Requiem da Camera - Gerald Finzi (1901 - 1956)

Requiem da Camera is scored for choir, chamber orchestra and baritone soloist and uses texts by Masefield, Hardy and Gibson. The work contains many Finzi “thumbprints”, walking bass-lines supporting open-ended counterpoint, soaring melodies and, at significant moments, magical a cappella choral writing. The style absorbs Parry, and bears a family resemblance to Vaughan Williams and Holst: the mood uncannily anticipates Britten, most particularly his War Requiem.
It is hardly surprising that, early in his career, Finzi embarked on a requiem. He lost brothers and father in childhood, and was devastated by the death of his teacher, the composer Ernest Farrer, killed in action in September 1918. The original work was written in 1924, but at some later date he rewrote the third movement; however, the instrumentation of the draft score of this movement is incomplete. With the blessing of the Finzi family the completion of the orchestration was undertaken by Philip Thomas, and the work thus finished was first performed in 1990.