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Gerald Finley, Julius Drake - Franz Liszt: The Complete Songs, Volume 3 (2015)

Posted By: Designol
Gerald Finley, Julius Drake - Franz Liszt: The Complete Songs, Volume 3 (2015)

Gerald Finley, Julius Drake - Franz Liszt: The Complete Songs, Volume 3 (2015)
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 223 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 165 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical, Vocal | Label: Hyperion | # CDA67956 | Time: 01:11:05

A third volume in Hyperion’s Complete Liszt Songs cycle warmly welcomes to the series maestro Gerald Finley. The songs themselves encompass everything from finely honed miniatures to big-boned epics of tragic import, and these compelling performances elicit from the multi-award-winning pairing of Finley and Julius Drake a sense of paced drama and pathos which is rarely matched.

If Liszt was not the greatest of 19th-century song-writers, he was arguably the most exploratory and eclectic. Spanning five decades and four languages, the songs on this disc range from the bel canto-inspired lyricism of the Petrarch sonnets – heard here in their more restrained revised versions – via the orchestrally conceived ‘Weimars Toten’ and the colourful Victor Hugo bolero ‘Gastibelza’, to the mingled bareness and harmonic audacity of his late songs. The funereal ‘Und wir dachten der Toten’, commemorating a fallen hero in the Franco-Prussian War, and the laconic Tennyson setting ‘Go not, happy day’ (Liszt’s sole song in English) are typical of the ascetic yet strangely haunting sound world cultivated by the ageing Abbé, as if in atonement for the flamboyant excesses of youth.

The ever-rewarding song partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake are persuasive advocates across the whole spectrum of Lisztian styles. Where theatrical panache is a sine qua non – in the swaggering ‘Gastibelza’ or the melodramatic ballad ‘Die Fischerstochter’ – the pair provide it in spades. Finley’s darkly mellow, scrupulously produced baritone has the reserves of power to make something noble of the potentially bombastic ‘Weimars Toten’, while here and elsewhere Drake is a vivid colourist.

Always specific in his responses to verbal sonority and meaning, Finley graphically captures the shades of irony and bitterness in another ballad, ‘Le vieux vagabond’, encompassing with ease its huge vocal range, down to a resonant low E. His mellifluous legato, ardent phrasing and ringing top notes are well displayed in the soaring Italianate lines of the Petrarch sonnets. Drawing on the bass resonances within his baritone, Finley brings a baleful authority to the half-crazed old Harper’s song ‘Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen ass’, whose obfuscating chromaticism sounds even stranger than Wolf’s setting of 30 years later; and singer and pianist sensitively catch the mix of confiding intimacy and austerity in three epigrammatic settings of Heine, the composer’s one-time friend who coined the term Lisztomania. Except in the Petrarch songs, Liszt rarely seduces you with ravishing melody. But, as Finley and Drake eloquently demonstrate (a word, too, for Susan Youens’s absorbing booklet-notes), his songs are never less than fascinating, harmonically, pianistically and in their often original approach to word-setting.

Review by Richard Wigmore, Gramophone

Franz Liszt's songs are certainly the least-recorded part of his output. How many, even among his admirers, know that he wrote a song in English, setting a text by Tennyson (track 15)? The Italian-language Three Petrarch Sonnets (tracks 6-8) are among the best known, and they get a nice ardent performance here from Canadian bass-baritone Gerald Finley and accomapanist Julius Drake, who, as one might expect from Liszt, has plenty to do. A unique feature of Hyperion's Liszt song series is that new performers have so far appeared with each installment, and Finley makes a strong case for choosing this one: he's quite versatile, singing effectively in four languages and putting across the sense of the text in each. The German-language pieces are indubitably not the equal of Schubert or Schumann (or, looking the other direction, of Hugo Wolf) in characterization, and many follow the pattern of quasi-declamatory opening followed by warmer tune. But neither are they insensible toward the text, and several, such as the grim Goethe setting Wer nie sein Brot mit Tränen aß (He who never ate his bread with tears, track 5), so different from Schubert's limpid take on the same poem, seem here to deserve more recognition. A more than worthwhile set for Liszt enthusiasts.

