Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.

Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.

Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67830

The Desert

First line:
Alone in the desert, alone, I'm alone
circa 1860
author of text

Gerald Finley (baritone), Julius Drake (piano)
Recording details: February 2010
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Mark Brown
Engineered by Julian Millard
Release date: June 2011
Total duration: 6 minutes 55 seconds

Cover artwork: La belle dame sans merci by Sir Frank Dicksee (1853-1928)
© Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery / Bridgeman Art Library, London


‘Finley, who has one of those exquisite voices that could make poetry of the telephone directory, vividly characterises the words without recourse to the exaggerated enunciation … Drake uses all the colouristic forces he can command with wit (The Flea), bravura (Erlkönig and Wolf's spellbinding Der Feurreiter) and imagination (Loewe's Die wandelnde Glocke). As these pages have said before, it's a great partnership’ (Gramophone)

‘A new idea for the anthology disc: here is Gerald Finley, in his vocal prime, as balladeer—telling tales of misadventure and gothic horror … Finley is a fine tale-teller. In Loewe, he sounds as though he's singing just for you, the listener, so rapt and intense is his communication’ (BBC Music Magazine)

‘Drake's playing has successfully suited the varied repertoire. Finley has enthralled with his interpretations and delighted with his singing purely as singing, combining the two expertly. If I were a reviewer who seems to think that it is mandatory to nominate a CD as outstanding each month I might consider proposing this well-recorded issue’ (International Record Review)

‘Listen to these wonderfully melodramatic, mostly Victorian ballads by candlelight in a haunted house … performances full of raging fortissimos and ghoulish tremolandos from Finley and his pianist Julius Drake’ (The Times)
The Plymouth-born composer and bandmaster Louis Emanuel (1819–c1889) composed his entertainingly over-the-top ballad The Desert around 1860, probably for performance in Vauxhall Gardens where he was music director from 1845. The swirling chromatic scales—depicting the wheeling vulture—and pounding repeated notes of the piano introduction irresistibly suggest silent-movie music. After the ‘parched’ music of ‘No stream can I find’, and a brief lyrical interlude as the stranded hero thinks of family and friends, the vulture circles ever closer. Then, with a change from ominous E flat minor to E flat major, a bell tinkles softly in the distance: cue for our hero to celebrate his imminent rescue in a rollicking 6/8 metre.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2011

Né à Plymouth, le compositeur et chef de fanfare Louis Emanuel (1819–env. 1889) écrivit sa divertissante et haletante The Desert vers 1860, probablement pour les Vauxhall Gardens, dont il dirigeait la musique depuis 1845. Les gammes chromatiques tourbillonnantes—symbole du vautour qui tournoie—et les pesantes notes répétées de l’introduction pianistique évoquent irrésistiblement une musique de film muet. Passé la musique «assoiffée» de «No stream can I find» et un bref interlude lyrique, quand le héros en perdition songe à sa famille et à ses amis, les cercles du vautour se rapprochent toujours plus. Puis, le lugubre mi bémol mineur se faisant mi bémol majeur, une cloche tinte doucement dans le lointain, signifiant à notre héros qu’il peut célébrer son imminent sauvetage dans un joyeux mètre à 6/8.

extrait des notes rédigées par Richard Wigmore © 2011
Français: Hypérion

Der aus Plymouth stammende Komponist und Kapellmeister Louis Emanuel (1819–ca. 1889) komponierte seine unterhaltsame, überspitzte Ballade The Desert („Die Wüste“) um 1860 herum, wahrscheinlich für eine Aufführung in den Vauxhall Gardens, wo er ab 1845 Musikdirektor war. Die umherwirbelnden chromatischen Tonleitern—die den kreisenden Geier darstellen—und die herausgehämmerten Tonrepetitionen der Klaviereinleitung deuten unwiderstehlich Stummfilmmusik an. Nach der „ausgedörrten“ Musik bei „No stream can I find“ („Keinen Bach kann ich finden“) und einem kurzen lyrischen Zwischenspiel, wenn der gestrandete Held an seine Familie und Freunde denkt, kommt der Geier immer näher. Dann jedoch findet ein Wechsel von dem ominösen es-Moll zu Es-Dur statt und eine Glocke läutet sanft in der Ferne: der Anstoß für unseren Helden, seine bevorstehende Rettung mit einem ausgelassenen 6/8-Takt zu feiern.

aus dem Begleittext von Richard Wigmore © 2011
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Waiting for content to load...
Waiting for content to load...