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Famous Handel Arias - Bryn Terfel

4 customer reviews

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Biography

BRYN TERFEL – A BIOGRAPHICAL TIMELINE
“A born communicator who loves words as much as music, he has reached out to audiences way beyond the rarefied temples of opera house and recital hall . . .”
The Times (London)
Born in North Wales in 1965, Bryn Terfel entered London’s Guildhall School of Music in 1984, studying first with Arthur Reckless and later with ... Read more in Amazon's Bryn Terfel Store

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Famous Handel Arias - Bryn Terfel + Bryn Terfel - Opera Arias + Cecilia and Bryn Duets
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Product details

  • Performer: Bryn Terfel
  • Orchestra: Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • Conductor: Sir Charles Mackerras
  • Composer: Georg Friederich Handel
  • Audio CD (10 Aug. 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: DG
  • ASIN: B000001GYY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,584 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

DGG 453480 2; DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON - Germania;

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By "quia-nihil-sum" on 20 April 2001
Format: Audio CD
Take a wonderful singer,an orchestra of international repute with a conductor who is a consummate Handelian,and the result should be something quite special.And yes,for the most part it does live up to all the potential promise that the line-up vouchsafes to deliver.Bryn Terfel could squeeze the last drop of emotion out of the most recalcitrant and inert libretto with that wonderful vocal instrument of his,and in this collection he brings all his considerable musical might to bear upon some of Handel's most exquisite writing,and the result is a record that would grace anyone's collection.
When I first read the track listing,I was somewhat taken aback to see the inclusion of such arias as, "Verdi Prati";"Where'er you walk";Ombra mai fu" (that famous "Largo") and "Va tacito e nascosto".All of these were originally intended for a much higher voice to say the least,and I was curious to hear how these transposed versions would turn out.I need not have worried,as it happens,because within the context of Sir Charles MacKerras's supremely skillful arrangements,Bryn succeeds brilliantly in carrying them off,and making them very much his own.I thoroughly commend them to your ears,and if you can resist something as infectious as his "Va tacito..." with that fantastic interplay with the solo horn,then you must be hard of heart indeed !
The rest of the programme is nicely varied in it's emotional palette:from the awe and gravitas he brings to,"I feel,I feel the Deity within" from "Judas Maccabaeus",to the lust for revenge of Timotheus in "Alexander's feast".
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Format: Audio CD
Terrific Handel. A great listen in the car. Somehow manages to find a way of making some complex arias so engaging and delightful to listen to.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ann on 20 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Extremely impressive. I was interested to find out that this version of 'Ombra mai fu' was at the pitch an orchestra would have played in the eighteenth century, though of course, the song was written for a castrati. My favourite song is Handel's adaption of Pope's poem, 'Where'er You Walk' which sounds marvellous.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Denis A. Brown on 25 May 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As usual Bryn Terfel is remarkable and brings his own style to the music without being boring. Well worth a purchase by anyone who likes classical music.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
LISTEN TO TERFEL 2 Feb. 2002
By MOVIE MAVEN - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Since leading roles for bass-baritones in the operas of Handel are very, very rare, it is quite doubtful that we'll soon be seeing operatic super-star BRYN TERFEL in any international theatre performing what he says is a great love of his. This is truly a pity since it is more than a little uncommon to see and hear acting as fine as Terfel's coupled with a voice as rich and expressive as his.
Just a few nights ago, I was watching a television concert from Europe in which Anne Sofie von Otter sang 'Carmen' to Terfel's 'Escamillo' in selections from Bizet's opera. The old war horse 'The Toreador Song' has never sounded this fresh and exciting. Terfel can do what few others in his profession know how to do: he gets into the words as well as the music; he actually plays the character and presents what the composer and librettist might only have dreamed about.
Handel's operas, all of them so difficult in their coloratura passages, are seldom actually acted. One might as well just hear a concert version. But Terfel, as proven in this recording, acts as well as sings. My favorites include arias from JULIUS CAESAR and ALCINA, but every band on this CD is a winner.
Gorgeously conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, the recording includes arias from the famous oratorios as well as from the operas: JUDAS MACCABAEUS and ALEXANDER'S FEAST are especially beautifully performed. And if you are used to a pallid, rumbling, muffled bass in your annual production of MESSIAH, listen to Terfel. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
"I rage, I rage, I melt, I burn!" 5 Nov. 2003
By E. A. Lovitt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD showcases popular Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel raging, melting, and burning his way through a wonderful variety of Handel arias (although I would have left out the 'Messiah' selections and gone for a few of Handel's 2,000 or so less-recorded songs).
According to Gerald Abraham in "Handel, a Symposium" the heroes that Terfel chose to bring to life in this recording generally had high soprano voices. Tenors and baritones were relegated to subordinate parts, and basses to those of tyrants or sages: "... in modern revivals of Handel's operas it is generally fatal to give [the castrato] parts to tenors or baritones to sing an octave lower."
In the first selection, Terfel takes on the role of Simon, brother of Judas Maccabaeus, which was originally a bass role. Critic Abraham could not object to this, although he might have a problem with the transposition of the arias for Demetrius ("Berenice, Queen of Egypt"), Caesar ("Julius Caesar in Egypt"), and Xerxes ("Xerxes"). If you are a purist, this CD might not be for you, but you'll miss out on some grand singing.
I'm especially fond of Terfel's handling of the slow, reflective arias "Verdi prati, selve amene" from 'Alcina,' and "Ombra mai fu" from 'Xerxes' (often called "Handel's Largo" despite the composer's "larghetto" marking). Here, the singer shuns lachrymose emoting. It is the purity of his tone and choice of dynamics that touch the heart.
"O ruddier than the cherry" from "Acis and Galatea" is robustly sung by the love-sick Polyphemus/Terfel. In spite of the buoyant central rhythm, every word is clearly enunciated. The preceding, accompanied recitative "I rage, I rage, I melt, I burn!" is a masterful, shimmering growl of emotion.
Along with Xerxes's plane tree and Polyphemus's cherries, Terfel returns to an arboreal subject in "Where'er you walk" from Semele. His command of musical and textual nuance is impressive in this tenderly sung aria. The ornamentation by Sir Charles Mackerras enhances rather than detracts from this beautiful love song.
Another highlight of this CD is Terfel's interpretation of "Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries" from "Alexander's Feast." He snarls through the trumpets with frenzied, dead-on ornamentation. However there are a few unusual hesitations, such as a slight pause between 'Timotheus' and 'cries,' and at first hearing, I didn't care for them. Now they make textual sense to me. His hissing snakes and sparkling eyes are flawlessly emphasized. Each melisma is rhythmically unique and perfectly inflected.

