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"Good News - Newyddion Da"
The Rhos Orpheus Male choir Côr Meikbion Orffiws y Rhos
Jacques Offenbach (1819 - 1880)

Tales of Hoffmann (1880): opening chorus [3.02]
Giuseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901)

Il Trovatore (1853): Soldierís Chorus [2.34]
Ernani (1844): Banditís Chorus [3.57]
Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842 - 1900) text by W. S. Gilbert (1836 - 1911)

Iolanthe (1882): He Who Shies At Such A Prize (Itís Love that Makes the World go Round) [2.41]
Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741)

Gloria: Gloria in Excelsis Deo [2.41]
R. Lowry

Tui Egeo [2.44]
Roger Whittaker

The Last Farewell; Sailing [2.47]
Hugh S. Roberton

The Old Woman [1.37]
George Gershwin (1898 - 1937)

Porgy and Bess (1935): Oh I canít Sit down [1.43]

Country Roads [2.38]
Amanda McBROOM

The Rose [3.17]

Good News the Chariotís Cominí [2.47]
When the Love Comes Trickliní Down [2.59]
Goiezeko Izara [1.49]
Lisa Lân [2.32]
Men of Harlech [4.53]
Si hei lwli mabi [2.47]
Ai am fod haul yn machlud [4.35]
Rhos Orpheus Male Choir. Soloists: John A Gladman, Gareth Owen, Alan Thomas.
Accompanist: Anne Phillips, piano and organ
Music Director John Glyn Williams, Deputy Music Director, Eifion Wyn Jones
Notes in English and Welsh; Colour photos of the artists.
SAIN SCD 2341 [57.21]

Gerard Hoffnung CDs

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I used to sing in a menís choir myself. We had a lot of fun, made some fine music and accomplished a lot for charities. The colour photos on the booklet show a group of very pleasant looking people smiling out amiably. I feel I like these people and want to do something for them. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to report that on this disk these guys are uniformly as good as any professional choir, but in honesty I canít do that. Some of their numbers, particularly those with soloist John Gladman, are really good. Gladman has a fine voice and his mates support him solidly with good singing. Oddly for a Welsh nationalist group, their best singing is dependably on the American music which comes across quite well, even if oddly accented. The opera numbers are disappointingly hesitant and unexciting. The Welsh songs sung in unison remind one unfortunately of Anna Russellís comment on British choirs: "Not Homogeneous, but homogenous, as in milk."

In fairness one must note that the acoustic and microphone placement are unfortunate and some of the numbers are clearly under- (and some over-) rehearsed. As with many male choirs the group either needs a few more stable higher voices or needs to have some of the music custom transposed down for the voices they have.

If you have a personal reason for wanting this disk, be assured that it is attractively and informatively packaged. If you have enjoyed the group live and want a souvenir, there is enough good singing here to remind you of a pleasant evening. But if you are an average music lover looking for a full disk of good choral singing you will need to look elsewhere.

Paul Shoemaker

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