Gerald Finley

Schumann: Dichterliebe & other Heine Settings

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AllMusic Review by

Though the 16 additional settings included here are welcome, the success or failure of any recital of Schumann's Heine settings depends on the quality of its Dichterliebe, the early German Romantic's most ardent song cycle. In this 2008 Hyperion disc, Gerald Finley comes close to success, but how close depends on the listener's tastes. None will deny the burley British baritone can hit the notes and hold them, nor that he lacks sympathy for the texts and insight into the music. And few would dispute that his poetic readings of the cycle's sweeter songs are wholly persuasive. But while some may appreciate his robust interpretations of the cycle's bitter songs, others may find him overly emphatic, possibly even a tad histrionic at climaxes. Still, Finley plainly knows exactly what he is doing and there's no doubting that he means every word. These same attributes are manifest in the other Heine settings that precede Dichterliebe on this disc. Finley's Die beiden Grenadiere is suitably blustery, for example, while Was will die einsame Träne? is effectively teary. Pianist Julius Drake provides tasteful and supportive accompaniments and Hyperion supplies them both with clear, cool digital sound.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Tragödie, for voice(s) & piano (Romanzen und Balladen IV), Op. 64/3
1
1:26
2
2:14
3
4:01
4
3:29
5
2:30
Der arme Peter, for voice & piano, Op. 53/3
6
1:12
7
1:21
8
2:25
9
5:04
10
1:55
11
2:12
12
2:01
13
0:46
14
1:55
15
2:26
16
3:25
Dichterliebe, song cycle for voice & piano, Op. 48
17
1:46
18
1:01
19
0:36
20
1:59
21
0:56
22
2:36
23
1:40
24
1:14
25
1:32
26
2:18
27
1:08
28
2:51
29
2:25
30
1:37
31
2:41
32
5:08
blue highlight denotes track pick