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Romanzo di Central Park: Songs By Charles Ives Import

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Import, February 12, 2008
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On the counter - The Circus band - Two Little flowers - Ilmenau - A Night Song - Down East - Premonitions - The See'r - Songs my mother taught me - In the Alley... / Gerald Finlay, baryton - Julius Drake, piano

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In 1922 Charles Ives published "114 Songs" at his own expense. Rather than defined cycles, the collection includes the majority of songs composed throughout his career, including the song that gives a title to this recording. On this disc, the second Ives compilation recorded by Finely and Drake, all tracks are from "114 Songs," and as might be expected, they cover a wide range of ground from the sentimental and touchingly simple "Two Little Flowers," to the dizzying "They are There." In the hands of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake, we are never in search of a reason to be listening. Finley shows us again that he is one of the most accomplished song-smiths performing today. His diction is flawless and his well-developed sense of humor, impeccable. Couched within this fine classical instrument, Finely can evoke timbres that give the listener a whiff of Tin Pan Alley, or Music Hall, a technique he uses often, without it cloying. Standing back to take the measure of this intimate recording, it achieves what many fail to do. The performers, engineer and producer, leave the listener with a lasting memory of their work, but front and center, they leave you with essential Charles Ives, an American original. --Hugo Munday

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. On the Counter
  2. The Circus Band
  3. Two Little Flowers (and dedicated to them)
  4. IImenau
  5. A Night Song
  6. Down East (Ives)
  7. Premonitions
  8. The See'r
  9. Songs my mother taught me
  10. In the Alley
  11. Mists
  12. They are There !
  13. In Flanders Fields
  14. The South Wind
  15. My Native Land
  16. Watchman !
  17. The Children's Hour
  18. Evidence
  19. The World's Wanderers
  20. Slow March
  21. Omens and Oracles
  22. Those Evening Bells
  23. Allegro
  24. Evening
  25. The Last Reader
  26. To Edith
  27. At the River
  28. A Christmas Carol
  29. The Light that is Felt
  30. Romanzo (di Central Park)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 12, 2008)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: HYPERION
  • ASIN: B0011FEGVM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,074 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Robin Friedman HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 13, 2008
Format: Audio CD
In 1922, the great American composer Charles Ives (1874 -- 1954) gathered together many of the songs he had composed and had them privately published, together with his commentary, as a book, called simply "114 songs". The songs were arranged in reverse chronological order, with the more recently composed works appearing first in the volume. Among his other accomplishments, Ives deserves recognition as an American master of the art song.

The songs are short and widely disparate in mood and style. Many of the songs, especially those composed by a young Ives, show his indebtedness to German romanticism and to the songs of Schubert and Schumann. The latter songs show Ives at his most modern and iconoclastic. The songs cover a wide variety of subjects as well, including childhood and nostalgia for lost innocence, religious revivalism, love of America, family, romance, and much else. Ives himself wrote the lyrics for many of his songs, and he often used texts written by his wife, Harmony Twitchell Ives (1874-1979) as well. Ives frequently took the themes of his songs from longer works and, conversely, transferred material from the songs into his more ambitious compositions. As he does throughout his music, Ives borrowed liberally in his songs, quoting from gospel and revival hymns, from American popular music, and from classical composers.

In 2005, the Canadian baritone Gerald Finney and pianist Julius Drake recorded an outstanding collection of Ives's songs titled, "A Song -- for Anything"; and this 2008 recording of 30 additional Ives songs "Romanzo di Central Park" is a worthy follow-up. It was difficult for me to give this recording only four stars. But the songs are mixed, and some of them are of relatively lesser interest.
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