Saturday, December 7, 2013

Gerald Finzi

I have listened to classical music all my life, and thought I knew most composers. I was disabused of this idea this past Thursday.

I went to Kroger to get enough cat food to get us through the ice storm, and when I left the parking lot I was held up by a school bus and a frightening line of traffic. I sat, waiting for an opening to pull out. I had our local NPR station on, and gradually as I listened I realized I was listening to one of the most beautiful and mournful piano pieces I had ever heard. I had no idea what it was, or who had composed it.

My apartment is only 3 minutes from the grocery, and when I parked the piece was still playing. No force on earth could have made me leave the car then until I found out what I was listening to, and I waited to the end. The announcer said it was the "Eclogue for piano and strings". I thought he said the composer was" Finney", but I soon found I had heard wrong.

What would we do without You Tube? I keyed in "eclogue" and up came "Eclogue for Piano and Strings Opus 10", by Gerald Finzi, a British composer. And there the music was again.

The person who put up the video of the eclogue first heard it as he was driving. But he was driving in rush hour on the Massachusetts Turnpike, which I am sure is a hell all its own. He says he was so affected by the beauty of the piece that he had to pull off onto an off ramp.

Finzi died young, and perhaps this accounts for the elegiac mood of this music-

Look this up on You Tube. You will not be disappointed-


Out on the prairie said...

I have written titles on numerous pieces of paper in my car, almost going off the road a few times to do so.

Sam said...

You're right about the Mass Pike- the highest tolls, worst drivers, and most malodorous, crime-ridden rest areas on the planet.