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Posted October 1, 2010
Charles Ives, that wondrous American iconoclast, wrote 114 songs, songs that vary in content from comedic to nostalgic to patriotic to German lieder (!) to operatic. Here brilliant baritone Gerald Finley and his gifted piano collaborator Julius Drake have selected a fine range of that output in 31 songs that not only demonstrate the spectrum of Ives' creativity, but also give notice that Canadian Gerald Finley may just be the foremost authority on how Ives' songs should be performed. Included in no particular order (except thoughtful programming!) are such very familiar songs as 'General William Booth Enters into Heaven', 'When stars are in the quiet skies', 'Serenity', 'Tolerance', and 'Ann Street' along with the lesser known early German lieder composed in his early formative years. One of the revelations on this elegant recital is 'The Housatonic at Stockbridge' which lends text to the extraordinary last movement of Ives' orchestral 'Three Places in New England'. Finley's diction is impeccable and his baritone voice is pliant throughout his wide range. He conveys the essence of these texts as well as any interpreter ever has. Julius Drake provides exemplary piano accompaniment. This is one of the finest recordings released this year. Highly Recommended. Grady HarpWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.