Album Remarks & Appraisals:
World-renowned bass-baritone Bryn Terfel is the heart and soul of this album's special assemblage of Welsh and international top talent for a very personal, intimate album of his favorite Christmas carols and songs from around the world and from his native Wales.
The guest list for this studio recording is lead by the immortal Bing Crosby - as a tribute to Bing Crosby the legendary singer and actor Bryn has recorded a new duet version of "White Christmas". Other guests are the tenor Rolando Villazón who joined in for the beautiful Spanish Christmas song "El nacimento", as well as the brilliant Welsh harpist Catrin Finch.
Bryn's favorite international and Welsh carols and songs are played brilliantly in new and original arrangements by Mack Wilberg (music director of Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and Chris Hazell. The exciting arrangements for such well-known carols makes this the perfect soundtrack for the holidays.
Terfel is great at the grand declamation of "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and the ponderous sonority of "In The Bleak Midwinter"
Liner Note Author: Bryn Terfel.
Photographers: Sven Sindt; Anja Frers; Benjamin Ealovega; Mei Lewis.
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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