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Posted October 1, 2010
Speaking modestly as a teenager who listens faithfully to the Saturday Met broadcasts and spends all her birthday money on opera CD's, practicing her fiddle faithfully in hopes of getting into an opera orchestra someday, this is one of my favorite CD's to listen to. Bryn Terfel's voice is wide, warm, full of color and expression, and just beautiful. The CD starts off with Mozart arias; those are my favorite to listen to (I wish he'd record a CD of just Mozart!), but the rest is wonderful, too. His “Deh, vieni alla finestra” is very caressing and seductive – I haven’t had a chance to hear him sing the title role yet in “Don Giovanni” but I am anticipating it with delight. Of course, his Leporello is the best there is, so we have a problem (maybe he can do both roles at once like Hvorostovsky). His “Catalogue Aria” is full of energy, and boisterous: I could (and occasionally do) listen to this ten times a day! James Levine conducts it with expertise – the tempo is brisk, the orchestra playful and vigorous. The Cosi fan Tutte aria is gorgeous. Towards the end of it he trills nice and low and if it doesn’t run shivers down your back you’re not made of flesh and blood. Now, I think it’s rather abrupt for them to go from Mozart to Wagner straight off, but they do. That aside, Terfel’s Wagner is excellent – I hear his Woton in December was brilliant. I won’t attempt to say much more – I am not a huge Wagner fan (my Savoy Opera tastes are perhaps too shallow for Wagner), but Terfel has revealed to me through his singing of it that “Wagner’s music is not as bad as it sounds” (Mark Twain said that, not me). I LOVE the Gounod aria – his evil Mephistopholes laugh is great, and so is the aria itself. Then we have some Borodin, Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi. I don’t know about the Russian aria or the one from “Macbeth.” Terfel is great with languages, so the Prince Igor aria is good, but not one of the most memorable. I have read that Terfel is not going to do Macbeth onstage, so I don’t know why he sang the aria…I would have preferred more of the roles he has actually done. Concerning the Donizetti, to the best of my knowledge he has not played Doctor Malatesta, but he sings that beautiful aria very nicely, in his customary dramatic way. The Rossini is entertaining and funny – his comic comes out nicely in it and in the Falstaff aria. It is very evident that Terfel is enjoying every minute of it. You can’t listen to this CD and not love this great singer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.