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Gerald Finzi Timeline

A year by year alignment of Finzi's life and works

The chronological list of works indicates the publisher of each work. For those published by Boosey & Hawkes, links are provided to useful information including scorings, durations and repertoire notes.


 

Born in London, 14 July


1901



During World War I the Finzi family settles in Harrogate. Gerald studies with Ernest Farrar, a pupil of Stanford and friend of Vaughan Williams

1915
 

Between 1917 and 1922 studies privately with Sir Edward Bairstow at York Minster and attends his rehearsals and concerts with the York, Bradford and Leeds Choral Societies


1917
 



1921
Songs to poems by Christina Rossetti or voices and piano (1920-21) BH
 

Moves to Painswick in Gloucestershire


1922
By Footpath and Stile Song-cycle for baritone and string quartet (1921-22, rev.1946) BH
 


 
Prelude op.25 for string orchestra composed during 1920s BH
 


 
Prelude for string orchestra composed during 1920s BH
 

By Footpath and Stile, his first published Hardy settings, performed in London


1923
A Severn Rhapsody for chamber orchestra
 


 
The Brightness of this Day Christmas Hymn (1922-23) ww
 


 
Two Motets for chorus and orchestra or organ (1922-23) ww
 


 
The Brightness of this Day Christmas Hymn (1922-23) ww
 


 
Two Motets for chorus and orchestra or organ (1922-23) ww
 

A Severn Rhapsody performed in Bournemouth by Sir Dan Godfrey, and published by the Carnegie Trust


1924
Requiem da Camera for baritone, chorus and orchestra Bks


Following advice from Adrian Boult, takes a course of counterpoint with R.O.Morris

1925
Two Sonnets op.12 for tenor or soprano and small orchestra BH
 


 
Introit op.6, the central movement of the Violin Concerto BH
 


 
Farewell to Arms Aria from Farewell to Arms op.9 for voice and small orchestra BH composed around this time
 

Moves to London where he becomes friends with young composers Howard Ferguson and Edmund Rubbra, and meets Vaughan Williams, Holst and Bliss for the first time


1926
Three Short Elegies for unaccompanied chorus BH
 


 
Nocturne (New Year Music) for orchestra BH
 


1927
Till Earth Outwears for high voice and piano BH
The earliest songs in this collection date from this year
 


 
Till Earth Outwears op.19 for high voice and piano BH The earliest songs in this collection date from this year
 


 
Violin Concerto Revised version BH


Vaughan Williams conducts the Violin Concerto at a Bach Choir concert, but the composer withdraws the work apart from the Introit.

1928
Romance for string orchestra BH
 


 
Grand Fantasia and Toccata Fantasia of Grand Fantasia and Toccata op.38 for piano and orchestra (c1928) BH
 


 
 


 
Oh Fair to See BH The earliest songs found in these posthumous collections date from this period
 


 
I Said to Love for baritone and piano
 


1929
A Young Man's Exhortation op.14 for tenor and piano (1926-29) BH
 


 
The Fall of the Leaf (Elegy) op.20 for orchestra BH
 


 
Eclogue op.10 for piano and strings (late 1920s, rev.late 1940s) BH
 

Teaches at the Royal Academy of Music until 1933


1930


New Year Music performed under Sir Dan Godfrey in Bournemouth

1932
Earth and Air and Rain op.15 for baritone and piano (1928-32) BH
 

First complete performance of A Young Man’s Exhortation in London. Marries the artist Joyce Black, with Ralph and Adeline Vaughan Williams as witnesses, and settles at Aldbourne in Berkshire


1933
 

Begins to work on behalf of Ivor Gurney, cataloguing his manuscripts, and is a driving force behind a Music and Letters symposium (January 1938), and behind the eventual publication of five volumes of songs and two collections of poems


1935
 

First works published by Boosey & Co and Hawkes & Son, including Earth and Air and Rain


