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Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 3 - Gerald Finley

Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 3 - Gerald Finley


Morgens steh ich auf und frage, S290

third version

Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, S309

second setting

Anfangs wollt ich fast verzagen, S311

fourth version

Weimars Toten, S303

Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen ass, S.297

second setting

Sonetti di Petrarca (3) for voice & piano, S270

second version

Die Fischerstochter

Und wir dachten der Toten

Die Vätergruft, S.281

second version


La tombe et la rose, S285

Le vieux vagabond, S304

Go not, happy day

Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

A third volume in Hyperion’s Complete Liszt Songs cycle warmly welcomes to the series maestro Gerald Finley. The songs themselves encompass everything from finely honed miniatures to big-boned epics of tragic import, and these compelling performances elicit from the multi-award-winning pairing of Finley and Julius Drake a sense of paced drama and pathos which is rarely matched.

“This third volume deserves a special recommendation — first thanks to Gerald Finley, an inspiring champion of Liszt’s music, and secondly because this volume includes the exalted Three Petrarch Sonnets (in Liszt’s second version), where baritones usually fear to tread. Finley, accompanied by Julius Drake, is eloquent and impassioned in them.” Financial Times, 7th March 2015 ****

“The standard of the songs is impressively high...Julius Drake shines in all of them. So, too, does Finley, with his sensitivity to the fore in the fine Heine settings, bringing emotional engagement and a measure of Italianate warmth to the comparatively well known Petrarch settings...In excellent sound, the whole adds up to a delightful sequence of discoveries.” BBC Music Magazine, April 2015 *****

“The ever-rewarding song partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake are persuasive advocates across the whole spectrum of Lisztian styles. Where theatrical panache is a sine qua non...the pair provide it in spades.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2015

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2015

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Hyperion Liszt Complete Songs - CDA67956


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Bridge: Complete Songs

Bridge: Complete Songs

All forty-five of the songs composed by Frank Bridge

Janice Watson (soprano), Louise Winter (mezzo soprano), Jamie MacDougal (tenor), Gerald Finley (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano)

This important release brings together all forty-five of the songs composed by Frank Bridge. The programme is presented generally along chronological lines, and although the songs were written over two decades there is a remarkable consistency of style. A good number of the texts will be familiar from the songs of, say, Quilter or Finzi, but many more show Bridge’s enthusiasm for unearthing rather less well-known literary subject matter.

“Prepared and performed with the care and conviction for which Hyperion is famous. Those who simply love vocal recitals will find plenty of enjoyment in these well-documented discs, as well as a further revelation of the wealth of ‘English Renaissance’ contributions to art song. Distinguished performances of little-known but substantial, and often impressive, repertoire” Classic CD

“Another superb collection of songs” Financial Times

“These two CDs, finely recorded and thoughtfully presented, are a most timely and valuable addition to the catalogue” Gramophone Magazine

“This fine collection of settings by poets as diverse as Herrick, Heine and Tagore is full of surprises and beautifully performed by all, especially pianist Roger Vignoles” The Observer

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Schubert: Winterreise D911

Schubert: Winterreise D911

Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

The Gramophone-award winning partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake turns to perhaps the most celebrated song-cycle of them all. Schubert’s Winterreise is a masterpiece of despair, astonishing in its bleakness and enthrallingly mesmerizing as the journey continues. Finley brings all his considerable dramatic powers to his performance—and all but submerges them under the ice.

Richard Wigmore writes that ‘before Winterreise Schubert had composed individual songs of pathos and despair, even of apocalyptic terror. What was new about the cycle was the spareness and angularity of much of the writing, the work’s sustained godless pessimism and its obsessive exploration of a mind veering between delusion, ironic self-awareness and nihilistic despair. The water music, limpid, turbulent or benedictory, of Schubert’s earlier Müller cycle, Die schöne Müllerin, yields in Winterreise to musical emblems of trudging and stumbling, bareness and exhaustion, derangement and frozen, trancelike stillness’.

