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Monday, 16 October, 2000, 05:55 GMT 06:55 UK
Terfel releases Welsh album
Bryn Terfel
Bryn Terfel new album will bring Welsh songs to a world-wide audience
Bryn Terfel, the mighty Welsh baritone, will release a new album - his very first Welsh album with a major label.

The Welsh language album that is set to be released in nearly every country in the world on Deutsche Grammaphon is a gigantic step for Welsh music across the globe.

Entitled We'll Keep A Welcome - The Welsh Album, the recording is the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition to record the songs of his childhood and some of the hymns and arias that burn brightest in the hearts of the Welsh people.

I have sung these pearls from Llanfairpwllgwyngyll to Tokyo, from Libanus (our local church in Pantglas) to Carnegie Hall

Bryn Terfel
According to a Welsh proverb, "to be born Welsh is to be born with music in your blood and poetry in your soul".

The recording process was an all-consuming labour of love explains Bryn Terfel: "They say, 'If you scratch a Welshman, he'll sing for you'.

"I guess in some ways that's true, but if one has to pick and choose a repertoire for his first major Welsh album, that scratch becomes a thorn in his side.

'Part of my life'

"After hours of tossing and turning I finally settled in calmer waters: songs, hymns and folk music which have been a part of my life and I'm sure the lives of many others.

"I have sung these pearls from Llanfairpwllgwyngyll to Tokyo, from Libanus (our local church in Pantglas) to Carnegie Hall."

He added: "It is an eclectic choice which enabled me to perform with the traditional male-voice choir, to sing once again with those beautiful harps and to create, through Chris Hazell, new atmospheric orchestrations of tried and tested pieces.

bryn and shirley
Bryn Terfel and Shirley Bassey at the Millenium Stadium
"As you may gather, this has been fun for me - I had a ball.

Recorded in Swansea with the Black Mountain Chorus, The Risca Male Choir and The Orchestra of Welsh National Opera conducted by Gareth Jones, We'll Keep A Welcome features 20 Welsh gems hewn from the heart of a country that prides itself on the passion put into it's singing.


Indeed the Welsh have a word for it, "hwyl" (literally "fervour").

"Land Of My Fathers" (Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau) makes an impressive and natural start, and indeed, finish to the album.

Released on 16 October on the Deutsche Grammophon, We'll Keep A Welcome celebrates the music of Wales, unashamedly rejoices in its passion and diversity, and looks set to be the biggest selling Welsh record release of 2000.

Bryn's previous Welsh language releases have been on the Gwynedd based Sain label.

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