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Gerald Finley & Julius Drake
Gerald Finley writes: “It is with great sense of pride that this disc becomes the 25th release of the Wigmore Live series, in a musical partnership I have enjoyed for many years with Julius Drake. Performing at the Wigmore is always a highlight of any career. The others in the series are distinguished performers I have admired for years and the performances are wonderful. The audiences at the Wigmore are always welcoming and knowledgeable, and this atmosphere is captured perfectly. Already a fine catalogue, I hope the Wigmore Live series continues its honour roll”
Critically praised for his performances both on stage and in concert, this recital of American and Russian song by Gerald Finley offers listeners the rare opportunity to hear one of today’s most in-demand baritones within the beautiful, intimate setting of the Wigmore Hall.
After a recital at Carnegie Hall in March, 2007, Finley was praised by New York Times critic Bernard Holland as having a "bass-baritone of easy luxury" and that his "sensibilities begin with the pre-eminence of words."
His recording of Stanford's Songs of the Sea and Songs of the Fleet with Richard Hickox and the BBC NOW for Chandos received the Editor's Choice Award at the 2006 Classic FM Gramophone Awards.
Press acclaim for Gerald Finley & Julius Drake at Wigmore Hall
“Gerald Finley is one of the few baritones before the public today with whom it's virtually impossible to find fault” Music OMH
“No other baritone can touch him for declamatory expressiveness” The Independent
“Finley and Drake paced them all tactfully, precisely mediating between relaxed storytelling and rapt introspection. Here was very fine singing of truly great songs” The Guardian
“For my money this inspired pianist is now the best in the business” New York Magazine
“…a really superb recital by this accomplished Canadian bass-baritone and his celebrated accompanist, Julius Drake. In recent years Gerald Finley's voice has developed more character and cutting power, and a fine dramatic edge which suits this emphatic, sometimes shocking programme very well indeed.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2008 *****
“Gerald Finley can do no wrong at present, and this Wigmore Hall Live offering makes a cherishable keepsake of what was evidently a memorable event. …Finley lavishes wonderfully rounded treatment upon the sequence of seven Tchaikovsky songs… Not only do his top notes ring out with thrilling projection... he exhibits grace, sensitivity and intelligence that ensure that the music never topples into rampant self-pity.” Gramophone Magazine, February 2009
“Aided by scrupulous support from Julius Drake, Gerald Finley lavishes wonderfully rounded treatment upon the sequence of seven Tchaikovsky songs that open proceedings. Be it in the ardent swagger of 'Don Juan's Serenade', wistful glow of 'At the ball' or meltingly lovely 'The mild stars shone for us', Finley is not found wanting. Not only do his top notes ring out with thrilling projection (yet without a hint of hardness), he exhibits a grace, sensitivity and intelligence that ensure that the music never topples into rampant self-pity.
There's a comparable authority and integrity about these artists' interpretation of Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death. Finley is in complete command of his very considerable resources, distilling every ounce of pathos from the mother's desperate pleadings in the opening 'Lullaby' and conveying in full the grim implacability of 'The Field-Marshal' . Ned Rorem's similarly declamatory War Scenes is also performed with total understanding, while the last of the three encores, Wolseley Charles's wickedly amusing TheGreen-Eyed Dragon (written in 1926 for Stanley Holloway), predictably brings the house down.
A genuine treat, this, and not to be missed.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010
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The Cello’s Russian Voice
Ja pomnu chudnoe mgnovenie (Oh, I recall that lovely moment)
Within my blood burns a flame of desire
Do not Tempt me
In the silence of the secret night, Op. 4 No. 3
Sing not, O lovely one (Ne poi, krasavitsa, pri mne), Op. 4 No. 4
Night is sorrowful, Op. 26 No.12
To my sorrow I have grown to love
Lilacs, Op. 21 No. 5
Spring torrents, Op. 14 No.11
Sred' shumnogo bala (Amid the din of the ball), Op. 38 No. 3
Only one who knows longing
O ditya, pod okoshkom tvoim (Serenade), Op. 63 No. 6
Strashnaya minuta (The Fearful Moment), Op. 28 No. 6
To bilo ranneyu vesnoy (It happened in the early spring), Op. 38 No. 2
Den' li tsarit? (Does the day reign?), Op. 47 No. 6
Otchevo? (Why?), Op. 6 No. 5
Zabït tak skoro (So soon forgotten)
Solitude ('Again, as before, alone'), Op. 73 No. 6
Dmitri Ferschtman (cello) & Mila Baslawskaja (piano)
Beautifully packaged as a book with a CD, it features the music of Russian songs, arranged for cello and piano. The poems by Pushkin, Tiutchev, Tolstoy and others inspired the great 19th century composers to create the beautiful songs which are firmly embedded in the collective psyche of every Russian.
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Sol Gabetta - Cantabile
Hot on the heels of her recent Shostakovich release, Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta exploits her incredibly warn, rich tone in this programme of attractive arrangements of popular classical works.
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.