Author Topic: Gerald Finzi  (Read 52023 times)

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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #260 on: September 11, 2021, 07:14:35 PM »
I just found this nice performance of the Cello Concerto on YouTube

https://youtu.be/CcuaLej7EhQ

There’s not much detail but it’s performed by Michael Grebanier and the San Francisco SO. Grenbanier was the principal cellist and sometimes soloist with the SFSO from 1977 and died in 2019, so that doesn’t really narrow down when this performance took place much!

Offline kyjo

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #261 on: September 14, 2021, 01:57:41 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!

Although the Finzi is one of my all-time favorite cello concerti, I can understand your reservations regarding the first movement. It has a gripping opening and, later on, a soulful cadenza which builds up steam to a desperately intense coda which ends with a “scream into the abyss” (perhaps I’m reading too much into it :D). But yes, the middle chunk of the movement does tend to meander a bit. Surely you can’t have any reservations about the slow movement and finale, though? ;) To me, the slow movement is one of the purest expressions of heartfelt longing ever written, and the finale sounds to me like “smiling in the face of sadness” with its indomitable sense of joy that’s slightly tinged with melancholy. In light of Finzi’s close-to-death circumstances while writing the work I find it all tremendously moving!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #262 on: September 15, 2021, 05:15:29 AM »
Although the Finzi is one of my all-time favorite cello concerti, I can understand your reservations regarding the first movement. It has a gripping opening and, later on, a soulful cadenza which builds up steam to a desperately intense coda which ends with a “scream into the abyss” (perhaps I’m reading too much into it :D). But yes, the middle chunk of the movement does tend to meander a bit. Surely you can’t have any reservations about the slow movement and finale, though? ;) To me, the slow movement is one of the purest expressions of heartfelt longing ever written, and the finale sounds to me like “smiling in the face of sadness” with its indomitable sense of joy that’s slightly tinged with melancholy. In light of Finzi’s close-to-death circumstances while writing the work I find it all tremendously moving!

+1
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #263 on: September 15, 2021, 07:00:23 PM »


Earlier I was listening to The Fall of the Leaf from this extraordinary CD. Finzi permeates his music with the purest and most sincere possible expression. It features a tune that could easily be found in film music. Just charming.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #264 on: September 15, 2021, 10:53:05 PM »


Earlier I was listening to The Fall of the Leaf from this extraordinary CD. Finzi permeates his music with the purest and most sincere possible expression. It features a tune that could easily be found in film music. Just charming.

Sincerity is a key attribute of Finzi's music. I just wish he was not so critical of his own compositions and then perhaps we would be able to enjoy a complete violin concerto.

Silly to ask as there is not much you have not listened to! ;D Have you got around to this particular recording of Dies Natalis?

« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 10:54:52 PM by Irons »
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #265 on: September 17, 2021, 10:08:38 AM »


Earlier I was listening to The Fall of the Leaf from this extraordinary CD. Finzi permeates his music with the purest and most sincere possible expression. It features a tune that could easily be found in film music. Just charming.
Best Finzi CD known to me although Wilfred Brown's recording of 'Dies Natalis' is perhaps best of all.
"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 #266 on: September 17, 2021, 11:35:10 AM »
Best Finzi CD known to me although Wilfred Brown's recording of 'Dies Natalis' is perhaps best of all.

Old territory I know but goodness the artistic and technical quality of those Lyrita recordings almost without exception was absurdly high.  As a label their releases still give me collectively as much pleasure as any.......

Online vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #267 on: September 17, 2021, 08:30:10 PM »
Old territory I know but goodness the artistic and technical quality of those Lyrita recordings almost without exception was absurdly high.  As a label their releases still give me collectively as much pleasure as any.......
Me too RS. I owe Lyrita a lot for introducing me to so many fine composers (via my local record library) such as Bax, Foulds, Rootham, Alwyn, Scott, Hadley ('The Trees so High') etcetc.
"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 #268 on: September 19, 2021, 10:45:48 PM »
Old territory I know but goodness the artistic and technical quality of those Lyrita recordings almost without exception was absurdly high.  As a label their releases still give me collectively as much pleasure as any.......

The only section of my LPs sorted by label not composer.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #269 on: September 20, 2021, 02:14:20 AM »
The only section of my LPs sorted by label not composer.
Interesting!  ;D

PD

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #270 on: September 20, 2021, 06:44:16 AM »
Interesting!  ;D

PD

Oddly, information pertaining to Lyrita is hard, but not impossible, to come by. Richard Itter, unlike Decca and EMI, were not forthcoming with dates and recording personal for his recordings.
During a discussion on a YT channel I wondered how many Lyrita recordings there actually are. Itter made 20 odd in his home studio. The first orchestral recording SRCS 31 (Ireland) 1966 and the last SRCS 130 (RVW/Foulds) in1984. There are some odds and ends, an Alwyn opera for example, but I am surprised. The sum total does not far as I can tell reach 130. I thought it would be double that.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #271 on: September 20, 2021, 07:06:24 AM »
Oddly, information pertaining to Lyrita is hard, but not impossible, to come by. Richard Itter, unlike Decca and EMI, were not forthcoming with dates and recording personal for his recordings.
During a discussion on a YT channel I wondered how many Lyrita recordings there actually are. Itter made 20 odd in his home studio. The first orchestral recording SRCS 31 (Ireland) 1966 and the last SRCS 130 (RVW/Foulds) in1984. There are some odds and ends, an Alwyn opera for example, but I am surprised. The sum total does not far as I can tell reach 130. I thought it would be double that.
Hmm...a bit surprised too that it was that small of a number.

PD

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #272 on: September 20, 2021, 10:58:04 AM »
Count me as a fan of the Lyrita label. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything objectionable about any of the recordings I’ve heard. Superb sonics, too.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich