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Michael Finnissy

(b. 1946)


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(b Tulse Hill, London, 1946).

Eng. composer and pianist. Formed mus. dept. at London Sch. of Contemporary Dance, teaching there 1969–74. Virtuoso pianist who has commissioned works from Lutyens, Weir, Knussen, Osborne, and Skempton. Taught at Univ. of Sussex 1989–90. Works incl.:

operas:

The Undivine Comedy

(1987–8, rev. 1992, prod. Paris 1988);

Thérèse Raquin

(1992–3, rev. 2005);

Shameful Vice

(1994).

music theatre:

MysteriesThe Parting of Darkness from LightThe Earthly ParadiseThe Great FloodThe Prophecy of DanielThe Parliament of HeavenThe AnnunciationThe Betrayal and Crucifixion of Jesus of NazarethThe Deliverance of Souls

: 1. , 2 ten., 2 bar., bass. 2. , mez., ten., bass, 2 actors, ens. 3. , ten., 4 actors, 4 actresses, 2 instr., 3 perc. 4. , sop., bar., actor, ch., hp., perc. 5. , 3 sop., mez., ten., 2 actors, 3 ch., children's ch., ens. 6. . 7. . 8. , 2 sop., mez., 2 ten., 2 bar., bass, 4 ch., children's ch., orch. (1972–9);

Bouffe

, for a person alone on stage (1975);

Vaudeville

, mez., bar., 2 mimes, 6 instr., perc. (1983).

orch.:

Song IIIV

and (1963–9);

Song X

(1968–75);

Offshore

(1975–6);

Pathways of Sun and Stars

(1976);

Sea and Sky

(1979–80);

Red Earth

(1988);

Eph‐phatha

(1988–9);

Plain Harmony

(1993);

Glad Day

(1994);

Speak its Name!

(1996).

instr. ens.:

Piece to honour Igor Stravinsky

, fl., va., hp. (1971); pf. conc. No.1 (1975), No.2 (1975–6), No.3 (1978), No.7 (1981);

Nobody's Jig

, str. qt. (1980–1);

Australian Sea Shanties II

, recorder consort (1983); str. qt. (1984); str. trio (1986);

Obrecht Motetten IIIIIIIVV

, 9 instr. (1989), , mand., gui., hp. (1989), , 13 instr. (1990), , brass quintet (1990), , 11 wind, db., pf. (1992);

Cambridge Codex

, fl., vn., vc., 2 bells (1991);

Mars + Venus

, instr. ens. (1993);

Independence Quadrilles

, pf. trio (1995);

Bright Future Ignoring Dark Past

, pf. trio (2000);

Molly‐House

, instr. ens. (2004).

Also choral works; many comps. for vv. and instr. incl. Sir Tristran, sop., cl., pf., vn., va., vc. (1978) and Lay de la Fonteinne, mez., fl., picc., ob., vib. or pf. (1990); comps. for solo instr. incl. Ru Tchou, perc. (1975), Terekemme, cembalo (1981), and Enek, vn. (1990); and pf. pieces.

Subjects: Music.


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