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4.2 out of 5 stars15
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 28 May 2008
2008 may be officially the year of Vaughan Williams - 50th anniversary of his death and all, but it also looks like being the year that Finzi takes his rightful place among the great 20th century composers of England. This is due in no small part to the excellent performances being released by Naxos, which are shaping up as the strongest set of recordings of his works yet released.

Finzi's music is just right for a compilation disc like this. His great strength was song writing, whether he was writing individual songs, cycles of songs, or the songs without words that most of his instrumental works in fact are. While his style flows in a classic Vaughan Williams meets Elgar kind of way the real interest is in the detail. Finzi is a master, the British master, of small scale articulation - of words and even of syllables within words. Naxos' recordings bring this out vividly.

Yes - the larger song cycles are best heard in full - as they tell developing stories over their lengths - but the individual songs from them here stand on their own. The one work that really suffers from being heard in part is the Cello Concerto - Finzi's strongest completed long orchestral work - and one in which he breaks out of his concentration on detail into the successful handling of larger musical structures. The disc ends wonderfully with the brilliantly poised end of the day music of the Eclogue for piano and strings which is excellently recorded.

I'm not the greatest fan of `Best ofs', but this one works. As Finzi's star is still rising this disc may serve a useful purpose as a stepping stone to buying his whole larger works. Mind you - if you like the classic English pastoral sound of Elgar and Vaughan Williams you can confidently buy the discs Naxos compiled this CD from. There is nothing difficult about Finzi - but nothing shallow either - his music is like a pool - you can relax by gazing at it's surface - or you can dip your toes in deeper and start to appreciate the treasures within.
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on 7 October 2010
I first heard Eclogue, a Finzi piece on the radio. It really moved me and I couldnt wait to hear more of his music. This CD has a lovely variety of his work and is great for listening to in the car.
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on 2 July 2010
Interesting music, only came accross accidentally via a radio program. This collection is probably the most essential and gives a really good impression. Well worth a go, especially as it is so well priced on Amazon...you can't lose!
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on 5 June 2011
This cd contains some lovely music. Finzi is perhaps a far lesser known English composer than Britten or Vaughan Williams. So much the pity as the quality of his compositions are good and very likeable. Contains part of his famous clarinet concerto amongst others. Well worth a try.
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on 17 April 2014
I bought this because I like 'Eclogue', and wanted to know more about Finzi's work. I don't like all the tracks, but I certainly like enough of them to make it worthwhile, and I want to learn more about his work. I would recommend it as an introduction to him.
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on 16 February 2013
As a huge fan of Finzi's music, I love this collection.
Only disappointment was that the main track I bought this (Eclogue) for has a slight distortion occasionally.
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on 1 April 2014
I loved it but then I like this type of classical music. Especially the Eclogue which is what I bought it for. A good recording nicely played and conducted.
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on 7 December 2014
An excellent recording. Very enjoyable
Gerald Finzi deserves to be more widely known. Such a sensitive, expressive composer.
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on 4 November 2014
A lovely collection of his work. The final piano piece is one of the most gorgeous ever written.
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on 10 December 2014
It gives you just enough to want to listen to more
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