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  • Finzi: Concerto for cello & orchestra, Op. 40 / Eclogue for piano & strings, Op. 10 / Grand Fantasia and Toccata, Op. 38
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Finzi: Concerto for cello & orchestra, Op. 40 / Eclogue for piano & strings, Op. 10 / Grand Fantasia and Toccata, Op. 38


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Audio CD, November 20, 2001
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Finzi: Concerto for cello & orchestra, Op. 40 / Eclogue for piano & strings, Op. 10 / Grand Fantasia and Toccata, Op. 38 + Finzi: Clarinet Concerto + Finzi: Nocturne / Severn Rhapsody / Eclogue / Introit / Prelude / Romance / Soliloquies / Fall of the Leaf / Grand Fantasia & Toccata
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Editorial Reviews


1. Concerto for cello & orchestra, Op. 40: Allegro moderato
2. Concerto for cello & orchestra, Op. 40: Andante quieto
3. Concerto for cello & orchestra, Op. 40: Rondo: Adagio-Allegro giocoso
4. Eclogue for piano & strings, Op. 10: Andante semplice
5. Grand Fantasia & Toccata, Op. 38: Molto grave-Allegro vigoroso

Product Details

  • Performer: Peter Donohoe, Tim Hugh
  • Orchestra: Northern Sinfonia
  • Conductor: Howard Griffiths
  • Composer: Gerald Finzi
  • Audio CD (November 20, 2001)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • ASIN: B00005QCYM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,122 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
81%
4 star
13%
3 star
6%
2 star
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See all 16 customer reviews
This is a bravura work, showing Finzi in a mode much closer to Walton than the Elgarisms of the concerto and the Eclogue.
Christopher Forbes
I really enjoy the music of certain 20th century British composers, particularly Britten, Walton, Tavener, Holst, Delius and Vaughan Williams.
David Lindsay
Known probably more for his choral music and songs, he wrote what I consider some of the finest post-romantic music out there.
Joshua Kaufman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on May 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Gerald Finzi seems to be coming into his own lately. He was a composer who I had never heard of during the 60s and 70s, though in the 80s he seemed to be more and more prevalent on the radio. The impression given by conventional musician's wisdom on the composer was that he was one of the last of the English pastoralists, too conservative to be even as interesting as Walton or Rubbra, just a passing blip on the the musical radar. But now the situation is much different. Chandos released several discs of Finzi orchestral material, and with this Naxos release, the composer should gain an even wider following.
The major work on this disc is the Cello concerto. Written late in the composer's career, right after his diagnosis with cancer, the work is dramatic, unsettled and ultimately extremely beautiful. Finzi's musical language is backward looking...resembling nothing so much as the Elgar concerto, and every bit as worthy of becoming a repertory staple as that piece. The first movement is dramatic and tense, with marvelous virtuoso cello writing, especially in the cadenza. The second movement is a wonder...Finzi had a knack for heartbreakingly lyrical slow movements and this one is no exception. The work concludes with a triumphant finale in a polonaise rhythm. This is a tremendous work and now that the post-war stylistic fights are over, perhaps the work can get it's due as one of the strongest concertos for the cello of the 20th century.
The second work on the disc is the Eclogue for Piano and Strings. Originally planned as the slow movement of a never finished piano concerto, this is my favorite work by the composer. It is reminiscent both of the slow movements to Bach's Keyboard concerti and to the Ravel Piano Concerto in G.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Grasso on February 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Naxos has a happy knack for re-discovering forgotten masterpieces of the orchestral & chamber repertoire, and this disc is no exception. In fact, it is one of the greatest testaments to their label's vision. Though I previously knew Finzi for his melodic Clarinet Concerto, the Cello Concerto made me re-evaluate the genius of his overshadowed talent. Written at the end of his life, it is easy to read into this masterpiece a world of valedictory meanings--unyielding fate, lost love, advancing age, visions of youth, etc. But ultimately what remains is the music, and what music! This is music of incredible endurance, hope, and love of humanity. At once defiant, triumphant, and gently melodic, it is a near cousin to Elgar's Concerto, but with such incredible feeling that it should enrich the cello repertoire for centuries to come. A major masterpiece by a minor master, Finzi's work will be a welcome addition to your collection--to say nothing of the other two pieces, both delightful, rewarding works firmly in the Finzi tradition. Some days all it takes is some good music to re-affirm your faith in humanity. This does the trick.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Kaufman on January 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I don't know why, but Finzi is not a composer who is very well known. Known probably more for his choral music and songs, he wrote what I consider some of the finest post-romantic music out there. This disc contains three wonderful pieces of music that I cannot get enough of.

