BRYN TERFEL Silent Noon Martineau 4775336

Even more enjoyable is Bryn Terfel's new collection of British Songs accompanied by Malcolm Martineau. His first such venture won lots of awards in 1996 and this one could follow suit . . . Terfel's diction and feeling for the words is exemplary.

It is a pure and powerful record that shows Terfel's immense voice at its best . . . They are little pearls.

Love songs, drinking songs, folk songs, nonsense songs: this anthology of English airs runs the gamut from laughter to tears. Following the success of a similar collection ("The Vagabond") in the mid-1990s, Bryn Terfel returns to the recording studio with pianist Malcolm Martineau to bring his warm humanity and rich sonority . . . If you like English song, it doesn't come better sung.

Once again the energy, warmth and sheer body of Terfel's voice work wonders on music that in the past has sometimes been left to gilded throats trying to sound pretty . . . "Silent Noon" offers only delight and revelations.

In this, his second volume of songs to English texts, Wales's finest shows himself not only to be at the peak of his vocal prime, but an artist of ever-deepening musical responses. Terfel sings English words with the clarity and poetic savour he lavishes on the German verse set by Schubert or Schumann . . . In a programme notable for its variety of mood, he offers model versions of several popular classics . . . A gorgeous disc.

Bryn Terfel's second recital of English song is pure comfort listening. A gentle survey of songs by Somervell, Quilter, Warlock, Parry, Gurney and Britten, "Silent Noon" underscores Terfel's genius for the nuance of communication. Vaughan Williams's famous Rossetti setting has never sounded more ardent. Nor have Quilter's chintzy "Three Shakespeare Songs" sounded more dignified. Yes, the voice is almost embarrassingly golden for what is after all Grade VIII repertoire. But Terfel's delivery of the poetry of this innocent era is without parallel. Delicious.

To have a singer of his stature treating this repertoire as seriously as he would a disc of lieder comes as a wonderful surprise. No one since Janet Baker has sung such settings with such emotional honesty and musical care . . .

This "sequel" . . . finds the Welshman in magnificent voice and confirms him as an outstanding champion of the art songs of Vaughan Williams.

Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel's first disc of British songs was a great success and this sequel is just as good. The title piece by Ralph Vaughan Williams is beautifully sung.

No one since Janet Baker has sung such settings with such emotional honesty and musical care, and without a hint of the precious about any of them.

Bryn has rendered a major service to these forgotten English composers, who will now find themselves back on the map thanks to his dramatic talents and golden voice. Beautifully supported by Malcolm Martineau at the piano, this really is a magnificent record.

As one would expect from this past master of song, it is all immaculately performed, with a knowing sense of word-awareness and an expressive range that can take in the austerity of Quilter . . . as easily as the . . . wit of Britten.

Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel's newest recital disc of English songs is a grab bag of almost
comic omnivorousness; aside from a bevy of short Housman settings by Arthur
Somervell, none of the program's dozen composers is represented by more than three
songs. Yet the range is not too broad -- there is a distinctive feel to the folk-drenched
song repertory produced during the first half of the 20th century -- and Terfel helps by
putting his personal stamp on the entire proceedings. Accompanied with alluring vigor by pianist Malcolm Martineau, Terfel offers readings that are at once capacious and detailed, with phrases that are no less precisely calibrated for being so bold and swaggering. In the "Three Salt-Water Ballads" by Frederick Keel, Terfel plays the sea dog to the hilt, with enjoyably hammy effects; in three of Britten's folksong arrangements, his singing is sensitive and true.

It has been 10 years since Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel released his first, Gramophone Award-winning album of English songs, "The Vagabond". Accompanied by noted pianist Malcolm Martineau, Terfel finally returns to that fertile soil in the captivating "Silent Noon" . . . The singer's diligence was rewarded with a treasure trove of charming songs . . .

Terfel beguiles Britain with ¿Silent Noon¿.

An impressive collection . . . Terfel not only has a spectacular voice and flawless diction, he is also a true singing actor.

Bryn Terfel . . . sets the era's standard . . . there may be no better interpreter
of British art songs today.

. . . what makes this CD captivating listening beginning to end is Terfel's obvious,
boundless affection for these songs . . . he does all the work so you can have all the fun (or at least take what artistic pleasures are on offer; some of these songs are deeply sad). Vocally, he takes them no less seriously than he would Wagner. His ability to color every syllable of the text individually and yet bind all the inflection into a convincing, mellifluous whole is what all great songsters do. He just does more of it, with an affect that is not only less fussysounding in effect but also more enrapturing . . . As ever, Malcolm Martineau, who has this music as deeply in his soul as Terfel, is the ideal, and a full, musical partner. Bryn Terfel masters English song.

The program is truly a celebration, not just of Terfel's artistry, but of the power of the English language . . . to inspire such glorious musical results . . . what a joy Terfel is.

Terfel has put a lot of study into these performances, and his work reveals numerous instances of musical sensitivity.

Gibt es etwas, das dieser Sänger nicht kann? . . . Als Liedsänger zieht der walisische Baßbariton alle Register. Man hört, daß ihm das Geschichten-Erzählen Spaß bereitet.

Malcolm Martineau erweist sich einmal mehr als nobler Parleur am Klavier . . . Bryn Terfel versieht seinen Vortrag vor allem in den Piano-Bezirken mit herrlich abgestuften, geschmeidigen Nuancen, mit subtilem Sinn für den poetischen Grundgehalt dieser Musik.

La enorme, calidez acariciante que se desprende de la voz sedosa de Terfel es la gran protagonista del disco . . . No podemos cerrar este comentario sin aludir a la extraordinaria labor de Martineau, que sabe estar presente y, sin excederse del papel asignado en las obras, es mucho más que un mero acompañante, en franco diálogo con Terfel.

. . . Terfel sirve con entrega, reduciendo a un hilo de voz su enorme caudal, prodigándose en medias voces sin pérdida de redondez, excelente en la caracterización, gracias a la segura guía de Martineau, que encuentra en estas piezas un campo donde se mueve con la mayor desenvoltura.

La calidez de sus interpretaciones, llenas de naturalidad, sentido del humor y vehemencia consiguen convencer al oyente de que no puede haber mejor traductor para estas canciones que el barítono galés, que como es habitual, viene acompañado con gran musicalidad y perfecto dominio del estilo ... por Malcolm Martineau. Recomendado para todos los seguidores de este magnífico cantante, uno de los mejores barítonos de nuestros días.

. . . una voz privilegiada como la de Terfel, y un estilo que saborea texto y música con tanta fruición como pasión comunicativa, estas obras tienen la mejor defensa imaginable, sin olvidar, claro está, al cómplice habitual del bajo-barítono en estos menesteres, Malcolm Martineau.