Simple Gifts (2005)
Aled Jones (tenor), Bryn Terfel (vocals), Bryn Terfel (bass baritone), John Williams (guitar), London Symphony Orchestra, London Voices, Simon Keenlyside (baritone), London Voices (choir, chorus), London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Wordsworth (conductor)
composed by Alan Murray, Amanda McBroom, Anonymous, English, Anonymous, Swedish, CÚsar Franck, Charles Gounod, Christmas Traditional, Giovanni Pergolesi, James P. Carrell, John Rutter, Joseph Brackett, Karl Jenkins, Lowell Mason, Stanley Myers, Stephen Sondheim
What is this Bryn Terfel collection, exactly, that contains "Simple Gifts," the beginning of Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater," "Send in the Clowns," and ... Show synopsis What is this Bryn Terfel collection, exactly, that contains "Simple Gifts," the beginning of Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater," "Send in the Clowns," and even "The Rose" (not the one e'er blooming, but the Bette Midler or Conway Twitty vehicle)? It is, per the back cover text, Bryn's "personal collection of sacred, spiritual, and meditative songs." The album still might seem like quite a hodgepodge to a browser reading the tracklist, but it is exactly the elusiveness of the thread connecting these songs that makes this a superior example of the crossover vocal species. The key to the program is the large presence of American music, with six American pieces (one of them Mormon) plus several others, such as "How Great Thou Art" (originally Swedish), that are known to the world as American songs even though they originally came from somewhere else. Terfel sings these like a native, which is actually less remarkable than it sounds (his native language is Welsh, not English, so neither accent is "normal" for him),...