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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful combination
A classical singer like Bryn Terfel faces a real danger in producing a compilation album. Used to delivering theatrical, if not epic, operatic roles, there's the risk that any compilation will be too bitty, will not give him a chance to stamp his character on the music. Inherent in any selection of songs is the danger that the whole balance of the recording will...
Published on 28 Nov 2005 by Budge Burgess

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spadeloads of sentiment and gutless misery make for a dismal album
Much though I admire Bryn Terfel's artistry as a singer, especially in his lieder singing, he and his producers are clueless when it comes to putting together a CD of popular music. This dreadful album consists largely of a string of minor key hymns and love songs interrupted all-too-briefly by the slight brightness of Morning Has Broken (rendered much better by Cat...
Published on 24 Jun 2012 by MBJM


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55 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful combination, 28 Nov 2005
By 
Budge Burgess (Troon, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
A classical singer like Bryn Terfel faces a real danger in producing a compilation album. Used to delivering theatrical, if not epic, operatic roles, there's the risk that any compilation will be too bitty, will not give him a chance to stamp his character on the music. Inherent in any selection of songs is the danger that the whole balance of the recording will become saccharine, anodyne, or cloyingly sentimental … you end up thinking, great voice, but somehow the gravitas is lost.
The strength Terfel brings to this recording - apart from his outstanding voice - is the sheer weight of his personality. This is a performer who can exert presence, who can dominate a stage, and who can translate that presence to the recording of tracks as different as "I'll Walk Beside You", "Morning Has Broken", or "Send In The Clowns". Yet this is also a performer who can share his personality - he combines wonderfully with Aled Jones. This is professionalism!
If you love Bryn Terfel's voice - and if you've ever heard him, you have to love his voice - then this is a package of enjoyment, wonder, and excellent value. Simple gifts, sophisticated delights!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner from the welsh wizard, 25 Dec 2005
By 
Mr. Stephen D. Wassell "sdwassell" (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
A delightful blend of different styles of music which is bound to please lovers of music that is both pleasant upon the ear and remarkably tuneful. Bryn's voice is second to none in his particular field and his duet with Aled is sublime. The songs may seem old fashioned to some but to others of us they are timeless.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terfel's voice equalled by quality of arrangements, 27 Jan 2006
This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
This wonderful collection of songs is a pleasure to listen to largely thanks to the quality of the arrangements written for Bryn's voice. A favourite of mine is Chris Hazell's arrangement of 'Amazing Grace'. Turn the volume up. Sit back and let the power of John Newton's famous words hit home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top quality crossover classical music, 16 May 2009
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
Wales, the land of song, has produced many outstanding singers in a variety of musical styles. Bryn Terfel is doing much to continue that tradition by using his wonderful baritone voice to record a series of brilliant albums. Judging by his repertoire, Bryn enjoys several different, mainly traditional, musical styles.#

On this album, Bryn mixes classical pieces with folk songs, show songs, hymns and the occasional popular song that doesn't fit any of those categories. There are even a couple of Christmas songs (Ave Maria - the Bach / Gounod version - and Still still still). All the songs here are performed in Bryn's customary style with excellent musical support, so despite the contrasting origins of the various songs, the whole album hangs together well. The set opens with Mozart's setting of Ave verum corpus (a recording of the Karl Jenkins setting comes midway through the album) and ends with a song frequently used in Mormon services, God be with you. The title track is a song of American origin, written in the mid-nineteenth century.

Bryn is in great form throughout the album, so your favorite tracks are likely to depend on your particular tastes. Among my favorites would be The rose, most famously recorded by Bette Midler but also recorded by country singer Conway Twitty and several other great singers in various musical genres. Other favorites of mine include Send in the clowns, Morning has broken, How great thou art and Amazing grace. I've heard plenty of other versions of these songs but I never get tired of them; they are timeless, which is why Bryn recorded them. Yet there are so many great tracks here that your favorite might be one of those that I haven't mentioned.

If you love top quality crossover classical music, you'll enjoy Bryn's music in general and this album in particular.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bryn at his best, 10 April 2006
This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
Absolutely brilliant selection of popular songs by the incomparable voice of Bryn. How is it that the Welsh have such amazing voices? Well worth getting and listening to again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection from Bryn Terfel!, 4 Jan 2010
By 
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This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
This CD was chosen as a Xmas gift for my wife. She was delighted when she saw it and was even more delighted when she heard the collection of music on it. She has always been a big fan of Bryn's - now she is an even bigger fan after hearing this wonderful collection of great music from such a beautiful voice!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bryn Terfel, 6 Jan 2010
By 
Mrs. Pamela Packham (Surrey England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
Brilliant CD I can recommend this to anyone who doesn't like
classical music it will convert you. A wonderful recording.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, 21 Jan 2010
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This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
Wonderful selection from Bryn, especially Still, Still, Still and The Lord Bless you and keep you. I never tire of listening to him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Garden of delights, 31 Jan 2013
This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
As long as Bryn Terfel does folk songs and drawing room ballads then I take notice.
Opera is no use to me and I generally avoid it though operetta is more interesting.
But parlor ballads are the business
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simple gifts but great talent!, 2 April 2010
By 
Antoinette Dickinson-Kaur "opera buff" (Laois, Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Simple Gifts (Audio CD)
What can I say? It's Bryn Terfel! From start to finish, Bryn never puts a vocal cord wrong! Beautiful, uplifting pieces which touch the heart and the soul, sung in Bryn's glorious, lush voice - definitely a treat! The cd arrived within days of being ordered, and in perfect condition. I would definitely deal with the seller again.
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Simple Gifts
Simple Gifts by Bryn Terfel (Audio CD - 2005)
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