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Thread: The Haunting Music of GERALD FINZI, two compilations/ [320 MP3]

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    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    The Haunting Music of GERALD FINZI, two compilations/ [320 MP3]

    So much can be said about the music and short life of Gerald Finzi. He cultivated apples as well as young musicians & poets. He loved English literature and his library was vast. The music manifested from the words, he stated. He worked hard to resurrect forgotten composers; and feared his little contribution, like himself, might be forgotten.

    “His music is shot through with visionary gleams: in Dies Natalis, the sultry gold of ‘the corn was orient and immortal wheat’ or the bated breath of ‘everything was at rest, free and immortal’… Not loud or commanding, Finzi’s voice is lyrical, candid, and fastidious. No one else has quite his shades of shy rapture or melancholy, characteristic radiance.”

    [Gerald Finzi: His Life & Music by Diana McVeagh]

    ________________________

    I was driving and listening to the classical radio station when the host announced she was about to play something incredibly beautiful, something she will always remember the very place and moment when she first heard it. ‘Eclogue for piano and strings’ carried me along the highway with a poignant swell of deepest feeling that would eventually lead me on journey to discover the further haunting work of this remarkable composer. Much later when I introduced his work to a friend, she responded, “Anyone would have to be crazy not to love this man’s music’.

    These are two sampler discs of my own compilations. I have gathered everything I could, listened to version after version. Most special is Dies Natalils. Inspired by words of the short lived, practically unknown (Finzi was always the advocate of the underdog) metaphyicical poet Thomas Traherne. The orchestra is conducted by Christopher Finzi and the tenor is Wilfred Brown. Listen to how it is sung: so succinct to a point of piercing clarity and full of true passion and complete understanding of the words. This is a child looking at the world for the first time:

    “From dust I rise
    And out of nothing now awake;
    These brighter regions which salute mine Eyes
    A gift from God I take:
    The earth, the seas, the lofty skies,
    The sun and stars are mine; if these I prize.”

    _____________________________

    I most sincerely hope you enjoy this very special musical journey that is so close to my heart. As Finzi wrote:

    “To shake hands with a good friend over the centuries is a pleasant thing, and the affection which an individual may retain after his departure is perhaps the only thing which guarantees an ultimate life to his work.”


    Gerald Finzi (1901-1906)

    1) Romance for string orchestra

    Farewell To Arms for tenor & orchestra
    2) Introduction
    3) Aria

    Requiem da Camera for baritone, chorus & orchestra
    4) Prelude
    5) Quasi senza misua
    6) Con dignita
    7) = about 66

    8) The Fall of the Leaf: Elegy for orchestra
    9) Prelude for string orchestra
    10) Nocturne: New Year Music
    11) Concerto for Clarinet: 2nd Movement







    Gerald Finzi (1901-1956)


    1) Eclogue for piano and strings
    2) Love’s Labor’s Lost: Introduction
    3) A Severn Rhapsody for strings
    4) Introit for violin and small orchestra
    5) Magnificat for chorus & organ

    Dies Natalis for tenor & strings
    Wilfred Brown and The English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christopher Finzi
    6) Intrada
    7) Rhapsody
    8) The Rapture
    9) Wonder
    10) The Salutation
    11) Cello Concerto: 3rd movement


    NO LONGER AVAILABLE


    Last edited by Phideas1; 07-24-2014 at 07:29 AM.

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    Grand Shriner
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    Dear Phideas 1,

    It sounds like you have found a remarkable composer that I have never heard of before today. I would be grateful if you would consider sharing some of this music with me.

    Sincerely,

    Firestars004

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    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    Proper links are now in place...

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    Grand Shriner
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    Thank you very much. I'm going to check out the book too.

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    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    The book is a great biography. It not only covers the composers life but takes time to cover and break down the music. That is what an artist's biography SHOULD be. Not just backstairs gossip but details about the imagination & creation that went into the work. Diana McVeagh, who did meet Finzi, paints a fascinating portrait of a man who did not tolerate fools, created his own private world, surrounded himself with a myriad of young talent, conducted an amateur orchestra (that Britten made fun of), and lost everyone that he held dear at an early age.

    Ralph Vaughan Williams became a great friend. Loved Finzi's house 'Ashmansworth' so much that he insisted after dinner in London they drive all the way there to see the morning sunrise. RVW said there were no clocks in the house except one in the kitchen 'and that wrong'. He brought home a kitten from the house and named it 'Crispin'. It was Finzi that RVW expected to inherit his cloak of leading British composer and thus was devastated when the man died (Finzi kept his cancer quiet).

    Recently I looked up the book on Amazon. Heavens! The price is now amazing!

    Nevertheless, this book introduces you to many, many composers of that period. Finzi was always very frank in his opinions. Whose work he liked and did not like. He was not very impressed with American life, but did admire composers like Copeland and Roy Harris. It was Bernard Herrmann who conducted a version of Dies Natalis with a tenor soloist, and this made Finzi reconsider the composition that up until then was designated for simply 'high voice'.

