Bryn Terfel

Carols and Christmas Songs

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Bryn Terfel brings his large, resonant baritone to an eclectic mix of carols and Christmas songs. Terfel is in fine voice, and the album should have strong appeal for listeners looking for a grand, operatic treatment of this repertoire. The disc is made up of songs and carols in English, German, and Spanish, and a bonus disc is devoted to pieces sung in Terfel's native Welsh, several of them of Welsh origin, but most of which are traditional carols in translation. The Welsh National Opera Orchestra, capably led by Tecwyn Evans, provides an atmospheric accompaniment. Terfel is joined on several tracks by guest artists, including tenor Rolando Villazón, harpist Catrin Finch, and on the Welsh CD, soprano Gwawr Edwards, the Nidus Children's Choir and Only Men Aloud. Through the marvels of technology, Terfel joins in with Bing Crosby on "White Christmas." The arrangements, most of them by Mack Wilberg or Chris Hazell, are fun and inventive. Deutsche Grammophon's sound is clean, warm, and nicely ambient.

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