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Track(s) taken from CDA67516

Swimmers

First line:
Then the swift plunge into the cool green dark
composer
author of text

Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano)
Recording details: November 2004
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: September 2005
Total duration: 1 minutes 34 seconds
 
1

Other recordings available for download

Sir Thomas Allen (baritone), Roger Vignoles (piano)

Reviews

'Finley is always essentially a singer—his tone and command of the singing line are a pleasure in themselves. But he also has the absolute mastery of the composer's idioms and, with Julius Drake, his fearless and totally committed pianist, the technical, virtuosic skills to realise his intentions with (amid all the quirks) complete conviction of naturalness' (Gramophone)

'I cannot praise Gerald Finley’s performance too highly. It takes a very special artist to bring such unembarrassed fervour to General Booth Enters into Heaven and to encompass all its extraordinary changes of mood. What a contrast with the intimate and poetic setting of his own words in Berceuse and the magical Tom Sails Away. The whole disc is a revelation of beauty and owes much to Julius Drake’s equally perceptive playing of the piano accompaniments' (The Sunday Telegraph)

'… outstanding. Gerald Finley has a voice of great beauty, but it's always under the control of his penetrating intelligence: he risks bending pitches for expressive effect, and he adapts his golden timbre and almost English diction to the childlike tones of The Greatest Man and the cowboy drawl of Charlie Rutlage. Julius Drake is an equally versatile pianist, adept alike in simplicity and complexity … Overall, a disc offering sustained illumination and enjoyment' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This range calls for a voice of great flexibility, which Finley exhibits in singing that at will can be wickedly humorous, touchingly heartfelt or transcendentally awed. Julius Drake is an ever resourceful accompanist, matching Finley's ability to span Ives's breadth from Victorian ballad style to polytonal modernism' (The Daily Telegraph)

'Gerald Finley and his accompanist Julius Drake are fully able to convey the expressive range of these songs … Finley brings an refreshing refinement to many of these songs, and always cleans his boots thoroughly after tramping around in the great Ivesian outdoors' (International Record Review)

'Listening to this disc is like walking into the perfect bookshop; with reams and reams of unusual volumes to leaf through at leisure, and no one to disturb you … Finley's singing is communicative, assured and colourful, Drake's playing neat and proper. Absolutely brilliant' (The Independent on Sunday)

'Gerald Finley's magnificent, burnished baritone is the ideal instrument for the generous selection presented here … The Canadian baritone's superb diction in three languages is an especial pleasure. A triumph' (The Sunday Times)

'Gerald Finley and Julius Drake flourish in Ives's complex, often contradictory, never dull musical world. Listen to Swimmers and the extraordinary General William Booth, and I swear you'll be hooked' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Gerald Finley, Julius Drake, and Hyperion here give us the best-ever male-voice selection from one of the most astonishing volumes in vocal history … We ordinary citizens have the right to hear the whole Ives songbook, from these artists. So don't stop now, Hyperion' (Fanfare, USA)

'the perfect match of singer to song' (Financial Times)

'Brilliantly sung by Canadian baritone Gerald Finley, it has become the gold standard by which all future recordings of these pieces will be measured. Finley meets the daunting vocal and dramatic challenges with total commitment and superb musicianship' (The Scene Musicale, Canada)

'Ives, an insurance man for whom composing was an avocation, deserves wider recognition as one of the art-song greats. It's flawless, arresting performances like Finley's — and his supremely elegant accompanist, pianist Julius Drake — that will help make this happen' (Toronto Star, Canada)

'As the program unfolds, there's always what you're not expecting next—moments of piety or exultation, sarcasm or simple grief. When you're done, you've heard one of the most stimulating and provocative of song recitals, as well as one of the most varied and difficult' (Opera News)

'Gerald Finley's ebony-rich voice and lively imagination gets a workout in this wide-ranging program … Finley is superb throughout, with alert support from Julius Drake' (Time Out)

'Baritone Gerald Finley combines a glorious sound with great dramatic instinct. At the climax of General William Booth Enters Heaven, you feel he's holding nothing back. But his voice has an exquisite lightness too, and the moments of lyrical ecstasy are beautifully handled. With some great accompanying from Julius Drake, it's a disc crammed with colour and variety' (Metro)
The text of Swimmers (1921), from a poem by Louis Untermeyer, appeared in the July 1915 issue of Yale Review. Untermeyer, who had musical training, met Ives in about 1944 and was enthusiastic about his vehement and virtuosic setting: ‘It got immediately from the very first notes of the piano, the surge of the sea, the welling up of the waves and a great sense of movement. He took just part of the poem. All that I tried to do in words he was doing in sound.’

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2005

Extrait d’un poème de Louis Untermeyer, le texte de Swimmers (1921) [«Nageurs»] parut dans la Yale Review de juillet 1915. Untermeyer, qui avait une formation musicale, rencontra Ives vers 1944 et fut enthousiasmé par sa mise en musique véhémente, virtuose, «car tout de suite, dès les premières notes du piano, elle saisit la houle de la mer, le gonflement des vagues et un formidable sens du mouvement. Il [Ives] n’a pris qu’une partie du poème. Tout ce que j’avais essayé de faire en mots, il le faisait en sons.»

extrait des notes rédigées par Calum MacDonald © 2005
Français: Hypérion

Der Text zu Swimmers (1921) [„Schwimmer“] stammt aus einem Gedicht von Louis Untermeyer, das 1915 in der Juli-Ausgabe der Yale Review erschien. Untermeyer, der selbst eine musikalische Ausbildung genossen hatte, traf Ives ungefähr 1944 und war hoch erfreut über dessen lebhafte und virtuose Vertonung, „weil sie gleich von der allerersten Note im Klavier die Brandung des Meeres, das Anschwellen der Wellen und ein starkes Gefühl der Bewegung erzielte. Er vertonte nur einen Teil des Gedichtes. Alles, was ich in Worten auszudrücken versuchte, gelang ihm, in Klängen darzustellen“.

aus dem Begleittext von Calum MacDonald © 2005
Deutsch: Elke Hockings

Other albums featuring this work

The Sea
CDA66165Archive Service
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