The Cello Concerto is a highly passionate work, some of his most 'modern' music (it's still very tonal). Tim Hugh gives a wonderful performance, and if it weren't for Shostakovich I might say this is the best cello work of the 20th century.
But even a wonderful work like the Cello Concerto doesn't even compare to the Eclogue for Piano and Strings. I don't know if I can write with words how much I love this piece -- it's pure romance all the way, with a wonderful melody that just grabs you and never lets go. If you like Rachmoninoff, you will absolutely love this piece, I guarentee it.

The Grand Fantasia and Toccata, is a spiffy piece, that while isn't quite up to the level of the other two is still very nice. It's much more of a showpiece than anything, and the finale comes off big and fast like any good showpice.

Again, I can't recommend this disc enough. Wonderful music, wonderful performance, all at a nice price -- what more could you ask?
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
As the other reviewer mentioned, Naxos has a habit of finding unknown treasures and giving them the world class treatment they deserve. This CD is a case in point. The sound and playing are excellent. The music is even better.
I like the Elgar Cello Concerto, but feel this is a more powerful and cogent work. It expresses depth of feeling in a powerful way outshining the Elgar Concerto. Also, the musical argument is much better controlled than Elgar in my opinion.
I've only begun to examine Finzi's music, but have discovered many treasures. Finzi is known for pastoral music, but this Cello Concerto is far from pastoral. In fact, the only pastoral piece on the CD is the Ecologue which is beautiful.
This CD is well worth the price as you essentially get the Cello Concerto and an unfinished Piano Concerto for half the price of a regular CD. What a bargain!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Passarella on December 7, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Knowing Gerald Finzi mostly from his much-admired Clarinet Concerto, I was really bowled over by the present disc. The quietly pastoral is not the only mood that Finzi's muse was capable of. The Cello Concerto is alternately passionate and boisterous, the first movement restless and deeply troubled, the last "jocund" in the words of Andrew Burn, who wrote the notes for this recording. That's a good description, but the last movement is so full of life that "jocund" doesn't quite cover it.

If there is a program to this concerto, it probably has to do with the circumstances under which the work was composed. Finzi started writing the concerto soon after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a certain death sentence in the 1950s--hence the troubled air of the first movement and the jaunty life-affirmation of the last, in the evident belief that some part of all of us goes on living after our demise. As Andrew Burn asks, does the serene middle movement, whose theme returns in the final rondo, suggest that Finzi was reconciled to his fate? The beauty of the work is that it so bravely combines all these disparate moods by turns and makes a cogent emotional statement out of them, even if we don't know the final answer to Burn's question. It's a superb concerto, and given the fact that the cello repertoire is hardly bursting with great concertos, it's a wonder the Finzi isn't programmed much more often.

The Eclogue--sweetly tender without ever turning maudlin--is what we might think of as typical Finzi. But then the Grand Fantasia and Toccata, again, is atypical Finzi--a big, bold piece of virtuoso display based on, of all composers, Bach.
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Finzi: Concerto for cello & orchestra, Op. 40 / Eclogue for piano & strings, Op. 10 / Grand Fantasia and Toccata, Op. 38
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