“This fifth volume of Julius Drake’s superb series of Liszt songs on Hyperion sees the young British tenor Allan Clayton bringing the same compelling mixture of ardour and vulnerability that made his Glyndebourne Hamlet such a sensation to a selection of German and French songs: the latter, in particular, suggest that the voice is on the cusp of a transition into more dramatic territory, which had me crossing my fingers that he’ll be playing a key role in next year’s Berlioz anniversary celebrations and eagerly awaiting his imminent assumption of Britten’s Peter Grimes. Spotlit by a pleasingly dry acoustic which allows every thoughtful detail to register, Drake is characteristically eloquent and imaginative throughout – listen, for instance, to the two completely different moods which he invokes with a simple repeated phrase in the space of just two bars in the opening of ‘Morgens steh’ ich auf und frage’.”

Kathryn Cooper "Presto Personal Favourites of 2018"

Presto Classical

“Mr. Drake delivered an outstanding performance at the piano. Through the near constant manipulation of the pedals, he created a vast palette of colors that ranged from the blustery introduction to “The Weather Vane” to glassy droplets in “Frozen Tears” and Mozartean grace in “Dream of Spring.” He was also the driving force behind the performance’s excellent pacing, contrasting rushing passages with moments of rest that often took on an uncomfortable staring quality.”

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

The New York Times

“Drake needs no introduction to Washington audiences, other than to say that he is one of today’s foremost collaborative pianists, and any singer would be lucky to have him for a partner.”

Patrick Rucker

The Washington Post

“With Julius Drake contributing exquisite accompaniments, one felt that De Niese truly inhabited the world and emotions of the lovesick herding girl.”

Barry Millington

Evening Standard

“Julius Drake is responsible for much with pianism that is subtle and perfectly matched to [Gerald] Finley’s conception, and the sound is warm and as dark as the music.”

Steven Ritter

Audiophile Audition

“Julius Drake handles the piano writing wonderfully by turns tender and poignant, urgent and explosive as Janáček takes us from the first flash of young love to self-hatred, doubt and tortured destiny”

On Leos Janáček’s “Diary of One Who Disappeared”

Andrew McGregor

BBC Radio 3

“But especially in the first half, during the Schubert section of the programme, one caught one’s attention migrating again and again from the soloist to the accompanist.  Julius Drake had a fantastic evening; with virtuosic ease, he blended the background colours around the main exhibit of an evening of song: the singing voice.

He clad Gerald Finley’s strong vocal body in a sometimes airy, sometimes warm, encasement of sound.  The Briton was… both storm and breath, frost and glowing embers. This was an exceptional performance that defined art as the daughter of craftsmanship and genius.”

Stefan Ender

Der Standard

“In a group by Hugo Wolf, imagination and execution began to gel, greatly inspired by the rapport with her unfailingly eloquent and supportive pianist Julius Drake. “Um Mittternacht” was beautifully restrained and “Verborgenheit” nobly shaped, while “Nimmersatte Liebe” nailed the poet’s wordly-wise shrug with wry gentle wit.”

Rupert Christiansen

The Telegraph

“However, the finest musician on stage was neither of these. It was pianist Julius Drake. The way he created a lofty, epic mood in the song Talismans, then held back to allow Bostridge to soar over the top — with no loss of grandeur — was the most eloquent moment of the evening.”

Ivan Hewett

The Telegraph

“Here they were most eloquently interpreted by Coote and her unfailingly sensitive yet never unduly recessive piano partner Julius Drake. Whether thrillingly extravert in “Wanderlied”, ecstatically impassioned in “Stille Tränen’  or warmly melancholy in  “Alte Laute”, they held the audience rapt: the silence in the hall as the last note faded was something magical and even holy”

Rupert Christiansen

The Telegraph

“This is the second installment of Hyperion’s retrospective of Liszt’s complete songs, the brainchild of pianist Julius Drake, and one of the most important recording projects of recent years. […] With mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager, Drake now steers us into territory that is altogether more reflective, while some of Liszt’s most familiar songs, such as Es Muss ein Wunderbares Sein, are included in the programme. […] Drake is outstanding throughout.”

Tim Ashley

The Guardian

“In Julius Drake they were joined by a character actor at the piano, who slipped into the many roles assigned to him with great dexterity and dramatic instinct.”

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

The New York Times

“Constantly sympathetic, Julius Drake sustained drama, cumulative logic and easy virtuosity at the keyboard. He also made delirious sense of the impossible patter-clatter of “Klinge, klinge, mein Pandero”

Martin Bernheimer

The Financial Times

“Julius Drake proved an adept and equal collaborator, evoking stormy weather, glinting fishes and chirruping crickets with the same dramatic immediacy that Finley brought to bear.”

Barry Millington

The Evening Standard

“Julius Drake is admirable.  When I mentally prepared these notes, I thought that it is one of those pianists who can attract as much or more than the singer they perform with.  I explain.  If a concert with an interpreter is announced that I do not know but also plays Drake that guarantees me the quality of the show, which will be a program worked and studied and that the British piano will always be like a network for the singer-trapeze artist who can sing  knowing that, whatever happens, there will always be Drake to save him.  It would be repetitive to explain the qualities of his work, here in full connection with Bostridge, with which it is perfectly seen that he has worked hand in hand, especially in the most risky sections of the program, as were the Des Knaben Wunderhorn lieder.  Serene in the gesture, precise in the pulsation, elegant in the legato, it is always a pleasure to hear it.”

Javier del Olivo

Platea Magazine

“This excellently recorded performance is strikingly direct.”

“Julius Drake’s accompaniment is always alive to the operatic nuance of the work.”


On The Diary of One who Disappeared

Jan Smaczny

BBC Music Magazine

“Over the next few years Janáček produced arrangements of fifty-three songs, eventually published as Moravian folk poetry in songs [Moravská lidová poezie v písních] (1890).  The 12 songs on this disc sung spellbindingly by Spence and Housková, accompanied by the formidable Drake, are among my favorite tracks on this CD.”

Susan Miron

The Art Fuse

“Drake has had a long involvement with this piece; he assisted the late Irish poet Seamus Heaney with his translation, which was commissioned for the English National Opera in 1999. Drake’s playing throughout the CD is extremely impressive.”

Susan Miron

The Arts Fuse