Author Topic: Gerald Finzi  (Read 52074 times)

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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #220 on: July 04, 2020, 11:17:04 PM »
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.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #221 on: July 05, 2020, 10:40:20 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?
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #222 on: July 05, 2020, 01:58:28 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.  :)

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #223 on: July 05, 2020, 02:01:40 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.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Brian

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #224 on: September 28, 2020, 11:31:25 AM »
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

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #225 on: September 28, 2020, 07:00:09 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.

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #226 on: November 12, 2020, 02:27:03 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.   
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 #227 on: November 16, 2020, 02:17:47 AM »
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).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #228 on: November 16, 2020, 02:18:35 AM »
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).

Offline Oates

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #229 on: November 16, 2020, 04:54:19 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.

Offline Irons

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #230 on: November 16, 2020, 08:48:09 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.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #231 on: August 08, 2021, 12:51:47 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.


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #232 on: August 09, 2021, 01:02:34 AM »
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).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #233 on: August 09, 2021, 06:03:08 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!

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #234 on: August 09, 2021, 08:19:02 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

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #235 on: August 09, 2021, 08:24:29 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).

Online Spotted Horses

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #236 on: August 09, 2021, 08:26:47 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.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #237 on: August 09, 2021, 09:36:54 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........

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #238 on: August 09, 2021, 11:40:06 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)!

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Gerald Finzi
« Reply #239 on: August 09, 2021, 11:43:15 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'.

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