Some of Delius' most transcendently ecstatic moments are entrusted to a wordless chorus, as if no words could adequately convey the peculiar fullness of the moment. One thinks of Zarathustra's encounter with Life and Wisdom in the third part of A Mass of Life, or, preeminently, of the attainment of the summit in A Song of the High Hills. Apart from the title, there is no programmatic suggestion underscoring the gratuitous blithesomeness of these two brief yet beguiling choral pieces To be sung of a summer night on the water. Composed in late spring 1917 at Grez-sur-Loing, one would hardly guess from them that the Great War was still rampant, or that Deliuswas a very sick man. The String Quartet (1916) was thoroughly revised during the winter, and a Scherzo added, while the major compositional achievement for the year was the bracing symphonic poem Eventyr. An inveterate walker, Deliushad been active outside, taking long strolls and helping his wife tend their garden, in the back of their house facing the river Loing, characteristically a riot of wildflowers. Meanwhile, in America, his friend Percy Graingerwas promoting his works, though Delius' publishers were German and Austrian and the war left copies of his music in short supply. Nonetheless, Deliusharbored plans for a trip to the United States, cut short in early summer by a return of syphilitic symptoms that nearly crippled him, forcing him to a spa in Normandy. Numbness in hands and feet responded slowly to treatment, but by July 24 he was able to take a 10 kilometer stroll, and by August he was well enough to go on holiday in Brittany with his wife. Apart from health-related interruptions, Delius' uncharacteristically scaled-back production is attributable to a turn toward works attempting to accommodate his essentially rhapsodic inspiration to sonata form -- e.g., the Double Concerto for violin and cello (1915-1916), the Violin Concerto (1916), the Cello Concerto (1921) -- giving way to a spate of miniatures in which matter and manner dovetail more successfully. Piano pieces, the Dance for Harpsichord, the Air and Dance for Strings, a generous bag of surprises in the incidental music for James Elroy Flecker's play Hassan (1923), and, more richly, To be sung... are Deliusat his most fleetly charming and least alloyed. The latter were premiered by Charles Kennedy Scott and his Oriana Madrigal Society in London on June 28, 1921. Eric Fenbyarranged them for string orchestra in 1932 as Two Aquarelles.