by Paula Citron
The Roy Thomson Hall Vocal Series always includes at least one Canadian, and bass-baritone Gerald Finley was an inspired choice. The London-based singer performs all too rarely in his home country.
There is good reason why Finley has a glittering international career as this recital so amply proved. He is a consummate interpreter of text, and nothing is more satisfying than a recital when words and music flow seamlessly together.
Finley is also blessed with a flexible voice that he plays like a harp. He has a seductive vibrato in his upper and lower registers, and a warm middle. His is a distinctive voice, and even if I quarrel with some of the slow tempi of Schumann’s Dichterliebe, Finley’s interpretation was a marvel.
It also helped that his accompanist was the great Julius Drake. The two were a complete musical symbiosis. The second half 20th century American songs by Ives, Rorem and Barber were daring, and wonderfully performed.
From Roy Thomson Hall, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.