“one of the finest [Winterreises] I have ever heard. The merits of Finley's singing are well known. The beauty of his voice is a good place to start, and even referring to such matters as intonation and line seems impertinent when dealing with singing such as this.” International Record Review, March 2014

“Finley's [reading] is inward, poised, heartbreaking in holding back. The more quietude he brings to each song...the more potent his reading. Julius Drake, accompanying, is equally lyrical, fluent, expressive. Neither lets the music shout...The disc lends itself to repeated exploration” The Observer, 16th March 2014 ****

“Finley can exercise his lyrical powers in such songs as 'Der Lindenbaum'...but it is not a lyrical talent alone: more to the point, it is the spectrum of tonal colouring, inflection and instinctive phrasing which lend this performance of Winterreise such an absorbing sense of inner communion with the soul.” Gramophone Magazine, April 2014

“Perhaps more than any other recording the singer and the pianist are in equilibrium...if often sounds as if Julius Drake has just had an idea - and they are all good ones - and Gerald Finley picks up on it; or vice versa...This, to my mind the greatest of all bleak works of art, here receives its perfect rendering.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2014 *****

Presto Discs of 2014


GGramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2014

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Schumann: Liederkreis

Schumann: Liederkreis


Liederkreis, Op. 39

Sechs Gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers, Op. 36

Liederkreis, Op. 24

Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

Gerald Finley and Julius Drake return to Schumann, following a magisterially intense Dichterliebe which won them a third Gramophone award. Here they focus on the two contrasting Liederkreis (‘song-circle’) cycles using texts by Heine and Eichendorff. Heine is the poet of Dichterliebe, and Op 24 contains extremes of elation and despair that call all Finley’s considerable dramatic powers into play. Eichendorff’s seductive, crepuscular ‘night-songs’ of Op 39 require the velvety tone for which this singer is equally revered. Separating these two great works are the Sechs Gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers, Op 36, which find Schumann in more homespun, folksong-influenced vein.

“Finley and pianist Julius Drake are well attuned to those pervading atmospheres and psychological shifts; beginning with the veiled tone with which Finley opens Op 39 every song is individually coloured (some of his inflections suggest a close study of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's performances), and the text is always clear.” The Guardian, 26th September 2012 ****

“With his slow tempos and dark vowels, Finley draws from the Op. 39 Eichendorff Liederkreis a real sense of the fear lurking behind even the ecstasies of love...Drake is perfectly attuned to the palette of shifting colours in Finley's dark baritone - here in top form.” BBC Music Magazine, Christmas 2012 ****

“This new recording shows a greater richness in Finley's voice plus an evolving intimacy in his approach to recording Lieder, one that retreats from the word-by-word vocal painting of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau...Each song's overall conception - of which Julius Drake is a key part - reflects great thought as to its core emotion.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2013

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The Ballad Singer

The Ballad Singer


O where hae ye been, Lord Randall, my son?

traditional, arr. Cyril Scott


Mephistos Flohlied, Op. 75, 3


Es war ein Markgraf überm Rhein (No. 29 from Deutsche Volkslieder, WoO 33)


Alone in the desert, alone, I'm alone

Loewe, C:

Edward, Op. 1 No. 1 (Herder)

Die wandelnde Glocke, Op. 20 No. 3


Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Porter, C:

The Tale of the Oyster


Erlkönig, D328


Die Löwenbraut, Op. 31 No. 1

Der Schatzgräber, Op. 45 No. 1


La Belle Dame sans merci (John Keats) (1877)

Sullivan, A:

The Lost Chord

Wolf, H:

Der Feuerreiter (No. 44 from Mörike-Lieder)

Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

This latest release from the multi-award-winning partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake features a literary and musical form which inspired the greatest voices of German Romanticism. The foremost poets and composers of the age saw the ballad as a direct link to the folk-minstrels of the past. Frequently ghoulish and sensational in character, ballads satisfied the popular taste for the Gothic. This disc contains some of the greatest examples of the form, including Schubert’s Erlkönig, as well as some fascinating and lesser-known works. The disc also includes selections from the ever popular English ballad tradition.

Gerald Finley’s unrivalled gift for characterization and story-telling, honed both on the stages of opera houses around the world and through his extraordinary Lieder recordings, makes him the ideal performer of these works. This is a genuinely entertaining and original disc.

