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Track(s) taken from CDA67644

Songs my mother taught me

author of text
Kdyz mne stará matka zpívat ucívala
translator of text
as used in Dvorák's Gypsy Melodies, Op 55 No 4; adapted

Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano)
Recording details: February 2007
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: February 2008
Total duration: 2 minutes 25 seconds

Cover artwork: Early Spring Afternoon, Central Park (1911) by Willard Leroy Metcalf (1858-1925)
Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Outstandingly well sung and played, equally well recorded, and highly recommendable to all lovers of fine songs and fine singing' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This is a highly successful follow-up to Gerald Finley and Julius Drake's first Ives recital from 2005. Here there is the same sort of mix, from familiar songs such as The Circus Band and Watchman! to an early requiem for the family cat and the intriguing title song, Romanzo, di Central Park, with its obbligato violin part atmospherically played by Magnus Johnston. Finley is his usual charismatic self, at home as much in the hymnody as the parody, and he is careful not to over-sentimentalise the more homely numbers while injecting pathos into the war songs. Drake projects Ives's often complex accompaniments with clarity and style' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The programme has been selected and sequenced with care … the booklet includes not just texts but also comments by Calum MacDonald about every single song. Hyperion always gets these things right; even the cover art is a bull's-eye. Finley and Drake give no cause for complaint either … the engineers have done their work well. Finley and Drake are perfectly balanced and they perofrm in an environment of intimate warmth' (International Record Review)

'Finley is a wonderfully assured interpreter … perfectly registering their switchback changes of mood and presenting their occasional lapses into sentimentality with total conviction. More than any other performers on disc, Finley and Drake establish these songs, with all their quirks and flights of fantasy, among the most important of the 20th century in any language' (The Guardian)

'Gerald Finley has everything and more in his darkly full-bodied voice to match the often formidable technical and expressive requirements of Ives's songbook—reinforced by Drake's elastic, expressive piano … this is a must-buy album' (The Times)

'The variety of songs recorded here is extraordinary … Gerald Finley's warm baritone sits right inside Ives's soundworld, while Drake refuses to be fazed by the idealistic piano writing' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Listening to a collection such as this reveals genuine delights of phrase and harmony. These are, by and large, not songs for 'showy' singers, yet several of the numbers more citational of popular song do demand some verbal panache, which the Canadian bass-baritone can certainly supply, along with fine-honed dynamic control and a warm, solidly delineated tone … Drake, very sensitive as to tempo and mood, proves willing to haul out the trombones when needed' (Opera News)

'It's the best kind of fun. The astonishing range Ives exhibits in the 30 songs on the disc—some comic, others serious—is astonishing. Finley, in even better voice than on the Barber CD, and Drake, relishing Ives' complexities, dig deep into them all' (Bay Area Reporter, USA)

'Gerald Finley's second disc of Ives songs is every bit as wonderful as the first. Finley is the perfect song recitalist … he can sound dreamy, tender, raucous, heroic, and serene, all without ever disfiguring his timbre or letting the pitch waver. Julius Drake offers accompaniments that are as perfect and knowing as the singing, and the engineering couldn't be better … this is magnificent—vocal recitals don't come any better' (Classics Today)
Songs my mother taught me was written in 1895: the text is a translation by Natalie Macfarren of the Czech poem by Adolf Heyduk that had already been set (rather famously) by Dvorák. Around 1903 Ives made a chamber-ensemble version of this song under the title An Old Song Deranged—in his ‘psychological biography’ of the composer Stuart Feder takes this to imply that Ives’s mother Mollie could have suffered from dementia, but there is no hard evidence: the title may have been a passing word-play.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2008

Songs my mother taught me («Les chants que ma mère m’apprit», 1895) a pour texte une traduction, établie par Natalie Macfarren, d’un poème tchèque d’Adolf Heyduk déjà mis en musique (assez fameusement) par Dvorák. Vers 1903, Ives en fit une version pour ensemble de chambre intitulée An Old Song Deranged («Un vieux chant dérangé»)—un titre dont Stuart Feder se sert, dans sa «biographie psychologique» du compositeur, pour sous-entendre que la mère de ce dernier, Mollie, souffrait de démence. Mais aucune preuve tangible n’existe et peut-être ce titre ne fut-il qu’un jeu de mots.

extrait des notes rédigées par Calum MacDonald © 2008
Français: Hypérion

Songs my mother taught me wurde 1895 geschrieben; der Text ist eine Übersetzung von Natalie Macfarren des tschechischen Gedichtes von Adolf Heyduk (Deutsch: Als die alte Mutter), von dem Dvorák bereits eine (berühmte) Vertonung gemacht hatte. Um 1903 richtete Ives unter dem Titel An Old Song Deranged eine Version dieses Liedes für Kammermusikensemble ein—in seiner „psychologischen Biographie“ des Komponisten versteht Stuart Feder das als Andeutung, dass Ives’ Mutter Mollie unter Demenz gelitten haben könnte, aber dafür gibt es keine festen Belege—der Titel könnte einfach ein Wortspiel [arrangiert/derangiert] sein.

aus dem Begleittext von Calum MacDonald © 2008
Deutsch: Renate Wendel

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