The last three selections from Handel's "Messiah" are unfortunately rather ordinary. "Why do the nations" has a strange repeat, and Terfel seems to be singing it up into his mask which makes it sound two-dimensional. There is also a little too much flattening or 'whitening' of the melismas, plus an occasional unattractive growl. I much prefer Samuel Ramey's deep, seamless coloratura in these three bass arias.
Perhaps Handel's "Messiah" is one of those works that truly separates the bass-baritones from the basses.
Other than the above complaint, Bryn Terfel pays grand homage to the dramatic tension, the text, and the musicality of Handel's arias.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Very enjoyable 20 Dec. 1999
By Paul Werner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Absolutely beautiful, very enjoyable during the holidays. If your a Handel or Bryn Terfel fan you won't go wrong this selection.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Blyssful even spente . . . 19 April 2000
By R. Cameron Inman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Truly a delight. The arrangements (thank you, Sir Charles) are the magic carpet upon which Mr. Terfel's sublime bass takes me back to the 1750's and the magical Musick of the right honorable Mr. Handel. Terfel's Polyphemous is a riot (as well it should be). Cheers to the two of you. The quality of the recording leaves a bit to be desired, though, as it doesn't seem to be equalized throughout.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great fun and a tour de force for Bryn Terfel 18 Sept. 2005
By Keith Nichols - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Bryn Terfel's flexible, powerful, and velvety (give me a better adjective for this) voice is well suited to navigating the variety of bombastic and melodramatic arias characterizing Handel's various offerings. These are well punctuated by more tender passages which the composer was equally adept at producing. All in all a most satisfying recording that I seem never to tire of hearing.
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