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Britten: Songs & Proverbs of William Blake Import


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Audio CD, Import, June 8, 2010
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Product Details

  • Composer: Britten
  • Audio CD (June 8, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B003IEAMEO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,376 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Lemady, folksong for voice & harp (8 British Folksongs)
2. She's like the swallow, folksong for voice & harp (8 British Folksongs)
3. I Wonder As I Wander
4. Tom Bowling and Other Song Arrangements, for voice & piano
5. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Proverb 1
6. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: London
7. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Proverb 2
8. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: The Chimney-Sweeper
9. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Proverb 3
10. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: A Poison Tree
11. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Proverb 4
12. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: The Tyger
13. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Proverb 5
14. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: The Fly
15. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Proverb 6
16. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Ah, Sun-flower
17. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Proverb 7
18. Songs and Proverbs of W. Blake, song cycle for baritone & piano, Op. 74: Every Night and every Morn
19. Tit for Tat, song cycle for voice & piano: A Song of Enchantment
20. Tit for Tat, song cycle for voice & piano: Autumn
See all 33 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The unbeatable, multi- award-winning partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake turns to the composer Benjamin Britten for their latest Hyperion release. Although Britten is particularly celebrated for the substantial body of music he composed for the tenor voice, the composer also left an important legacy of music for baritone. In addition to song-cycles, individual songs and folksong arrangements, Britten also included challenging baritone roles in his operas. This disc contains Britten s two important song cycles for baritone Tit for Tat, setting the poems of Walter de la Mare, and the more substantial Songs and Proverbs of William Blake. The latter was written for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau; designed to showcase his unique blend of intense lyricism and dramatic characterization, qualities which are undoubtedly also exhibited by Gerald Finley. Also included are some of Britten s popular folksong settings, and a selection of later songs, which received exposure and publication only after the composer s death.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Anton Zimmerling VINE VOICE on November 15, 2010
Format: Audio CD
This new CD by the Canadian singer Gerald Finley offers a selection of fine 20th century art songs sung by a splendid baritone voice. To many people, a large deal of the poetry on this CD - William Blake's poems and proverbs, Walter de la Mare's `Tit for tat' and, of course, the lyrics of such evergreen hits as `Greensleeves' (track 30) and `I wonder as I wander' (track 3) will be more familiar than their settings and arrangements made by Benjamin Britten. It is also true that Britten's music for a low voice seldom gets such attractive performances as this one.

The style of Britten's songs chosen by Finley and his pianist Julius Drake fluctuates between two poles: the composer's early folk-style cantilena arrangements and sophisticated melo-declamation influenced by the style of German Lieder and by the vocal resources of their leading promoter in the post-war period - Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. It is not necessary to know Fi-Di's premiere version of the `Songs and Proverbs of William Blake' Britten: Holy Sonnets, Billy Budd, etc. / Britten, Glossop, Pears, et al to get the idea that this vocal cycle (1965) has been molded after the voice of the great German baritone: if you heard any songs with Fi-Di before, you will recognize Fi-Di's enforced instrumental timbre, strained transitions and a declamatory manner behind the score of Britten's William Blake cycle (tracks 5-18). The paradox is that Finley himself is not straining: his tone production is as easy as possible. The Canadian probably has set Fischer-Dieskau as one of his models in chamber music. But his own voice is a better instrument -rounded, mellow and beautiful throughout the whole range.
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