Gerald Finley



Some upcoming engagements of Gerald Finley


John Blow: Venus & Adonis

Conductor: René Jacobs


Venus: Rosemary Joshua
Adonis: Gerald Finley
Cupid: Robin Blaze
Clare College Chapel Choir
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment


Blow: Venus & Adonis / Jacobs, Joshua, Age Of Enlightenment,


"No more apologies for this work. Historically in the shadow of Purcell's Dido, Venus and Adonis is fast becoming a recognized masterpiece of small-scale baroque drama. Blow draws considerable inspiration from French chamber opera both in matters of constitution and balance, though Venus and Adonis is still a distinctly English work with its poised, understated dialogue and an emotional denouement where Adonis's death from the tusks of a boar is touchingly tender in its measured, if demonstrative grief; the effect is not far removed from Dido's lament, though Purcell's tragic vein is ultimately untouchable. There are, however, some superb examples of indigenous word-setting and declamatory arioso which put Blow in the Purcell bracket in several instances, not least in Cupid's forthright scene-setting, sung with increasing assurance by Robin Blaze. Indeed, René Jacobs surrounds himself with many fine singers here, all of whom he marshals in lively and responsive performances. Rosemary Joshua is an irresistible Venus, who wastes not a word either in colourful representation or vocal suppleness, and Gerald Finlay's reflective longing accords with Jacobs's elegant and full-flavoured direction. More continental in nuance than Philip Pickett's direct and tightly-wrought account, Jacobs lends a gentle francophile accentuation to the dances rather than Pickett's deliberately organized characterization."--from review by Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Gramophone [9/1999]



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