The seventh and last of Finzi’s cycle of seven Part-songs setting the poetry of Robert Bridges, Wherefore to-night so full of care’s text is the darkest and most troubled of the set. For Bridges everything about life, including sorrow, was fleeting and this transience provides him with solace. Finzi’s setting reflects this in his harmonic language throughout the song. Enjoy :-).
Gerald Finzi (1901-1956): Wherefore Tonight So Full Of Care
Wherefore to-night so full of care,
My soul, revolving hopeless strife,
Pointing at hindrance, and the bare
Painful escapes of fitful life?
Shaping the doom that may befall
By precedent of terror past:
By love dishonoured, and the call
Of friendship slighted at the last?
By treasured names, the little store
That memory out of wreck could save
Of loving hearts, that gone before
Call their old comrade to the grave?
O soul, be patient: thou shalt find
A little matter mend all this;
Some strain of music to thy mind,
Some praise for skill not spent amiss.
Again shall pleasure overflow
Thy cup with sweetness, thou shalt taste
Nothing but sweetness, and shalt grow
Half sad for sweetness run to waste.
O happy life! I hear thee sing,
O rare delight of mortal stuff!
I praise my days for all they bring,
Yet are they only not enough.
Robert Bridges (1844-1930)
- Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge, conducted by Christopher Robinson.