Happy Birthday to Gerald Finzi

Gerald Finzi, 1940s
Gerald Finzi, 1940s
Born today in 1901, he was a 20th century British composer of classical music. If you haven’t heard his music, start with the “Eclogue”, a lush, romantic piece. It breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. This was the first piece of his I heard, and fell in love with it.

The Romance in E Flat Major, Opus 11 is another favorite of mine. This is quintessential English romantic music, soothing, lush, melodic.

From GeraldFinzi.org:

Gerald Finzi – 20th century English composer, renowned for inspired, flexible Thomas Hardy verse settings and lyrical instrumental style. Lover of reading, collector of books, conservationist – whether of 18th century music or apples: scholar, aesthete, stalwart citizen – directing amateur music-making, hosting war evacuees. Cherished husband of Joy, artist and poet.

He claimed Ralph Vaughan Williams as a friend, a relationship that originated when Finzi wrote to VW to ask permission to use a folktune that VW had collected during a trip to Herefordshire in 1912. Active in the war effort during WWII, he opened his home to German and Czech refugees.

Tragically, he died on September 27, 1956 of Hodgkins Disease.

3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Gerald Finzi

  1. I’m listening to the Eclogue right now. Utterly divine. Thanks so much for this post. I love discovering different composers.

    Do you have a favorite composer? It’s hard to pick, but I think my number one love is Tchaikovsky. But Dvorak’s New World Symphony also has a top place in my heart.


  2. I’m so glad you’re enjoying that piece, it’s one of my all-time favorites. It’s one of those pieces you don’t mind having stuck in your head all day 🙂

    Wow, favorite composer? I guess I would probably have to say good ol’ J.S. Bach. C.P.E Bach is a close second to his dear old dad. Maybe Vivaldi next, Rachmaninoff is another, Tchaikovsky, Telemann, Mozart. LOVE Dvořak! So many, the list goes on and on!


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