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Track(s) taken from CDA67516

The New River

First line:
Down the river comes a noise!
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 0 seconds
 
1

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 New River (1921) paints a dissonant waterscape polluted by the din of modern man. Ives wrote this first in 1906 as a wordless ‘ensemble song’ with the title The Ruined River, then – after a visit in 1911 to one of his favourite rivers, which prompted the angry scrawl ‘Gas machine kills Housatonic!’ – into a piece for chorus and chamber orchestra, and finally into a song.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2005

The New River (1921) [«La nouvelle rivière»] peint une marine dissonante, polluée par le tumulte de l’homme moderne. Tout commença en 1906 avec une «mélodie pour ensemble» sans paroles intitulée The Ruined River [«La rivière abîmée»], que Ives transforma – après être allé voir l’une de ses rivières préférées, en 1911, ce qui le poussa à ce griffonnage rageur: «L’engin à essence tue l’Housatonic!» – en une pièce pour chœur et orchestre de chambre puis, enfin, en une mélodie.

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

The New River (1921) [„Der neue Fluss“] bildet eine dissonante Wasserlandschaft musikalisch ab, die vom Lärm des modernen Menschen verschmutzt ist. Ives komponierte dieses Stück 1906. Zuerst war es ein wortloses „Lied für Instrumentalensemble“ mit dem Titel The Ruined River [„Der zerstörte Fluss“]. Aber nach einem Besuch eines seiner Lieblingsflüsse 1911, der zum empörten Ausruf „Gasmaschine tötet den Housatonic-Fluss!“ veranlasste, arbeitete Ives das Instrumentalstück in ein Werk für Chor und Kammerorchester entstand daraus schließlich die Fassung für Gesangstimme und Klavier.

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