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Finzi - Song Cycles

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Price: £12.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Composer: Gerald Finzi
  • Audio CD (28 Jan. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Lyrita
  • ASIN: B000XJ26KK
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,257 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Songs (43 tracks on 2 CD's) - Gerald Finzi

Product Description

Before & After Summer - Till Earth Outwears - I said to Love - A young Man's Exhortation (Parties I & II) - Earth and Air and Rain / John Carol Case, baryton - Robert Tear & Neil Jenkins, ténors - Howard Ferguson, piano

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Ohara on 3 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is good to have these classic Finzi recordings [five cycles, totalling 43 songs] restored to the catalogue. They have great authority, not least because Howard Ferguson is at the piano: and it was he - a life-long friend of the composer - who was Finzi's artistic executor. He assembled several sets of unpublished songs for posthumous publication, and gave their first public performances at the Wigmore Hall. When first issued, these were the only recordings of several of the sets: happily the situation today is very different, with Finzi's work having achieved more performances and recordings in the last 20 years than during his lifetime and the following decades.

So how well do these performances stand up today? John Carol Case [1923-2012], largely forgotten today, was in his time a highly respected interpreter of English song, and closely associated with the work of this composer. He has a nicely-produced baritone, and sings with intelligence; but very much in the 'English Gentleman-Choral Scholar' tradition, harking back to an earlier and no-longer-fashionable style. His vowels can sound quaint to modern ears: in that most endearing song, 'Lizbie Browne' tending towards 'Lizbie Brawne'.

Case sings the three baritone cycles: Before and After Summer, I said to Love, and Earth and Air and Rain. The first two were recorded at Decca's Hampstead Studios in December 1967, and the third at St. John's, Smith Square in April 1970. The two tenor cycles are divided between Robert Tear in 1967 and Neil Jenkins in 1970. Robert Tear, who became one of the finest English tenors of his generation, was only 28 when he recorded Till Earth Outwears, and still seems over-influenced by Peter Pears.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The sets for baritone may have been surpassed by other more recent recordings. 25 May 2011
By R. Brown - Published on
Format: Audio CD
But they are still very fine. However, this is still my favorite version of the cycle for tenor, A Young Man's Exhortation." Try the Finzi songs. They seem to have become more popular in recent years. I had these on Lp and waited a long time for Lyrita to finally put them on CDs.
Simply wonderful settings, at once immediately approachable and enjoyable but ... 18 Aug. 2014
By J. Runaas - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was not really aware of Finzi's existence before my wife (a professional pianist) did "A Young Man's Exhortation" for the last concert season with our tenor friend. Finzi's works are, to my ear, a delightful combination of neo-romantic British folk pastoralism with a strong flavoring (flavouring?) of French impressionism. Simply wonderful settings, at once immediately approachable and enjoyable but also providing increasing depth and musical complexity if you begin to analyze it. I was especially intrigued by Finzi's frequent use of what could be called art song leitmotif; just as in Wagner it rewards careful listening with very subtle allusions to other emotions used in the sets. Wonderful composing.
These are good recordings, I enjoy most of the singing, but occasionally I'm a little bored with the interpretations. Perhaps this is because I came into the set with preconceived notions after hearing it live repeatedly last season? Even with this slight reservation, I don't regret the purchase at all and it has become a regular part of my iTunes playlist.
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