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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

Booklet Distinctions 5 croches d'Opéra International
Mustering up his most menacing grimace for the front cover image -- and looking a little like the way Victor McLaglan looked in John Ford's The Informer -- bass-baritone Bryn Terfel delivers his latest DG offering, Bad Boys, a collection of arias drawn from the repertoire of the bad guys in opera: Mephistopheles, Scarpia, Iago, Sportin' Life, and others. Terfel is very much in his element and on his game here, and the recording is gloriously full and well detailed, featuring the Swedish Radio Symphony under Paul Daniel with the expert Swedish Radio Choir tipping in at key points. The orchestrations are all original, so those who complained about the contemporary-styled orchestrations on some of Terfel's more crossover-flavored projects should have no reason to carp with Bad Boys, save the one created for "Stars: There, out in the darkness" from Les Misérables. Indeed, the weakest selections seem to be the more contemporary ones -- "Moritat" and "It ain't necessarily so" -- but these make up only a small part of a menu consisting of 15 items here. Terfel has been struggling for some time leading up to this to deliver an album that will please his fan base, split between camps that either favors opera or those who just his like voice generally and don't necessarily care for opera. Bad Boys is a good concept and this disc should appeal to most everyone in Terfel's retinue; it gives every appearance of having been compiled with care with an eye toward good taste, even if the subjects of these various roles were inherently "bad." © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 13, 2013 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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The pairing of Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir might be thought a purely commercial venture, but in fact Terfel has announced an affinity with the Mormon faith, has pointed out that many of the original Mormon pioneers in Utah were of Welsh descent, and appears to have flirted with conversion. In any event, beyond the presence of the choir and the arrangements, mostly by its conductor, Mack Wilberg, the music is not specifically Mormon. Instead you get a selection of classic American hymns from both the white and black branches of the tradition, mixed in with folk tunes, pop, contemporary inspirational songs like the extraordinarily widely distributed title track by Marta Keen, and miscellaneous classical pieces old and new. Most but not all of the music is religious. One's underlying attitude toward Terfel, Mormonism, and crossover music in general may determine much of one's reaction here, but there's no question that Terfel displays an unexpected affinity for much of the material. The proceedings get off to a slightly uncomfortable start with Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World, where Terfel tries to split the difference between "myself" and "mahself," but in general he is at home with American diction and a certain conversational tone that characterizes American hymnody. His reading of the Billy Graham-associated hymn How Great Thou Art is especially effective. Wilberg's arrangements have an admirable simplicity, and those tired of the heavy orchestration of releases by the likes of Sarah Brightman may well find Terfel a breath of fresh air. This is very much a Bryn Terfel album; he takes the lead role on most of the numbers rather than accompanying the choir. But the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Utah's Orchestra at Temple Square ably uphold Salt Lake City's long tradition of superior classical music-making for such a small place. An affecting and even intriguing turn in Terfel's career, guaranteed to please for most. © James Manheim /TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 1995 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 1997 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released October 19, 2018 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released October 7, 2016 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2012 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

The musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II are neo-operettas that provide many opportunities for big baritone voices to strut their stuff. In the original productions, Alfred Drake (Oklahoma!), John Raitt (Carousel), and opera singer Ezio Pinza (South Pacific) made the most of those opportunities in songs like "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'," "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top," "If I Loved You," "Soliloquy," "Some Enchanted Evening," and "This Nearly Was Mine," and it is reasonable to expect that these rangy, dramatic songs would also serve a contemporary opera singer like Bryn Terfel. They do, but the fun of this album comes when Terfel tries out songs not originally written for the big-voiced male leads and instead tries a lusty, uptempo number like "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" or a comic one like "There Is Nothing Like A Dame." His success with such material demonstrates an unusual versatility and a willingness to meet the material not typical of the spate of opera-singers-doing-show-music albums. And it makes this one of the best of the bunch. © TiVo
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Classical - Released February 1, 1994 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2008 | Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Hamburg

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Classical - Released January 1, 2010 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2006 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2000 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 1996 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released July 1, 1997 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Bryn Terfel's 1997 recital includes arias and recitatives from Handel's oratorios, operas, and sacred music that span much of the composer's mature career, from Acis and Galatea to Judas Maccabeus. Terfel's full and resonant voice is especially welcome in this repertoire, which is frequently assigned to a lighter voice; the deep notes that anchor "Behold a ghostly band," from Alexander's Feast, and "O ruddier than the cherry," from Acis and Galatea, are satisfyingly secure and solid. Terfel also has the lightness and agility to nimbly negotiate the coloratura that the former requires. The same is true in the selections from Messiah, where his ringing bass-baritone is especially stirring and his flexibility really shines, particularly in "But who may abide the day of his coming." The album also includes several transposed arias, including "Where'er you walk," from Semele, and solos from Giulio Cesare, Berenice and Alcina, originally written in the alto range for castrato. Generally, it would be hard to tell that these were not conceived for his voice type, except that the Semele aria is so familiar as a tenor solo. Terfel sings with absolutely precise intonation, which makes his performance especially enjoyable, and he brings lively characterizations to the varied repertoire with his deft vocal colorings. Charles Mackerras, leading the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, provides a supple and understated accompaniment. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is clean and well balanced. © TiVo
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Classical - Released July 9, 2012 | Warner Classics International

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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

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Classical - Released January 1, 2007 | Deutsche Grammophon (DG)