Letters of Gerald Finzi and Howard Ferguson

July 2001
3 line illustrations
324 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9780851158235
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

Letters of Gerald Finzi and Howard Ferguson

Edited by Howard Ferguson, Michael Hurd

Biographical insights into two outstanding musical personalities and commentary on the vitality of the British musical scene of the period.
The letters that passed, on an almost daily basis, between the composers Howard Ferguson and Gerald Finzi provide not only a fascinating commentary on the British musical scene of the period 1926-1956, but also what amounts to a unique dual-biography of two remarkable, though very different, personalities. Their lives, their loves, their enthusiasms and their prejudices are laid bare with a rare degree of candour, so that we learn not only what it was like to be witness to an art that was enjoying an unprecedented explosion of creative vitality, but also how they came to explore and consolidate their own exceptional talents. Biographical background narratives provide links that make clear what intimate correspondents inevitably take for granted, and explanations are given for references that the passage of time has made obscure. Their lives are thus revealed in all their diversity - tragedy and comedy, achievement and frustration, justifiable pride and unreasoning prejudice playing equal parts in this absorbing tale of two outstanding musical personalities of the twentieth century.

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Keywords: Music


Vigorous and humorous, these Letters can be strongly recommended. TEMPO
One of the delights is the peephole it gives onto the musical scene in (and out of) London during the period... Invaluable...will be read not only as a reference and source book, but also for its own intrinsic pleasure. It gives far more insight into the personalities of its two protagonists than either Banfield's biography of Finzi or Ferguson's tight-lipped memoir. IVOR GURNEY JOURNAL [Trevor Hold]
Valuable collection... illuminates the character of two remarkable British composers. A fascinating aspect of this volume is the evidence it provides of the richness and variety of English musical life between the wars...challeng[ing] conventional assumptions concerning the supposed insularity of the British musical establishment during this period. NOTES: JNL OF THE MUSIC LIBRARY ASSN [US]
Engrossing reading. MUSIC AND LETTERS