Gerald Finzi

Classical Music / Great Composers Dateline:  July 14

Gerald Raphael Finzi (14 July 1901 – 27 September 1956), was a British composer. He is best known as a choral composer, but also wrote in other genres. His large-scale compositions include the cantata Dies natalis for solo voice and string orchestra, and his concertos for cello and clarinet.

Gerald Finzi was born in London. He became one of the most characteristically "English" composers of his generation. Finzi was educated privately. His father, a successful shipbroker, died a fortnight short of his son's eighth birthday.

During the first World War the family settled in Harrogate, and Finzi began to study music at Christ Church, High Harrogate, under Ernest Farrar, a former pupil of Irish composer Charles V. Stanford. Finzi found him a sympathetic teacher, and Farrar's death at the Western Front deeply affected him. It was also during these formative years that he suffered the loss of all three of his brothers. These adversities contributed to his bleak outlook on life.

Suggested listening:

Finzi's Romance in E-b Major, Op. 11. Youtube, uploaded by imusiki. Accessed July 14, 2017. 

Despite being an agnostic of Jewish descent, several of Fenzi's choral works incorporate Christian texts. His music is elegiac in tone.  Below is Finzi's Magnificat

Finzi found solace in the poetry of Thomas Traherne and Thomas Hardy, his favourite, whose poems, as well as those by Christina Rossetti, he set to music. In the poetry of Hardy, Traherne, and later, of W. Wordsworth, Finzi was attracted by the recurrent motif of the innocence of childhood corrupted by adult experience.

Video Credit:

Gerald Finzi Magnificat. Youtube, uploaded by moltocantabileCH. Accessed July 14, 2017.  (Orchester Camerata Musica Luzern, with Andreas Felber, conducting)

Image Cedit:

Gerald Finzi. Accessed July 14, 2017. 


Gerald Finzi. Accessed July 14, 2017.

Gerald Finzi Biography. Accessed July 14, 2017.  

(c) 2017.  Tel Asiado. Written for Inspired Pen Web. All rights reserved. 

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