Hyperion Records

A Young Man's Exhortation, Op 14
composer
1933; Group 1 prefaced 'in the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up', Group 2 'In the evening it is cut down, and withereth'; first performed on 5 December 1933 by Frank Drew and Augustus Lowe
author of text

Recordings
'Finzi: Earth and air and rain' (CDD22070)
Finzi: Earth and air and rain
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'Britten, Finzi & Tippett: Songs' (CDA67459)
Britten, Finzi & Tippett: Songs
Details
Group 1 No 1: A Young Man's Exhortation  Call off your eyes from care
Group 1 No 2: Ditty  Beneath a knap where flown
Group 1 No 3: Budmouth Dears  When we lay where Budmouth Beach is, o the girls were fresh as peaches
Group 1 No 4: Her Temple  Dear, think not that they will forget you
Group 1 No 5: The Comet at Yell'ham  It bends far over Yell'ham Plain
Group 2 No 1: Shortening Days  The first fire since summer is lit, and it smoking into the room
Group 2 No 2: The Sigh  Little head against my shoulder
Group 2 No 3: Former Beauties  These market-dames, mid-aged, with lips thin-drawn
Group 2 No 4: Transformations  Portion of this yew is a man my grandshire new
Group 2 No 5: The Dance Continued  Regret not me; beneath the sunny tree

A Young Man's Exhortation, Op 14
A Young Man’s Exhortation, is a cycle, but has no narrative—unlike Die schöne Müllerin or Winterreise. The thread is an emotional one, linking the young idealist as he matures to his gentle end under the yellowing trees. Over the first five songs Finzi set the quotation in Latin, ‘In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up’ (but even by song 4 the singer is imagining his own past obscurity) and over part II ‘In the evening it is cut down, and withereth’. The first song begins lyrically, with imitation in the piano part, as if all set for a closed form; but it slackens into quasi-recitative for the questioning fourth verse; has a Holstian march bass at the mention of passing time, and ends (having started in A flat) on a surprising chord of E major—all characteristic Finzi procedures. The second song, apparently artless, is subtle in the way Finzi plays stress against metre to point up the words. ‘Budmouth Dears’ is deliberately more hearty, for contrast. ‘The Comet at Yell’ham’ is remote and still: poet and composer set our little human life in perspective, but without sitting in judgement. In ‘Former Beauties’ a vision, held in the memory, is re-lived. All five songs have their counterpart—in sentiment and form—in the later sets. The first complete public performance of A Young Man’s Exhortation was given on 5 December 1933 by Frank Drew and Augustus Lowe.

from notes by Diana McVeagh © 1989
Diana McVeagh’s Gerald Finzi: His Life and Music is published by Boydell & Brewer, Woodbridge

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67459 track 12
Group 2 No 3: Former Beauties
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-05-45912
Duration
2'52
Recording date
13 February 2004
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Britten, Finzi & Tippett: Songs (CDA67459)
    Disc 1 Track 12
    Release date: February 2005
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