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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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