1936
Interlude for oboe and string quartet (1932-36) BH


1937
Seven Unaccompanied Part Songs on poems by Robert Bridges (1934-37) BH
 


1938
Prelude and Fugue for string trio BH
 

Moves to newly built Church Farm at Ashmansworth, near Newbury. Outbreak of war causes the cancellation of the premiere of Dies natalis at the Three Choirs Festival, a major performance which could have established his career as a composer


1939
Dies Natalis for tenor or soprano and strings
 

Dies natalis performed in London, 26 January. Founds and conducts the Newbury String Players, a small, mainly amateur body with which he gives enterprising concerts in a wide area round his home until his death. Many young musicians and composers, including Julian Bream and Kenneth Leighton, are offered the chance of performance, and Finzi revives and edits music by William Boyce, Richard Capel Bond, John Garth, Richard Mudge, John Stanley, and Charles Wesley


1940
Elegy for violin and piano BH

 

Works for Ministry of War Transport until 1945. His home is opened to several German and Czech refugees


1941
 


1942
Let us Garlands bring Five Shakespeare Songs for baritone and orchestra (1929-42) BH
 


1943
Five Bagatelles for clarinet and piano (1938-43) BH
 


1944
Farewell to Arms Introduction from Farewell to Arms op.9 for voice and small orchestra (1944) BH
 

Farewell to Arms performed by the BBC Northern Orchestra under Charles Groves


1945
 

Lo, the full, final sacrifice performed; also Dies natalis at the Three Choirs, Hereford


1946
Lo, the Full, Final Sacrifice Festival Anthem for choir and organ or orchestra BH


 
Love's Labours Lost Music for Shakespeare's play BH
 

For St.Cecilia performed at the Royal Albert Hall under Boult


1947
Love's Labour's Lost  for voice and small orchestra (1946-47) BH
 


 
For St Cecilia for tenor, chorus and orchestra (1946-47) BH
 


 
My lovely one Choral anthem (1947) BH
 

Broadcasts a talk on Parry, and over the following years orders Parry’s manuscripts for placing in the Bodleian Library


1948
 

Conducts premiere of Clarinet Concerto with Frederick Thurston and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Three Choirs, Hereford; Before and After Summer published



1949
Clarinet Concerto (1948-49) BH
 


 
Before and After Summer for baritone and piano (1932-49) BH
 

Intimations of Immortality performed at the Three Choirs, Gloucester


1950
Intimations of Immortality Ode for tenor, chorus and orchestra (late 1930s, 1949-50) BH
 


 
Muses and Graces School song Nov


Learns he suffers from Hodgkin’s Disease and has ten years or less to live; reads a paper on John Stanley to the Royal Musical Association

1951
God is gone up Choral anthem for choir and organ or choir and orchestra BH
 


 
Thou didst delight my eyes for men's voices BH
 


 
All This Night Unaccompanied choral motet BH
 


 
 


1952
Magnificat  for soloists, chorus and orchestra or organ BH
 


 
Love's Labour's Lost for small orchestra BH
 


1953
White-Flowering Days for unaccompanied chorus (1952-53) BH
 


 
 


 
Grand Fantasia and Toccata for piano and orchestra BH
 

All-Finzi concert at the Festival Hall includes the first London performance of the Grand Fantasia and Toccata; begins editing a volume of Boyce overtures for Musica Britannica


1954
In Terra Pax  for soloists, chorus and full orchestra, chamber orchestra or ensemble (completed 1954) BH


In terra pax broadcast. Composes Cello Concerto for the Cheltenham Festival at the request of Sir John Barbirolli; delivers the Crees lectures at the Royal College of Music on ‘The Composer’s Use of Words’

1955
Cello Concerto (1951-55) BH
 


 
Love's Labour's Lost for orchestra (1952/55) BH
 

In terra pax (orchestral version) performed at the Three Choirs, Gloucester. Dies at Oxford, 27 September


1956
 

BH=Boosey & Hawkes
Bks=Banks of York
Nov=Novello
ww=work withdrawn


 

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