John Mark Ainsley (tenor), Corydon Singers, Matthew Best (conductor)
This album brings together two of Finzi’s most characteristic works. Dies natalis, a setting of prose and verse by the seventeenth-century metaphysical poet Thomas Traherne, is a piece of sublime concord and timelessness, music which vividly suggests the vision of a child’s innocence and unsullied perception of the world which lies at the heart of Traherne’s philosophy. Intimations of Immortality is by contrast a lament, not only for the lost joys of Traherne’s idealized childhood, but also for the severing of the adult soul from the intuitive primal state. Finzi uses Wordsworth’s famous ode to convey his view that ‘a dead poet lives in many a live stockbroker’ and the result is a work of arresting beauty.