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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
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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
 


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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
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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
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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
 


 
To a Poet  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
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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
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1937
Seven Poems of Robert Bridges  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
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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
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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


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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
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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
 


 
Let us now praise famous men  Choral song 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
 


 
Welcome, Sweet and Sacred Feast  Choral anthem 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
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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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