Classical reviews

This week our Classical reviewer Geoff Adams introduces two stage vocalist compilations

Bad Boys
Bryn Terfel (bass-baritone), Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir.
Deutsche Grammophon CD.

This is a thematic "must" from famous Terfel.

There is masterful control of voice, passion and great acting ability as he thrillingly portrays the most diabolical and roguish characters to scorch the stage - from Mephistopheles and Iago to demon barber Sweeney Todd, drug dealer Sportin' Life and Mack the Knife.

An inspired Swedish orchestra, recorded in brilliant sound, adds its goosebumps in the ears.

Hear gems from Tosca, Don Giovanni and even G&S (Ruddigore).

There's a bad boy from Les Miserables and Anna Sophie von Otter gives a cameo cockney performance!

Finally, the Welsh star sings all three roles as Il Commendatore, Leporello and Don Giovanni!

Success: a troupe of villainous "bad boys" come to life in 15 tracks.


Father and Son: Wagner scenes and arias
Simon O'Neill (tenor), NZ Symphony Orchestra.
EMI CD.

Recorded in 2009 under conductor Pietari Inkinen, this solo album by the Kiwi "heldentenor" (heroic tenor voice that copes with Wagner's huge demands) has tunes sung by Parsifal, Lohengrin, Siegmund and Siegfried.

His stage performances in the first three roles have been admired; this is his first display of Siegfried, in Hagen's Narration and Siegfried's Death.

How wonderfully the voice of the former music student at Otago University has developed in his successful path to the Metropolitan (New York), Covent Garden and Bayreuth.

The NZSO also plays the Rhine Journey overture and Siegfried's Funeral March.

Excellent booklet.

Technical: recorded in concert by Radio New Zealand, balance and orchestral detail suffer compared with stunning Terfel disc. O'Neill demands a proper studio recording!

 

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