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    RayKay
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    This sounds interesting. Thank you!!!

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    ~And we're the Game Grumps~ JerryCole's Avatar
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    Ah, finally some class. We need more of this!
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    My Soundtrack Thread:
    [Hidden link. Register to see links.]


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    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    Most artists write for posterity and want their message to survive. In Finzi, the need was paramount.

    'To a Poet

    I who am dead a thousand years,
    And wrote this sweet archaic song,
    Send you my words for messengers
    The way I shall not pass along...

    Since I can never see your face,
    And never shake you by the hand
    I send my soul through time and space
    To greet you. You will understand.
    '

    As Finzi's life drew to its close, his comments became more starker.

    "You write your own music; you perform any music you think people ought to hear; and you help other people to make music part of them."
    xphile7777 and Misteretc like this.

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    King of my own imaginary realm lordtalien's Avatar
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    Fantastic, Phieas1! I only have a composition or two by Finzi, but am excited to hear more!
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    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    This represents two of three compilations I put together over the years. Only recently I added an elusive recording of his beautiful INTERLUDE FOR OBOE AND STRINGS.

    Naxos released a number of Finzi recordings. While they are not always the best performances (to my taste), I am glad they exist. People need to be introduced to his beautiful work. These are treasures waiting to be discovered and embraced close.

    Enjoy-
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    Π.Α.Ο.Κ. Petros's Avatar
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    A discovery!
    I too had never heard of him.
    Many thanks, my friend!

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    Grand Shriner Misteretc's Avatar
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    I bid thee welcome and much thanks, sir.

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    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    Gerald Finzi (1901-1956)

    Grand Fantasia and Toccata for piano & orchestra
    1) Molto grave
    2) Alleggro vigoroso

    In Terra Pax
    3) A frosty Christmas Eve
    4) And lo, the Angel of the Lord came upon them

    Three Solioquies from “Loves Labours Lost”
    5) I The King’s poem
    6) II Longaville’s Sonnet
    7) III Dumaine’s Poem

    8) Elegy for violin & piano

    Five Bagatelles for clarinet & strings
    9) I Prelude
    10) II Romance
    11) III Carol
    12) IV Forlana
    13) V Fughetta

    Ode For Saint Cecilia
    14) Delightful Goddess
    15) Changed is the age
    16) How came you, lady
    17) How smiling
    18) Wherefore we bid you to the full consent






    Last edited by Phideas1; 07-16-2014 at 05:20 AM.
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    Π.Α.Ο.Κ. Petros's Avatar
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    Many thanks, once again, my friend!

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    G
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    thank you so much, Phideas1

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    Π.Α.Ο.Κ. Petros's Avatar
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    When "Aqualung", Jethro Tull's fourth album, was released
    in March 1971, 'Disc and Music Echo' pointed out:
    "Good heavens, now Ian Anderson wants us to think!"
    Krzytof Penderecki, Geirr Tveitt, Erich Wolfgang Korngold,
    Gerald Finzi...
    Well, I started thinking again.
    Thanks for your efforts, my friend.

  17. #17
    Grand Shriner
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    Thank you. I've just discovered the music of Herbert Howells and Finzi sounds like someone whose music would compliment his.

  18. #18
    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    Finzi's voice is unique. Howells is a different kind of composer, yet Finzi was a great support & promoted his work.
    Last edited by Phideas1; 12-05-2012 at 07:04 PM.

  19. #19
    Grand Shriner Artistikos's Avatar
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    Phideas1, I truly thank you for this discovery... I am accustomed to collecting scores and classical music in here and elsewhere, but to be honest not many of them spark my soul and boost the endorphins...

  20. #20
    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    Such a wonderful thing to write. I only hope that others can find the joy in this man's beautiful music that touched me so deeply so many years ago... and continues to be great company.

    “To shake hands with a good friend over the centuries is a pleasant thing, and the affection which an individual may retain after his departure is perhaps the only thing which guarantees an ultimate life to his work.”

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    Grand Shriner
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    any chance of a re-up of these? sounds good! thank u

  22. #22
    m16
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    Seconded. Just went to youtube after reading your write-up, Phideas and wasn't dissapointed at all.

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    Grand Shriner
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    Re-up please?

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    Grand Shriner
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    I'll also chime in my request for a re-up. After reading these positive comments on the quality of this composer, I'm quite interested in a listen.
    Thank you.

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    Lovely Person Phideas1's Avatar
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    After his death his friends described him- affectionately- as task-master, slave-driver, tyrant: ‘that characteristic admonitory finger’; but he drove no-one more furiously than he drove himself.

    Finzi’s passion for preservation, for the single fine poem or song; his sympathy for the young life cut short in glamorous potential, for the under dog and neglected. Vaughan Williams declared that Gerald’s swans sometimes had only two white feathers’.

    ‘Old age is dust and ashes’: that at least Finzi was spared. And his creed: ‘A song out lasts a dynasty.’ ‘In the end we all come down to Born- works- died and that’s about all that is needed.’




    Last edited by Phideas1; 07-24-2014 at 07:29 AM.

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