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Track(s) taken from CDA67830

The tale of the oyster

First line:
Down by the sea lived a lonesome oyster
1929; from 50 Million Frenchmen
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: 3 minutes 43 seconds

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

Other recordings available for download

Sarah Walker (mezzo-soprano), Roger Vignoles (piano)


'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 tale of the oyster is a chic, witty number from Cole Porter’s 1929 hit 50 Million Frenchmen, billed as ‘a Musical Comedy Tour of Paris in 2 Acts’. The singer is the worldly-wise fur-buyer Violet Hildegarde, who has travelled abroad hoping to be shocked. She sends up high society with a cynical tale of a ‘bivalve social climber’, gliding proudly down Mrs Hoggenheimer’s alimentary canal and emerging chastened to proclaim ‘I’ve had a taste of society, and society has had a taste of me’.

from notes by Richard Wigmore © 2011

The tale of the oyster est un numéro, élégant et spirituel, tiré de 50 Million Frenchmen, l’œuvre à succès de Cole Porter (1929) présentée comme «a Musical Comedy Tour of Paris in 2 Acts». Celle qui chante, c’est Violet Hildegarde, une acheteuse de fourrures qui a l’expérience du monde et qui a voyagé à l’étranger dans l’espoir d’être bouleversée. Elle raille la haute société avec une cynique histoire d’«arriviste bivalve» glissant fièrement dans le tube digestif de Mrs Hoggenheimer avant de ressortir, châtiée, pour clamer «J’ai goûté à la société et la société m’a goûtée».

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

The tale of the oyster („Die Geschichte der Auster“) ist eine elegante, geistreiche Nummer aus Cole Porters Hit 50 Million Frenchmen aus dem Jahr 1929, der als „a Musical Comedy Tour of Paris in 2 Acts“ angekündigt wurde. Die Sängerin ist die abgeklärte Pelz-Einkäuferin Violet Hildegarde, die ins Ausland gereist ist, in der Hoffnung, sich schockieren zu lassen. Sie nimmt die High Society mit der zynischen Geschichte eines „zweischaligen gesellschaftlichen Aufsteigers“ auf den Arm, der stolz Mrs. Hoggenheimers Speiseröhre hinuntergleitet, dann wieder hinausgelangt und schließlich entsprechend gemaßregelt erklärt: „Ich habe die Gesellschaft probiert, und die Gesellschaft hat mich probiert.“

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

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