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Hyperion Records

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La belle dame sans merci by Sir Frank Dicksee (1853-1928)
© Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67830
Recording details: February 2010
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 7 minutes 44 seconds

'Finley, who has one of those exquisite voices that could make poetry of the telephone directory, vividly characterises the words without recourse to the exaggerated enunciation … Drake uses all the colouristic forces he can command with wit (The Flea), bravura (Erlkönig and Wolf's spellbinding Der Feurreiter) and imagination (Loewe's Die wandelnde Glocke). As these pages have said before, it's a great partnership' (Gramophone)

'A new idea for the anthology disc: here is Gerald Finley, in his vocal prime, as balladeer—telling tales of misadventure and gothic horror … 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' (BBC Music Magazine)

'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 expertly. If I were a reviewer who seems to think that it is mandatory to nominate a CD as outstanding each month I might consider proposing this well-recorded issue' (International Record Review)

'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)

Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen
First line:
Wer ist denn draußen und wer klopfet an
composer
July 1898; subsequently published as No 9 of Des Knaben Wunderhorn (also called Humoresken)
author of text
Unbeschreibliche Freude, from Des Knaben Wunderhorn

Other recordings available for download
Stephan Genz (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano)
Introduction  EnglishDeutsch
In concert, the Wunderhorn songs are often performed by two singers, male and female, and the collection includes a number of dialogues, of which the most famous, Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen, is perhaps the emotional highpoint of the whole set. It has a direct ancestor in Kriegers Ahnung, one of the most compelling songs of Schubert’s Schwanengesang. Offstage military fanfares and drum beats set the scene, in which a girl is visited by her lover, or by his spirit, on the eve of battle. Whether he is already dead, or has a premonition of death next day, is not absolutely clear, but in either case the rapt tenderness of the encounter, and its foreboding, is unmistakeable, contrasting the tight-laced 2/4 of military duty with the lilting, dreamlike 3/4 of the lovers’ embrace.

from notes by Roger Vignoles © 2008


Other albums featuring this work
'Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn' (CDA67645)
Mahler: Des Knaben Wunderhorn

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