Review by James Manheim, Allmusic.com

Gerald Finley, Julius Drake - Franz Liszt: The Complete Songs, Volume 3 (2015)



Gerald Finley, Julius Drake - Franz Liszt: The Complete Songs, Volume 3 (2015)



Tracklist:

01. Morgens steh' ich auf & frage, S 290 (3rd Version) (01:58)
02. Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, S 309 (2nd Setting) (02:56)
03. Anfangs wollt' ich fast verzagen, S 311 (4th Version) (01:58)
04. Weimars Toten, S 303 (08:13)
05. Wer nie sein Brot mit Tranen ass, S 297 (2nd Setting) (02:36)
06. 3 sonetti di Petrarca, S 270 (2nd Version) - 1. Benedetto sia 'l giorno (04:53)
07. 3 sonetti di Petrarca, S 270 (2nd Version) - 2. Pace non trovo (04:25)
08. 3 sonetti di Petrarca, S 270 (2nd Version) - 3. I' vidi in terra angelici costumi (05:41)
09. Die Fischerstochter, S 325 (05:50)
10. Und wir dachten der Toten, S 338 (02:25)
11. Die Vatergruft, S 281 (2nd Version) (05:43)
12. Gastibelza (Bolero), S 286 (08:13)
13. La tombe & la rose, S 285 (03:39)
14. Le vieux vagabond, S 304 (09:15)
15. Go not, happy day, S 335 (03:12)


Exact Audio Copy V1.1 from 23. June 2015

EAC extraction logfile from 20. October 2015, 1:28

Gerald Finley, Julius Drake / Liszt - The Complete Songs, Vol.3

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==== Log checksum DEADCAEF7BD9ABBCE257B7420B541F9560163FF56667194086CAED796DBFCAF6 ====

foobar2000 1.2 / Dynamic Range Meter 1.1.1
log date: 2016-08-05 13:21:59

––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Analyzed: Gerald Finley, Julius Drake / Liszt - The Complete Songs, Vol.3
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

DR Peak RMS Duration Track
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
DR14 -6.64 dB -28.09 dB 1:59 01-Morgens steh' ich auf & frage, S 290 (3rd Version)
DR14 -6.34 dB -28.96 dB 2:57 02-Ein Fichtenbaum steht einsam, S 309 (2nd Setting)
DR13 -2.32 dB -24.71 dB 1:59 03-Anfangs wollt' ich fast verzagen, S 311 (4th Version)
DR16 -0.75 dB -22.76 dB 8:14 04-Weimars Toten, S 303
DR14 -3.51 dB -23.74 dB 2:36 05-Wer nie sein Brot mit Tranen ass, S 297 (2nd Setting)
DR14 -1.73 dB -24.23 dB 4:53 06-3 sonetti di Petrarca, S 270 (2nd Version) - 1. Benedetto sia 'l giorno
DR14 -1.88 dB -21.62 dB 4:25 07-3 sonetti di Petrarca, S 270 (2nd Version) - 2. Pace non trovo
DR17 -0.13 dB -25.65 dB 5:41 08-3 sonetti di Petrarca, S 270 (2nd Version) - 3. I' vidi in terra angelici cos…
DR15 -1.38 dB -23.24 dB 5:50 09-Die Fischerstochter, S 325
DR15 -4.07 dB -27.49 dB 2:25 10-Und wir dachten der Toten, S 338
DR14 -1.77 dB -24.33 dB 5:44 11-Die Vatergruft, S 281 (2nd Version)
DR16 -0.34 dB -21.19 dB 8:13 12-Gastibelza (Bolero), S 286
DR13 -5.81 dB -26.26 dB 3:39 13-La tombe & la rose, S 285
DR15 -1.58 dB -21.05 dB 9:16 14-Le vieux vagabond, S 304
DR15 -3.59 dB -26.13 dB 3:12 15-Go not, happy day, S 335
––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Number of tracks: 15
Official DR value: DR15

Samplerate: 44100 Hz
Channels: 2
Bits per sample: 16
Bitrate: 434 kbps
Codec: FLAC
================================================================================

Gerald Finley, Julius Drake - Franz Liszt: The Complete Songs, Volume 3 (2015)

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