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Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 4 - Sasha Cooke

Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 4 - Sasha Cooke


Liszt:

Des Tages Laute Stimmen Schweigen

Lasst mich ruhen

Was Liebe sei? (First version), S288/1

Verlassen, S336

Einst (Bodenstedt)

Ich scheide, S. 319

Was Liebe sei? (Second version), S288/2

Die Lorelei (Second version), S532

Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen aß (2nd version), S297/2

Was Liebe sei? (Third version), S288/3

Mignons Lied (Second Version), S275/2

Sei still, S330

Wieder mocht’ ich dir begegnen

Blume und Duft

Die tote Nachtigall (2nd version), S291/2

Il m'aimait tant, S533

Gebet, S265


Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano), Julius Drake (piano)

This fourth volume in our scholarly compendium once more charts Liszt’s life through song (including three settings spanning as many decades of a portentous love-letter the composer received in 1841). Series maestro Julius Drake welcomes the gorgeous Sasha Cooke to Hyperion.

“The later songs, echoing the stripped back idiom of Liszt’s late piano works, hover in territory between melody and recitative, their often hushed vocal lines barely supported by the sparest of accompaniments. Cooke is very much alive to their introversion and sadness. The way she encompasses small gradations in volume over a relatively narrow dynamic range impresses, while Drake makes every chord and phrase shiver with meaning” Gramophone Magazine, May 2016

“[Sasha Cooke’s] even, expressive voice is equal to all technical demands and rises to tremendous intensity for ‘Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen ass’ while offering a deeply considered account of ‘Sei still’” BBC Music Magazine, June 2016 *****

“An obligatory buy for every song enthusiast” MusicWeb International, June 2016

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Hyperion Liszt Complete Songs - CDA68117

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Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 3 - Gerald Finley

Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 3 - Gerald Finley


Liszt:

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

Gastibelza

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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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

Finalist

GGramophone Awards 2014

Finalist - Solo Vocal

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - April 2014

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Hyperion - CDA68034

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Schumann: Liederkreis

Schumann: Liederkreis


Schumann:

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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Hyperion - CDA67944

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Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 2 - Angelika Kirchschlager

Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 2 - Angelika Kirchschlager


Liszt:

Der du von dem Himmel bist (Goethe), S279

First version

Ihr Glocken von Marling, S.328

Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, S309

First setting, first version

Vergiftet sind meine Lieder, S.289

Third version

Freudvoll und leidvoll, S.280

First setting, second version

Die drei Zigeuner, S.320

First version

Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh (Wandrers Nachtlied II), S.306

Third version

Es war einmal ein König, S73

Second version

Das Veilchen, S316 No. 1

Die Schlüsselblumen, S316 No. 2

Und sprich 'Sich auf dem Meer'

Ihr Auge (Rellstab)

Second version

Im Rhein, im schönen Strome, S272

Second version

Es muss ein Wunderbares sein, S. 314

La perla, S326

Second version

Der du von dem Himmel bist (Goethe), S279

Third version


Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo-soprano) & Julius Drake (piano)

This second volume of Hyperion’s newest Lieder series features the great dramatic and musical gifts of mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager. Internationally renowned on the opera stage, the concert hall and the recording studio, Kirchschlager is an ideal performer of these most varied, complex and emotionally charged songs. She is accompanied by the multi-Gramophone Award-winning Julius Drake, who curates the series.

The songs recorded here encompass thirty years of Liszt’s life, with texts in German, French and Italian, and contain many examples of the hidden beauties of this undervalued and little-known strand of the composer’s works.

Detailed and informative notes by Susan Youens and a beautifully intimate recorded sound complete a volume which will be indispensable to any lovers of Lieder.

