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Schumann: Dichterliebe & other Heine settings

4 customer reviews

Price: £14.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
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£14.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Conductor: None
  • Composer: Robert Schumann
  • Audio CD (1 Sept. 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B001CJYJRS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 252,817 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description

Tragödie - Die beiden Grenadiere - Abends am Strand - Die feindlichen Brüder - Der arme Peter - Belsatzar - Die Lotosblume - Was will die einsame Träne ? - Du bist wie eine Blume... / Gerald Finley, baryton - Julius Drake, piano

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Petra on 21 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD
"A fine voice, a capable piano player - and the whole thing crudely done" - sorry I am simply not able to leave that being the "only" review here - yes G. Finley has got a fine voice and suggesting that he is not "at home" in German Lied singing is simply unfair: I have heard him in Schwarzenberg with the same program and agree with the British critics (also concerning the CD). But if you are a fan of Hotter or Souzay (the other singer's voice I do not know) then I MIGHT understand why his voice does not interest you - but this is TASTE (very understandable, I have my own too) but has nothing to do with his merits. And to title Julius Drake as a "capable" piano player - sorry - that made me simply laugh ...he is (one of) the best at the present time ... at Schwarzenberg were more then 10 sec utterly silence after this wonderful postlude of the last song of Dichterliebe and then the audience exploded in applause .... no further comment.
Just one more statement on the CD: maybe you should listen the other Heine-Lieder (ballads), they both prove themselves as wonderful storytellers .... maybe you would like that(more)as I don't know if Hotter or Souzay sang these too.
and conc your comment "I grew progressively more dispirited as it went on." .... well, there are days when you are not in the mood for lieder (or music at all)... but I wouldn't blame the artist(s) or the music.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. Woodall on 22 Oct. 2009
Format: Audio CD
I too feel the need to redress the balance here. Gerald Finley and Julius Drake form one of the best recital partnerships around, and this superb disc reveals not only their undisputed musicianship but also touches the heart in a very direct, natural and honest way.

Gerald Finley, with his gloriously rich and lyrical baritone, brings story-telling flair to Schumann's settings of Heine's poems. Julius Drake, that most discerning of pianists, creates equal delight and captivation with his heartfelt, compelling, vibrant and perceptive playing - it is worth buying the CD for Mr Drake's postludes alone. The Ballads and "Der arme Peter" are grippingly told, to which exactly the right tone of awesome dread is added to Belsatzar, contrasting with the full aching beauty and intimacy of the Myrthen love songs. In Dichterliebe, the pair use intelligence and humanity to convey all of the complexities of emotion in this great journey through doomed love, unfulfilled desire and regret, and I for one am moved to tears by their performance.

For me they capture perfectly the imposing grandeur with which "Im Rhein, im Heligen Strome" opens and its change to introspective love. I can feel the resentment and anger in "Es ist ein Flöten und Geigen" and "Ich grolle nicht" (in which Mr Finley takes the impressive, high vocal line), wallow in the spine-tingling desire in "Im wundershönen Monat Mai" and "Ich will meine Seele tauchen" and empathise with the traumatic conclusion in "Alten Bosen Lieder" resolved so touchingly by the final postlude.

We all have different tastes and are all entitled to our opinions, but I think it is foolish to disregard the overwhelming consensus - this is an outstanding recording of a partnership in its prime, richly deserving of the praise heaped upon it from around the world.
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By antony ireland on 3 Jan. 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Almost as good as Fischer-Diescaui
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7 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Walker on 25 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Oh dear. I have just listened to the Dichterliebe on CD review. A fine voice, a capable piano player - and the whole thing crudely done, with foursquare rhythms followed by grotesquely self-indulgent ritardandi, note-bending for expressive effect that is off-key, slight slips in the text and exaggerated diction that suggest a singer not really at home either in the German language or literature, one climax virtually shouted etc etc. Any comparison with the interpretations of great singers like Schiötz, Hotter or Souzay is very bad news for this recording. The enthusiasm of the British critics is a mystery to me; can't they hear? - has it got something to do with the parlous state of foreign language learning/teaching in my native land? I shall not be buying this to hear the rest of the songs.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A mesmerizing performance full of subtlety 5 Mar. 2010
By Lee Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an exemplary performance. Julius Drake takes ample time setting the mood of each song. Gerald Finley uses his beautiful baritone voice to great effect, interpreting the text with an honest sounding approach. There is great sensitivity in his singing which I find very satisfying. Among recent recordings of this quintessential German song cycle my preference is just slightly in favor of Simon Keenlyside and Malcolm Martineau's recording which carries more intensity and a more authentic-sounding German diction. There is a bit more energy and spirit in Keenlyside's interpretation. But that is not to detract from the pleasures of this performance which is very fine. I think Keenlyside is the more intense singing actor in lieder with more contrast and variety in his moods. Finley adds some unique touches such at the end of "Und wüssten's die Blumen" a sneer in the voice on the words "Sie hat ja selbst zerrissen, Zerrissen mir das Herz" (It was she who broke my heart in two). Also the playful use of words and accents in "Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen" is most appropriate. I find Drake's piano playing absolutely top notch. He articulates the rhythm of each song with such complete confidence and mastery; better, perhaps even than Martineau. He is unafraid to stretch the limits of tempi and dynamics. What I find really striking in this performance is the strong sense of melancholy throughout.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional 20 Mar. 2010
By Beverly D. Pierce - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Once again, the golden voice of this incredible man speaks to my very soul. I've always been partial to the tenor voice, but this rich baritone is superior to most tenors I've heard. One tends to think of the baritone in the role of the bad guy. I see Mr. Finley as the romantic hero. The talent, the looks..a perfect combination!! The the piano artistry of Julius Drake compliments the Gerald Finley voice in a magnificent way. I hope these two continue performing together.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
*** 1/2 Beautifully sung but mild-mannered Schumann 3 April 2011
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
How fair is it to compare a fine singer with great ones? Gerald Finley is a major talent, and since rising to stardom as J. Robert Oppenheimer in John Adams's opera "Dr. Atomic," Finley has been recognized fully for his beautiful voice and musical integrity. One word of praise that isn't heard, however, is charismatic. as he shows in this tasteful, beautifully sung Schumann program, Finley is serious about lieder, for which I'm grateful. But if you turn to Thomas Hampson, Bryn Terfel, and Thomas Quasthoff -- all baritones singing the same songs -- Finley is the least exciting.

He applies the same warm, engaging manner to every song. Where's the pathetic tone in the Arme Peter group? why doesn't he raise goosebumps in the tale of Baltthazzar and the handwriting n the wall? When a grenadier rings out the anthem in praise of the Kaiser, why doesn't he sound proud and patriotic? Good manners don't serve when what's needed is dramatic character. Even the rapt, lyrical Lotosblume, one of the best tings in the recital, comes off as restrained, the opposite of what Schumann, the quintessential romantic, is about.

In part the understatement I'm objecting to derives from the pallid, faceless accompaniments provided by Julius Drake. throughout Dichterliebe he paddles quietly at the keys without doing much else. Here the singer must portray the emotional extremes of a poet lost in the throes of passion and bitter regret. Finley settles for quiet melancholy on a rainy afternoon. Modern singers must listen to recordings; can't he tell the difference between what he is expressing and the far more intense feelings expressed by his rivals? Perhaps it doesn't matter. The reviewers here don't seem to care, or notice, and neither did the admiring critic from the Gramophone -- for him "Finley gives one of the most beautifully sung and intensely experienced performances on disc." If you say so.
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