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Track(s) taken from CDA67778

I wonder as I wander

Appalachian folk melody, collected by John Jacob Niles
1934; from Songs of the Hill Folk
author of text
possibly an Appalacian carol, collected by John Jacob Niles

Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano)
Recording details: December 2008
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2010
Total duration: 3 minutes 29 seconds

Cover artwork: The Tyger (plate 42 from Songs of Innocence and of Experience, copy AA, P.125-1950.pt42) (c1815/26) by William Blake (1757-1827)
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge / Bridgeman Art Library, London

Other recordings available for download

Andrew Swait (treble), Andrew Plant (piano)


'Finley as ever acquits himself as a fine singer, a conscientious artist and a thoroughly reliable musician … Julius Drake is the superb pianist' (Gramophone)

'Fischer-Dieskau's recording from 1965 carries massive authority, but this new recording tops it … everythng [Finley] sings has a feeling of emotional truth, without any artfulness. That's a great asset in these songs … Finley makes Blake's aphorisms ring out with the force of an Old Testament prophet' (The Daily Telegraph)

'If you want to know, or simply need reminding, why Gerald Finley is up there in the Premier League of baritone recitalists then strike out for the final five songs on this magnificent new recording … [Songs and Proverbs of William Blake] originally written for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Finley proves himself the equal of his noble predecessor, both in expressivity and emotional weight. How good it is to have this difficult music available in such a fine modern performance … it is a mark of the quality of these two fine artists that everything on this new release should sound newly minted' (International Record Review)

'Gerald Finley sings them all with such an unwaveringly beautiful tone and attention to every syllable, and pianist Julian Drake is so wonderfully attuned to the baritone's inflections … Finley comes into his own in the final Every Night and Every Morn, and Drake's handling of the powerfully wrought accompaniments is superb. Those who have followed them through their series of 20th-century songs for Hyperion (Barber, Ives, Ravel previously) won't be disappointed with this one either' (The Guardian)

'The Canadian baritone has already impressed with his outstanding diction in three albums of North American song for Hyperion. Now he turns to the repertoire that Britten wrote for two of his favourite baritones: Songs and Proverbs of William Blake (Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau) and Tit for Tat (John Shirley-Quirk) … Tit for Tat displays the young composer's prodigious melodic gift and his savour of words. Finley's noble baritone is a richer-coloured instrument than Shirley-Quirk's … in the Blake settings, Finley naturally sounds more at home with the English texts than Fischer-Dieskau ever did … Finley's watchwords are directness and clarity, both of which come across to splendid effect in the folk-song arrangements … Drake is his admirable partner in this outstanding enterprise' (The Sunday Times)

'This marvellous CD showcases the songs Britten wrote for the baritones Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, John Shirley-Quirk and Benjamin Luxon—music that Finley, at the peak of his very considerable powers, makes his own with the pianist Julius Drake … Finley lends it [Songs and Proverbs of William Blake] the very beauty and intelligence and ecstatic vocalism it needs, without the mannerisms of Fischer-Dieskau' (Financial Times)
‘I wonder as I wander’ was frequently performed alongside Britten’s folksong arrangements in his recitals with Pears following their return to the UK in 1942, but they never recorded or published it since they subsequently discovered that the words and melody were not in the public domain: the song had been published by John Jacob Niles in 1934, and in direct consequence Britten’s version did not receive its first recording until 1995, thanks to a belated special arrangement between Niles’s publishers and the Britten Estate.

from notes by Mervyn Cooke © 2010

Souvent joué aux côtés des arrangements de chants traditionnels lors des récitals que Pears et Britten donnèrent une fois rentrés au Royaume-Uni, en 1942, «I wonder as I wander» ne fut jamais enregistré ni publié, les deux hommes ayant découvert, après coup, que ni ses paroles, ni sa musique n’étaient dans le domaine public—ce chant avait été publié par John Jacob Niles en 1934. Aussi la version brittenienne ne fut-elle enregistrée qu’en 1995, grâce à un arrangement tardif entre les éditeurs de Niles et le Britten Estate.

extrait des notes rédigées par Mervyn Cooke © 2010
Français: Hypérion

„I wonder as I wander“ wurde von Pears und Britten nach ihrer Rückkehr nach England im Jahr 1942 häufig zusammen mit Brittens Volksliedarrangements aufgeführt, jedoch niemals eingespielt oder veröffentlicht, da sie mittlerweile festgestellt hatten, dass Text und Melodie von John Jacob Niles 1934 veröffentlicht worden und somit urheberrechtlich geschützt waren. Demzufolge erschien die Einspielung von Brittens Fassung erst 1995 dank einer verspäteten Übereinkunft zwischen dem Verlag von Niles und Brittens Nachlassverwaltern, dem Britten Estate.

aus dem Begleittext von Mervyn Cooke © 2010
Deutsch: Henning Weber

Other albums featuring this work

Songs of Innocence
SIGCD128Download only
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