"i cannot say enough about bryn terfl. in an era where classical musicians seem to be valued more for overcoming adversity (david helfgott, andrea bocelli) or being young (charlotte church) rather than for having any musical talent or abilities of interpretation, bryn terfl stands out as a true artist. i thought no one could surpass fischer-diskau's interpretation of "erlking" but terfl's rendition raises goosbumps- the modulation of his voice between characters is remarkable, especially how he removes all warmth from the timbre of the erlking's speeches. martineau's piano playing is sensitive and equally dramatic. a fabulous recording."
Terfel's all-encompassing Schubert recital
Yi-Peng | Singapore | 10/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This Schubert CD is one of the first high notes in Bryn Terfel's solo discography for DG. Although you might find him at home singing Rodgers & Hammerstein musical excerpts, or a popular Welsh song, this recital of Schubert shows Terfel as sympathetic when he interprets the lieder of this Austrian "sunshine composer." Terfel leads us through a good 69 minutes of 23 favourite Schubert songs, ably backed by the authoritative piano accompaniments of Malcolm Martineau that create the effect of a magic carpet for Bryn, and engage in a sparkling dialogue with him. And DG has ably capped this winning recital with a natural, ambient and clear recording in Hamburg's Friedrich-Ebert Halle .
Terfel's Schubert recital encompasses a great range of moods and emotions. These range from the joie de vivre of "Die Forelle" to the tender, soft and seductive strains of the overplayed "Standchen." In these two immensely popular songs, Terfel gives the Midas touch until you sense it turning into gold. Terfel is also able to let us face the apocalyptic terror of the first song, "Gruppe aus dem Tartarus" and the smooth-talking malevolance of "Der Tod und das Madtchen." But yet, Terfel also treats us to selections that we know are enjoyable, and where he ably evokes the appropriate mood of each song. In his restless "Der Wanderer," he sings it until he makes us want to cry because he evokes the mood of the narrator's restless sould so vividly. There is also a hair-raising and dramatic "Erlkonig" where Terfel ably creates contrasts between the three characters in the story. But perhaps the best songs are those where he savours every moment and has an honest, winning expression. His rendition of the title track, "An die Musik" has a sincere and simple charm that matches the sentiments of the song, and he is able to convey to us the wonder of "Gaymed" and the charming Shakespearean song, "An Silvia." He caps this winning persona with a delightful "Heidenrslein" and "Die Taubenpost" and a cheerful and outgoing rendition of the last song, "Der Musensohn." The only wuibble I have is that 70 minutes is too short to hear Terfel tackle the all-important Schubert songs from his over-600, and I do hope he'll consider recording a volume 2 in the near future. This album seems to omit some of the other well-loved songs like Der Lindenbaum, Fruhlingsglaube, Gretchen am Spinnrade, Horch, horch die Lerch and the original version of Ave Maria with the German translation of Scott.
On the whole, I find this a wonderful Terfel recital of Schubert lieder, and Terfel seems like he is savouring every moment of it. This is one of the essential purchases for anyone who is getting into Bryn Terfel, and should be well-considered alongside the Rodgers & Hammerstein and Welsh albums. Now I wonder when Terfel will come up with a Volume 2 with more well-known Lieder..."
A superb performance
jhorro | VA | 04/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This recording shows very well what Bryn Terfel can do with lieder. He is more dramatic than many rivals - not afraid to use full voice at times or a faint whisper. His Erlkonig is possibly the finest thing on this recording - the characterizations may be too extreme for some tastes, but shows Terfel's ability to capture the listener. Martineau rises superbly to the challenge of supporting this great voice. The recording is also very realistic."
Die Forelle und ErlKoenig
Dr. Norman W. Fahrer | Richmond, CA USA | 10/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is really a delightful CD. I was amazed by the interpretation of "Der Erlkoenig" und thoroughly enjoyed
"Die Forelle". It feels like a brave and extaordinarily
capable voice was at work in the making of this CD.
Very gifted singer !"
Operatic Schubert that works, for once
Santa Fe Listener | Santa Fe, NM USA | 01/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bryn Terfel issn't the first heroic bass-baritone to sing lieder, of course, but for every Hans Hotter who succeeds there's a George London who doesn't. In opera a singer who expresses an inward emotion msut still fill the house with sound. Terfel knows how to scale his voice to a whisper, but that would just be a trick if he didn't go inside the text personally. He can do that very well while singing strongly--a rare gift--and he dares to employ the high dramatics of oprea, flooding the listener with gorgeous vocalism while maintaining contact with Schubert's intent.
I don't mean to sound so clinical. The simple secret of Terfel's success is his ability to communicate. His deep, rich voice has no link physically to the beautiful boy-child Ganymede, whom Schubert depicts as Zeus bears him to heaven in the guise of an eagle, yet he takes us into the character so throughly that no separation exists; this could be Schwarzkopf at her most alluring. Every song here is familiar, but whether in Die Forelle, Erlkonig, or Der Musensohn, Terfel finds a way to chatacterize the words emotionally--in this his success mirrors Jessye Norman's, who also sang a thrilling Schubert recital early in her career that gloried in her huge sound instead of trying to supress it. With this 1994 CD and his "Vagabond" recital of English art songs Terfel secured his place at the top of the singing world.
P.S. 2010 - Fifteen years later this remains one of the best Schubert discs in memory, so it's a pity that so few readers seem to have noticed it."