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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: 6 minutes 38 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)

Edward, Op 1 No 1
First line:
Dein Schwert, wie ist's von Blut so rot?
composer
1818
author of text
traditional Scottish; Bishop Percy's 1765 collection Reliques of Ancient English Poetry
translator of text

Other recordings available for download
Florian Boesch (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano)
Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The text of 'Edward' is a translation of a grisly Scottish folk ballad from Bishop Percy’s 1765 collection Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Wagner greatly admired Loewe’s setting, in the ‘extreme’ key of E flat minor, and far more powerful than Schubert’s surprisingly plain, muted treatment. Loewe gives each recurring cry of ‘Oh’ a psychologically revealing new twist, and reinforces the two most dramatic moments with a chilling harmonic coup: at Edward’s confession of murder (‘Ich hab’ geschlagen meinen Vater tot’), and at the hysterical final curse, where the turbulent piano conjures up a Wagnerian orchestra.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2011


Other albums featuring this work
'Loewe: Songs & Ballads' (CDA67866)
Loewe: Songs & Ballads
MP3 £3.50FLAC £3.50ALAC £3.50Buy by post £10.50 CDA67866  Download currently discounted

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