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2003-10-30 German Newspaper

All-Time Favourites: Celtic Tenors at Beueler Brückenforum
Three Encores and Standing Ovations for the Singers by Tobias Blum

 

Beuel. At the beginning there were the big Three: Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras. Ever since concert venues all over the world have been haunted by variations of that profitable tenor concept. Amidst their innumerable competitors, the Irish “Celtic Tenors“ try to establish themselves with a crossover of classic tenor repertoire, Irish Folk and some pop music.

 

In principal, Matthew Gilsenan, Niall Morris and James Nelson have what it needs to be a real “tenor“. Smart appearance, a grin that is not too obtrusive and a repertoire consisting of All-Time Favourites such as “Nessun Dorma“ and Irish Traditionals.

Only the sound was problematic at the beginning: Particularly in polyphonic parts the sound echoed so loud and undifferentiated that some wrong note which otherwise could hardly be recognised turned the drama of “Granada“ into a torture.

Songs such as “The Wild Rover“ – in Germany known as “An der Nordseeküste“ - turned out considerably better. A very rock-like “The Star of the County Down“ reminded a bit of “Meat Loaf Meets Folk“ – definitely a highlight of the first half which was dominated by classic songs.

The second half brought a considerable enhancement due to improved sound. With obviously more moderate sound-level nice ballads such as “Remember Me“ or “Caledonia“ could be enjoyed in full glory. In particular, Matthew Gilsenan convinced with his expressive and warm voice.

The audience became more and more enthusiastic so that after the final “Whiskey in the Jar“ the Irishmen had to give three encores and every single was honoured with long standing ovations.

The applause was well-deserved as both “Time to Say Goodbye“ and “We Are The Champions“ let the audience forget initial problems and provided a placatory end.