Ives: A Song - For Anything

Charles Ives’s work as a pioneering polytonalist is perhaps better remembered today than his song output, but throughout his long composing life his most personal musical expressions are to be found in what may best be called the genre of the ‘art song’. These range from traditional ‘lieder’ (setting such familiar poets as Heinrich Heine and Nikolaus Lenau), through English-language ‘songs of the period’ (Kipling, Keats, Bulwer-Lytton), to pioneering ‘pop songs in the modern idiom’, often to texts of Ives’s own devising. All show a degree of craftsmanship which makes one wonder why many of these songs are not better known.

Ives admitted to a deep mistrust of singers—their insistence on ‘interpreting’ any given score frequently, he felt, betrayed its composer’s intentions: not so with Gerald Finley and Julius Drake. These peformances perfectly encapsulate a lost world, transporting the listener back to a world where a ‘sentimental ballad’ could happily share the stage with a pastiche on the ‘Battle Cry for Freedom’.

This is Gerald Finley’s first solo recital recording.

CDA67516  67 minutes 58 seconds
CD OF THE WEEK - The Sunday Times
One of THE BEST CLASSICAL OF THE YEAR 2005 - The Financial Times
‘Finley is always essentially a singer—his tone and command of the singing line are a pleasure in themselves. But he also has the absolute mastery of the composer's idioms and, with Julius Drake, his ...
‘I cannot praise Gerald Finley’s performance too highly. It takes a very special artist to bring such unembarrassed fervour to General Booth Enters into Heaven and to encompass all its extraord ...
‘Outstanding. Gerald Finley has a voice of great beauty, but it's always under the control of his penetrating intelligence: he risks bending pitches for expressive effect, and he adapts his golden tim ...