to Finzi Friends

Supporting and sustaining interest in British composer Gerald Finzi

to Finzi Friends

Supporting and sustaining interest in British composer Gerald Finzi

New Finzi releases – May 2021

Gerald Finzi Letters 1915-1956

Edited by Diana McVeagh

Gerald Finzi’s (1901-1956) masterpiece is the radiant and touching cantata Dies Natalis. He is also highly regarded for his Thomas Hardy song-settings, for his Intimations of Immortality, and for his fine cello and clarinet concertos. As a scholar, he championed the then neglected composers Hubert Parry and Ivor Gurney, and the eighteenth-century John Stanley, William Boyce and Richard Mudge, composers he revived with the amateur orchestra he founded.
Diana McVeagh, Finzi’s biographer and Finzi Friend, brings together more than 1600 letters from and to Gerald Finzi, spanning the composer’s life from the early 1920s until his untimely death in 1956. His more than 160 correspondents include Ralph Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, Edmund Rubbra, Arthur Bliss and Howard Ferguson, Michael Tippett, Benjamin Britten and Sir John Barbirolli, the poet Edmund Blunden, and the artist John Aldridge, making this a portrait not only of Gerald Finzi but also of his group of composer, musician and artist friends in the first half of the twentieth century.

From amusing trivia to the deeply serious ideas and principles Finzi set out at the onset of war and in the 1950s, these letters allow for first-hand insights into his personality and background. This definitive edition is fully annotated, offering context with substantial commentaries on the correspondence, illustrations by Joy Finzi, a chronology, bibliography and a catalogue of works.

You can buy a copy of Diana’s book by clicking on this link: Buy Finzi Letters

Eblana String Trio debut CD – June 9th

The debut album of this talented trio is released on June 9th on the Willowhayne label and includes Finzi’s Prelude and Fugue for String Trio as well as Sally Beamish’s The King’s Alchemist and Hugh Wood’s Ithaka. Finzi Friends were pleased to make a modest contribution to this project and are delighted that the album launch event – delayed by the pandemic – is going ahead on the release date.

To go to Willowhayne Records’ website: click here

For more information about the Eblana String Trio and the album launch event on June 9th: click 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.

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