per duo Piano, duo Saxofone et
Orchestra (1940), is not only a world première but, until recorded in May
2002, it had actually never even been performed before. After the recording
Dmitry Yablonsky said: “Danza is a short piece that has everything.
At times Finzi even uses jazz and brass sound in a Strauss-like manner. It
has been the greatest pleasure and honour to know and to be able to play and
conduct the works of this wonderful composer.”
Come all'ultimo suo ciascuno artista,
(as to his utmost every artist does),
Symphonic Poem (1942/43). The words “apotheosis of song”- as one would be
inclined to define Finzi’s poem - paraphrase what Wagner said about
Beethoven’s “Seventh.” In fact, never before has Finzi poured into a work
all the treasures of his fervent imagination in a yearning for melody. The
general structure is very firm and apt to restrain all possible excesses
while the composer knows how to vary his material with consummate art -
distributing it evenly throughout the poem. When the slight thread of the
“sopracuto” E of the violin solo concludes the piece, one admires in
retrospective the path trod. From the first soft theme
of the strings and horns within the introductory canto there
develops, through the progressive introduction of more and more new
instruments, the building to a crescendo within the most sonorous exploits
of the full orchestra. Reaching the calmo - one of the loftiest
moments of the work with a repeating melody from the violins one can’t
easily forget - the variations in the several moments of the development
give it a different aspect every time. The mosso, which introduces a
theme typical of Finzi, is entrusted to the bassi and has a certain
chivalrous character which temperate its aggressiveness.
Movements of dance, lastly, become almost a waltz in the
sempre meno mosso which flows into a sort of “scherzo.” It is
characterized by a chamber-like writing which throws into relief the colours
of the harps and of the piano while the lyrical themes often recur like a
memory to hold together a richly many-coloured texture. Finally, everything
is appeased, little by little, and the initial theme returns in the peaceful
and serene finale with another typical trait of Finzi’s - that of concluding
his works in pianissimo. It is almost the image of a desired coming
into heaven after so many extraordinary wanderings.
Finzi had given no title to
his poem. However, prompted by a competition, his sister Matilde
posthumously chose as its motto a line by Dante (Paradise 30, l.33) giving
to the world ultimo. This is not the meaning which Dante gives “of
utmost limit,” and which Finzi had almost reached - a place beyond which his
art could not go - but the temporal meaning of the end of life - the life of
her brother who did not live to see his work performed. ....Gian
Interlude for piano
and orchestra, (1936-37). In
this slender production for chamber orchestra by Finzi, who loved the great
forms of the opera, the symphonic poem, and the cantata, this short piece
stands out with a character of the most absolute originality. From extremely
scanty theme material (only two motif’s), the author, by skilfully varying
the melodic contours of his ideas, derives a complex and refined web where
the “gestures” of an expressionistic nature (the impetuous attack in A
minor) find a happy correspondence in the very elaborate and occasionally
sophisticated development. The form is that of the rondo fantastico
with the systematic recurring of a whole section or of a part of it. The
style is bristling with rhythmic difficulties which create the impression of
a sinuous flexibility. The instruments, enriched by the presence of a piano
used for timbre and colour, are treated with masterly skill presenting
virtuoso aspects which require highly skilled performers. The tempos, which
follow one another without solution of continuity, are: con impeto,
calmo (whose lyrical theme and one of Finzi’s most felicitous ideas
derives from the initial motif with a subtle rhythmic transformation) and
tempo I where, in an ideal synthesis, all the preceding thematic cues
meet in a crescendo of rare intensity up to the brusque peremptory
conclusion. … Gian Paolo
The “piccola” Berceuse for cello and piano draws inspiration
from the world of childhood. Composed for the birth of the author’s
first-born child, it is a melodious page suffused with tenderness. …
analyzing a copy of the manuscript of Toccata, Gyorgy Sandòr, the
famous Hungarian pianist and a pupil of Bartok’s, wrote: “this work was
written at the time when music was overrun by so many radically ‘new’
techniques and innovative styles. Finzi gives the impression that not only
did he have full knowledge of them but he succeeded in making use of the
best and most expressive of them in order to create a really contemporary
piece of music without the excesses of forced atonality that were so much in
fashion over a certain period. The piece has ambitious proportions, but the
variety of timbre and expression is such as to keep interest alive.” …
(1920) How much does Finzi’s sweet
Pavana owe to the well-known French examples? The answer is easy:
nothing, and this time the thoroughbred eclectic Finzi decidedly avoids
Fauré’s and Ravel’s calls to write a very personal page-all steeped in
dreamy melancholy. The piano writing is discreet and far from great sonority
as well as from sharp transitions. Here the author indulges in a moment of
abandonment to the pleasure of making music-a frame of mind that one might
call Schubert-like. He appears to enjoy a fine and well-conceived page and
is looking forward to offering it to his friends. By extremely simple means
Finzi builds an enchanting page where you don’t know whether to admire more
the well-balanced form (a trio ritornello acts as central moment in
an airy and inspired gait) or the spontaneous melody of a nimble and elegant
Liriche per Soprano e Piano,
Catherine Ganelina, Piano.
