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The Finck Album

Finck / Bel-etage Theatre Orch / Sander / Uustani
Release Date: 06/12/2012 
Label:  Divine Art   Catalog #: 62402   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Herman Finck
Performer:  Kelli UustaniMart SanderPirjo LevandiMart Sanders
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

I remember enjoying this music company’s disc devoted to Lionel Monckton’s shows and now it presents something just as quintessentially English, namely a disc devoted to Herman (van der) Finck. Though famed as music director of the Palace Theatre this London-born son of Dutch parents was also a prestigious recording artist and his ‘melodies’ on Columbia in the 1920s are still ubiquitous whenever one encounters a tottering pile of 78s.
 
He wrote over thirty shows, directing either his own Palace Theatre orchestra or that of the Drury Lane Theatre. He was also well known for his music for the Palace Girls, who were quite the thing, and also for Anna Pavlova, who gave her first British performance at the Palace
Read more theatre, and to whom Finck wrote a charming piece called Pirouette, which is performed in this disc. Finck flourished well into the 1930s dying as the decade drew to a close.
 
As with the companion Monckton album the cast and orchestra provides crisp pleasure. We hear right from the opener Cheero! that the small band is well attuned to the Light Music theatrical genre. This Estonian company has made repeated forays into this repertoire and is to be congratulated for doing so. Kelli Uustani sings a big hit called In the Shadows with a bright, forward, focused lyric soprano – nice rubato and clear diction too. The eminence grise of this and other enterprises is Mart Sander and he has tweaked the lyrics in a couple of cases, though since they’re not provided in the colourful booklet, one might not otherwise know. He has a personable baritone, which he employs to good effect. Both singers join together with plenty of Imperial brio for the frolics of the Music Hall-inspired Dear Old Fighting Boys.
 
The company’s principal soprano is Pirjo Levandi and she is very well suited to the operetta style evoked in Finck’s Venetia (from Decameron Nights) which also hints at the composer’s close awareness of Puccini. It’s a very communicative piece of music making, with a surely forgivable slightly squally end. There is a longish ballet suite from My Lady Dragonfly which is deftly orchestrated, warmly lyric, and full of pert suggestion too. In the other big excerpt, the fourteen minutes from Decameron Nights, the orchestral suite shows the dual influence of Tchaikovsky and Elgar on Finck’s writing, but again it’s all very effective and conveyed straightforwardly and with simple means.
 
If you enjoy early twentieth century light orchestral music, operetta, shades of Empire, ballet warmth, and some spirited and committed, small-scale performances, then you will enjoy this album of Herman Finck’s easygoing music. It certainly deserves to stand alongside the better known Monckton.
 
-- Jonathan Woolf, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Cheerio! by Herman Finck
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
2. In the Shadows by Herman Finck
Performer:  Kelli Uustani (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; England 
3. Dear Old Fighting Boys by Herman Finck
Performer:  Mart Sander (Baritone), Kelli Uustani (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
4. Decameron Nights: Venetia by Herman Finck
Performer:  Pirjo Levandi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
5. The K-Nuts Medley by Herman Finck
Performer:  Mart Sander (Baritone), Kelli Uustani (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
6. Queen of the Flowers by Herman Finck
Performer:  Mart Sanders (Baritone), Pirjo Levandi (Soprano)
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
7. My Waltz Queen by Herman Finck
Performer:  Mart Sander (Baritone)
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
8. Hullo, Girls! by Herman Finck
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
9. Jocoso by Herman Finck
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
10. Pirouette by Herman Finck
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
11. My Lady Dragonfly by Herman Finck
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
12. Moonlight Dance by Herman Finck
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra
13. Decameron Nights by Herman Finck
Conductor:  Mart Sander
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bel Etage Theatre Orchestra

Sound Samples

Cheero!
In the Shadows
Hullo America!: Hullo, Girls!
My Waltz Queen
6 Humorisms: No. 2. Jocoso: Comedy Galop
Dear Old Fighting Boys
Pirouette
Decameron Nights: Venetia
My Lady Dragonfly: Part 1
My Lady Dragonfly: Part 2
My Lady Dragonfly: Part 3
My Lady Dragonfly: Part 4
My Lady Dragonfly: Part 5
My Lady Dragonfly: Part 6
The K-Nuts Medley: Gilbert the Filbert - I'll Make a Man of You Yet
Queen of the Flowers
Moonlight Dance
Decameron Nights Suite

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