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on 20 May 2017
Good programme and I'm biased in favour of the voice anyway
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on 25 January 2003
It is beyond any doubt, in my mind, that Terfel is the foremost lieder (and Especially English song) baritone of his, or any generation. His ability to combine expressive word communication with such a strong sence of line and structure is unparalleled. Listen to both 'The Vagabond' and 'Whither must I wander?' and you will surely marvel at the way strophic song can be given such a varied and dynamic reading. Terfel's control of dynamics, from his legendary forte to his, arguably, more famous pianissimo is so moving that I find myself unable to listen to anything else for days on end. As a student of composition I have a wide interest in classical music, but I can safely say that there is no other recording, that I either own or that I have ever heard, that gives me such long lasting and such profound pleasure. To leave this on the shelf is a personal affront to Tefel, Vaughan Williams, Finzi, Butterworth and Ireland, not to mention to myself!
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on 9 December 2000
Amongst the genre of Piano accompanied songs, there are very few recordings that come close to the depth, sparkle, and atmosphere contained upon this this CD. Not only is Bryn Terfel found at his zestful, storytelling best, but also, Malcolm Martineau offers a beautifully sensitive and expressive accompaniment, with the result that each track glows with a warm, shimmering light of its own - quite a revelation fore someone who didn't previously enjoy lieder!
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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.
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on 19 November 2011
This is Bryn Terfel in his usual fine form. The whole CD is most enjoyable but I particularly love his rendition of 'Sea Fever'.
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on 8 January 2017
I heard Terfel's Butterfield recording (Is my team ploughing?) a few weeks back on the radio - a song I have known for most of my life. His performance is so 'right' for the poem I regard it as the best I have heard...and I have probably listened to 20 or 30 recordings/live performances. This collection is well worth having and I commend it in the strongest terms. I also congratulate him on being named in the New Year's Honours List - well deserved!
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on 11 April 2014
This is the second time I have bought this CD. On this occasion I am buying it as a present for a friend.

Bryn Terfel, although a Welshman, is at his best when singing English songs of the Edwardian period.

On this CD the songs I like best are those written by George Butterwoth based on poems by A E Housman.
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on 4 August 2013
The sheer artistry of Terfel and Martineau and rapport between both performers compels one to listen to and admire these powerful poems in their magical settings by V.W.,Finzi,Butterworth and Ireland.
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on 15 February 2005
From the offset you can hear that this is an album that has been taken care over from the beggining, being a former music technology student it is some of the clearest recording i have heard, the piano comes alive unlike most more muddy recordings. Bryn one of my favourite singers also shines here with his artisty clearly on showing, and his vocal range matched only by his performance skills.
From personal choice i preffer the Vaughn Williams and Butterworth sections as i find them with more emotion than the often piano bassed Ireland, that is not to say that it is not of merit, Malcolm Martineau deserves his own CD.
Highlights are,
The Vagabond; a rough feel to this true walking song, much strenth and a gritty feel.
Let Beauty awake and The infinate Shining heavens:
particualy with the latter song, one gets a feel of floating high above, these are truley relaxing.
The last 3 songs of the album are emotionaly moving, coming only a short while befor Butterworths death in WWI, especialy 'the lads in thier hundred', these pieces said to be his epitath in song. beautiful to the last.
An album for any classical music lover.
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on 3 February 2017
Very enjoyable
High quality singing as to be expected
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