Top critical review
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Morbid and monotonous
on 27 December 2005
This CD contains work by some of my favourites, particularly the Finzi and the Vaughan Williams; and though it's the first Bryn Terfel album I've owned, he's always made a positive impression when I've seen him before.
But this CD is gloomy and depressive throughout. The accompaniments are uniformly leaden in tone, and Terfel's voice is poorly served. He attempts a wide range of pitch and of mood, but in the higher ranges, in the softer and gentler diction, he consistently sounds woolly and indistinct, only in the 'hearty' passages that fall in the middle of his range does his singing carry any conviction.
But the mood! If you have friends with depressive tendencies, keep this CD far from them. Much of the content is intrinsically dark, but even where there is hope and positivity, Terfel somehow turns it into meditation on the proximity of the grave.
Two stars because, even through the terrible recording, the mournful accompaniment, and the black moods, it remains apparent that Terfel does indeed have a voice. Even if he does here sound like a depressed coloratura condemned to be knocked down two octaves