Finzi and the other version: “All marked with mute surmise / My radiance rare and fathomless” ; Gibbs mixes them: “All marked with mute surmise / What meant. Check out Finzi: Earth and Air and Rain – 6. Rollicum-rorum by Benjamin Luxon on Amazon Music. Stream ad-free or purchase CD’s and MP3s now on. FINZI Earth and Air and Rain. 1 Till Earth outwears. 2 I said to Love. 3 A Young Man’s Exhortation. 4 Before and after Summer 5 • Stephen.
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Gerald Finzi – Earth and Air and Rain
Hardy drew the very best from Gerald Finzi, to such an extent that one sometimes feels the reverse to be true as well. That awkward poem So I have faredfor example, in which Hardy wreaks some violence on the English language in search of rhymes for a sequence of Latin verbs in the second person and the perfect tense ”tryst I”, ”wist I” and even ”list I”, to go with ”fecisti”, ”deduxisti”, and the like never quite works on the page; it takes Finzi’s beautifully flexible line, with its echoes both of folk-song and of Anglican chant, to make sense of Hardy’s sub-title ”after reading Psalms 39, 40, etc.
Finzi’s word-setting has a subtle flexibility that often responds unerringly to Hardy’s fantasy aig his elaborately wrought prosody, but it can also do more: But for this illumination to happen the interpreter needs to love Hardy’s thickets of consonants, his disconcerting choice of improbably knobbly words ”the firstling browses”, ”raw rolls, clammy and andd, ”the glebe cow drooled” as much as Finzi did.
Both singers here pass that test admirably. Their diction fonzi precise, they have obviously worked hard at the expressive and coloristic potential of such sounds rather than attempting to smooth them over with ‘beautiful’ vocalism, and the result is a demonstration that Finzi has the strength and darkness of Hardy as well as his lyrical pessimism.
Both singers are almost at their most impressive, in fact, in songs that you would scarcely have thought suited to them.
Earth and Air and Rain
Both have quite light, fine-textured voices listening to them in sequence on Side 2 one is scarcely aware for a moment or two that baritone has taken over from tenor anr I will confess that I was apprehensive about this, fearing that the very biggest songs would be given a light-weight treatment.
This is perhaps true in ”At a Lunar Eclipse” Till Earth Outwearswhere Martyn Hill does not have the organ-like amplitude to match the grandeur of the accompaniment, but his very quietness in ”The Comet at Yell’ham” A Young Man’s Exhortation combined with a seamlessly unbroken line from both singer and pianist, marvellously evokes time standing breathlessly still as the comet hangs in the sky.
Hill is excellent, too, in songs needing a nimble dexterity or sharp crispness—there may be esrth touch of strain in ”Budmouth Dears” A Young Man’s Exhortation but he takes it at the rattling pace Finzi asks for and every word emerges as bright as a button.
His especial strength lies in shadings from colour to colour—the way that he can encompass both the tripping lightness and the later poignancy of ”Before and after Summer” is admirable, and he has a beautiful lyrical cantabile for such songs as ”Overlooking the River” Before and after Summer.
I would still like a handful of these songs to be recorded by a voice of almost operatic opulence, but there are so many really subtle and distinguished performances in this set, and so much raon beautiful singing, that I shall be listening to it often over the years. Clifford Benson is an excellent partner to both singers; the recording is discreetly natural.
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I said to love. A Young Man’s Exhortation.
Earth And Air And Rain – Finzi: Songs / Varcoe, Be – Hyperion: | Buy from ArkivMusic
Before and after Summer. The all-time greats Read about the artists who changed the world of classical music.
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