“they're all tales and Finley is a fine tale-teller. In Loewe, he sounds as though he's singing just for you, the listener, so rapt and intense is his communication. Drake is a fine accomplice, tuning his fingers to full orchestral capacity for Schumann's psycho-drama 'Die Löwenbraut' and Wolf's 'Der Feuerreiter'” BBC Music Magazine, July 2011 ****

“Their approach to text and music consistently casts light on turbulent emotions, at times glaring in its dramatic intensity at others passed through restraining filters. The recital's heart pulses with Wolf's Der Feuerreiter and a spine-tingling account of Stanford's La belle dame sans merci.” Classic FM Magazine, August 2011 ****

“Drake's playing has successfully suited the varied repertoire. Finley has enthralled with his interpretations and delighted with his singing purely as singing, combining the two aspects expertly.” International Record Review, July 2011

“Listen to these wonderfully melodramatic, mostly Victorian ballads by candlelight in a haunted house...Performances full of raging fortissimos and ghoulish tremolandos from Finley and his pianist Julius Drake.” The Times, 18th June 2011 ****

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Berlioz: L'Enfance du Christ, Op. 25

Berlioz: L'Enfance du Christ, Op. 25

Jean Rigby (mezzo soprano), Alastair Miles (bass), Gerald Finley (baritone), John Aler (tenor), Gwynne Howell (bass), Peter Evans (tenor) & Robert Poulton (baritone)

Corydon Singers & Orchestra & St Paul's Cathedral Choristers, Matthew Best

Berlioz held traditional religion in contempt, but something of the biblical story of Herod’s massacre of the innocents and the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt seems to have struck a chord and resulted in one of his most beautiful works. Indeed, Berlioz compared his ‘trilogie sacrée’ to the illuminations in medieval missals: he saw it as an aid to contemplative devotion. L’Enfance du Christ is one of Berlioz’s most popular and enduring works. The renowned Corydon Singers and Corydon Orchestra, under their conductor and founder Matthew Best, are joined by a first-class team of soloists.

2 CD's for price of 1. Originally issued on CDA66991/2

“Matthew Best's version offers a keenly dramatic view...Jean Rigby is a young-sounding Mary, with Gerald Finley warm and expressive as Joseph...An ideal choice for those who want an intimate view and a superb modern recording” Penguin Guide, 2011 edition

“No previous recording has moved me like this one - magical - heavenly” The Independent

“Luminous Berlioz, with some superb soloists” Classic CD

“This new recording of Berlioz's appealing work well stands comparison with its much-praised predecessors” Gramophone Magazine

“An engaging and moving recording with superb singing from soloists Alastair Miles, Jean Rigby and Gerald Finley” Classic FM Magazine

“The recording is surely the best available” BBC Music Magazine

“Best treats L'enfance du Christ as overtly operatic, not so much by cast movements or varied microphone placings as by his pacing of the action and by encouraging his artists to throw themselves wholeheartedly into the emotions of the story.
He gets off to a tremendous start with a superb reading by a black-voiced Alastair Miles as a Herod haunted by his dream and startled into belligerent wakefulness by the arrival of Polydorus.
Later, there's desperate urgency in the appeals for shelter by Joseph (an otherwise gently lyrical Gerald Finley), harshly rebuffed by the chorus. And, throughout, there are spatial perspectives – the soldiers' patrol advancing (from practically inaudible pizzicatos) to centrestage and going off again; and a beautifully hushed and atmospheric faraway 'Amen' at the end. Balance in general is excellent.
The clear enunciation (in very good French) of nearly everyone is a plus point. The chorus's response to the mood and meaning of words is always alert and sensitive, matched by the nuanced orchestral playing. The scurrying of the Ishmaelite family to help, played really pianissimo, is vividly graphic; and their home entertainment on two flutes and a harp, which can mark a drop in the interest, here has great charm. But overall it's Best's pacing which makes this recording distinctive.
This recording stands comparison well with its much-praised predecessors.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

Building a Library

First Choice - December 2001

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Schumann - Dichterliebe & other Heine settings

Schumann - Dichterliebe & other Heine settings


Tragödie Op. 64 No. 3

Die beiden Grenadiere, Op. 49 No. 1

Abends am Strand, Op. 45 No. 3

Die feindlichen Brüder, Op. 49 No. 2

Der arme Peter, Op. 53 No. 3

Belsazar, Op. 57

Die Lotosblume, Op. 25 No. 7

Was will die einsame Träne, Op. 25 No. 21

Du bist wie eine Blume, Op. 25 No. 24

Lehn deine Wang' Op. 142 No. 2

song originally conceived for Dichterliebe

Es leuchtet meine Liebe, Op. 127 No. 3

song originally conceived for Dichterliebe

Dein Angesicht, Op. 127 No. 2

song originally conceived for Dichterliebe

Mein Wagen rollet langsam, Op. 142 No. 4

song originally conceived for Dichterliebe

Dichterliebe, Op. 48

Gerald Finley (baritone) & Julius Drake (piano)

