Maurice Green (1696 – 1755): Lord, let me know mine end

Green was an important composer in his day his music was "generally buoyant and attractively tuneful, is thus more elegant and polished than that of almost all his immediate predecessors and contemporaries" perhaps because he wrote in a more cosmopolitan style than they did. His modern reputation has suffered mostly because Burney took against him.…

Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): This is the record of John

Gibbons’ anthem for five voices (SAATB or ATTBB) This is the record of John is a wonderful example of  the verse anthem. It consists of solos that alternate with full choral passages in which the choir repeats the words of the preceding solo section. The writing for the soloist is almost declamatory – Timothy Dickey…

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956): Wherefore Tonight So Full Of Care

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…

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956): Haste On, My Joys!

Haste On, My Joys! is the sixth in the series of seven songs setting poems by Robert Bridges. It’s a five-part setting (SSATB) written shortly after Finzi stopped teaching harmony at the Royal Academy of Music in London. With its very energetic part-writing and rhythmic writing Finzi’s music reflects the youthful exuberance of the first…

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956): Nightingales

Of one thing we can be certain; what Hanslick called ‘the morganatic marriage of words and music’ is the least destructible of all musical elements. The marriages may be happy or unhappy, but, surely as birds must sing, so long as words exist and man is capable of feeling, there will be song. —Gerald Finzi,…

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956): Clear And Gentle Stream!

The fourth in Finzi’s series of seven part-songs setting poems by Robert Bridges Clear And Gentle Stream! reflects  Finzi’s intense love  for  the  English countryside and his acceptance – which he shares with Bridges of  of life’s impermanence. I love this song, its almost madrigalian nature, and the way in which Finzi treats the text…

Ēriks Ešenvalds (b1977): Psalm 67

Ešenvalds setting of Psalm 67 was premiered by Stephen Layton and Polyphony in Amsterdam in 2012  a very traditional Anglican chant sounding baritone solo is responded to by the full choir singing a very chordal setting of the text. It’s very chromatic writing which shifts and mixes mood between praise and apprehension. The chant melody…