The Italian chamber romance of the twentieth century was
greatly influenced by the opera. Many of those who wrote romances were in
fact opera composers with a seeming ability to cause the listener to almost
always dimly perceive a stage in the background (with Tosti and Tirindelli
as the only valid exceptions). And let us just think, for example, of
Leoncavallo’s Mattinata, so that we must practically get to Alfano
and to the lyrics on texts by Tagore and to Pizzetti with his I Pastori
to find some real autonomy of the genre. Finzi’s
approach, on the contrary, possesses a character of absolute originality in
transforming a folklore sketch into an authentic concert aria which is fully
developed even in the rapid, just outlined sketch,
C’era una volta, that lasts only one minute. Here, in the
extraordinary Barque d’or, which
can be easily compared to the best lieder by Berlioz (Les nuits d’été),
Finzi regains a salon atmosphere. However, it is the atmosphere of a
literary salon so refined is his identification with the text while the
piano seems to evoke the sweet breaking of the wavelets against the sides of
La voix de Sélisette shows a profound
affinity with Pelléas, maybe also because of the literary analogy
(the poet, Maeterlinck, is the same), while keeping a respectful distance
from the great model (a more flexuous vocal line).
the voice evokes sinuous movements as of a slow and sensual dance in the
always subtly varied repetitions of the refrain l’amore mio si giace in
is the quintessence of the pleasure of pleasing and is a charming and
graceful little song which hides a whole world of refinement in its
spontaneous flowing. … Gian Paolo Sanzogno.
Rondini, composed in Finzi’s
early years, is a youthful lyric that Aldo Finzi dedicated to his aunt, the
celebrated soprano of the time, Giuseppina Finzi Magrini. … Paolo Finzi
VOIX DE SELISETTE
sortit (J’entendis sa porte)
Quand l’amant sortit… Elle avait souri.
Mais quand il rentra (J’entendis la lampe)
Mais quand il rentra une autre était là – Ah !
Et j’ai vu la Mort (J’entendis son ame)
Et j’ai vu la Mort Qui l’attend encore – Ah !
A mille a mille
gli atomi vagabondi
in un nugolo di polvere dorata,
si discolorano tristemente,
morendo tra i silenzi profondi nel mattino,
come profumo vanente
in una bianca stanzuccia d'ammalata.. .
A mezzo la striscia alitante nel sole passan
le prime rondini a stormi a stormi,
cantando a primavera tornata,
dischiusa a le mimose e a le viole...
Passano innanzi a la finestra velata della tua stanzuccia;
ma tu dormi dormi...
C’ERA UNA VOLTA
C’era una volta… Che cosa?
Son come grullo stasera
non mi ricordo ma c’era,
c’era una volta qualcosa.
Oh devi saperlo anche tu
Povera foglia di rosa
C’era una volta
qualcosa che non c’è più..
(H.W. Longfellow) – trad.
Stelle a notte serena!
Di là dai piani azzurri
celate i raggi d’oro!
Ella riposa! L’amore
mio si giace in sogno.
Luna a notte serena!
Sugli abissi d’occaso
scendi in luce
Ella riposa! L’amore
si giace in sogno.
Venti a notte serena!
Dove sussurrano i rami
piegate l’ali diafane!
Ella riposa! L’amore mio si giace in sogno.
Sogni a notte serena!
Ditelo voi ch’io veglio
sul suo riposo
Ella riposa! L’amore mio si giace in sogno.
(Charles Van Lerberghe)
Dans une barque d’Orient
S’en revenaient trois
Trois jeunes filles
S’en revenaient en
Une qui était noire,
Et qui tenait le
Sur ses lèvres aux roses
Dans le silence.
Une qui était brune
Et qui tenait la voile
Et dont les pieds
Nous rapportait des
En son immobilité.
Mais une qui était
Qui dormait à l’avant,
Dont les cheveux
tombaient dans l’onde
Comme du soleil levant,
Nous rapportait, sous
La lumière. Ah !
you smile on to me,
so charming are you
on what may it be?
Bright is the
Inviting is the day;
Will you come, my
With me far away?
On let me for a while
Think you will be
Let me kiss you sweet
For I love you.