Gerald Finzi
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1901-07-14
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Gerald Finzi

Gerald Finzi Biography (BBC)

Gerald Finzi created for himself a life rooted in the English countryside. His family had settled in London probably during Mozart's lifetime. Finzi himself studied privately with Ernest Farrar, Edward Bairstow and R. O. Morris until his mid-20s. A slow, self-critical worker, he wrote much of his music over a spread of years.

His cantata Dies natalis (1925-39), to words by Thomas Traherne, is justly his best-known work, celebrating the freshness and wonder of the new-born world in music responsive to every verbal and emotive nuance. Such qualities, complementing a fundamental strain of stoic pessimism, made Finzi an ideal partner to Thomas Hardy, and he set over 50 of Hardy's poems, in songs which range from the homely to the magnificent 'Channel Firing'.

On his marriage to his artist wife Joy, Finzi moved to the country, in time building a fine house at Ashmansworth on the Hampshire Downs. There he collected his large library, his rare apple trees, his wide circle of friends. The war forced him to work in London, but in 1940 he started the Newbury String Players, with whom he came to give notable first performances and revivals of English 18th-century composers, among them Stanley, Boyce and Mudge. Through this work he undoubtedly refined his own string-writing, as is shown in the Clarinet Concerto.

In 1947 he collaborated with Edmund Blunden on the Ode for St Cecilia; the experience led to his Crees lectures on 'The Composer's Use of Words'. His major choral work, a setting of Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality, in which the bloom and the shadow of life are finely balanced, was performed in 1950. The next year Finzi learnt he had a form of leukaemia. His powerful Cello Concerto was composed under that stress, and was played at the Proms a few weeks before he died.

BBC




Featured Works


Gerald Finzi Tracks

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Gerald Finzi
God is gone up
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God is gone up
Gerald Finzi
By footpath and stile: 2) Where the picnic was
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By footpath and stile: 2) Where the picnic was
Gerald Finzi
Five Bagatelles, No.5: Fughetta
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Five Bagatelles, No.5: Fughetta
Gerald Finzi
Bagatelles Op.23 for clarinet and piano
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Bagatelles Op.23 for clarinet and piano
Gerald Finzi
Footpath and Stile, Op. 2: I. Paying Calls
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Footpath and Stile, Op. 2: I. Paying Calls
Gerald Finzi
Romance for string orchestra, Op. 11
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Romance for string orchestra, Op. 11
Gerald Finzi
Clear and Gentle Stream (Seven Part Songs, Op 17)
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Clear and Gentle Stream (Seven Part Songs, Op 17)
Gerald Finzi
Let Us Garlands Bring, Op. 18
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Let Us Garlands Bring, Op. 18
Gerald Finzi
Elegy for Orchestra, Op.20, 'The Fall of the Leaf'
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Elegy for Orchestra, Op.20, 'The Fall of the Leaf'
Gerald Finzi
Eclogue, Op.10
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Eclogue, Op.10
Gerald Finzi
Clarinet Concerto (2nd mvt)
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Clarinet Concerto (2nd mvt)
Gerald Finzi
Rhapsody (Dies Natalis)
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Rhapsody (Dies Natalis)
Gerald Finzi
Farwell to Arms
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Farwell to Arms
Gerald Finzi
Bagatelle No 1 for clarinet & piano, Op. 23
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Bagatelle No 1 for clarinet & piano, Op. 23
Gerald Finzi
Till Earth Outwears
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Till Earth Outwears
Gerald Finzi
A Severn Rhapsody, Op.3
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A Severn Rhapsody, Op.3
Gerald Finzi
Prelude in F minor, Op 25
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Prelude in F minor, Op 25
Gerald Finzi
Romance for strings, Op 11
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Romance for strings, Op 11
Gerald Finzi
Dies Natalis (The Salutation)
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Dies Natalis (The Salutation)
Gerald Finzi
Concerto in C minor Op. 31 for clarinet and string orchestra (3rd movement)
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Concerto in C minor Op. 31 for clarinet and string orchestra (3rd movement)
Gerald Finzi
Clarinet Concerto, Op.31: ii) Adagio, ma senza rigore
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Clarinet Concerto, Op.31: ii) Adagio, ma senza rigore
Gerald Finzi
Summer Schemes (Earth and Air and Rain, Op 15)
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Summer Schemes (Earth and Air and Rain, Op 15)
Gerald Finzi
My spirit sang all day
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My spirit sang all day

My spirit sang all day

Choir
Northern Spirit Singers
Gerald Finzi
Grand fantasia and toccata, Op 38
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Grand fantasia and toccata, Op 38
Gerald Finzi
Farewell to Arms
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Farewell to Arms
Gerald Finzi
Clarinet Concerto in C minor, Op 31 (3rd mvt)
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Clarinet Concerto in C minor, Op 31 (3rd mvt)
Gerald Finzi
Prelude (Five Bagatelles for clarinet and piano, Op 23)
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Prelude (Five Bagatelles for clarinet and piano, Op 23)
Gerald Finzi
Summer schemes (Earth and air and rain, Op.15)
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Summer schemes (Earth and air and rain, Op.15)
Gerald Finzi
Nocturne [ New Year Music]
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Nocturne [ New Year Music]
Gerald Finzi
Romance
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Romance
Gerald Finzi
Earth and air and rain Op.15
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Earth and air and rain Op.15
Gerald Finzi
White-flowering days, (A Garland for the Queen), Op 37/8
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White-flowering days, (A Garland for the Queen), Op 37/8
Gerald Finzi
God Is Gone Up With A Triumphant Shout
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God Is Gone Up With A Triumphant Shout
Gerald Finzi
My Lovely One
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My Lovely One
Gerald Finzi
His golden locks (Farewell to Arms, Op 9)
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His golden locks (Farewell to Arms, Op 9)
Gerald Finzi
Introit
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Introit

Introit

Performer
Conductor
*collon
Gerald Finzi
Dies Natalis, Op 8 (4th mvt, Wonder)
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Dies Natalis, Op 8 (4th mvt, Wonder)
Gerald Finzi
5 Bagatelles, Op 23 arr Ashmore (Prelude)
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5 Bagatelles, Op 23 arr Ashmore (Prelude)
Gerald Finzi
Lo, the full, final sacrifice Op.26
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Lo, the full, final sacrifice Op.26
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