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About this Piece

Born in England in 1901, the reclusive and introspective composer Gerald Finzi lived only 55 years, dying before his time from leukemia. During his brief life, he dedicated himself to music. Much of his time was spent composing, attending concerts, lecturing, collecting music, and befriending the likes of Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams. His output includes orchestral and choral music as well as many solo songs and essays. He shows a brilliance in the way he sets words by finding the essence of the text without the need for over-embellishment (indeed, much of his vocal music is primarily set syllabically). My Spirit Sang All Day is from a set of seven part-song settings of poetry by Robert Bridges (1844-1930) and is an ecstatic declaration of the joy wrought by love.

- Matthew D. Oltman

Here is the complete text:

My spirit sang all day

O my joy.

Nothing my tongue could say,

Only my joy!

My heart an echo caught

O my joy,

And spake,

Tell me thy thought,

Hide not thy joy.

My eyes gan peer around,

O my joy,

What beauty hast thou found?

Shew us thy joy.

My jealous ears grew whist;

O my joy

Music from heaven is't

Sent for our joy?

She also came and heard;

O my joy,

What, said she, is this word?

What is thy joy?

And I replied,

O see,

O my joy,

'Tis thee, I cried,

'tis thee:

Thou art my joy.