Before and After Summer
contains two of Finzi’s finest ‘vision’ images: the delicate dream-dance in ‘The Self-Unseeing’ and the urgent dissolving modulations of ‘In the Mind’s Eye’. In this set too is the improbable ‘Channel Firing’, a long dramatic piece in which, undaunted by Hardy’s immense subject and his colloquial expression of it, Finzi through-composes nine verses with only the gunfire figure and a little melodic phrase to hold them together. This set was first performed by Robert Irwin and Frederick Stone in a BBC broadcast on 17 October 1949.
from notes by Diana McVeagh © 1989
Diana McVeagh’s Gerald Finzi: His Life and Music is published by Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge