Grand Fantasia and Toccataop. 38 (1928,rev 1953)
Boosey & Hawkes
This novel response to concerto form offers a refreshing counterblast to the former perception of Finzi as a purely pastoral composer. The stately Fantasia, with its dotted rhythms suggesting a baroque French overture, is improvisatory in mood: the orchestra silently observes the keyboard’s elaborate flourishes for much of the movement, before providing its own commentary. The accumulated tension is released in the energy and orchestral brilliance of the Toccata, the principal thematic material here resembling a fugue subject (though without the expected contrapuntal development) and being deployed on the keyboard with sparkling fingerplay.
Northern Sinfonia/Howard Griffiths