Gerald Finzi

(1901 - 1956)
Gerald Finzi created for himself a life rooted in the English countryside. Finzi himself studied privately with Ernest Farrar, Edward Bairstow and R. O. Morris until his mid-20s. A slow, self-critical worker, he wrote much of his music over a spread of years. His cantata Dies natalis (1925-39), to words by Thomas Traherne, is justly his best-known work, celebrating the freshness and wonder of the new-born world. Such qualities made Finzi an ideal partner to Thomas Hardy and he set over 50 of Hardy's poems, in songs which range from the homely to the magnificent 'Channel Firing'. On his marriage to his artist wife Joy, Finzi moved to the country. The war forced him to work in London, but in 1940 he started the Newbury String Players, with whom he came to give notable first performances and revivals of English 18th-century composers, among them Stanley, Boyce and Mudge. His major choral work, a setting of Wordsworth's Intimations of Immortality, in which the bloom and the shadow of life are finely balanced, was performed in 1950. The next year Finzi learnt he had a form of leukaemia. His powerful Cello Concerto was composed under that stress, and was played at the Proms a few weeks before he died.

Gerald Finzi Composition Timpani and Percussion Requirements

For St Cecilia op. 30

Timpani + 3 percussion
1) xylophone, tambourine, triangle (shared)  2) snare drum, tam tam, triangle (shared)  3) orchestral bass drum, clash cymbals, suspended cymbal

Intimations of Immortality

Timpani + 2 percussion
1) xylophone, clash cymbals, suspended cymbal, castanets, temple blocks, tambourine, 2) orchestral bass drum, tambourine, tenor drum, snare drum, triangle

Lo The Full Final Sacrifice

Timpani + 2 percussion
1) orchestral bass drum, 2) clash cymbals, suspended cymbal

All composer images remain the copyright of their respective owners. Any use of images by this website is purely for educational purposes only and not commercial gain. If you wish for your image to be removed, please email us at and we will remove this as soon as possible