STYLE: Classical RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 174160-27861 LABEL: Deutsche Grammophone 4835514 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Steven Whitehead
While few would argue that Sir Bryn Terfel is one of the finest bass-baritones of his generation, those who like to quibble may say that this collection does not show him in the best light. Doubtless Sir Bryn will cry all the way to the bank but classical purists (read elitists if you prefer) may have a point. This is a collection of the singer's favourite encore pieces and when taken out of context with all 16 served up in one go it does come across as rather light weight and, at points, almost self-indulgent. Personally I enjoyed it and if fellow basses do not join in the refrain of Flanders and Swann's "Hippopotamus Song" ("Mud, mud, glorious mud") there is something wrong with you. We get a double helping from Fiddler On The Roof with "If I Were A Rich Man" (of course) and a duet with Dame Emma Thompson on "Do You Love Me". Other guests are Alfie Boe on John Denver's "Perhaps Love", Danielle de Niese on "Amazing Grace", the only explicitly Christian song in the collection, Katherine Jenkins on "Tell My Father" from The Civil War, Rob Brydon (yes, him - and he can sing) on "The Golf Song (Golfer's Lament)" and - for me the highlight - Joseph Calleja on "Granada". If you are not already saying to yourself that this is the proverbial mixed bag, throw in Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" and Karl Jenkins' "The Shepherd Poet of Passchendale" and I will rest my case. Fans of Bryn Terfel the popular entertainer will enjoy this no end, admirers of Bryn Terfel the opera singer may prefer to ignore it, and those looking for songs of faith and inspiration have come to the wrong place.
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