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The life and music of English composer Gerald Finzi,
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This review is from: Gerald Finzi: His Life and Music (Paperback)
Gerald Finzi by Diana McVeagh, Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, 2005, 318 ff
This thoroughly researched and well written book provides all the information about this English composer that any reader would be likely to require. McVeagh already has a highly praised biography of Edward Elgar to her credit. Finzi taught composition at the Royal Academy of Music in London from 1930 to 1933, but in 1933 he married Joy Black and the couple retired to the countryside around Newbury to grow varieties of apples - some 350 of them when the orchards were at their peak. Finzi was born in London, the last of five children. Although nominally retired from 1933 when he was only 32, some of his best known compositions were still to come - the concertos for clarinet (1949), for piano (1953) and for cello (1955); and the wonderful setting of Wordsworth's `Intimations of Immortality' (1938 & 1950). The settings of poet Thomas Hardy span a number of years (1928-1936), and these also rate amongst his best loved compositions. McVeagh's biography gives us the background to these works and is laid out chronologically up to his early death at the age of only 55. There is a catalogue of his works, details of the repertoire of the Newbury String Players that Finzi and his wife Joy inaugurated in 1940; a quite detailed Bibliography of other books about the composer; and an Index.