I’ve never had so much fun recording an album
OHUW JOHN PERA superstar Sir Bryn Terfel has delighted his fans by releasing his first album in five years. Featuring a selection of the bass-baritone’s favourite songs, the album, Dreams and Songs, was released last week and immediately entered the chart in the top spot.
Bryn, who was born in Pant Glas, near Garndolbenmaen, in Gwynedd, told sister paper the Daily Post he has never had so much fun in recording an album.
Featuring songs from musicals and duets recorded in brand new orchestral versions with an impressive guest list, it is a world away from the opera roles he is best known for.
Bryn explained that there are many light-hearted and uplifting numbers to enjoy on this album: “They are all songs I’ve sung for many, many years but usually at the end of concerts.
“I’ve worked with some amazing collaborators and I’ve never had so much fun in recording an album. I wish, in many ways, it had been a double album,” he said.
It was recorded earlier this year at the Abbey Road Studios in London and Bryn and his guests are all accompanied by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
“The orchestra recorded their part in Prague and we sang in the studio. It is the first time I’ve made an album in this way and it enabled me to concentrate totally on singing,” he said.
The songs range from Fiddler on the Roof, which includes a duet with Dame Emma Thompson, and a duet called The Golf Song with fellow golf fan and comedian Rob Brydon, to Ar Lan y Môr.
Of the duet with Emma Thompson, Sir Bryn said: “I’m a huge fan of the film version of Fiddler on the Roof and a few years ago I actually got to meet Topol before I played the role of Tevye.
“I texted Emma and she had one day free so she came to Abbey Road the day after it was announced she was being made a Dame, so the champagne corks should have been popping but there was work to be done and instead she was on the hot water and honey because she was feeling under the weather.”
On the same day, Bryn was joined by an S4C film crew and tenor Dai Jones whose Christmas show Cefn Gwlad will feature the singer. It won’t be Bryn’s only appearance on our screens. He is due to sing at the Remembrance Day concert at the Royal Albert Hall on November 10 and has recorded another edition of Gwlad y Gan for S4C.
Dreams and Songs also includes a world premiere recording of The Shepherd Poet Of Passchendaele, written specially for Bryn by composer Sir Karl Jenkins and his wife, Carol Barratt.
“I learned more about the story of Hedd Wyn, the poet who posthumously won the National Eisteddfod chair in 1917 after being killed on the first day of the battle, recording this song than I did at school,” he said.
Completing the remarkable line-up of singers is tenor Alfie Boe on Perhaps Love, soprano Danielle de Niese on Amazing Grace, tenor Joseph Calleja on Granada, and soprano Katherine Jenkins on Tell My Father from The Civil War.
Sir Bryn performs regularly on the world’s most prestigious concert stages and is a Grammy, Classic BRIT and Gramophone Award winner. He was knighted for his service to music.
“It’s been such a rollercoaster since I turned 50 in 2015.
“Going to Buckingham Palace to be knighted by the Queen was just wonderful. It was one of the proudest days of my life and it’s something that’s not supposed to happen to a lad from Pant Glas,” he said.
Bryn also became a father for the fourth time last year when his fiancée, harpist Hannah Stone, gave birth to their daughter.
Dreams and Songs is available from shops and online on Spotify and Amazon. MIKE DEAN (EYE IMAGERY)
● Bryn Terfel has released his first album in five years ● Bryn and fiancée, harpist Hannah Stone, who gave birth to the couple’s daughter last year