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Finzi, Gerald: Seven Poems of Robert Bridges op. 17 (1934-37) 18'
on poems by Robert Bridges

Music Text

Robert Bridges

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Repertoire Note

A wide-ranging quintessentially English setting of lyrical poetry by Robert Bridges, resulting in some of the finest unaccomp-anied part songs of their period. Enter Bridges’s descriptive world and you will find that Finzi adds a vivid third dimension. There is a great deal of variety in the set from the simple and direct setting of I praise the tender flower, the omission of the basses in I have loved flowers that fade, through the elated emotions of My spirit sang all day, to the sultry summer by the river in Clear and gentle stream, the beautiful and ruminative Nightingales with its extraordinary ending, the lightness of touch in Haste on, my joys!, and weighty emotions expressed in the last song Wherefore tonight so full of care. Performed complete, lasting nearly 20 minutes, the Seven Part Songs provide a most attractive item in a concert programme, suitable for coupling with madrigals and part songs ancient and modern. The favourites from the set, such as My spirit sang all day and Clear and gentle stream will continue to be popular items in their own right.

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