done a single shot differently." See more »


Frederick Delius: [introducing the eccentric stranger to Fenby] That's Percy Grainger. Sometimes, he composes.
See more »


Featured in Without Walls: The Obituary Show - Ken Russell (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

A remarkable introduction to Delius!
1 March 2002 | by raouljohnSee all my reviews

Sir Thomas Beecham spoke of this great English composer as, "My friend, Delius."

I,at once,having heard the master's pronouncement, searched avidly for this composers works. I was surprised how often I had heard them played on the radio over the years.

In my opinion, Ken Russell's direction of the Movie "Delius" is an inspiration, as well as an educational introduction into the life & work of this astonishingly gifted,if somewhat quirky, Yorkshire composer.

I bought the VHS here in Australia, this very day, for a dollar! What an investment!

Well done, Ken Russell . . .

Needless to say, the music of Delius is magic . . . in the great musical tradition of England!

Music lovers will be delighted, I am sure . . . Humanists will exalt in the human spirit!

If you get the chance, get hold of the VHS by hook or by crook!

See it & pass it on to music-lover friends . . .

How many a genius, among all the great arts & sciences, has been born out of Yorkshire!

With every blessing from Felix Australis,


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