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From the valleys of Wales to the Salt Lake Valley in America, Bryn Terfel takes us on a musical journey in his latest album, Homeland, working with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Orchestra at Temple Square, and Mack Wilberg.
Kicking off with a classical take on this well-loved song, Bryn puts his smooth voice to good use on this operatic reworking. It's still got something of Louis Armstrong's original jazzy feel - and you can't go far wrong with the addition of a 300-piece choir singing soaring harmonies over the top.
Hankies at the ready, people. Prepare to be wowed with folky pipes, lush strings and an enormous choir - and that's even before Bryn's vocals soar over the top. There's something of an American flavour to the lyrics, telling of the clear autumn sky and the quiet misty morning.
Crisp and rhythmic, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir show us what they're made of with this sprightly spiritual song. The rustic strings are back to add a touch of folk to proceedings, and there's even a cameo appearance from a piercing piccolo and some sleigh bells to set the pulse racing.
Showcasing his wide-ranging singing talents, Bryn puts his hearty low notes to good use in this fervent hymn of praise by fellow Welshman Paul Mealor. It's a roller-coaster ride, taking us on a journey from the powerful to the personal - and it's even got a quote from the Welsh national anthem at the end.
If you're looking to bring a touch of magic to your orchestral arrangements, adding a harp is usually a good bet. Combined with the folky pipes and the angelic voice of soprano Sissel, Bryn and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir are onto a winner with this heartwarming religious duet.
You might be expecting a booming organ and some triumphant trumpets on this well-known hymn. Think again: Bryn's take on the music is something altogether more humble. Twisting string harmonies add an unexpected sense of pathos to this classic tune, and transform this rousing choral classic into a touching personal expression of faith.
Despite the obvious Welsh connection on the album - Wales is Bryn's homeland, and a good percentage of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir count themselves as having Welsh roots - this is the first and only song performed in Welsh. It's not just the language that's powerful: full orchestra, church bells and an organ bring the emotive text to life.
Quite a change of direction now as the album moves from ear-splitting organ to rocking flute-y lullaby. Still, Bryn caresses every word of this traditional lilting love song from the modest beginning to the string-fuelled climax.
Another traditional favourite, Shenandoah is an American folk song from around the early 19th century. It was originally popular as a sea chanty with sailors, but Bryn keeps his feet firmly on dry land in this impressive recording, brought to life with thick swelling string textures and flowing harps harmonies.
Mezzo-soprano Tamara Mumford sings alongside Bryn Terfel in this touching religious duet by Karl Jenkins. There's even an unexpected key change halfway through, adding even more emotion to this personal religious work.
Singing of a soldier's final farewell, this folksong exemplifies the familiar hardships faced by 19th century Americans, and tells of the redemption that comes from faith.
Whatever your religious persuasion, it's almost impossible not to sing along to this marching band inspired hymn. Growing from a quiet snare drum beat and an understated trumpet duet, the music quickly swells into an explosive choral finale. All together now: "Gloooory glory Halleluuuuujah…"
This expansive music is perfectly suited to Bryn's mellow vocals, and there's even a few unexpected chords to underpin the music's poignancy.
A twangling banjo, the oom-pa-pa of a tuba, a few tambourines thrown in for good measure, and Bryn's booming voice - this toe-tapping track's got it all, including moments of cabaret-esque excitement and a hint of brash Gershwin-inspired jazz.
Bringing a touch of Welsh magic to this American classic, Bryn Terfel adds a touching hint of nostalgia to a well-known tune. It's a particular favourite of Bryn's, as he sings in anticipation of new life.
The album takes an unexpected turn from folk songs singing of the American countryside, to the powerful Libera Me from Fauré's Requiem. Showing us what they're made of, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir prove they can handle any musical style thrown their way, capturing the range of emotions in the Latin text.
Longing for liberty, and a passionate release - Handel's Lascia ch'io pianga from his opera Rinaldo continues the themes heard throughout Bryn's album, whether in the form of Fauré's Requiem or an American folk song. Stylistically, it's a world away from bombastic classics like When the Saints Go Marchin' In, but adds a touch of delicacy to an otherwise high-octane track listing.
Written by former Abba member Benny Anderson, Give Me My Song tells of the comfort music can bring, and rounds off the album with a tender duet between Bryn Terfel and soprano Sissel. With its beautiful tunes and soaring harmonies, It's easy to see why Bryn asked for special permission to record the song.