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Opera In English - Great Operatic Arias / Gerald Finley

Finley,Gerald / Lpo / Gardner
Release Date: 02/23/2010 
Label:  Chandos   Catalog #: 3167  
Composer:  Peter Ilyich TchaikovskyCarl Maria von WeberJohn AdamsGiuseppe Verdi,   ... 
Performer:  Gerald FinleyLucy CroweDeborah Miles-JohnsonKathryn Jenkin,   ... 
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic OrchestraGeoffrey Mitchell Choir
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


As one can gather from some of the titles of the operas represented in this collection, this CD is part of Chandos' ongoing "Opera in English" series. The selection contains a few chestnuts (the Toreador Song, the "Te Deum" from Tosca, Iago's "Credo" and "La ci darem la mano") but covers some lesser-known (or practically unknown) territory as well. None of this would matter, of course, if the singer had little to offer, but we are finally getting a close-up of the Canadian baritone Gerald Finley, heretofore represented on discs and DVDs in music by Duparc, Adams, Ives, and Handel, among others. Hearing standard repertoire sung by a "new" voice gives
Read more audiences a stronger footing, and as it turns out, Finley stands up superbly to comparison.

He is a thinking-man's baritone, à la Simon Keenlyside (rather than the all-voice baritone Robert Merrill-type); he has clearly thought about these characters and who they are. This, by the way, is not meant to denigrate his voice; it is a rich, full, true baritone, with plenty of ring and depth, and he is in utter control of it. Just listen to Oppenheimer's aria from Doctor Atomic, "Batter my heart", with its high tessitura, with Finley in complete control and turning the aria into an urgent outpouring, a plea for faith. Contrast it with the "Toreador Song", for once sounding easy at both ends, perfectly enunciated and with great self assurance.

Iago's "Credo" sounds superb in English as Finley sings it--un-exaggerated but nasty as hell (and the same might be said for Scarpia's Te Deum, though Finley's voice lacks a bit of weight for the part). Again, in utter contrast, we have Hans Sachs' final monologue--modest but proud, filled with goodness and optimism. The Tannhäuser excerpts are mellow, introspective, and pious, not to mention sung with a melting legato. We come off a liquid "La ci darem la mano" (with the lovely Lucy Crowe) and bang into an exuberant drinking/battle song from Mark-Anthony's The Silver Tassie. The accompaniments throughout are less enthusiastic than the singing, but they are good enough.

If the purpose of this CD was to prove Finley's versatility, showcase his natural gifts, and alert the public to a great singer with a great voice, it worked brilliantly. And his subtle, slow diminuendo on the long-breathed final, upward line of "Some enchanted evening" that ends the CD will send you right back to the beginning. Bravo!

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Iolanta, Op. 69: Duke Robert's Aria by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1891; Russia 
Language: English 
2.
Euryanthe, J 291/Op. 81: So weilh' ich mich den Rachgewalten by Carl Maria von Weber
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1822-1823; Dresden, Germany 
Language: English 
3.
Doctor Atomic: Batter my heart by John Adams
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
4.
Otello: Credo in un Dio crudel by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
Language: English 
5.
Tannhäuser: Blick' ich umher in diesem edlen Kreise by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Language: English 
6.
Don Giovanni, K 527: Là ci darem la mano by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Lucy Crowe (Soprano), Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787 
Language: English 
7.
The Silver Tassie: Oh bring to me a pint of wine by Mark-Anthony Turnage
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
8.
Carmen: Excerpt(s) by Georges Bizet
Performer:  Deborah Miles-Johnson (Alto), Kathryn Jenkin (Soprano), Emma Brain-Gabbott (Soprano),
Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1873-1874; France 
Language: English 
Notes: "You're most kind, and in return I toast you...Toreador, be ready!" 
9.
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg: Verachtet mir die Meister by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; Germany 
Language: English 
10.
Linda di Chamounix: Ambo nati in questa valle by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Anne-Marie Gibbons (Mezzo Soprano), Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1842; Italy 
Language: English 
11.
Tosca: Tre sbirri, una carrozza...Te Deum by Giacomo Puccini
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone), Matthew Long (Tenor)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Geoffrey Mitchell Choir
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1900; Italy 
Language: English 
12.
South Pacific: Some enchanted evening by Richard Rodgers
Performer:  Gerald Finley (Baritone)
Conductor:  Edward Gardner
Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1949; USA 

Sound Samples

Iolanthe, Op. 69 (Sung in English): Iolanthe, Op. 69: Aria: My only beloved Mathilde I claim
Euryanthe, J. 291: Act II: So weih' ich mich den Rachgewalten (Sung in English)
Doctor Atomic: Batter my heart
Otello: Act II: Credo in un Dio crudel (Sung in English)
Tannhauser: Act II: Blick ich umher in diesem edlem Kreise
Tannhauser: Act III: O du mein holder Abendstern
Don Giovanni, K. 527: Act I: Duettino: La ci darem la mano (Sung in English)
The Silver Tassie: Oh bring to me a pint of wine
Carmen (sung in English): Carmen, Act II: Toreador's aria: You're most kind (Sung in English)
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg): Act III: Verachtet mir die Meister nicht (Sung in English)
Linda di Chamounix: Act I: Ambo nati in questa valle (Sung in English)
Tosca (sung in English): Tosca, Act I: 3 agents, go in a carriage ...
South Pacific: Some Enchanted Evening

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