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The Vagabond / Bryn Terfel, Malcolm Martineau


Release Date: 08/15/1995 
Label:  Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog #: 445946   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ralph Vaughan WilliamsJohn IrelandGerald FinziGeorge Butterworth
Performer:  Bryn TerfelMalcolm Martineau
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 17 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



This disc received a Grammy nomination for "Best Classical Vocal Performance."

There is a touch of genius about this man. To a listener who has known most of these songs since childhood and heard them well performed innumerable times, it comes – not quite as a revelation, because one always sensed they had a life outside the normal condition and character of those performances – but more as the fulfilment of a deeply felt wish, instinctive rather than consciously formed. As in all the best Lieder singing, everything is specific: "Fly away, breath" we recite, thinking nothing of it, but with this singer it is visual – we see it in flight, just as in Sea Fever we know
Read more in the very tiniest of gaps that in that second he has heard "the seagulls crying". As in all the best singing of songs, whatever the nationality, there is strong, vivid communication: he will sometimes sing so softly that if he had secured anything less than total involvement he would lose us. There is breadth of phrase, variety of tone, alertness of rhythm, all the musical virtues are there; and yet that seems to go only a little way towards accounting for what is special.

In more detail then. Bredon Hill: "a happy noise to hear" is the robust observation of a fulfilled and carefree man, "and come to church in time" is exultant hubris, "I hear you" has anger in it, "I will come" resentful submission. Finzi's "O mistress mine": "in delay there lies no plenty" is the free, open-throated call of lovers to make time run (since we can't make it stand still), and "Youth's a stuff will not endure" is a lightly intimated memento mori, half seriousness, half joke. "When I was one-and-twenty" (A Shropshire Lad): the "wise man" who pedalled his tuppeny-ha'penny thought-for-the-day is a pompous loud-mouth, "but oh tis true" has the groan of acknowledgement, and the repeated "tis true" comes from the private recesses of the soul, which knows it is!

One after another, these songs are brought to a full life. There is a boldness about Terfel's art that could be perilous (and he stands on the brink throughout A Shropshire Lad's "Is my team ploughing?"), but which, as exercised here, is marvellously well guided by musicianship, intelligence and the genuine flash of inspiration. Malcolm Martineau's playing is also a delight: his touch, in its way, is as sure and illuminating as the singer's. From the recording I would have preferred less hall-reverberance around the voice. From the songs themselves I could not possibly wish anything more: hearing them performed like this I wouldn't swap them for half the German song repertoire or the whole of the French.

--Gramophone Magazine Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Songs of travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Performer:  Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1901-1904; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: English 
2.
Sea fever by John Ireland
Performer:  Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1913; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 20 Secs. 
Language: English 
3.
The vagabond by John Ireland
Performer:  Malcolm Martineau (Piano), Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: English 
4.
Bells of San Marie by John Ireland
Performer:  Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
5.
Let us garlands bring, Op. 18 by Gerald Finzi
Performer:  Malcolm Martineau (Piano), Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: English 
Notes: Composition written: England (1929 - 1942). 
6.
Songs (6) from A Shropshire Lad by George Butterworth
Performer:  Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: English 
7.
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: Bredon Hill by George Butterworth
Performer:  Malcolm Martineau (Piano), Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 4 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
8.
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: Oh fair enough are sky and plain by George Butterworth
Performer:  Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: English 
9.
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: When the lad for longing sighs by George Butterworth
Performer:  Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: English 
10.
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: On the idle hill of summer by George Butterworth
Performer:  Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: English 
11.
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: With rue my heart is laden by George Butterworth
Performer:  Bryn Terfel (Bass Baritone), Malcolm Martineau (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; England 
Date of Recording: 02/1995 
Venue:  Henry Wood Hall, London, England 
Length: 1 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: English 

Sound Samples

Songs of Travel: 1. The Vagabond
Songs of Travel: 2. Let beauty awake
Songs of Travel: 3. The roadside fire
Songs of Travel: 4. Youth and love
Songs of Travel: 5. In dreams
Songs of Travel: 6. The infinite shining heavens
Songs of Travel: 7. Whither must I wander?
Songs of Travel: 8. Bright is the ring of words
Songs of Travel: 9. I have trod the upward and the downward slope
Let Us Garlands Bring op.18: Come away, come away, death
Let Us Garlands Bring op.18: Who is Silvia?
Let Us Garlands Bring op.18: Fear no more the heat o' the sun
Let Us Garlands Bring op.18: O Mistress mine
Let Us Garlands Bring op.18: It was a lover and his lass
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: Bredon Hill
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: Oh fair enough are sky and plain
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: When the lad for longing sighs
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: On the idle hill of summer
Bredon Hill and Other Songs: With rue my heart is laden
Sea fever: I must go down to the seas again
The Vagabond: Dunno a heap about the what an' why
The Bells of San Marie: It's pleasant in Holy Mary by San Marie lagoon
A Shropshire Lad: Loveliest of trees
A Shropshire Lad: When I was one-and-twenty
A Shropshire Lad: Look not in my eyes
A Shropshire Lad: Think no more, lad
A Shropshire Lad: The lads in their hundreds
A Shropshire Lad: Is my team ploughing?

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Buy this immediately. November 21, 2013 By Louis P. (Kensington, MD) See All My Reviews "This is essential for those who admire Terfel, English poetry or communicative singing. Most of the pieces are 'performed' but without too much of the excess bluster that he sometimes gives us on disc more recently. (This is from the mid-90s). I've given this disc numerous times as a gift, and each time get earnest thanks. for me, it's up there with Janet Baker's Sea Songs by Elgar. For me an essential CD." Report Abuse
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