Gerald Finzi: Eclogue

Everyone should own a copy of this work, and not just so that they can say that they have the music of a composer whose first name was Gerald.

It’s a piece that Finzi started writing in the late 1920s, but never got round to finishing. At least, not finishing in the manner he had wanted. The idea originally was to write a grand piano concerto – it’s very possible that his Grand Fantasia and Toccata for piano might well have been part of the original plan, too – but, for some reason, it was never to be.

This movement is based on an archaic form of poem that was originally meant to be a conversation between shepherds (although quite how interesting that might have been without music is another matter). In the end, probably knowing that other movements were never going to come, Finzi reworked it so that it could be played on its own. Even then, it didn’t see the public light of day until the composer was dead and buried.

Recommended Recording

Peter Donohoe (piano); Northern Sinfonia; Howard Griffiths (conductor). Naxos: 8555766.