For St Ceciliaop. 30 (1946-47)
Edmund Blunden (E)
Boosey & Hawkes
Royal Albert Hall, London
Rene Soames, tenor / BBC Symphony Orchestra / Luton Choral Society / Adrian Boult
This is ideal for choirs who have enjoyed performing works such as Parry’s Blest Pair of Sirens, an ode with which it bears many similarities, not least in the resplendent, ceremonial orchestral prelude which announces the choir’s fanfare-like first entry. The work provides plenty of variety in the choral writing and there are few sections with complex counterpoint, making it readily performable by most choral societies. There are doublings in all four voice parts but these are by no means extended and, save for a few isolated bars, the orchestra accompanies the choir throughout. A semi-chorus is indicated for a short passage in the centre of the work but this may be sung by all the singers if the choir is small. For choirs who have not performed any Finzi previously, this work would make an excellent and rewarding introduction.