“one of the most important recording projects of recent years...Kirchschlager is exquisite and intensely dramatic by turns, though occasionally she could do with more weight in her lower registers. Drake is outstanding throughout.” The Guardian, 12th July 2012 ****

“Kirchschlager's rich, resonant mezzo finds beauties everywhere on this disc, from heights of drama to imtimacies of reflection, and at every turn Drake is with her. I particularly like the way they take their time in the more meditative songs, with expressive silences.” BBC Music Magazine, August 2012 *****

“Several of the songs on the disc are in effect dramatic scenas. Finding a wide palette of colours within her naturally warm mezzo, Kirchschlager is in her element...this recital should open many ears to the richness and variety of his songs.” Gramophone Magazine, September 2012

“The quality of this CD is stunning from every point of view...[Kirchschlager] has the ability to make the hairs on the nape of my neck rise...Drake makes a sensitive accompanist who is perfectly at home with both the exuberant and complex piano parts as well as the more thoughtful.” MusicWeb International, August 2012

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2013

Vocal Award Winner

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Hyperion Liszt Complete Songs - CDA67934

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The Ballad Singer

The Ballad Singer


anon.:

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

traditional, arr. Cyril Scott

Beethoven:

Mephistos Flohlied, Op. 75, 3

Brahms:

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

Emanuel:

Alone in the desert, alone, I'm alone

Loewe, C:

Edward, Op. 1 No. 1 (Herder)

Die wandelnde Glocke, Op. 20 No. 3

Mahler:

Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)

Porter, C:

The Tale of the Oyster

Schubert:

Erlkönig, D328

Schumann:

Die Löwenbraut, Op. 31 No. 1

Der Schatzgräber, Op. 45 No. 1

Stanford:

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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Hyperion - CDA67830

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Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 1 - Matthew Polenzani

Liszt: The Complete Songs Volume 1 - Matthew Polenzani


Liszt:

Kling Leise, mein Lied, S301

first version

In Liebeslust, S318

Wie singt die Lerche schon. S. 312

second version

Die stille Wasserrose, S321

Drei Lieder aus Schillers Wilhelm Tell, S292

first version

Der Glückliche, S.334

Angiolin dal biondo crin, S269

third version

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

first version

Bist du!, S277

second version

Es rauschen die Winde, S294

first version

Schwebe, schwebe, blaues Auge, S. 305

second version

Im Rhein, im schönen Strome, S272

first version ossia


The start of another Hyperion Lieder series is always cause for celebration. In advance of his bicentenary in 2011, we turn to a composer whose songs, against the vast bulk of his compositions in larger genres, were considered insignificant for well over a century.

A collaborator with some of Europe’s best singers, such as the great French tenor Adolphe Nourrit and the husband–wife duo of Feodor and Rosa von Milde (the first Elsa and Telramund in Wagner’s Lohengrin), Liszt used song as a compositional laboratory in which to experiment with ‘Zukunftsmusik’, or ‘music of the future’, including some of his most finely wrought works. A cosmopolitan artist who traveled prodigiously during his years as a virtuoso performer from 1838 to 1847, he chose song texts written both by denizens of Mount Olympus (Goethe, Schiller, Heine, Hugo, Tennyson, Tolstoy, Petrarch) and amateurs, the latter often aristocrats from Liszt’s glittering social circles. From their words he created songs that changed the very definition of the genre, that are a bridge to such later masters as Hugo Wolf, Sergei Rachmaninov and Richard Strauss.

This first volume in the series features the American tenor Matthew Polenzani who has been astounding Met opera audiences in recent years with his expressive and ardent performances. He is accompanied by the curator of the series and Hyperion regular, Julius Drake.

