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Charles Ives (1874-1954)

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A Song For Anything

A Song For Anything

Songs by Charles Ives


Ives, C:

Feldeinsamkeit

The Things our Fathers Loved

Memories: (A) Very Pleasant; (B) Rather Sad

The Housatonic at Stockbridge

Swimmers

The Cage

The Greatest Man

General William Booth Enters into Heaven

Remembrance

Berceuse

West London

Tom Sails Away

When Stars are in the Quiet Skies

Weil' auf mir

Ich grolle nicht

Du alte Mutter

Where the Eagle

Walking

Yellow Leaves

The Side Show

Élégie

The New River

Like a Sick Eagle

Ann Street

Slugging a Vampire

Thoreau

Serenity

Tolerance

Charlie Rutlage

‘1, 2, 3'

A Song - For Anything


Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

“The Canadian baritone Gerald Finley has a voice of great beauty, but it's always under the control of his penetrating intelligence: he risks bending pitches for expressive effect, and he adapts his golden timbre and almost English diction to the childlike tones of The Greatest Man and the cowboy drawl of Charlie Rutlage. Julius Drake is an equally versatile pianist, adept alike in simplicity and complexity.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2005 *****

“These songs, drawn from Ives's 200, can encourage at one extreme a rough declamatory style and at the other an almost voiceless intimacy.
Without in any way underplaying, Finlay is always essentially a singer – his tone and command of the singing line are a pleasure in themselves. But he also has the absolute mastery of the composer's idioms and, with Julius Drake, his fearless and totally committed pianist, the technical, virtuosic skills to realise his intentions with (amid all the quirks) complete conviction of naturalness.
This is a selection that very satisfactorily balances early and late, rumbustious and contemplative.
Several of the early German settings are included, always beautiful and always develop- ing with some touch that is entirely personal. Of a quite distinctive beauty are those like Remembrance, Berceuse, and The Housatonic at Stockbridge where voice and piano work a dreamy, misty spell. And still more characteristic are the settings of his own verses evoking memories of childhood. The 'character' songs (such as Charlie Rutlage) and the 'big' numbers (GeneralWilliam Booth Enters into Heaven) become less prominent than they commonly seem in a recital group where they are programmed as an effective tour de force. The total impression is of an astonishing individuality and, more importantly, of a completely honest, dauntless and increasingly to be valued musical identity.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

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Hyperion - CDA67516

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From the Steeples and the Mountains

From the Steeples and the Mountains

American Music for Brass


Barber:

Mutations from Bach

for brass choir and timpani

Carter, E:

Fantasy about Purcell's 'Fantasia Upon One Note'

Cowell, H:

Grinell Fanfare

Tall Tale

Hymn and Fuguing Tune No. 12

for three horns

Rondo

Glass, P:

Brass Sextet

Ives, C:

From the Steeples and the Mountains

Processional 'Let there be light'

Ruggles:

Angels

for muted brass (1938 version)

Thomson, V:

Family Portrait

for brass quintet


The London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble, Christopher Larkin

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Ives & Barber - Piano Sonatas

Ives & Barber - Piano Sonatas


Barber:

Piano Sonata, Op. 26

Ives, C:

Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 19 'Concord, Mass., 1840-1860'


“Charles Ives's massive Concord Sonata has been well served on disc… Marc-André Hamelin… consistently faster than his rivals whenever a speeding-up is indicated, but always maintains crispness of rhythm and an almost miraculously clear layering of textures; and the poetry of the slower passages is intensified by the heightened contrast. Samuel Barber's virtuoso Sonata benefits equally not only from Hamelin's technical brilliance, but also from his pianistic imagination...” BBC Music Magazine, November 2004 *****

“Hamelin’s virtuosity has to be heard to be believed” Classic FM Magazine

Building a Library

First Choice - November 2004

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Ives - Romanzo di Central Park

Ives - Romanzo di Central Park


Ives, C:

On the Counter

The Circus Band

Two Little Flowers

Illmenau

A Night Song

Down East

Premonitions

The See'r

Songs My Mother Taught Me

In the Alley

Mists

They Are There!

