Date of Graduation
This research document examines twenty-six of the forty-nine songs composed by Gerald Finzi (1901â€“1956) to texts by Thomas Hardy (1840â€“1928). The songs were written for baritone and are found in the sets; Earth and Air and Rain, Before and After Summer, and I Said to Love. The study views the songs within the context of Finzi's life and compositional style as well as in relation to his affinity with the poetry and outlook of Thomas Hardy. It examines in some detail the lives of both composer and poet, and also looks at song composition in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. The study shows Finzi's affinity to Hardy existed in many levels; in personal outlook, in love of nature, in a general agnosticism, in a sense that the natural world was indifferent to humankind, and in a shared feeling of the pressure of passing time. It also notes that Finzi's style of song composition, which remained relatively unchanged throughout his life, arose directly out of the text from which it was inseparably connected. Finzi's own contention that he was chosen by texts rather than the reverse was also significant in his process. The study concludes that Finzi's music envelops Hardy's texts in such a way that there is an inherent â€œrightnessâ€ about the songs that makes them seem inevitable.
Scheib, Curtis Alan, "Gerald Finzi's songs for baritone on texts by Thomas Hardy: An historical and literary analysis and its effect on their interpretation." (1999). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9720.