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Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

Gerald Finzi in a Nutshell

 

Brief Biography

  1. Born in London on 14th July 1901.
  1. Moved to Harrogate and had lessons with Farrar and Bairstow.
  1. Moves to Painswick in Gloucestershire.
  2. Composes his first Hardy setting – By Footpath and Stile.
  1. Moves to London and meets Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edmund Rubbra, Arthur Bliss and Howard Ferguson.

1930-33 Teaches at the Royal Academy of Music.

  1. Marries Joyce Black and settles in Aldbourne in Berkshire
  2. Begins work on Ivor Gurney’s musical & literary estate.
  1. Moves to Ashmansworth near Newbury.
    1. Works for the Ministry of War Transport
  1. Hodgkinson’s disease diagnosed
  1. Dies at Oxford on 27th September 1956

 

Five Key Works

Dies Natalis – for tenor or soprano and string orchestra (1925/39)

Earth & Air & Rain – Song Cycle for Baritone & piano (1928-1932)

Clarinet Concerto – for clarinet & strings (1948/49)

Intimations of Immortality – for soloist, chorus and full orchestra (1938/1950)

Cello concerto – for solo cello and full orchestra (1951-1955)

 

Key Biography

Gerald Finzi – an English Composer – by Stephen Banfield (1997)

Gerald Finzi – a bio-bibliography – by John C. Dressler (1997)

 

If you can only listen to two CDs of Finzi’s music:-

The British Music Collection - Gerald Finzi Decca CD 4688072

Includes In Terra Pax, Dies Natalis, For St Cecilia & Earth and Air and Rain

Cello Concerto - Gerald Finzi Naxos 8.555766

Includes Grand Fantasia & Toccata and the Eclogue for Piano and Strings.

 

And finally if you have only time for one work –

The Cello Concerto on the Naxos disc above. This is a fine performance by Tim Hugh & the Northern Sinfonia of Finzi’s masterpiece.

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