Magnus Johnston (violin)

In Flanders Fields

The South Wind

My native land

Watchman!

The Children's Hour

Evidence

The World’s Wanderers

Slow March

Omens and Oracles

Those Evening Bells

Allegro

Evening

The Last Reader

To Edith

At the river

A Christmas Carol

The Light that is Felt

Romanzo (di Central Park)

Magnus Johnston (violin)


Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

“Gerald Finley has everything and more in his darkly full-bodied voice to match the often formidable technical and expressive requirements of Ives’s songbook—reinforced by Drake’s elastic, expressive piano … this is a must-buy album” The Times

“This is a highly successful follow-up to Gerald Finley and Julius Drake’s first Ives recital from 2005. Here there is the same sort of mix, from familiar songs such as The Circus Band and Watchman! To an early requiem for the family cat and the intriguing title song, Romanzo (di Central Park), with its obbligato violin part atmospherically played by Magnus Johnston. Finley is his usual charismatic self, at home as much in the hymnody as the parody, and he is careful not to over-sentimentalise the more homely numbers while injecting pathos into the war songs. Drake projects Ives’s often complex accompaniments with clarity and style” The Telegraph

“…outstandingly well sung and played, equally well recorded, and highly recommendable to all lovers of fine songs and fine singing.” BBC Music Magazine, March 2008 *****

“…some of the early songs in a conventional style are treated with the same seriousness that Finley would apply to Lieder. The contemplative ones are delivered with an impressive serenity and Finley has his own way of attacking the razzle-dazzle of something like "The Circus Band" or "They Are There!".” Gramophone Magazine, April 2008

“This is the second volume of Ives songs from this accomplished team; their first Ives volume (reviewed above) contained some of the blockbusters like Charlie Rutlage and General WilliamBooth but the mood of this volume is fairly sedate. In particular some of the early songs in a conventional style are treated with the same seriousness that Finley would apply to Lieder.
An unusual but effective feature here is the provision of violin obbligato both for the jingoistic wartime song They Are There! and the mawkish take-off Romanzo (di Central Park). Sentimentality is a Victorian characteristic but in Songs MyMother Taught Me, as elsewhere in Ives, the emotion is genuine so it invariably convinces.
Many of the songs are transposed down – hard work for the pianist and it makes some of the textures rather dense. The contemplative ones are delivered with an impressive serenity and Finley has his own way of attacking the razzledazzle of something like The Circus Band or TheyAre There! He's close-miked, which works best in the intimacy of the quieter songs.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

GGramophone Awards 2008

Finalist - Solo Vocal

Penguin Guide

Rosette Winner

BBC Music Magazine

Choral & Song Choice - March 2008

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Ives - Symphonies Volume 1

Ives - Symphonies Volume 1


Ives, C:

Symphony No. 2

Symphony No. 3 'The Camp Meeting'

General William Booth Enters into Heaven


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Ives - Symphonies Volume 1

Ives - Symphonies Volume 1


Ives, C:

Symphony No. 2

Symphony No. 3 'The Camp Meeting'

General William Booth Enters into Heaven


“Litton hits his stride in the Third - an evocatively Romantic, overwhelmingly lyrical, and dangerously expansive interpretation. The result is ravishing… Hyperion's engineers have got it absolutely right.” BBC Music Magazine, November 2006 ****

