Susan D. from STATESBORO, GA Reviewed on 8/9/2006...
Pleasant. Very good selection of songs.
For crossover, very good
pspa | Boston, MA USA | 02/25/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I usually hate the crossover genre, because the material almost always ends up overdone and not at all true to the idiom and mood of the original. That said, Terfel on this disc is about as good as crossover can get, using his fine voice to render pretty convincing and powerful versions of a number of Broadway classics. While he occasionally goes over the top, he is pretty faithful to the songs, and on those numbers that call for a rousing rendition (They Call the Wind Maria, for example), he really is splendid. Great sound quality and fine orchestral accompaniments."
Great voice, a bit over-done
R. Ley | Aptos, CA USA | 02/07/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this CD as soon as I knew it was out, having thoroughly enjoyed his Rodgers&Hammerstein disc, and having heard him sing the most heardrending version of "Herr, lehre doch mich" in Brahms' Requiem that I have ever heard or could ever hope to hear. In the R&H I thought he sang sublimely. He gave great readings of songs which were familiar to me, and ones which I had never heard before. Some of my favorites from that CD are songs with which I was not familiar. I felt there was a hint of oversinging on some songs, but was willing to overlook those for the sheer beauty and unbelievable power of his other interpretations. On this CD [the Lerner and Lowe] some of the songs are overdone. It's almost as though he followed the R&H too quickly and didn't really LEARN these songs, didn't take them into his heart and caress them, feel them, the way he did the R&H. Emotion is a wonderful thing, particularly in singing, but it can seem artificial, and that's the way I feel about some of these. Listen to the way he sings some words that start with "b", almost popping them out of his mouth or gliding into them when it really isn't appropriate at that point in the song. I think he oversings on this one and it should have been more nuanced. He loves loud, he loves soft, but there can be an exquisite middle that sometimes eludes him here. That said, I'll still buy his next one in a heartbeat. A voice, and heart, of the quality we are not likely to ever hear again in our lifetime."
Terfel's interpretation of showtunes quite appropriate!
Mario Martinez | SanDiego, CA USA | 08/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Terfel's interpretations of Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's musicals is a nice alternative to the partiality that an opera singer has to their own genre of music. Terfel, I feel, knew that he could justify his decision to make a recording of show tunes, especially after the completion of G.&S. light opera pieces. I have always held clasically trained singers with esteem and have always apreciated there interpretations of various types of music. Show tunes are an easy bridge for the clasically trained such as Terfel. Yet, as Terfel proves, his voice tends to be a little to strident(in a good way)or strong, in many cases, for a particular passage. For example, the whole song "They Call the Wind Maria" from Paint Your Wagon is way to strong and quite formidable for the ears to stand, yet the opening note from like a fiddle is very light and nastalgic (on- the-range style) motif, yet once Terfel belts out the note, one feels he is a rough and way too tough cowboy who is supposed to be "on the lone prairy." Also, in the song "On the Street Where You Live," one of my all-time favorites, Terfel is enclined to approach the song with a rather strong dose of enthusiasm and playfulness, whereas I feel that the song should be approached with an inner light of emotions that luminate from within the singer that is interpreted as a warmth and passionate inner secret that the lister will agree with, and appreciate as if they are also sharing the secret of a lover who is smitten/infatuated with this "someone" "On The Street Where You Live." NOW...WITH GETTING ALL OF THE COMMENTS OUT...I can reflect on the nature of Terfel and his voice and how this recording is an incredible piece. First of all, I love to hear songs sung in a full voice with a tone with a forward resonance and brilliance that only a artist clasically trained like an opera singer can achieve. Their voices are unmatched in sound and technique, thus furthering the richness of a song otherwise song by a standard singer who might show all the emotions yet the inability to convey their music without a micropone. I wish not to be to brash, for I love broadway singers like Anthony Warlow, for his voice, I believe is exceptional, yet even more like Audra MacDonald. Why? for she has proven to cross over and sing operatic pieces with alacrity. For Bryn Terfel, these songs are easy and playful to execute, yet this does not mean he slacks on the energy needed to support a sound that he is familiar with in operatic arenas. Yet the possible taxing tones need for opera can be exempt here as they are, yet the good habits of a classically trained singer such as word elucution/diction and constant support add a hightened relief to rather standard showtunes, that can be heard half hummed and then easily dismissed by the lister on most occasions to such songs. Yet, if You buy this recording you will not be so enclined to dissmiss these songs that you thought you heard too much, for you will marvel at how an opera singer can transcend the mundane interpretations of musical theater's usual acts, and let a truly mastered voice soar over and orchestra without a sign of straining, producing beatuful full sounds exploding with emotions in a unique, truly intensifying way. these songs will leave an indelibe mark in your mind...yet only if you buy it!"
Well it IS Bryn Terfel, after all...
Nancy Eckert | Bellefontaine, OH USA | 02/01/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As a voracious fan of Terfel, I have almost every CD in which his voice sounds. This new effort is less pleasing than the Rogers and Hammerstein, as if Mr. Terfel's heart isn't quite so enchanted with Lerner and Lowe as the first two gentlemen. Having said that, I feel rather bad about it -- in much the same way that I feel bad for not liking his interpretation of Erlking on the An Die Musik CD -- more so because it's my current favorite album of ANY sort (were it an LP, it would have worn out long ago)."