Gerald Finzi

Started by tjguitar, April 16, 2007, 02:08:51 PM

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calyptorhynchus

I find that of the three or four recordings I have of The Fall of the Leaf I think the Hickox one is the best.

I have playlist of Finzi's Four Seasons which some might like to listen to. It comprises spring (Prelude for Strings), summer (Romance for String Orchestra), autumn (Fall of the Leaf) and winter/new year (Nocturne). I know these pieces are in different keys and some are for strings whilst others are for full orchestra, but it makes a kind of sense.

Mirror Image

Quote from: calyptorhynchus on July 05, 2020, 12:17:04 AM
I find that of the three or four recordings I have of The Fall of the Leaf I think the Hickox one is the best.

I have playlist of Finzi's Four Seasons which some might like to listen to. It comprises spring (Prelude for Strings), summer (Romance for String Orchestra), autumn (Fall of the Leaf) and winter/new year (Nocturne). I know these pieces are in different keys and some are for strings whilst others are for full orchestra, but it makes a kind of sense.

Out of curiosity, how did you arrive at idea that the Prelude for Strings represents spring while the Romance for Strings represents summer?
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


calyptorhynchus

In the early 20s Finzi completed an orchestral suite called The Bud, the Blossom and the Berry. The Prelude for strings is crafted out of the material for The Bud, the Fall of the Leaf from the material for the Berry. So much is confirmed by Banfield.
I have always had it in my head that the Romance comes from the material for the Blossom. I can't find confirmation of this, but it sounds warmer than the Prelude anyway.  :)

Mirror Image

Quote from: calyptorhynchus on July 05, 2020, 02:58:28 PM
In the early 20s Finzi completed an orchestral suite called The Bud, the Blossom and the Berry. The Prelude for strings is crafted out of the material for The Bud, the Fall of the Leaf from the material for the Berry. So much is confirmed by Banfield.
I have always had it in my head that the Romance comes from the material for the Blossom. I can't find confirmation of this, but it sounds warmer than the Prelude anyway.  :)

Hmm..interesting take. I might have to do a listen of the Finzi 'season works' and try to relay my thoughts here.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Brian

Michael Collins' very straightforward explanation for why he has re-recorded the Finzi Clarinet Concerto on a new BIS album:

"I did it with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and I am really happy with it...but to get down to brass tacks the Finzi is a very popular piece with Classic FM, and they aren't allowed to play my recording because it's with a BBC orchestra, which I thought was a shame! My Mozart recording with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra is on Classic FM virtually every day, and the Finzi is just as popular, so I decided to do another version with my old orchestra that will actually get some air-time!"
https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/3501--interview-michael-collins-on-his-dual-career

calyptorhynchus

Quote from: Brian on September 28, 2020, 12:31:25 PM
Michael Collins' very straightforward explanation for why he has re-recorded the Finzi Clarinet Concerto on a new BIS album:

"I did it with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and I am really happy with it...but to get down to brass tacks the Finzi is a very popular piece with Classic FM, and they aren't allowed to play my recording because it's with a BBC orchestra, which I thought was a shame! My Mozart recording with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra is on Classic FM virtually every day, and the Finzi is just as popular, so I decided to do another version with my old orchestra that will actually get some air-time!"
https://www.prestomusic.com/classical/articles/3501--interview-michael-collins-on-his-dual-career
Shows the problem with these "popular" classical channels. Even though the Finzi  and the Mozart cl concs are wonderful works you shouldn't feature them every day, especially when there is so much other fine music to explore.

Irons

Interlude for Oboe and String Quartet.



Typical of self-effacing Finzi to title such a fine work as 'Interlude'. I am wary of English chamber music with oboe as it has become at times a cliché, Finzi is too good a composer for that to occur. Pastoral connotations are few as this is mainly music of the human condition. Though only eleven and a half minutes it packs quite a few emotions, sad and at times angry, others wistful. A theme from Finzi's masterpiece Dies Natalis is easily recognisable in the middle section. I was taken in by the title thinking Interlude would be slight - it's not.   
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

vandermolen

Quote from: calyptorhynchus on September 28, 2020, 08:00:09 PM
Shows the problem with these "popular" classical channels. Even though the Finzi  and the Mozart cl concs are wonderful works you shouldn't feature them every day, especially when there is so much other fine music to explore.
Good point.
"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).

vandermolen

Quote from: Irons on November 12, 2020, 01:27:03 PM
Interlude for Oboe and String Quartet.



Typical of self-effacing Finzi to title such a fine work as 'Interlude'. I am wary of English chamber music with oboe as it has become at times a cliché, Finzi is too good a composer for that to occur. Pastoral connotations are few as this is mainly music of the human condition. Though only eleven and a half minutes it packs quite a few emotions, sad and at times angry, others wistful. A theme from Finzi's masterpiece Dies Natalis is easily recognisable in the middle section. I was taken in by the title thinking Interlude would be slight - it's not.
What are the other works like 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).

