Gerald Finzi – By Footpath and Stile and other chamber works
– Romance
– By Footpath and Stile
– Prelude | Interlude | Elegy
– Five Bagatelles

Robert Plane, clarinet | Finzi Quartet | Marcus Farnsworth | Ruth Bolister
(Resonus RES10109)

‘The delectable soloist, Robert Plane, must be smiling for joy at this unexpected addition to the (wonderful but small) clarinet quintet repertoire.’
International Record Review 2012 (Finzi Five Bagatelles)

‘…stunningly intimate miniatures……Plane’s readings are superb, especially in the extended lyrical movements like the ‘Romance’, ‘Carol’ and ‘Forlana’.

‘Probably almost every clarinetist at some time or another comes upon one or other of these attractive and beautifully contrasted character pieces in their piano version, but Alexander has turned them into a five movement clarinet quintet! The delectable soloist, Robert Plane, must be smiling for joy at this unexpected addition to the (wonderful but small) clarinet quintet repertoire. There are, of course, numerous recordings in the catalogue of those Five Bagatelles in their original version with piano. Plane himself has previously recorded them for Naxos, in an arrangement for clarinet and string orchestra, rather than string quartet! Since the coupling there is his sensitive version of another Finzi masterwork in the shape of the Clarinet Concerto, devotees of the composer may well have that disc in their possession already.’
International Record Review

‘the contribution of …Robert Plane…is first-class’

‘This is only the ninth release from Resonus but they have already established themselves as a force to be reckoned with, filling gaps in the catalogue by offering adventurous recordings of contemporary composers and neglected music by their predecessors. Not only is most of the music new to the catalogue in its present form, it’s also beautiful and highly enjoyable. Not everything here is as Finzi wrote it, but you would hardly realise it, so idiomatic are Christian Alexander’s arrangements. The central work, which gives the recording its title, though early, is pure Finzi with words by his favourite poet, Thomas Hardy, but not well enough known apart from his setting of The Oxen, which sometimes gets trotted out at Christmas. It receives a stylish performance from baritone Marcus Farnsworth, a young man from whom we shall surely hear much in future. He appears to have specialised in singing Bach, but his voice is well suited to Finzi’s manner as is the playing of the eponymous Finzi Quartet, both here and in the other works. With equally fine assistance from Robert Plane and Ruth Bolister, good recording and excellent notes, this deserves a strong recommendation to match its eight Resonus predecessors.’
MusicWeb International



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