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Bryn Terfel - We'll Keep a Welcome
James James, Welsh Traditional, W.S. Gwynn Williams
Bryn Terfel - We'll Keep a Welcome
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1

Bryn Terfel is the most recent in a long line of great Welsh singers (and certainly one of the greatest)--a people who proverbially are "born with music in the blood and poetry in the soul." Here, he sings the songs of ...  more »


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Bryn Terfel is the most recent in a long line of great Welsh singers (and certainly one of the greatest)--a people who proverbially are "born with music in the blood and poetry in the soul." Here, he sings the songs of his native Wales: hymns, folksongs, art songs, tender lullabies, yearning songs of love and homesickness, and heroic, defiant patriotic songs--including the Welsh National Anthem, which opens and closes the program. Terfel's voice, flowing out effortlessly like a golden stream, is phenomenal for its incomparable beauty, its range of dynamics, its inflection, and its intensity; his expressiveness is simpler and more natural than usual, and seems really to come straight from his soul. In honor of another great Welsh tradition, two splendid male choirs accompany him; in the fine orchestra, the English horn and harp soloists are particularly striking. The only false note on this heartwarming disc is the lush, garish orchestration, which runs counter to the ingenuous spirit of the songs and often almost resembles a soundtrack. The prime example is the lovely lullaby that's popular in English as "All Through the Night." Terfel sings it with wonderful simplicity; the orchestration is out of a grade-B movie. No wonder, therefore, that the more magical moments are those in which Terfel sings alone with a cappella chorus, harps, or piano; especially in the quiet, inward songs. The accompanying booklet is done beautifully, with stunning photographs of the Welsh countryside, a brief account of Welsh history and music, and texts in both Welsh and English. --Edith Eisler

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CD Reviews

(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ok, I am not one to write reviews on a cd and in fact this is my first. The first time that I heard Bryn T sing any Welsh songs was on the Rugby World Cup cd entitled "Land Of My Fathers". The song Ar Lan Y Mor never fails to move me to tears, there is such a lonely, haunting quality to it. MYFANWY is another beautiful song about the hope of love blossoming. Not all songs are sung in Welsh but being the land of song and poetry, each one is a pearl. Bryn's voice is made for the songs on this album and unlike the overly boistrous level that he can at times achieve singing musicals or opera, it somehow fits on this cd when he does the more patriotic songs. The backing vocals of the Black Mountain Chorus does a wonderful job of complimenting Bryn on Land of My Fathers and Men of Harlach as well as some others. Many of the songs are Welsh hymns and a wonderful example of this is Calon Lan which translates as A Pure Heart. There are also some selections that are poetry set to music such as the Sunset Poem written by the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. Suo-Gan is a lovely lullaby about a mothers love. Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau is the Welsh national anthem and who wouldn't be stired up by words like 'The land whose stern warriors were true to the core, While bleeding for freedom of yore'? In short, don't buy this album unless you may truly say as the Welsh proverb goes 'To be born Welsh is to be born with music in your blood and poetry in your soul'"
Bryn at his best
bellavoce | USA | 02/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Once again, Bryn Terfel proves that he is the greatest bass-baritone alive, and does it in charming, engaging way. A whole range of emotions and vocal colors spill out of this great man. He begins and ends by shaking the rafters with his national pride in "Land of My Fathers". In between, he charms with "My Little Welsh Home" (a recital favorite) and "Myfanwy", soothes with "Ar Lan Y Mor" and "Ar Hyd Y Nos", and envigorates with "Men of Harlech" and the title track. However, "Suo-Gan" is worth the entire price of the CD alone: Terfel practically outdoes himself with the soft, caressing beauty of his phrasing. It's no wonder his young son Tomas refuses to sleep when Terfel sings it, and will only smile at his father and listen quietly. Who, indeed, would want to miss one note of this glorious stuff?"
Anthems And Hymns From Bryn
NYYanksFan | Long Island, NY | 04/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bryn Terfel is a powerhouse of a bass-baritone, and a most versatile performer on the opera stage. I have seen him a number of times, and the range and beauty of his performances have never disappointed: he was a lyrical, bronze voiced Wolfram in Wagner's Tannhauser, and a playful, beautifully voiced rake as Mozart's Figaro (qualities he almost topped as Don Giovanni). I am not particularly fond of his "crossover" recordings: when he's not hamming it up on certain Rodgers & Hammerstein songs (not all -- some are done beautifully), he just comes across as overly stylized and mannered singing popular music (qualities which, I think, also hurt Renee Fleming's "crossover" work).

This is not an opera recording, nor a typical "crossover" CD. These are perfectly chosen and performed hymns and Welsh standards, marvelously sung by Terfel and the stupendous mens' choir he surrounded himself with. My favorites are the songs which were featured prominently in John Ford's classic, "How Green Was My Valley", namely "Cwm Rhondda" (the familiar hymn "Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer"), "Men of Harlech", "Calon Lan" and, especially, a heartbreakingly gorgeous a capella version of "Myfanwy" (the melody of which can be heard in "O Home Beloved"). The Welsh language version of "All Through The Night" is sung as tenderly as can be by Mr. Terfel, and I enjoy his rendition of this gentle lullaby far more than the Amazon reviewer did here.

This CD has been in my car for going on 6 years now, and it gets played, in whole or in part, at least a couple of times a month. Very, very enjoyable music."