Author Topic: Gerald Finzi  (Read 50952 times)

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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #240 on: August 09, 2021, 11:45:01 AM »
Hope he does! And perhaps he could record the Moeran Cello Concerto as well. (Like the Finzi CC, there have only been three cellists who have recorded the Moeran CC as far as I know)!
I've heard his early recording of the Finzi and must admit that it didn't have the impact on me like Tim Hugh's recording, but would love for him to rerecord it too.  I suspect that he has 'new' insight into it.  :)

PD

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #241 on: August 09, 2021, 12:03:49 PM »
Actually, now I think of it four cellists have recorded the Finzi: Ma, Wallfisch, Hugh and Watkins, though haven't heard the Watkins yet (no prizes for guessing what I'll be doing tonight).
:laugh:

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #242 on: August 09, 2021, 12:42:43 PM »
That's fine.  I probably should have added "and to others here too".  :)  Must listen to Dies Natalis.

I'll try to either find a copy of his Grand Fantasia to listen to soon S.H.  :)

Roasted Swan,

I can't read who all recorded the album that you had.  Type is coming up too small for me alas.  :(

PD

Apologies - its the famous version with Wilfred Brown singing and the composer's son Christopher Finzi conducting the ECO.  The kind of recording for which the phrase "Great Recordings of the Century" was coined

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #243 on: August 09, 2021, 11:13:19 PM »
I listened to the Cello Concerto the other day in this version;



I can't fault the performance - but I found I had the same reaction I do every time I listen to this work.  Love the opening movement and then as it procedes my interest wanes and by the end I'm almost bored.  Still don't know why.  The couplings on this naxos disc are great - Peter Donohoe is such a fine pianist.  But is there an odder piece than the Grand Fantasia & Toccata.  Starts as Bach on steroids for about the first seven solo minutes then hammers away with the orchestra too before the six minute early Walton toccata/fugato.  More fun to listen to than my description might read.  But how on earth do you programme this?  It sounds hard for the soloist and feels 'big' but at just 15 minutes is not a "concerto" and a bit long as an opener!

Coincidently I listened to the Wallfisch recording last week. Good as it is, does not displace Yo-Yo Ma. I am surprised you are not keen on the work, I would have thought it right up your street. Similar to the Clarinet Concerto, which is admittedly finer, I find the finale joyous and uplifting.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #244 on: August 09, 2021, 11:51:36 PM »
I don't know that specific disc although I know all of the music from other versions.  I think I'm with Jeffrey on this - Finzi's genius works best in the smaller scale works.  Not that smaller means lesser. For sure Dies Natalis is a work of genius.  One of the few occasions where I would say one version rules supreme which is of course......



I've chosen this image because this was the LP version my father bought when I was just a teenager and I was transfixed........
That Apollo 8 'Earth-rise' photo is wonderful and I'm old enough to remember the excitement when it was seen for the first time (Christmas 1968). That was the LP I rushed out to buy when I returned from a holiday in the Yorkshire Dales where I happened to catch the last part of 'Dies Natalis' on the radio early one morning - one of those occasion when the beautiful landscape view from the remote house where I was staying and the music seemed to merge into one - I never forgot that moment. As soon as I returned to London I rushed out to HMV in Oxford street to but that LP which I still regard as easily the finest version of 'Dies Natalis' on disc. Happy memories.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #245 on: August 09, 2021, 11:56:19 PM »
Apologies - its the famous version with Wilfred Brown singing and the composer's son Christopher Finzi conducting the ECO.  The kind of recording for which the phrase "Great Recordings of the Century" was coined
Yes, I agree - and this is one of the great CDs of all time IMO:
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #246 on: August 09, 2021, 11:57:22 PM »
Coincidently I listened to the Wallfisch recording last week. Good as it is, does not displace Yo-Yo Ma. I am surprised you are not keen on the work, I would have thought it right up your street. Similar to the Clarinet Concerto, which is admittedly finer, I find the finale joyous and uplifting.
I like the Leighton Concerto as well Lol.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #247 on: August 10, 2021, 12:02:28 AM »
Coincidently I listened to the Wallfisch recording last week. Good as it is, does not displace Yo-Yo Ma. I am surprised you are not keen on the work, I would have thought it right up your street. Similar to the Clarinet Concerto, which is admittedly finer, I find the finale joyous and uplifting.

