Kelli Uustani (soprano) & Pirjo Levandi (soprano)
Bel Etage Orchestra, Mart Sander
Finck is one of many musicians whose style has become (according to the orthodox fashion) out of date, and whose name, once known by every household, has been almost forgotten. Finck’s compositions included about thirty stage shows, two of which are represented on this new CD - the ballet My Lady Dragonfly and the operetta Decameron Nights, a superbly written piece which has not been played since 1923.
Finck continued to enjoy success throughout the 1930s, while light music as a genre was still at the height of popularity. His autobiography,entitled My Melodious Memories, was published by Hutchinson in 1937 and is a witty and entertaining résumé of a different world of entertainment from that we know today. However, a new generation is now beginning once again to appreciate the gentle joy of British light music and to rediscover composers such as Finck, Albert Ketelbey, Hubert Bath, Lionel Monckton and others.
The music is performed by Bel Etage from Tallinn, Estonia, a company which specialises in Edwardian English operetta, under its conductor and lead baritone Mart Sander and featuring female vocalists Pirjo Levandi and Kelli Uustani.
The Bel-Etage company took over an old music hall at the heart of Tallinn, Estonia, in 2000; since then it has produced and recorded many Victorian and Edwardian shows, musical revues and comic operas. The company is well known for championing British music, especially Gilbert and Sullivan, whose work was previously not well known to Estonian audiences. Bel-Etage also supports a ballet troupe and two successful orchestras and is in constant demand at home and abroad.
“Spirited Estonian performers, charming British theatre music: a delightful mix. Selections from Decameron Nights show Hermann Finck at his best.” BBC Music Magazine, May 2012 ***