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Track(s) taken from CDA67728

Deux Épigrammes de Clément Marot

No 1: 1899; No 2: 1896
author of text

Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano)
Recording details: July 2008
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2009
Total duration: 4 minutes 34 seconds

Cover artwork: The Talisman, or The Swallow-hole in the Bois d'Amour, Pont-Aven (1888) by Paul Serusier (1864-1927)
Musée d'Orsay, Paris / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Ravel's sense of colour and atmosphere is infallible … Finley's mellifluous, malleable baritone is an ideal match for this repertoire, with lines eloquently floated, nuances subtly voiced and character sensitively defined. This is a beguiling programme, beautifully performed' (Gramophone)

'It feels inadequate just to describe this enchanting new collection from Gerald Finley and Julius Drake as the best modern recital devoted to the wonderfully varied world of Ravel's songs … Julius Drake's warm-toned playing is, as ever, a perfect foil, all captured in Hyperion's wonderful sound. Riches indeed' (BBC Music Magazine)

'These are for the most part works of cool restraint, with passion hidden beneath a jewelled surface, and Finley's wonderfully flexible voice achieves maximum effect with minimal means … Drake's playing is a marvel of delicacy and almost gamelan-like sonorities' (The Daily Telegraph)

'It's a beautiful disc that startles in ways you don't always expect … the poetic restraint of Finley's singing and Drake's playing are spellbinding. The settings of Marot and Ronsard are ravishingly done, and the mixture of irony and sadness they bring to Histoires naturelles is exceptional' (The Guardian)

'These are songs that deserve to be better known … there are wonderful settings of prose poems by Jules Renard in which the peacock parades, a swan glides across glittering water and a kingfisher perches on a fisherman's rod. Drake relishes Ravel's iridescent piano parts, shifting imperceptibly from picture-painting to psychological comment … [Don Quichotte] magnificently performed by Finley and Drake, these grand mélodies … are a compelling miniature drama in three acts … Finley matches Drake song for song, the naïve knight, the ardent lover and, in 'Chanson épique', a grave and gravelly voice for this most principled of heroes … every track on this fine CD is proof that Ravel … was a composer who rose to a given musical occasion with consummate artistry, conviction and originality' (International Record Review)

'Gerald Finley seems to have found his métier here, singing with an enlightened sense of vocal agility and also fidelity to the textual nuances of Ravel's music. This is one of the best Ravel recitals I have heard in a long time (and they don't come often) so if this composer and his songs have any meaning for you at all, grab this disc quick. Julius Drake adds his normally sensitive partnership in music that is truly written for two' (Audiophile Audition, USA)

'Gerald Finley dares to tackle and all-Ravel program, and it only takes a few selections to recognize his mastery … the Key here is the Canadian's entirely natural approach, free of affectation or overinterpretation and supported by a voice of consistent beauty, warmth and flexibility … what emerges is not just a great display of vocal artistry, style, diction and characterization' (Opera News)
The two Marot settings of 1896 and 1899 testify to Ravel's love of the eighteenth century and its embrace of civilized order. In fact, though, in D’Anne jouant de l’espinette he subverts the order of the eight iambic pentameters with phrasing in 5/4 time, and in the later companion piece goes further, including some in 7/4. In the joint edition, he transposed the order of the two songs so that the first begins and ends in G sharp minor, while the second begins in C sharp minor but modulates back to G sharp minor, producing a more satisfactory tonal shape.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2009

Les deux œuvres qu’il a écrites en 1896 et 1899 sur des poèmes de Clément Marot témoignent de son amour du XVIIIe siècle et de son attachement à l’ordre civilisé. Toutefois, dans D’Anne jouant de l’espinette, il déstabilise l’ordre des huit pentamètres iambiques avec un phrasé à 5/4, et dans la pièce ultérieure qui en est le pendant, il va encore plus loin avec certains éléments à 7/4. Dans l’édition commune, il a modifié l’ordre des deux mélodies: la première commence et s’achève ainsi en sol dièse mineur, la seconde commence en ut dièse mineur mais module pour revenir à sol dièse mineur, ce qui donne une forme tonale plus satisfaisante.

extrait des notes rédigées par Roger Nichols © 2009
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

In völligem Gegensatz dazu stehen seine zwei Marot-Vertonungen von 1896 und 1899, die seine Liebe zum 18. Jahrhundert und dessen Begrüßen zivilisierter Ordnung ausdrücken. In D’Anne jouant de l’espinette jedoch untergräbt er die Ordnung der acht jambischen Pentameter, indem er einen 5/4-Takt vorgibt, und in dem späteren Stück geht er sogar noch weiter und fügt zuweilen auch einen 7/4-Rhythmus ein. In der Druckausgabe der beiden Werke transponierte er die Lieder derartig, dass das erste in gis-Moll beginnt und endet und das zweite in cis-Moll beginnt, dann jedoch nach gis-Moll zurückmoduliert und damit ein befriedigenderes tonales Gerüst erzeugt.

aus dem Begleittext von Roger Nichols © 2009
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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