to Finzi Friends

Supporting and sustaining interest in British composer Gerald Finzi

to Finzi Friends

Supporting and sustaining interest in British composer Gerald Finzi

Exploring Finzi: Proud Songsters

In this fourth video, Finzi Friends Chairman Martin Bussey returns to Finzi’s relationship with the poetry of Thomas Hardy, to consider settings of Proud Songsters. Exploring not only the version by Finzi, but also that of Britten, Martin illustrates with examples sung at the piano, and introduces his own setting of Hardy’s poem, the prelude to his new opera Timeless Figure for Tête à Tête: the Opera Festival this September.

Here are links to free recordings of Finzi’s Proud Songsters:

Roderick Williams with Iain Burnside (piano)

Benjamin Luxon with David Willison (piano)

John Carol Case with Howard Ferguson (piano)

And recordings of Britten’s Proud Songsters:

Peter Pears with Benjamin Britten (piano)

Ian Bostridge with Antonio Pappano (piano)

Ian Partridge with Jennifer Partridge (piano)


The Exploring Finzi series features other significant works by Finzi in which he sets lyrics by Thomas Hardy, including To Lizbie Browne and the song-cycle A Young Man’s Exhortation. These videos can be viewed here.


Let us know if there’s a particular work by Finzi which you would like to hear explored in this way!

Finzi Friends Vice-President Philip Brunelle has been posting short programmes on the VocalEssence website, highlighting the music of a composer that has been associated with VocalEssence. He recently featured Finzi and you can listen to the programme here: 

Why does the work of Gerald Finzi attract so much attention and interest?

The immediate answer can be found in the sheer quality and integrity of his compositions, particularly those setting English poetry. Finzi’s many settings of Thomas Hardy, Shakespeare and his luminous setting of Thomas Traherne, Dies Natalis, are unrivalled in their craftsmanship and response to words. They seem to result in music which is at one with the poet’s thought.

Gerald Finzi’s breadth of inspiration and depth of personality lend a mysterious and troubled quality to so much of his work, notably the remarkable Hardy song-cycle Earth and Air and Rain.

Tragically, he died in 1956 at the age of only fifty-five, shortly after completing his largest scale orchestral work, the Cello Concerto.

We hope you will enjoy exploring Finzi’s music and the work of the Friends, and will consider joining us through one of our two strands of membership.

Artist: Milein Cosman

Martin Bussey

Martin Bussey, Chairman, Finzi Friends

There is no room in the world, as you say, for second rate work.

Gerald Finzi

There is no room in the world, as you say, for second rate work.

Gerald Finzi

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Our Aims

Encourage and promote performances of Finzi’s work and that of other British composers  

Publish an annual Journal and occasional Newsletters, containing articles relating to Gerald Finzi, reviews of CDs and books, and news regarding the organisation and forthcoming performances of Finzi’s works

Hold a biennial event at Ashmansworth to celebrate its links with Finzi

Hold other workshops and study days and members’ events annually

Support the work of the Finzi Trust which administers Finzi’s works

Support the Ludlow English Song Weekend

Offer members a comprehensive stock of CDs and Finzi-related merchandise at discounted prices.

A word about us…


Meet our chairman Martin Bussey
and hear about the work we do

Explore our Resources


Explore our past newsletters, discover our CD and merchandise collection, and read reviews of recent concerts

Proud Supporters of the Finzi Trust.

Visit their website