Yes indeed - its one of those odd "blank spots" I think we all probably have where music you think you would like just doesn't quite hit the spot.  But I keep returning to it - one day I'll probably have a light-bulb moment (I hope!)

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #248 on: August 10, 2021, 02:14:15 AM »
Apologies - its the famous version with Wilfred Brown singing and the composer's son Christopher Finzi conducting the ECO.  The kind of recording for which the phrase "Great Recordings of the Century" was coined
Thanks!  I now recall someone mentioning that his son had conducted and recorded at least one of his father's works. 

Does anyone here know whether or not Christopher Finzi recorded other works of his father?

PD

p.s.  I'll have to revisit Mr. Ma's recording of the Finzi cello concerto and see how it strikes me this time.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #249 on: August 10, 2021, 02:39:39 AM »
Thanks!  I now recall someone mentioning that his son had conducted and recorded at least one of his father's works. 

Does anyone here know whether or not Christopher Finzi recorded other works of his father?

PD

p.s.  I'll have to revisit Mr. Ma's recording of the Finzi cello concerto and see how it strikes me this time.

There is this LP. If you like Finzi then Milford should appeal to you. There is a lovely CD of Milford's gentle music also entitled 'Fishing by Moonlight' but not conducted by Finzi:

There is this salacious news item as well:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7828813/Christopher-Finzi-affair-sister-law-famed-cellist-Jacquelin-Du-Pre-dies-85.html
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #250 on: August 10, 2021, 03:02:59 AM »
There is this LP. If you like Finzi then Milford should appeal to you. There is a lovely CD of Milford's gentle music also entitled 'Fishing by Moonlight' but not conducted by Finzi:

Thank you.  I'll keep that Milford LP and CD in mind.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #251 on: August 10, 2021, 04:17:48 AM »
There is this LP. If you like Finzi then Milford should appeal to you. There is a lovely CD of Milford's gentle music also entitled 'Fishing by Moonlight' but not conducted by Finzi:

There is this salacious news item as well:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7828813/Christopher-Finzi-affair-sister-law-famed-cellist-Jacquelin-Du-Pre-dies-85.html
+1 for Robin Milford - a lovely work of his is on this disc too;


Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #252 on: August 10, 2021, 06:36:55 AM »
I like the Leighton Concerto as well Lol.

Another on the list. ;)

Thanks!  I now recall someone mentioning that his son had conducted and recorded at least one of his father's works. 

Does anyone here know whether or not Christopher Finzi recorded other works of his father?

PD

p.s.  I'll have to revisit Mr. Ma's recording of the Finzi cello concerto and see how it strikes me this time.

MW met Cristopher Finzi and described him as lovely and courteous gentleman.

There is this LP. If you like Finzi then Milford should appeal to you. There is a lovely CD of Milford's gentle music also entitled 'Fishing by Moonlight' but not conducted by Finzi:

There is this salacious news item as well:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7828813/Christopher-Finzi-affair-sister-law-famed-cellist-Jacquelin-Du-Pre-dies-85.html

I may have it completely wrong Jeffrey and not for the first time by any means, but I do not find the du Pré/Finzi ménage a trois salacious. I view it as the ultimate show of love and compassion from Hilary to her stricken sister who had been abandoned by her husband in her greatest hour of need. Jackie who had the world at her feet was dying a slow terrible death and her sister made a great sacrifice to give Jackie some comfort.     
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #253 on: August 10, 2021, 06:51:52 AM »
Another on the list. ;)

MW met Cristopher Finzi and described him as lovely and courteous gentleman.

I may have it completely wrong Jeffrey and not for the first time by any means, but I do not find the du Pré/Finzi ménage a trois salacious. I view it as the ultimate show of love and compassion from Hilary to her stricken sister who had been abandoned by her husband in her greatest hour of need. Jackie who had the world at her feet was dying a slow terrible death and her sister made a great sacrifice to give Jackie some comfort.   
A very good point Lol. I stand corrected. The 'salacious' quote is probably more of a reflection on my own gossipy interests  8)

PS Who's MW?

PPS I remember attending a Prom concert in London where the orchestra played 'Nimrod' as a tribute to Jacqueline du pre, who then movingly appeared in a wheelchair to acknowledge the applause of the audience - it was a very moving scene.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2021, 06:56:22 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #254 on: August 10, 2021, 01:54:48 PM »
Ok so the Watkins version of the Cello Concerto I didn't find very good at all, (in fact I thought the whole disc was a bit sub-par).

