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FINZI, Martyn Hill, Stephen Varcoe, Clifford Benson

Earth and Air and Rain

  • COMPACT DISC 1 [59'58]
  • 1 Earth and Air and Rain Op 15 [30'32] sung by STEPHEN VARCOE
  • 11 Till Earth outwears Op 19a [16'27] sung by MARTYN HILL
  • 18 I said to Love Op 19b [12'58] sung by STEPHEN VARCOE
  • COMPACT DISC 2 [60'00]
  • 1 A Young Man’s Exhortation Op 14 [28'53] sung by MARTYN HILL
  • 11 Before and After Summer Op 16 [31'06] sung by STEPHEN VARCOE
  • Martyn Hill - tenor
  • Stephen Varcoe - baritone
  • Clifford Benson - piano
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69.00 PLN

2 CD:

Nr kat.: CDD22070
Label  : Hyperion

‘These are marvellous songs’ (Oxford Times) ‘There are so many really subtle and distinguished performances in this set, and so much sheerly beautiful singing, that I shall be listening to it often over the years’ (Gramophone) ******************************** Thomas Hardy’s Collected Poems would have been one of Gerald Finzi’s desert island choices. Not that he was ever himself marooned; but at the outbreak of the last war his friend the composer Robin Milford was isolated on Guernsey and, in discussing Hardy, Finzi wrote to him that ‘if I had to be cut off from everything that would be the one book I should choose’. More poignantly he wrote in 1949 to another friend that there were perhaps another hundred poems of Hardy which attracted him, but he suspected he’d go to his grave with most of them unset. This is borne out by his copy of the Collected Poems, in which he has lightly crossed through those he has set, and marked those he would like to set. There are many more marked than crossed through. Even so, he completed setting over fifty of Hardy’s poems, forty-three of them recorded here. The earliest songs date from the 1920s; the latest from a few months before his death in 1956. Such an association argues a commitment closer even than Fauré’s with Verlaine, Schumann’s with Heine, Wolf’s with Mörike. Finzi and Hardy could have met. There is no record that they did, though they might have seen each other at Boughton’s Glastonbury Festival of 1919. When Hardy’s library was sold in 1938 Finzi went to the sale and, though he dared not hope he could get any of the books, he was at least able to buy Hardy’s walking-stick. (It now belongs to the Dorchester Museum.) Later Howard Bliss, brother of Arthur, gave him the authograph of ‘We Field-Women’, which became a treasured possession.