“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