On the Finzi Cello Concerto

Published in the concert programme:

Hidden in the soulful repertoire for cello and orchestra is Finzi's Cello Concerto. Hidden only because Finzi suffers the neglect caused by the phases of fashion - as many other composers do too. Phases not created by musicians, audiences or promoters, but by the consequence of time; new music is introduced and some older music is then revived only periodically. Otherwise such a grand, powerful and moving work would maintain its rightful place in mainstream concert programming.

And so it is a special pleasure to reveal to you a concerto in which Finzi has used the enormous emotional and dynamic range of the cello to express his passionate feelings.
It is a work not dissimilar in its 'Englishness' to the Elgar concerto and in its colouring to the Walton. I find great excitement playing the great sweeping gestures, juxtaposed with the most tender and delicate of phrases. The first two movements are quite heartbreaking, with many moments seeming to reflect a dying man's poignant memories of his life.

Be ready for innovation too; the opening of the last movement uses the most unusual pizzicato writing as a bridge from the breathtaking end of the slow movement to the optimistic and uplifting finale. You will undoubtedly go away in an ebullient mood!

publicationsRobert Cohen