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4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 27 June 2001
What a performer this man is - and he shows how a seasoned opera/lieder performer can also sing the 'Songs from the Shows'. I have never heard such a powerful performance of You'll Never Walk Alone, and the new, to me anyway, Come Home Joe, is very moving. Bryn Terfel is blessed with a wonderful vocal instrument and, what is more, he certainly knows how to use it. He has the ability to colour the voice, makes sure every word can be heard and I, for one, wouldn't want to hear anyone else sing these after hearing Bryn. He sings with such immense feeling for the character. I would say to anyone who has not bothered to listen to this disc, you really don't know what you are missing. I have been playing it for many of my friends who don't really like 'Opera Singers', but I can tell you that they have all bought the disc after hearing Bryn sing "Something Wonderful, Wonderfully".
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VINE VOICEon 17 June 2007
It may sound superflous for opera singers to sing Rodgers & Hammerstein, but Bryn Terfel's recital proves an exception to this perception. Terfel's R&H disc is arguably one of his finest recordings, displaying a characterful feel for this music and impeccable diction. I know his song selection is a little skewed to the first half of R&H, but many well-loved favourites such as Some Enchanted Evening, If I Loved You and Edelweiss show off his voice to good effect. The first-class, traditional backing from the chorus and orchestra, and the sumptuous and clear recording, complete with a superb essay and full song lyrics in the booklet, only serve to add icing to the cake.

Terfel's recital opens bracingly with Oklahoma's Oh, what a Beautiful Mornin', and we know he captures the swagger of Curly the Oklahoman cowboy. Through this track as well as throughout the rest of the CD, we know that his big voice does not show off, but he as an R&H fan only allows R&H to speak and have the last word. Terfel offers an intelligent reading of If I Loved You from Carousel, and builds Billy's pivotal Soliloquy to a devastating climax. Yet he can also be ravishing, as he is with Some Enchanted Evening and Bali Ha'i from South Pacific, as well as during Edelweiss from The Sound of Music and I Have Dreamed from The King and I. In his hands these songs sound fresh, and he intuitively conveys the essence of each song in relation to their show. His soft singing also thrills us on these tracks, and we know it still is a seductive sound. He is also lusty during June is Bustin' out all Over from Carousel and also on Nothin' like a Dame from South Pacific.

Terfel's recital covers more than just intelligent singing that gives the last word to R&H. Some of the songs like Something Wonderful, You'll Never Walk Alone and It Might as well be Spring, were originally written for women, but Terfel's masculinity does them full justice and gives them a universal feeling. There are also lesser-known songs from Allegro and Me and Juliet that delight the R&H fan alongside their better-known works. The song Come Home is an especial highlight, as if Terfel is ably communicating to us the glories of simple pleasures and unfailing values. And No Other Love from Me and Juliet is a swirling tango, a conventional R&H love song, ravishingly sung.

The only quibble I have is that this recital tends to focus and lean too heavily on the first half of R&H. Sixteen out of 20 tracks are devoted to their first period. I bear no grudge against this, as there were more outstanding R&H songs from their early years. As such perhaps this disc might not be a balanced portrayal of R&H as songwriters, as I wish it could have included more songs from their second half, especially from Sound of Music and Pipe Dream. Terfel would have been wonderful singing The Sound of Music, normally associated with Dame Julie Andrews, and Climb Every Mountain, as well as The Man I used to be from Pipe Dream and This Gentleman is a Dope from Allegro. Yet these are minor quibbles in an otherwise transfixing R&H recital that goes beyond being just another opera-singer's superflous attempt at Broadway songs.

In short, I would recommend this R&H recital without hesitation, and a worthwhile introduction to the wonderful world of R&H. It might encourage purchase of full cast recordings of their work, even if this is only a small sampler of their well-loved songs and shows.
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on 2 February 2001
All too often opera singers sing popular songs like an affected Italian uncle. Bryn manages to overcome that obstacle by ensuring that he leaves behind his opera training and brings in the right diction for each song. The choice of songs is superb and the backing is first class.
These songs are classics and are treated as such by Bryn.
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on 26 March 2004
Go for it
Great voice
Great songs
Most of these songs are familiar to me because my parents loved them.
Play in it the car on your way to work.......
Join in at the top of your voice.
It will set you up for the day ahead.
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on 31 December 2009
There's something altogether mystical about this collection of Rodgers & Hammerstein sung by the Welsh Baritone, Bryn Terfel. I can smell the tall corn in "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" and I can make out the distant shape of Bali Hai in the distance. With every song he applies the same meticulous approach he would to Schubert Lieder or English Songs. Because of this he elevates further the status of these immortal songs. They become like vocal tone poems, each one given a different colour and emotional emphasis. If your desert island of choice is Bali Hai, then this will be your desert island disc. My only wish is that he could have recorded a second volume with some more songs from "The Sound Of Music". There needs to be a second volume to this masterpiece instead of some of these appalling cross-over albums that he records which seem like homogenised Bryn rather than Quintessential Bryn. If you want that kind of thing there's always the appalling Rhydian to turn to.
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This 1996 release is a treat indeed for all Rodgers & Hammerstein fans - Bryn Terfel doing full justice to memorable melodies and what has been hailed as eminently singable poetry.

The glorious voice is in full control - in turns movingly lyrical, tender, exuberant. There are no disappointments but many highlights. As always, the "Carousel" Soliloquy has special impact - flawed former busker Billy Bigelow struggling with a range of emotions before a decision which will change everything for ever.

Some numbers ("Bali Ha'i", "Something Wonderful") are usually sung by a female voice, but there are no problems, everything working well.

Particularly pleasing is the opportunity to hear songs from the underrated "Allegro". "So Far", "What a Lovely Day for a Wedding", "A Fellow Needs a Girl" and the moving "Come Home" (seduced by the city, small town doctor Joe is here reminded where his heart truly lies).

From "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" to "You'll Never Walk Alone", this collection is magnificent. For many it will revive many happy memories.

As others have mentioned, the title could not be more apt.
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on 15 May 2011
This disc is, indeed, something wonderful. I loved every minute of it. Diction is perfect, voice reined in where appropriate, playful where appropriate, I cannot praise it too highly. Wonderful.
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on 18 December 2010
You can't do any better. Wonderful music, wonderful lyrics, wonderful voice.
Thank you Rodgers & Hammerstein, thank you Bryn Terfel !
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Bryn Terfel applied his wonderful baritone voice to a generous sampling of Rodgers and Hammerstein musical numbers in the mid 1990s, at the height of the crossover craze - and quite frankly some of the other operatic stars' assaults on the popular repertoire were gloriously, sometimes hilariously appalling. However, though some of Bryn's interpretations are a bit, well ... weird, there's plenty to enjoy - Bryn was actually born to be Billy Bigalow, arguably the greatest baritone role in the musical theatre. A teeny criticism is the running order - finishing off with the tearjerkers "This Nearly Was Mine" (South Pacific) and the two Carousel lump in the throaters, Soliloquy and You'll Never Walk Alone is a kitchen sink and all climax that Bryn simply doesn't need. Hugely enjoyable.
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on 11 January 2010
bryn gives it the best as usual; R & H must have known he was coming along
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