Bryn's British Song 1,
This review is from: Bryn Terfel - The Vagabond (Audio CD)
I'm a great lover of English Song and have devoted several reviews to it on the Amazon website.
This particular disc strikes me as being a near perfect selection, featuring three of the great British song cycles and three songs from another undoubted master of the genre.
The disc begins with Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Songs of Travel", setting of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson, and is followed by Gerald Finzi's Shakespeare setting, "Let Us Garlands Bring", a work dedicated, incidentally, to Vaughan Williams. There follows three songs by John Ireland, all settings of poems by John Masefield and including the very well known "Sea Fever" and "The Vagabond". The CD ends with George Butterworth's marvellous setting of A.E. Housman's "A Shropshire Lad".
Although Bryn Terfel is a celebrated exponent of British Song (it was, after all, the Song Prize that he won all those years ago at the Cardiff Singer of the World), I half expected his big bass-baritone to be perhaps a "bit much" for this music, but I could not have been more wrong; it is wondrous to hear how effectively he fines down his huge instrument in some of the songs and his singing throughout is, I would suggest, well nigh perfect. Moreover, when this recording was made in 1995, his voice was at its very freshest.
He is accompanied, as is usual on his recordings, by Malcolm Martineau and again, he would be difficult to surpass.
This is a "must buy" disc for both lovers of English Song and newcomers to this repertoire.