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Gerald Finzi

Gerald Finzi (1901-56)


Gerald Finzi is an enigmatic figure; born to European Jewish parents and an agnostic for his entire life, he nevertheless became a key English church composer, producing numerous sacred works from the uplifting Ascensiontide motet God is gone up to the large-scale, and more meditative, cantata Dies Natalis and the beautiful Christmas scene In terra pax. He was an accomplished writer for the solo voice, too, with perhaps his finest achievement in this area being the wistfully elegiac Let us Gardlands Bring.

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Indeed 'elegiac' is a term often applied to much of Finzi's music; it is almost always tinged with a regret for things past (and in his setting of Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality this thinking is made explicit). But it is always deeply melodious and heartfelt, and it is not for nothing that Finzi's relatively small output nevertheless includes many firm favourites with musicians and audiences.


You can view Presto's hand-picked selection of favourite Finzi recordings here.

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