Gerald Finley and Julius Drake return to Schumann, following a magisterially intense Dichterliebe which won them a third Gramophone award. Here they focus on the two contrasting Liederkreis (‘song-circle’) cycles using texts by Heine and Eichendorff. Heine is the poet of Dichterliebe, and Op 24 contains extremes of elation and despair that call all Finley’s considerable dramatic powers into play. Eichendorff’s seductive, crepuscular ‘night-songs’ of Op 39 require the velvety tone for which this singer is equally revered. Separating these two great works are the Sechs Gedichte aus dem Liederbuch eines Malers, Op 36, which find Schumann in more homespun, folksong-influenced vein.
“Finley and pianist Julius Drake are well attuned to those pervading atmospheres and psychological shifts; beginning with the veiled tone with which Finley opens Op 39 every song is individually coloured (some of his inflections suggest a close study of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's performances), and the text is always clear.” - The Guardian, UK