Why another Dichterliebe recording? Because Gerald Finley has simply one of the greatest voices of his generation, and is an artist at the peak of his powers. He brings to this noble song cycle the supreme technical ability and penetrating musical understanding that characterize all his performances, whether on the concert platform, in the recording studio or on the great opera stages of the world. This is his fourth disc with collaborator Julius Drake, and the partnership has proved to be a uniquely rewarding one.

This fine recital also includes many of Schumann’s other Heine settings. The extremes of elation and despair in Heine’s poetry stimulated Schumann to write some of his most poignant and unforgettable songs. This is truly a disc to treasure.

“[Finley] brings eloquence to the text and maturity to his interpretations, but with a still youthful-sounding voice. Darker and more “bassy” of tone than Dieskau, he is especially impressive in the sardonic and bitter songs...Finley is a gripping narrator, too, in the tale of Belshazzar’s feast, and can refine his voice to the most arresting of internalised confidences in the love songs to Clara Wieck.” Sunday Times, 14th September 2008 ****

“Finley is a much less knowing, more direct performer than Fischer-Dieskau, concentrating less on precise verbal nuance (though his German diction is wonderfully clear) than on more generalised expressive contours, but the effect is still overwhelmingly powerful.” Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 5th September 2008 *****

“Doubts as to whether the world needs yet another Dichterliebe are allayed by a performance that probes the extremes of Schumann's evocation of remembered, blighted love. Gerald Finley's burnished baritone is one of the most beautiful voices to have recorded the cycle.” The Telegraph, 6th September 2008

“Finley's performance gives huge pleasure and insight…” BBC Music Magazine, September 2008 ****

“In close collusion with the ever-sentient Julius Drake, Gerald Finley gives one of the most beautifully sung an intensely experience performances on dic of Schumann's cycle of rapture, disillusion and tender regret. This is a Dichterliebe firmly in the past tense, the poet-lover achingly resigned from the outset. Singer and pianist are just as compelling in the other Heine settings here.” Gramophone Magazine, November 2008

“Isserlis's mobile, feeling but never gushing legato lines… Hough's winged, crystalline partnership.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2005

“[Finley] sings Schumann's great song-cycle with much tonal beauty and feeling, above all capturing the deep disillusion of Schumann's inspiration” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ****

“In close collusion with the ever-sentient Julius Drake, Gerald Finley gives one of the most beautifully sung and intensely experienced performances on disc of Schumann's cycle of rapture, disillusion and tender regret. This is a Dichterliebe firmly in the past tense, the poetlover achingly resigned from the outset. Finley sings the second song, 'Aus meinen Tränen', as if in a trance, and lingers luxuriantly, even masochistically, over the remembered 'Ich liebe dich' in 'Wenn ich' in deine Augen seh''. Yet here and elsewhere some dangerously slow tempi are vindicated by the acuity of his verbal and musical responses. Where most singers end 'Im Rhein' in wistful tenderness, Finley infuses his final words with a wry bitterness. The disenchantment of 'Ich grolle nicht' is already glimpsed. In the cycle's latter stages Finley veers between numb reverie and acerbic self-dramatisation.
The birds' assuaging response in 'Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen' is magical, barely breathed, the mounting trauma of the funereal dream-song 'Ich hab' im Traum geweinet' chillingly conveyed, the dissolving vision of the penultimate 'Aus alten Märchen' relived with ineffable sadness. Adding a cutting edge to his warm, mahogany baritone, Finley imbues the final song with savage irony, before the rueful, healing close. Throughout, Drake's playing is a model of clarity and acutely observed detail (he is more attentive than most to bass-lines), epitomised in his fluid, exquisitely voiced epilogue.
Singer and pianist are just as compelling in the other Heine settings here. The church acoustic is more resonant than is ideal for Lieder, though that hardly detracts from a glorious Schumann recital.”
Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

“Grotesquerie, beauty, irony, sentimentality and overwhelming passion mingle to breathtaking effect...His in-the-moment honesty is matched note-for-note by pianist Julius Drake, who partners him with a superb sense of drama and detail. It's a recital which can stand comparison with the greatest Schumann recordings.” METRO

GGramophone Awards 2009

Best of Category - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - November 2008

Building a Library

Featured - June 2010

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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


A Night Song

Down East


The See'r

Songs My Mother Taught Me

In the Alley


They Are There!

