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Finzi: Let Us Garlands Bring

Here’s a hint: A beautiful 20th-century take on an English master.

In addition to other such great 20th century English composers like Vaughan Williams, Elgar and Holst, there was Gerald Finzi. While Finzi may not have enjoyed the lucrative career that these other composers were fortunate to have, his music has gained a growing appreciation in the years since his death.

Finzi’s output is mostly vocal music with a few notable instrumental works, including a collection of incidental music he wrote for a production of Shakespeare’s comedy Love’s Labours Lost.

Among his most popular compositions for the voice is the song cycle Let Us Garlands Bring, a collection of five songs based on texts from Shakespeare’s plays. This selection, “Come Away, Death”, is the first in the cycle and is based on a quotation from the play Twelfth Night.

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