I think I like the Ma version the best of all followed the Hugh. Wallfisch lags behind (I never find his recordings very inspiring, though the Moeran CC is OK and his recording of the Simpson CC is the only one we have :-( ). Watkins is definitely behind all these. The first three recordings manage to preserve a sort of epic tone in the first movement whereas Watkins (and Davis) relax at the first opportunity.

With this work I find the first movement, as I said, epic and tragic, the slow movement poignant with tragedy behind it (the last painful climax that Banfield objects to in his account of the work I interpret and the pain and terror of the inexorable tread of time, which was as painful for Finzi in New Year Music (written when he was young, but after the tragic deaths of his teacher and two brothers in WW1) as it is in this work, but now with added urgency in the light of his terminal illness). The final movement which others, including Banfield, find too light, I find just wonderful, that Finzi could throw off all the weight of sorrow and mortality and come up with with those few minutes of marvellous, but not trivial music, and end defiantly.

 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #255 on: August 10, 2021, 10:05:18 PM »
Ok so the Watkins version of the Cello Concerto I didn't find very good at all, (in fact I thought the whole disc was a bit sub-par).

I think I like the Ma version the best of all followed the Hugh. Wallfisch lags behind (I never find his recordings very inspiring, though the Moeran CC is OK and his recording of the Simpson CC is the only one we have :-( ). Watkins is definitely behind all these. The first three recordings manage to preserve a sort of epic tone in the first movement whereas Watkins (and Davis) relax at the first opportunity.

With this work I find the first movement, as I said, epic and tragic, the slow movement poignant with tragedy behind it (the last painful climax that Banfield objects to in his account of the work I interpret and the pain and terror of the inexorable tread of time, which was as painful for Finzi in New Year Music (written when he was young, but after the tragic deaths of his teacher and two brothers in WW1) as it is in this work, but now with added urgency in the light of his terminal illness). The final movement which others, including Banfield, find too light, I find just wonderful, that Finzi could throw off all the weight of sorrow and mortality and come up with with those few minutes of marvellous, but not trivial music, and end defiantly.
Very interesting review - makes me want to hear it again. It was the last music Finzi probably heard, as it was broadcast on the radio the night before he died in hospital.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #256 on: August 10, 2021, 10:43:48 PM »
A very good point Lol. I stand corrected. The 'salacious' quote is probably more of a reflection on my own gossipy interests  8)

PS Who's MW?

PPS I remember attending a Prom concert in London where the orchestra played 'Nimrod' as a tribute to Jacqueline du pre, who then movingly appeared in a wheelchair to acknowledge the applause of the audience - it was a very moving scene.

A chap from another forum I frequented in a past life. I stood in open-mouthed shock at the vastness of his LP and CD collection and extremely jealous what he played them on.

I don't think I could have handled that, Jeffrey. There have been some tragic stories in the world of music but Jaqueline du Pré is the cruellest.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #257 on: August 10, 2021, 10:51:11 PM »
Very interesting review - makes me want to hear it again. It was the last music Finzi probably heard, as it was broadcast on the radio the night before he died in hospital.

+1 for the review. Tragic Finzi died so young. There was so much more music to come from him.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #258 on: August 17, 2021, 05:59:32 PM »
I was listening to Intimations of Immortality yesterday when I was struck by a funny thought.

I was once again marvelling at how Finzi comes up with a melody for each phrase that is so perfect for it that you can't ever again remember or read that phrase without recalling the melody.

Anyway, I suddenly thought 'I wish Finzi had written an opera!' Of course he never would, he would have needed a whole team of people to encourage and cajole him into finishing it and the premiere would have had to have been put back and put back, but still a nice thought. I wonder what author he would have picked?

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #259 on: August 18, 2021, 06:33:00 AM »
I was listening to Intimations of Immortality yesterday when I was struck by a funny thought.

I was once again marvelling at how Finzi comes up with a melody for each phrase that is so perfect for it that you can't ever again remember or read that phrase without recalling the melody.

Anyway, I suddenly thought 'I wish Finzi had written an opera!' Of course he never would, he would have needed a whole team of people to encourage and cajole him into finishing it and the premiere would have had to have been put back and put back, but still a nice thought. I wonder what author he would have picked?

Thomas Traherne?

As the projected violin concerto Finzi would have rejected most of his opera as not good enough and left just a snippet with us all thinking.......if only! 

You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.