Oh fair to see
is an aphoristic construction consisting of no more than two extended vocal phrases. Here, however, Finzi’s style has a greater contrapuntal succinctness (notably in the accompaniment), and the prose-like delivery of the vocal line with its careful placing of syllable and rhythm looks forward to the more spacious canvas of Intimations of Immortality
which Finzi produced for the Gloucester Festival in 1950.
from notes by Jeremy Dibble © 2001