Gerald Finzi and Herbert Howells had a very complex and, at times, close relationship. On hearing of Finzi’s death, Howells wrote a piece in his clavichord style called Finzi’s rest: for Gerald on the morrow of 27th September 1956 which was later published as part of Howells’ Clavichord. However, this was not the only piece penned that day. The published tribute uses light counterpoint, gentle diatonic dissonance and a rising processional rhythmic pattern in the bass to emulate Finzi’s own style. The second piece that Howells wrote that day, Finzi: his rest (RCM MS 4690a), was much darker and far more emotionally troubled. It presents in music a completely different picture of the Howells/Finzi relationship and for those who understand something of the biography, it is a truly astonishing memorial.
- Jonathan Clinch, Royal Academy of Music, 2020