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Finzi - Dies Natalis CD

5 customer reviews

Price: £5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Finzi - Dies Natalis + Finzi - Intimations of Immortality; For St Cecilia + Finzi - Earth and Air and Rain; To a Poet; By Footpath and Stile
Price For All Three: £22.23

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Product details

  • Performer: James Gilchrist
  • Orchestra: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Conductor: David Hill
  • Composer: Gerald Finzi
  • Audio CD (31 Mar. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B0015DM3AG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,969 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

CD Description

Quintessentially Finzi, the tender yet radiant Dies natalis, a setting of texts by the 17th-century poet Thomas Traherne, depicts both the first sensations of a child as it enters the world, and life s tarnishing experience of the innocence of childhood. In Farewell to Arms, a further example of Finzi s enthusiasm for 17th-century poets, the steady but inevitable tramp of time, symbolized by the measured bass and the tenor s sad, arching melody, becomes a poignant symbol for the brevity of life as expressed in lines such as O time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing . Finzi knew all too well that Beauty, strength, youth are flowers but fading seen .

Review

James Gilchrist's singing is at one with this approach. It is good to hear the voice gain resonance and make the comparatively rare forte carry more in the way of release than a more habitually robust manner would do. His clarity and precision are warmed by a rare sweetness of tone, and the lie of these songs appears to suit him to perfection. --Gramophone

These are fine performances....The Bournemouth chorus sing cleanly..... The orchestra sustain all comparisons and one feels David Hill's direction to be both firm and inspiring. --Gramophone

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Davis on 9 April 2008
Format: Audio CD
Naxos are doing an excellent job at working their way through the music of Gerald Finzi (1901 - 1956). They are pairing his larger scale better known works with smaller less known ones. This is making for an enjoyable series of CDs.

No composer sounds more traditionally English than Finzi. He builds on the influences of Stanford, Elgar and Vaughan Williams; but he adds a nostalgia that is all his own. His music is the music of the end of things, of autumn, of the evening of the day, of the evening of life. These things are givens. The trick of a good performance of his work is to express the light between the shadows, bring out the contrasts and make the music really live and sing.

The CD begins with the main work: Dies Natalis. This is often regarded as Finzi's masterpiece. Its five movements last around 26 minutes here. It is setting of texts from Thomas Traherne's `Three Centuries of Meditation' which describes the world as perceived by a child. I saw it brought rapturously alive by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2004. I have also heard it allowed to rest too comfortably in the shadows on a Decca CD conducted by Richard Hickox. I bought this new version in hope that Conductor David Hill, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Tenor James Gilchrist would do it justice, and I am mighty pleased with what I hear.

This performance sounds fresh, new born, and wide awake. What the conductor, orchestra and tenor have brought to it is tenderness. They have not brought it to life by upping the pace. In fact the first sung movement Rhapsody is a minute longer that in the Hickox recording. But everything is handled just right. Tenor David Glichrist is on excellent form, but then so is the orchestra. This is a triumph.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Tolley on 2 Aug. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Tenor James Gilchrist, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Hill follow up their Naxos recording of Gerald Finzi's Intimations of Immortality with this fine recoding of Finzi's Dies Natalis. The first thing to say is that is a quality digital recording with Naxos fine presentation hallmark. It that sound like faint praise it is not meant to.

It is also a fairly leisurely recording with the first movement `Intrada' almost 1.30 minutes slower than some alternative recordings. The slowness does sometimes have a strange affect on the words with unnatural emphasise and Finzi's word painting, which is known for its natural speech patterns with the bar lines almost irrelevant, broken up in this recoding.

This recording was made in 2007 and as I comparison I returned to an EMI recording made in 1963 with Wilfred Brown, the English Chamber and conductor Christopher Finzi. This earlier recording is obviously not as clean being digitally remastered. Additional Wilfred Brown's singing can appear mannered at first hearing, however in all other respects include his vocal timbre, the orchestral playing and particularly the speeds taken by Christopher Finzi, the 1963 version is my preferred recording with Finzi's natural word painting far more successful at tempo.

This is an attractive new recording and Naxos must be congratulated for continuing to champion the work of Gerald Finzi. Some will prefer a modern recording with one of Britain's finest singers and the recording will stay in my CD Library, but for the reasons stated above I will return to Wilfred Brown's EMI recording more often.

For some the additional tracks that make up the recording will affect the choice of recording. This new Naxos recording includes Two Sonnets for Tenor and Orchestra and Farewell to Arms as well as a some orchestral gems.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew C. Mitchell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Dies natalis - the day of birth. Finzi has a tremendously fresh view of the world as a child is born. There is a delight in living that is ecstatically expressed. It is a seraphic vision. All the sound springs out of the life of the words. The poetry is enriched and coloured. Music partners literature in a beautiful observation. There is a tenderness in the expression and pure vitality as the ear is linked to the eye in lovely imagery. The performers all do well. I also like a lot of the other works on this album. However there is a special spot in my heart for the Farewell to Arms that finishes this treasury. To slightly enrich the experience I turn up the bass to appreciate the plucked lower strings in the peace of the final moments. English pastoral bliss with a hint of Bach (perhaps the Sleeper's Awake Cantata).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A beautiful,reflective work, melancholy and at the same time reassuring.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. E. Evans on 19 Feb. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Beautiful
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