“The challenges are more than met here, with Polenzani doing things in songs such as Der Fischerknabe or Pace Non Trovo that you never thought were possible for a human voice, while Drake's intensity is total and unswerving.” The Guardian, 11th November 2010 *****

“Polenzani is evidently a tenor of the finest quality: a lyric voice, sweet and ingratiating, with the capacity to ring out excitingly, gloriously easy on high but with a perfectly adequate body to the tone in its middle and lower registers...He sings with warmth, intelligence and conviction...And the songs themselves give amazingly consistent satisfaction.” Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

“The start of a major cycle of Liszt's "orphaned" songs – the composer's own description of a neglected but substantial part of his output, full of characteristic rhapsody and poetry.” The Observer, 19th December 2010

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Hyperion Liszt Complete Songs - CDA67782

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Kodály - Cello Sonata

Kodály - Cello Sonata

& other works


Kodály:

Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8

Sonatina for Cello and Piano

1922 edited by Lev Ginzburg

Epigrammák

Romance lyrique

Adagio for viola (or cello or violin) & piano

1905, revised 1910


Natalie Clein (cello) & Julius Drake (piano)

The wonderful young cellist Natalie Clein has been a familiar name since winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 1994. Since then, she has pursued a distinguished career performing with the most celebrated orchestras and conductors around the world. She has also made a number of recordings—generally concentrating on the most popular cello repertoire. For her Hyperion debut she turns to a composer who is extremely close to her heart, the great Hungarian national composer Zoltán Kodály, who by his discovery and creative use of his folk-music heritage forged the standard by which twentieth-century Hungarian music should be judged.

Kodály made a decision to concentrate on instrumental and chamber music in his composing career, and he seemed to achieve more powerful results the fewer instruments he dealt with. He displayed elegant formal grasp and structural sophistication in his two string quartets and sheer passion and epic sweep in the violin-cello Duo (1914). But above all towers the amazing, ardent, pugnacious Sonata for Solo Cello (1915), the greatest utterance in this most demanding of genres since J S Bach’s solo cello suites. Calum MacDonald writes that ‘Had he written nothing else apart from this magnificent sonata, Kodály would still deserve to be accounted one of the greatest musical geniuses that Hungary has ever produced’. Natalie Clein’s performance of this highly emotional monologue is a passionate, coruscating tour-de-force.

Also included are a delightful selection of Kodály’s other works for cello; performed here with Hyperion regular and Natalie’s frequent duo partner, Julius Drake.

“[The solo sonata is] extremely impressive, both in the impassioned rhapsodies of the first two movements, and in the array of folk tunes that are paraded in the ferociously challenging finale.” The Guardian, 27th May 2010 ****

“Magically deft, soaringly passionate, without any trace of self-indulgence, Clein conjures a full orchestra of colours and textures from her precious Guadagnini cello...Julius Drake’s piano accompaniments are expectedly delicate and caring. Hyperion’s warm recording is another joy.” The Times, 12th May 2010 ****

“...the compelling reason for acquiring this disc...is Clein's magnificent account of the Solo Sonata, Op. 8...Clein's depth of tone makes an immediate impact on this well-engineered recording...A must-have disc.” BBC Music Magazine, July 2010 *****

“Kodály’s Sonata for Solo Cello represents one of those daunting summits that cellists feel ineluctably drawn to conquer, and Natalie Clein does so here with terrific passion, piquancy and technical accomplishment...Altogether, an imaginatively planned disc, and one played compellingly.” The Telegraph, 25th June 2010 *****

“[Clein] produces an astonishing range of colours and evokes the widest variety of expressive styles. I find it admirable, too, how she's able, in the recording studio, to maintain so much of the excitement and directness of live performance...Julius Drake's expressive playing is a fine match for Clein's outgoing manner.” Gramophone Magazine, August 2010

“Her greatest achievement is the 1915 Sonata...Pianist Julius Drake shades the introduction to the 1922 Sonatina exquisitely. A bold recital in which Clein embraces a darker, wilder sound.” The Independent, 11th July 2010

GGramophone Magazine

Editor's Choice - August 2010

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Hyperion - CDA67829

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Schumann - Dichterliebe & other Heine settings

Schumann - Dichterliebe & other Heine settings


Schumann:

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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Hyperion - CDA67676

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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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