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Track(s) taken from CDA67644

At the River

First line:
Shall we gather at the river
1916; based on Robert Lowry's hymn tune (also used in Copland's Old American Songs); also used in Ives's Violin Sonata No 4
author of text
Shall we gather at the river (to the tune Beautiful River), from Happy Voices, 1865, verse 1 and chorus

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 29 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)
At the River is dated 1916; the text and basic tune come from the revivalist hymn by Robert Lowry, now famous from the setting in Aaron Copland’s Old American Songs. Ives arranged this song from the second movement of his Violin Sonata No 4; there may have been an earlier version for cornet and violins. Note the very free accentuation of the words, which causes the song to end with an ‘unanswered question’ of its own.

from notes by Calum MacDonald © 2008

At the River est datée de 1916; le texte et l’air de base proviennent de l’hymne revivaliste de Robert Lowry, aujourd’hui connue par la version qu’en donna Aaron Copland dans ses Old American Songs. Ives arrangea cette mélodie à partir du deuxième mouvement de sa Sonate pour violon no 4; peut-être en exista-t-il une version antérieure pour cornet à pistons et violons. Notez la très libre accentuation des mots, qui fait s’achever la mélodie sur une «question sans réponse».

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

At the River ist mit 1916 datiert; Text und Grundmelodie stammen aus der Hymne des Erweckungspredigers Robert Lowry, die heute durch die Vertonung in Aaron Coplands Old American Songs berühmt ist. Ives bearbeitete dieses Lied aus dem zweiten Satz seiner Violinsonate Nr. 4, und es könnte auch eine frühere Fassung für Kornett und Violinen gegeben haben. Man beachte die ganz freie Akzentuierung der Worte, durch die das Lied mit seiner eigenen „Unanswered Question“ schließt.

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

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