Thursday, 21 July 2016

Dies Natalis

Around 70 years ago, at the Three Choirs Festival, Gerald Finzi conducted the first public performance of what is generally regarded as his master work, Dies Natalis. When I first heard the cantata, it made an immediate impression on a father of young children. I relived the words of Traherne through not only my own recollections but also as if through the eyes of Catherine and Alice.

I am grateful to the World Record Club for introducing me to the work. That particular recording by Wilfred Brown and an orchestra conducted by the composer's son has not been surpassed. It may still be available in some form. If so, and you have not heard it, seek it out.

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