A very brief review
wolfgang731 | 04/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For once, I'll keep it very short. This is a wonderful recital by a superb artist. The one and only quibble, as far as I'm concerned, was the dreadful arrangement of "Stars" from Les Miserables, which manages to make a song that doesn't sound very "Broadway" in its original incarnation come across like something that would be fitting at an Oscar telecast. Talk about hokey. Other than that, it's a terrific release; varied, exciting, beautifully executed and a perfect vehicle for the immensely talented and multi-faceted Bryn Terfel. Highly recommended."
Terfel is no villain, but his singing is charismatic anyway
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 04/13/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bryn Terfel attempts a scowl on the cover photo, but he instantly reveals that he's no villain, much less a Satan. that's why the famous bass-baritone, though a splendid vocal actor, has been more a Leporello than a Don Giovanni, a Falstaff instead of an Iago. Terfel's expansive personality refuses to constrict into the obsessiveness of evil. Yet that's no reason to disbelieve in his new CD devoted to opera's "bad boys" (should we dumb things down quite that far?) DG has supplied their star with an excellent conductor in Paul Daniel and the accomplished Swedish Radio Orch., along with cannons for Scarpia's first-act monologue with chorus, and even Anne Sofie von Otter to take a turn as Mrs. Lovett from Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.
We must be living in an age of "I don't really mean it" villains, because Rene Pape's recent solo album for DG fell short on evil,too. Terfel is far ore the crossover artist, so here he's sprinkled in pop times form Porgy and Bess , Ruddigore, the Threpenny Opera, and the aforementioned Sweeney Todd. the mixture is lively and often amusing. Terfel's voice shows little if any sing of wear --- the spark of charisma certainly hasn't gone out. In the Fifties Boris Christoff pulled off the trick of singing the three major bass roles in Boris Godunov, and Terfel takes a stab at giving us all three low voices in the banquet scene from Don Giovanni. His Commendatore isn't threatening, though, and his Don isn't arrogantly defiant. only poor Leporello, the one comic character, sounds absolutely right.
That said, this is a deluxe solo album full of appeal, and what's wrong with smiling instead of trembling in fear?
Here's the complete program:
Ha! Welch ein Augenblick! (from Fidelio)
Son lo Spirito che nega [from Mefistofele]
Udite, udite, o rustici (from L'elisir d'amore)
It Ain't Necessarily So (from Porgy and Bess)
Le veau d'or est toujours debout (from Faust)
Don Giovanni, a cenar teco (from Don Giovanni)
Maledici? O monumento (from La Gioconda)
Tre sbirri...Una carozza...Presto 'Te Deum' (from Tosca)
La calumnia e un venticello (from Il barbiere di Siviglia)
Stars (from Les Misérables)
Epiphany (from Sweeney Todd)
Anne Sofie von Otter (Mrs Lovett)
When the Night Wind Howls (from Ruddigore)
Vanne, la tua meta gia vedo...Credo in un Dio crudel (from Otello)
Schweig, schweig (from Der Freischütz)
The Threepenny Opera: Moritat von Mackie Messer
R. Jaramillo | 04/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been waiting to listen to this CD since almost September 09. I even almost broke down and ordered myself a british copy last year. nonetheless, I figured it wasnt anything I hadnt heard before, and it was worth the wait and anticipation. Mr. Terfel does a splendid job with these arias and songs. I do believe that he has that snare to play a villain and his rendition of Scarpia is very good. His Sweeney Todd is amazing and definitely very sinister. All in all, this album is definitely worth purchasing."