This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes
for the world.
The first five songs in this posthumous collection date from the late 1920s and early ’30s when Finzi’s vocal art was first flowering. Poets appear as old friends such as Hardy and Rossetti, or as new acquaintances such as Ivor Gurney whose poetry and songs Finzi discovered and worked hard to bring to greater recognition, and Edmund Blunden who inspired in To Joy a moving and bleak depiction of the child lost to death in a wintry landscape. Harvest was progressed at the time of the composer’s collaboration with Blunden on For St Cecilia in the 1940s when a cycle was under discussion. The song was not completed until Finzi’s final summer of 1956, when he also composed the Bridges setting Since we loved, his last completed music which turned out to be a fitting memorial, described by Stephen Banfield as a "beautiful and perfect final love letter to [his wife] Joy, to his art, and to life itself."
John Mark Ainsley (tenor) / Iain Burnside (piano) NAXOS 8.570414