Gerald Finzi (1901 - 1956)

Donald Macleod marks the 50th anniversary of Finzi's death with a series of programmes exploring the composer's life and legacy.


01Who Am I20060925

A look at Finzi's colourful ancestry and the effect this had on his sense of identity as a young artist.

A Young Man's Exhortation, from Op 14

James Gilchrist (tenor)

Ann Tilbrook (piano)

Magnificat, Op 36

Choir of St John's College Cambridge

Christopher Whitton (organ)

Christopher Robinson (director)

Concerto for Small Orchestra and Solo Violin

Tasmin Little (violin)

City of London Sinfonia

Richard Hickox (conductor)

In Terra Pax

Libby Crabtree (soprano)

Donald Sweeney (bass)

Choir of Winchester Cathedral

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

David Hill (conductor).

02Cats And Apples20060926

The simpler things of life were always what mattered most to Finzi.

Donald explores the joys of feline companionship, apple cultivation and the myriad sources of inspiration from the natural world which found their way into Finzi's work.

As I lay in the Early Sun

James Gilchrist (tenor)

Anna Tilbrook (piano)

I praise the tender flower (Partsongs Op 17, No 1)

The Finzi Singers

Paul Spicer (conductor)

A Severn Rhapsody, Op 3

Northern Sinfonia

Howard Griffiths (conductor)

Intimations of Immortality, Op 29

Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and Orchestra

David Hill (conductor).

03Channel Firing20060927

Wartime brought with it a desk job rather than service at the front line for Finzi. But the impact was still great, an emotional hit which precipitated a near halt to composition. Donald Macleod reveals how Finzi carried himself through those difficult years and how they cast their shadow on his subsequent works.

Romance for Strings, Op 11

City of London Sinfonia

Richard Hickox (conductor)

Let Us Garlands Bring, Op 18

Roderick Williams (baritone)

Ian Burnside (piano)

Love's Labours Lost, Op 28b (excerpts): Quodlibet; 3 Soliloquies: Finale

English Symphony Orchestra

William Boughton (conductor)

Lo, the Full Final Sacrifice, Op 26

Choir of St John's College, Cambridge

Christopher Whitton (organ)

Christopher Robinson (director).

04On Second Thoughts20060928

Finzi was an inveterate tinkerer - not for him the blaze of inspiration with a perfect result at its end. Donald Macleod introduces a selection of Finzi's works which saw such protracted births, and also reveals some choice opinions which the composer held on his contemporaries.

Eclogue, Op 10

Peter Donohoe (piano)

Northern Sinfonia

Howard Griffiths (conductor)

5 Bagatelles, Op 23

Thea King (clarinet)

Clifford Benson (piano)

Prelude, Op 25

City of London Sinfonia

Richard Hickox (conductor)

Cello Concerto - 1st mvt (Allegro moderato)

Tim Hugh (cello)

Howard Griffiths (conductor)

Shortening Days (from A Young Man's Exhortation)

James Gilchrist (tenor)

Anna Tilbrook (piano).

05 LASTForever Green20060929

Donald Macleod finishes his commemoration of the life of Finzi with a look at the composer's ever-present preoccupation with the fragility and brevity of human existence, concluding with the work which stands as a central pillar of his artistic legacy.

The Sigh (from A Young Man's Exhortation)

James Gilchrist (tenor)

Anna Tilbrook (piano)

Nocturne (New Year Music)

Andrew Marriner (clarinet)

Academy of St Martins in the Fields

Sir Neville Marriner (conductor)

Welcome sweet and sacred feat, Op 27, No 3

Choir of St John's College Cambridge

Christopher Whitton (organ)

Christopher Robinson (director)

Dies Natalis

Philip Langbridge (tenor)

London Symphony Orchestra

Richard Hickox (conductor)

The Too Short Time (from Before and after Summer, Op 16)

David Wilson-Johnson (bass-baritone)

David Owen Norris (piano).