Bryn Terfel

Dreams and Songs

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He appeared several times as a soloist in ensemble recordings during the intervening period, but when Dreams and Songs appeared in 2018 it was Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel's first solo studio album since 2013. Pent-up demand seemed to guarantee commercial success, and indeed the album fits comfortably into patterns laid out in Terfel's earlier crossover releases. There's a Welsh song, selections from musical theater including a rather unlikely pair from Fiddler on the Roof, and popular songs from England and America (and elsewhere). The American material is one notable thing (although Terfel has shown his stuff here before): Terfel masters an effective accent that isn't strictly English or American but rather resembles the transatlantic speech of old movies, and it serves him well in pieces like John Denver's Perhaps Love. Sample Amazing Grace, a tune that is treacherous for non-Americans, but that Terfel inhabits. Not only that, but he brings Danielle de Niese along for the ride. The new wrinkle on this release is the variety of collaborators Terfel takes aboard, from opera singers to movie stars to English pop tenor Alfie Boe. No new ground is broken, but Terfel assuredly has not lost a step, and fans can enjoy guaranteed satisfaction.

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