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Literature played an important part in Finzi’s life, and he amassed a considerable library of material; some of the poetry contained therein was to surface as the texts for his compositions. As a composer he worked very slowly, even the shortest song might take years to complete. Lo, the full, final sacrifice, Op 26, was first performed in 1946 on 21 September at St Matthew’s Church, Northampton, and was commissioned by the Rev Walter Hussey for the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the consecration of that church. It was orchestrated in 1947 and was performed in that version at the Three Choirs’ Festival in Gloucester on 12 September, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer.
from notes by William McVicker © 1991