Michael Finnissy: Singular Voices


Catalogue No: MSV 28557
EAN/UPC: 809730855726
Artists: , ,
Release Date: April 2016
Discs: 1
Total Playing Time: 63:05

The 12th in our continuing series of the music of Michael Finnissy, one of the giants of the modern music world.

This disc also features the wonderful vocal talent of Clare Lesser, in both songs-with-words and vocalises. Solos, and items accompanied by clarinet, piano or both.

Another significant release of major modern works for the voice.

Track Listing

    Michael Finnissy:

  1. Lord Melbourne (15:40)
  2. Song 1 (5:29)
  3. Song 16 (4:57)
  4. Song 11 (3:02)
  5. Song 14 (3:11)
  6. Same as We (7:42)
  7. Song 15 (7:15)
  8. I. Beuk o’ Newcassel Sangs – Up the Raw, ma boony (2:21)
  9. II. Beuk o’ Newcassel Sangs – I thought to marry a parson (1:39)
  10. III. Beuk o’ Newcassel Sangs – Buy broom buzzems (3:18)
  11. IV. Beuk o’ Newcassel Sangs – A’ the neet ower an’ ower (1:55)
  12. V. Beuk o’ Newcassel Sangs – As me an’ me marrra was gannin’ to wark (1:54)
  13. VI. Beuk o’ Newcassel Sangs – There’s Quayside fer sailors (1:19)
  14. VII. Beuk o’ Newcassel Sangs – It’s O but aw ken weel (3:17)



“This is a great addition to the catalogue. Metier is a company that fearlessly explores music of unapologetic modernism that demands a hearing, and this disc is no exception. The music of Michael Finnissy, while challenging, has an immediacy of impact that draws the listener in. The recording is perfect, clear and with realistic distancing, while the performances themselves are mesmeric. Lesser herself seems to have superhuman breath control. A superb release.”

” —Colin Clarke

Eloquent, rhythmically taut performances… as long lines persistently implode inside obsessively florid detail. Finnissy’s supple clash of base diatonicism against microtonal encryption is powerful, weighty and unsettling.

” —Philip Clark

Finnissy’s Singular Voices impressed me. The recital is remarkable. Clare Lesser has a pure voice that is used to good effect. Music is nothing if it is not about adventure, new discoveries and challenge. I am privileged to have been introduced to what are clearly striking vocal works that cover a huge range of musicality and emotion. [Finnissy’s] indeed is a ‘Singular Voice’.

” —John France
American Record Guide

The main attraction here is the astounding soprano Clare Lesser, who handles Finnissy’s nearly impossible vocal demands without blinking, while still maintaining beautiful tone and flawless intonation. A couple [of the songs] are vocalises, and those are particularly mind-blowing.

” —Allen Gimbel
The Classical Reviewer

These players deliver the most impressive performances of these fine works. The recording is excellent and there are informative booklet notes. This is an attractive release that brings some impressive contemporary piano trios.

” —Bruce Reader
Musical Opinion

Clare Lesser proves to be particularly fine showing tremendous control and agility… a fine purity of tone, with remarkably fluent delivery and intensely fine control, achieving a rather otherworldly quality. She brings remarkable singing to the faster passages.  The recording is first rate and there are excellent booklet notes. These performances of Finnissy’s quite remarkable songs are unlikely to be bettered.

” —Robert Matthew-Walker

No label has done more to champion Finnissy than Metier, whose latest CD Singular Voices, released yesterday, is their twelfth devoted to Finnissy’s music. Singular Voices is a beautiful collection of modern songwriting, one that forms a vital part in the ongoing understanding and appreciation of Michael Finnissy’s music. And while all three players are overwhelmingly sensitive to the considerable shifts in tone and manner presented in these pieces, Clare Lesser deserves especially high praise for a performance that’s so varied and nuanced it seems scarcely credible.

” —Simon Cummings
Gapplegate Classical Modern Music

This is difficult music from a performance standpoint and all three do an excellent job realizing the complexities… remarkable virtuoso soprano performances. Confirmed modernists will rejoice! Sound adventurers will find this a very worthy challenge. It has helped me become a Finnissy adherent. Beautiful music if you adjust to its very expressive world!

” —Grego Edwards