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Ives - Romanzo di Central Park
“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
BBC Music Magazine
Choral & Song Choice - March 2008
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Ives - Songs Volume 5
Janna Baty, Lielle Berman, Patrick Carfizzi, Jennifer Casey Cabot, Michael Cavalieri, Robert Gardner, Ian Howell, Sara Jakubiak, Sumi Kittelberger, Ryan MacPherson, Tamara Mumford, Mary Phillips, David Pittsinger, Matthew Plenk, Kenneth Tarver, Leah Wool, Enrico Sartori, Douglas Dickson, Laura Garritson, J.J. Penna & Eric Trudel
Charles Ives wrote almost two hundred songs. Although his reputation rests on orchestral, chamber and piano music, it is Ives's songs that represent the heart of his creative thinking.
The expressive variety encountered is accordingly vast: indeed, the gradual evolution of Ives’s songwriting is analogous to the wider evolution of American music during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
This new edition includes all the songs that Ives completed. The alphabetic approach ensures that each volume (of which this disc is the fourth of six) contains a representative cross-section
“These songs, with all their quirks and flights of fantasy, [are] among the most important of the 20th century in any language.” The Guardian
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Songs of Innocence
Sure on this shining night, Op. 13 No. 3
Tell, me lovely shepherd
arr. Elizabeth Poston
Chamber Music V
Little Sir William
Ca’ the yowes
realised by Britten
Silent Worship (based on an aria from Tolomeo)
arr. Maurice Jacobson
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
I wonder as I wander
arr. Benjamin Britten
The Slow Train
arr. Andrew Plant
In the mornin'
spiritual, arr. Ives
Caleno custure me
arr. Andrew Plant
Dirge for Fidele
The bayley berith the bell away
My bed is a boat
Sweet and low
Who is Silvia?
Andrew Swait (treble), James Bowman (counter tenor) & Andrew Plant (piano)
"I was particularly keen to make this CD as I wanted a newer record of my treble voice: it has changed significantly since my previous recordings as a chorister. I also wished to promote items which are not normally associated with the standard treble repertoire. Through my association with Andrew Plant, The Britten-Pears Foundation generously supported the creation of the recording and allowed me the immense privilege of recording unpublished works by Britten, therefore greatly increasing the documental importance of this CD... Mr Bowman's voice had been one of the first I had heard in recordings and live concerts. Later, as a chorister, I was lucky enough to sing with him when he was a soloist in performances of Messiah and the St John Passion.The chance to work with him made the prospect of the disc better than I could have imagined." Andrew Swait
“The voice of experience meets the voice of youth in this album contrasting the voices of Bowman, a countertenor, and Swait, a boy chorister.
Swait's voice is clear, bright and tuned with innate precision, ringing with carefree but studious childhood. Appealingly, he focuses on the mechanics of his singing, maintaining a childish ignorance of the full tragedy of Britten's Little Sir William. Bowman is the uncle, worldly and artistic, duetting with restraint and phrasing with a characteristic elegance and expressivity that Swait duly and sensibly mimics. The pianist Andrew Plant accompanies with sensitivity.” The Times, 12th July 2008 ***
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