Magnus Johnston (violin)

In Flanders Fields

The South Wind

My native land


The Children's Hour


The World’s Wanderers

Slow March

Omens and Oracles

Those Evening Bells



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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Songs by Schubert’s friends and contemporaries

Songs by Schubert’s friends and contemporaries

Eighty-one songs by forty composers who lived and worked during Schubert’s lifetime


Der Leiermann


Abendlied unter'm gestirten Himmel, WoO 150

An die ferne Geliebte (To the distant beloved), Op. 98

Berger, L:

Des Müllers Wanderlied

Müllers Blumen

Am Maienfeste

Der Müller

Rose, die Müllerin

Müllers trockne Blumen

Des Baches Lied


Der Berghirt


Wonne der Wehmut

Eberwein, M:

Rastlose Liebe

Franz, S:

Abschied nach Wien 1813


Die Einsame


Der Greis, Hob XXVc:5

Hiller, F:

Wandrers Nachtlied

Hummel, J:

Zur Logenfeier

Hüttenbrenner, A:


Kreutzer, K:




Der Lindenbaum


Die Post

Der Pilgrim


Lied aus Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre

Lachner, F:


Das Fischermädchen, Op. 33, No. 10

Der Schmied




Es rauschen die Winde, S294

Loewe, C:

Gesang der Geister

Der Erlkönig, Op. 1 No. 3 (Goethe)


Minnelied im Mai 'Holder klingt der Vogelsang', Op. 8 No. 1

Mendelssohn, Fanny:

Die frühen Gräber, Op. 9 No. 4 (Text: Friedrich Wilhelm Klopstock)


Komm du schönes Fischermädchen


Trost in Tränen

Klage an den Mond




Rastloses Wandern

Reichardt, J F:


Rastlose Liebe


Monolog der Iphegenia

Reichardt, L:

Aus Novalis Hymnen an die Nacht


Beltà crudele


Ich denke dein

Schubert of Dresden Sr.:

Die Lebensgefährten


Lied für XXX


Gute Nacht


Mignon's Lied Op. 37:1



Meeres Stille



Die Nachtigall



Vesque von Püttlingen:

Der Herbstabend

Der Doppelgänger

Der Fischer


Lied der Desdemona


Gebet während der Schlacht

Weigl, J:

Wenn sie mich nur von weitem sieht

Weyrauch, A H:




Erster Verlust

Um Mitternacht

Klage Harfenspieler III

Rastlose Liebe


Die Erwartung


“Abetted by Johnson's lucid pianism, the singers nicely judge the scale and character of their allotted songs. Susan Gritton, her timbre, richer and more flavoursome than a decade ago, is equally admirable in the insouciant trilling of Johann Unger's Die Nachtigall and the dramatic declamation of Reichardt's Monolog der Iphigenie. Gerald Finley is a graphic story-teller in the various Erlkönig settings and a honeyed-toned seducer in Meyerbeer's Komm, while Mark Padmore makes a persuasive case for Zumsteeg's pleasantly rambling ballad Die Erwartung... This enterprising, often revelatory set should intrigue and delight anyone interested in the development of the Lied.” Gramophone Magazine, July 2006

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - July 2006

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Hyperion Song Recitals Schubert Song Edition - CDJ33051/3

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A Song For Anything

A Song For Anything

Songs by Charles Ives

Ives, C:


The Things our Fathers Loved

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

The Housatonic at Stockbridge


The Cage

The Greatest Man

General William Booth Enters into Heaven



West London

Tom Sails Away

When Stars are in the Quiet Skies

Weil' auf mir

Ich grolle nicht

Du alte Mutter

Where the Eagle


Yellow Leaves

The Side Show


The New River

Like a Sick Eagle

Ann Street

Slugging a Vampire




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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