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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
16
Finzi - Cello Concerto & Grand Fantasia
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£8.29+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 26 June 2015
A most unjustly neglected composer at his best here,one of the finest recordings I have listened to this year.
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on 30 July 2013
The Eclogue is to be played at my funeral. Finzi lived near to my ancestral home in Hampshire, East Woodhay.
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on 3 September 2010
Finzi's Cello Concerto is considered by some to be his masterpiece. It is certainly his most large scale orchestral work and carries more expressive weight than the Clarinet Concerto. Written in the shadow of terminal illness it is, however, not a despairing work but more a work of gentle melancholy with a somewhat half hearted positive finale. Tim Hugh certainly doesn't let the work down.

It does, like the Clarinet Concerto sound a little too much like background accompaniement with a lack of any memorable melodic material. There is a pleasantly, pastoral elegaic harmonic background but there still isn't enough strong material forcing its way beyond the background.

The Toccata, Fantasia and Eclogue steal the show in part due to their disparateness. They were all intended to be part of a full piano concerto but were clearly not mean't to constitute its whole or maybe even be part of the same work. this allows for more contrast, therefore with the eclogue introducing some element of Bachian neo classicism for piano and strings followed by the lyricism of the fantasia and then the surprisingly full bodied toccata acting as a finale. Here the full orchestra enters and this music sounds close to Walton in its drive.

Peter Donohoe certainly makes the most of this and this more upbeat conclusion to the disc makes for a very satisfying whole.
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on 31 December 2014
Delighted with my purchase
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on 8 September 2016
Delivered as promised. thank you.
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on 22 February 2016
A much underated composer
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on 12 August 2017
Just what I thought it was...excellent.
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on 22 February 2018
Good.
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on 6 April 2018
This is the disc that made me love classical music with a burning passion. If pieces as wonderful as Finzi's cello concerto are all but undiscovered, what else might lie out there? My journey had started.

The cello concerto is probably Finzi's greatest work. I adore virtually everything he composed (and collected it all on CD within months of hearing this recording), but the cello concerto stands out as the piece that is most ravishingly beautiful, most darkly powerful, a consummation of what this most bitter sweet, nostalgic composer had to offer. Soul-searching music, of utmost sensitivity and melting beauty, is put side by side with music of stormy defiance and heroic grandeur. There are weak spots, it is true, but one can forgive these of this loveable composer, who was staking so much on this work and gifted us with something that is not to be found in the rest of the cello repertory (I know because I collected 400 cello concertos in my teens as a result of hearing this one!)

This is the recording to have of the work. Tim Hugh is a soloist of enormous style and poetic sensitivity and he gets right to the heart of the work from the first bar. His rivals on disc pale in comparison - Yo-Yo Ma, in what was his first commercial recording lacks the refinement and effortless grace he later acquired, and Wallfisch is coarse and bombastic by comparison to Hugh. The Orchestral support under Howard Griffiths is here as sensitive and heart felt as Hugh's playing, and the two blend magnificently. Some will find the backwards placement of the soloist disappointing, but it seems fitting for a ceoncerto in which the soloist is so much inside the orchestral maelstrom, or gliding alongside its breathtaking landscapes.

I have not heard the unbelievably beautiful Eclogue or driving, unusual Grand Fantasia and Toccata bettered on record either, and they make exceptionally welcome fillers.

Ever the front cover of this CD, a wonderful painting by John Atkinson Grimshaw is somehow just perfect for the recording. Hugh is a cello master and I have all his recordings. By far his greatest are the present one, and the other British cello concertos recorded on Naxos - his Walton concerto is also the finest on record, as well as the magical and very rarely heard Bliss concerto - astonishing accounts all. He marries a peerless sense of legato and colour to immense feeling for the works of his compatriots. His Britten cello symphony is also to be treasured. I also highly recommend his recording of Holst's Invocation and Tavener's Svyati. It's a shame he wasn't asked by Naxos to record the Moeran, Bax, Elgar concertos and so many other great British cello works, but we must be grateful for what we have!
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on 1 March 2014
I bought this disc mainly for the cello concerto, but once I had listened to the Eclogue I have been unable to stop playing it. I listen to it twice a day during my cycle to work, and many other times during the day. It is simply one of the most exquisite and moving pieces of music I've ever heard, one I never tire of listening to. The best moment of my working day is when I switch on my iPod as I leave the office to cycle home; on hearing those first few gentle notes on the piano, all the stresses of the day vanish and quiet contentment takes their place. Thank you, Gerald Finzi, for this wonderful musical balm.
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