“Ives's symphonies were premiered almost 50 years after they were written – practically nothing was performed when he wrote it – but against all the odds they have achieved classic status. The composer was dismissive about the First Symphony, a student work, but this is now its eighth available recording. Litton has strong climaxes in the first movement, although there's a tendency for the woodwind to get swamped by the strings and brass, and sustains an almost Mahlerian passion in the Adagio. There's a magical pianissimo at the start of Central Park inthe Dark with no evidence of the audience at all – apparently they were warned that the performance was being recorded! Each recording of the Fourth is defined by the inevitably different balance of the dense textures in the second and fourth movements. For example Litton, supported by one associate conductor, rightly has the orchestral piano prominent in the shattering second movement and in the mystical finale the voices enter with unique effect. It's good to hear a little more than usual of the offstage players both here and in the first movement.
The spacious Second Symphony takes its pervasive popular melodies and makes them symphonic – again a completely convincing performance.
The only shock is the dissonant raspberry blown as the final chord – that's what folk fiddlers did to show the evening was over.
The Third Symphony is saturated in hymn tunes and anyone familiar with earlier recordings will notice the few extra bits in the latest edition of the score. The bonus is a gutsy delivery of Becker's orchestral arrangement of the song General William Booth Enters into Heaven.
Overall these two CDs are a winning representation of the Ives symphonies with the fine Dallas Symphony consistently impressive throughout.
One might want to look back at certain historic versions of individual symphonies, but as a package this is well recorded, fastidiously presented and deservedly pre-eminent.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“…these two CDs are a winning representation of the four Ives symphonies with the fine Dallas Symphony consistently impressive throughout.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2006

Super Audio CD

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel

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Ives - Symphonies Volume 2

Ives - Symphonies Volume 2


Ives, C:

Symphony No. 1

Symphony No. 4

Central Park in the Dark


“The Fourth Symphony (with Litton supported in the extraordinarily complex writing by the assistant conductor, Daniel Rechev) emerges as a masterpiece...The sound, though not the most immediate, is vivid too, and is particularly spacious on SACD.” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

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Sure on this shining night

Sure on this shining night

The romantic song in America


Barber:

Sure on this shining night, Op. 13 No. 3

Beach, A:

The Year's at the Spring, Op. 44 No. 1

Bolcom:

Never more will the wind

Chadwick:

When stars are in the quiet skies (Bulwer-Lytton)

Chanler:

The Children (Feeney)

These, my Ophelia (MacLeish)

Charles, E:

When I have sung my songs

Copland:

Nature, the gentlest mother (No. 1 from Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson)

Corigliano, J:

Song to the Witch of The Cloisters (Hoffman)

Ewazen:

The Tiger (Blake)

Firestone:

If l could tell you (Marshall)

Friml:

Rose Marie (Harbach & Hammerstein)

Griffes:

An Old Song Re-sung (Masefield)

Hageman:

Do Not Go, My Love

Herbert, V:

Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life (Johnson Young)

Hindemith:

On hearing 'The Last Rose of Summer' (Wolfe)

Echo

Ives, C:

The Side Show

The Collection (Kingsley)

Korngold:

Songs of the Clown: 'Come Away, Death'

Malotte:

The Lord's Prayer

Marder:

To a Stranger (Whitman)

Musto:

Triolet (O'Neill)

Parker, H:

June Night (Higginson)

Romberg, S:

One Alone (Harbach & Hammerstein)

Rorem:

Little Elegy

Schuman:

Orpheus with His Lute

Thomson, V:

Sigh no more, ladies (Shakespeare)


Robert White (tenor), Samuel Sanders (piano)

Tenor Robert White sings 28 romantic songs spanning the century by both native American and immigrant composers, from Amy Beach in 1899 to Marc Marder's Walt Whitman setting of 1996. There are many favourites (or 'favorites') here from the musical stage, including Friml's Rose Marie and Victor Herbert's Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life. Malotte's famous setting of The Lord's Prayer is also included. The title of the CD is taken from Samuel Barber's beautiful setting of James Agee (the poet of Knoxville, Summer of 1924).

The accompanying booklet is packed with anecdotes from Robert White's personal acquaintance with the majority of the composers represented. Several of the songs were actually written specially for him to sing.

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