Ravel - Songs

Ravel – Songs

2009 | Hyperion

Gerald Finley (bass-baritone)


The award-winning partnership of Gerald Finley and Julius Drake continue their musical explorations with this beautiful and thought-provoking disc. Gerald Finley’s lustrous tones, extraordinary gift for characterisation, and direct, unaffected utterance make him an ideal and revelatory performer of Ravel’s songs.

These works, somewhat under-appreciated in the composer’s oeuvre, demonstrate the endless variety and vast emotional scope of Ravel’s musical sphere. Charming folk-song settings contrast with the almost surrealist world of Histoires naturelles, which caused outrage at its first performance. Yet this cycle contains some of Ravel’s most dreamily beautiful music: the still, crystalline ‘music of silence’ created in Le martin-pêcheur. In the words of Roger Nichols, who provides the fascinating booklet notes, ‘From the sepulchral gloom of Un grand sommeil noir to the final exclamation ‘Je bois / À la joie’ …, Ravel’s songs embrace a whole world’.

Track Listing

Ravel: Histoires Naturelles – 1. Le Paon

Ravel: Histoires Naturelles – 2. Le Grillon

Ravel: Histoires Naturelles – 3. Le Cygne

Ravel: Histoires Naturelles – 4. Le Martin-Pêcheur

Ravel: Histoires Naturelles – 5. La Pintade

Ravel: Ronsard À Son Âme

Ravel: Don Quichotte À Dulcinée – 1. Chanson Romanesque

Ravel: Don Quichotte À Dulcinée – 2. Chanson Épique

Ravel: Don Quichotte À Dulcinée – 3. Chanson À Boire

Ravel: Un Grand Sommeil Noir

Ravel: Les Grands Vents Venus D’Outremer

Ravel: Sur L’Herbe

Ravel: Chants Populaires – 2. Chanson Française

Ravel: Chants Populaires – 3. Chanson Italienne

Ravel: Chants Populaires – 4. Chanson Hébraïque

Ravel: Chants Populaires – 5. Chanson Écossaise

Ravel: Noël Des Jouets

Ravel: 2 Épigrammes De Clément Marot – 1. D’Anne Qui M’A Jecta De La Neige

Ravel: 2 Épigrammes De Clément Marot – 2. D’Anne Jouant De L’Espinette

Ravel: 5 Mélodies Populaires Grecques – 1. Le Réveil De La Mariée

Ravel: 5 Mélodies Populaires Grecques – 2. Là-Bas, Vers L’Église

Ravel: 5 Mélodies Populaires Grecques – 3. Quel Galant M’Est Comparable?

Ravel: 5 Mélodies Populaires Grecques – 4. Chanson Des Cueilleuses De Lentisques

Ravel: 5 Mélodies Populaires Grecques – 5. Tout Gai!

Ravel: 2 Mélodies Hébraïques – 1. Kaddisch

Ravel: 2 Mélodies Hébraïques – 2. L’Énigme Éternelle


Evocative performances of these exquisitely crafted miniatures. Gramophone

“…the best modern recital devoted to the wonderfully varied world of Ravel’s songs.” “Julius Drake’s warm toned playing is, as ever, a perfect foil… Riches indeed. BBC Music Magazine


“baritone Gerald Finley and pianist Julius Drake pull off another success with this disc of Ravel songs. The Daily Telegraph

“It’s a beautiful disc that startles in ways you don’t always expect.” “Drake’s playing is spellbinding.” The Guardian