Friday, June 26, 2009

Finzi, concerto master

How many private classical music collections feature the British master Gerald Finzi (1901-1956)? Yet for me Finzi's works would rank in the best 3 concertos ever writen for two fairly regular solo instruments, the cello and the clarinet. I could have picked the Naxos CD featuring his cello concerto and assorted other works as well, but in the end I decided to go for the one that contains the beautiful pastoral clarinet concerto full of lyricism and charm, though somewhat anachonistic for its year (1949). The main work lasts about 26 minutes, but the other tracks are far from being filler. In particular the Romance for string orchestra is a gorgeous piece, but the four other short pieces are well worth exploring. Great sound and excellent performance by clarinet player Robert Plane and the Northern Sinfonia under Howard Griffiths. A must hear composer if you like the British pastoral classical music scene.