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Gerald Finzi - Diana McVeagh

9781843836025
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Title
Gerald Finzi - his life and music
Author
Diana McVeagh
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
The Boydell Press
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20101118

Gerald Finzi is one of the best-known modern English composers. While he is especially famous as a song-writer, for his sensitive settings of poets such as Hardy and Wordsworth, he also wrote in other genres; notable works includethe exquisite cantata Dies Natalis, and his cello concerto. He also exerted a major influence in the musical world as a whole, championing the neglected Ivor Gurney and reviving eighteenth-century composers with the amateur orchestra he founded.In this lively and sensitive study of his life and works, Diana McVeagh, the renowned Elgar and Finzi scholar, has made use of interviews with the main figures in his life, correspondence with contemporaries such as Vaughan Williams, Edmund Blunden, Arthur Bliss, Edmund Rubbra, Howard Ferguson and Herbert Howells, and her access to previously unpublished material in the form of his widow, Joy's, unpublished journal. The Finzithat emerges is a multi-faceted and complex character. The author shows how he developed from a solitary, introverted youth into a man with strong views and a myriad of interests: everything from education, pacifism, vegetarianism, to the Arts and Crafts movement, the English pastoral tradition, English apple varieties, and the significance of ancestry, friendship and marriage in an artist's life. She also discusses every work within the narrative of Finzi's life, and shows what makes his output so outstanding.Diana McVeagh is the author of the highly acclaimed Elgar the Music Maker [2007]; of the entries on Elgar and Finzi for The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians [1980, 2001]; and of the Finzi entry in The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [2004].

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[T]he author's style is very easy indeed, informal and communicative.
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS SOCIETY JOURNAL

The book is very well researched and immensely informative. [...] From reading this particular biography, there is also the wish to read more by Diana McVeagh.
THE ELGAR SOCIETY JOURNAL

McVeagh's analyses unfailingly draw the reader's attention to the melodic and harmonic subtleties of Finzi's writing. At her best, as in a beautiful passage on Finzi and Hardy, she sings with a lyricism that matches Finzi's own. This book comes as a timely reminder that there should be a place for the finely wrought music of a minor master.
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

This has been long in preparation, but the wait has been worthwhile. Lucky the composer who finds so fair-minded, candid and scrupulous a biographer and one who writes so well...[McVeagh's] analyses achieve the rare distinction of being both illuminating and readable. This is one of the best-written books about a musician to appear for many years.
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE

McVeagh surely loves Finzi's music and it shows. However her devotion is clear-eyed and her writing completely avoids the sort of pastoral hagiography that Finzi scholarship can easily collapse into. The book is self-recommending but that does not stop me recommending it. -
CLASSICAL MUSIC ON THE WEB

[This] is unquestionably destined to be the standard biography of Gerald Finzi. -
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS SOCIETY JOURNAL

[Now] we have McVeagh at last, so good and so well written that those who already possess...other books must have it, not only to complement them but for the sheer pleasure afforded by such a winning combination of scholarship, insight and clear-eyed humanity.. their belief will be reinforced and intensified by Miss McVeagh's candour and her remarkable achievement in writing not only a good biography but in re-creating the atmosphere of English musical life in the half-century of Finzi's life.
FINZI NEWSLETTER

With clear-eyed affection for her subject, McVeagh relates Finzi's poignant history with clarity of design that does not preclude empathy, and never allows herself the luxury of letting him off lightly over either musical or personal foibles...[a] lovely, warm and elegiac book.
MUSIC & LETTERS

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Composers - England - Biography.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
306

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