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Student sings with piano in lunchtime concert

Music at Lunchtime: A Recital of Finzi

18th January 2023

This week’s Music at Lunchtime concert was given by Will in Form 6. Joined by Peter Davis on piano, they performed Gerald Finzi’s much-loved song cycle Let us garlands bring.

Finzi’s five-movement song cycle sets Shakespeare texts from Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen in Verona, Cymbeline and As You Like it, each on the theme of love, whether youthful and joyous or melancholic and anguished. The first movement, Come away, death is a lament to unrequited love; the performance was full of atmosphere, heard in the moment of silence in the audience at the song’s close. The lively second and fourth songs, Who is Sylvia and O mistress mine bookended the central song, Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, the emotional high-point of the cycle. The song’s text dealt with fears of life after death and the performance struck the balance between the text’s passive reflection and intense emotion. The finale, the bubbly It was a lover and his lass, set the audience in springtime in the countryside, with a rendition full of energy and life.

Will’s recital was an impressive performance of Finzi’s song cycle; capturing the simplicity and the emotion of Shakespeare’s texts, musically well-paced and full of variety and enjoyment for the audience- congratulations Will!

Next week’s lunchtime recital is given by brass students playing solo and chamber music by Gibbons, Franz Strauss and Poulenc.

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