William Wordsworth (E)
This is the most extended of Finzi’s choral works, composed in one continuous musical movement of truly symphonic proportions. Perhaps of all the choral works, Intimations shows his word-setting at its most expressive and poignant, demonstrating his personal and individual affinity with the poet Wordsworth, and his resourcefulness in finding imaginative ways to set poetry which many had regarded as unsettable because of its classic status. The variety of moods ranges widely, from the pastoral lyricism of the opening, through the intimate Delius-like The rainbow comes and goes, to the jazzy and extrovert depiction of birdsong which is close in idiom to Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast or Lambert’s Rio Grande. The work would provide a substantial second half to a programme for choral societies, and is enjoyable and rewarding to rehearse, but is not without its demands on the chorus in terms of stamina and expressive flexibility. The solo tenor part has been performed and recorded by leading tenors including Philip Langridge, Martyn Hill and John Mark Ainsley.