Oates

Quote from: vandermolen on November 16, 2020, 01:18:35 AM
What are the other works like Lol?

An ambitious coupling I'd say. I've only heard Michael Berkeley's orchestral works on Chandos - I don't dislike them but he tends towards the atonal approach.

Irons

Quote from: Oates on November 16, 2020, 03:54:19 AM
An ambitious coupling I'd say. I've only heard Michael Berkeley's orchestral works on Chandos - I don't dislike them but he tends towards the atonal approach.

If you mean by ambitious, unsuitable, I very much agree. To be fair to Michael Berkeley he has suffered a disservice by Hyperion for his String Quartet being programmed following the Finzi on side one of this LP. Hyperion repeat the error on the reverse with two Berkeley works - one for unaccompanied oboe - and closing with Finzi. Coupling these two composers together does neither any favours. Shame as Interlude is top drawer Finzi.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

calyptorhynchus

I was thinking about the Yo Yo Ma recording of the Cello Concerto today and it occurred to me that I don't actually know the story of why Ma made his recording. On the face of it is seems very unlikely, a young American cello virtuoso makes his first recording... of an almost unknown (and previously unrecorded) British cello concerto.


vandermolen

Quote from: calyptorhynchus on August 08, 2021, 01:51:47 PM
I was thinking about the Yo Yo Ma recording of the Cello Concerto today and it occurred to me that I don't actually know the story of why Ma made his recording. On the face of it is seems very unlikely, a young American cello virtuoso makes his first recording... of an almost unknown (and previously unrecorded) British cello concerto.
I read an interview with Yo Yo Ma in which he chose the Finzi Cello Concerto as the one of his recordings that he would like to re-record.
"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).

Roasted Swan

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!

Pohjolas Daughter

Quote from: Roasted Swan on August 09, 2021, 07:03:08 AM
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!
Sorry to hear that you don't enjoy his cello concerto.  Years ago a British friend introduced me to the work with the recording that you have and I found it do be intensely moving--particularly in light of what was going on in Finzi's life and his tragically young death.  We all experience music differently though.  Haven't heard his Grand Fantasia & Toccata before though.

I do quite enjoy this album.  Are you familiar with it RS?



PD

vandermolen

Quote from: Pohjolas Daughter on August 09, 2021, 09:19:02 AM
Sorry to hear that you don't enjoy his cello concerto.  Years ago a British friend introduced me to the work with the recording that you have and I found it do be intensely moving--particularly in light of what was going on in Finzi's life and his tragically young death.  We all experience music differently though.  Haven't heard his Grand Fantasia & Toccata before though.

I do quite enjoy this album.  Are you familiar with it RS?



PD
Not addressed to me but I think that it's a great album PD. I think that Finzi worked best on a small scale, with his masterpiece being 'Dies Natalis'.
"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).

Spotted Horses

Quote from: Pohjolas Daughter on August 09, 2021, 09:19:02 AM
Sorry to hear that you don't enjoy his cello concerto.  Years ago a British friend introduced me to the work with the recording that you have and I found it do be intensely moving--particularly in light of what was going on in Finzi's life and his tragically young death.  We all experience music differently though.  Haven't heard his Grand Fantasia & Toccata before though.

The Grand Fantasia and Toccata is well worth seeking out. I've lost track of which versions I have listened to, but most recently listened to a recording with Hickox, Langrange and the Liverpool Philharmonic. A striking, genre-defying piece of music.

The Cello Concerto and Clarinet Concerto are my favorite Finzi.

Roasted Swan

Quote from: Pohjolas Daughter on August 09, 2021, 09:19:02 AM
Sorry to hear that you don't enjoy his cello concerto.  Years ago a British friend introduced me to the work with the recording that you have and I found it do be intensely moving--particularly in light of what was going on in Finzi's life and his tragically young death.  We all experience music differently though.  Haven't heard his Grand Fantasia & Toccata before though.

I do quite enjoy this album.  Are you familiar with it RS?



PD

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........

calyptorhynchus

Quote from: vandermolen on August 09, 2021, 02:02:34 AM
I read an interview with Yo Yo Ma in which he chose the Finzi Cello Concerto as the one of his recordings that he would like to re-record.

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)!

Pohjolas Daughter

Quote from: vandermolen on August 09, 2021, 09:24:29 AM
Not addressed to me but I think that it's a great album PD. I think that Finzi worked best on a small scale, with his masterpiece being 'Dies Natalis'.

Quote from: Spotted Horses on August 09, 2021, 09:26:47 AM
The Grand Fantasia and Toccata is well worth seeking out. I've lost track of which versions I have listened to, but most recently listened to a recording with Hickox, Langrange and the Liverpool Philharmonic. A striking, genre-defying piece of music.

The Cello Concerto and Clarinet Concerto are my favorite Finzi.
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