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2004-12 Concert Reviews

taken from Dutch papers


2004-12-22 De Stern

Concert Review Bergen Op Zoom

The performance of The Celtic Tenors in the venue De Maagd in Bergen op Zoom was very fascinating. They presented with their beautifully trained voices a crossover of Celtic Music, Classical Music, Evergreens and Pop. The voice of the Tenors filled the Hall expressively and they use them in every song to their best advantage. Niall Morris has a brighter more dominant voice; James Nelson a more full and broad sound while the natural sound of Matthew Gilsenan suits perfectly in between. As well as being adaptable vocal performancers, the Tenors proved to be very good entertainers. From time to time they performed melancholy songs, then more romantical songs. They proved in wonderful in an A Capella combinations and brought together their extraordinary musical performance of well-know melodies in a fresh and often humorous way. The Tenors came, fascinated and overcame.

Monique Meeuwisse



2004-12-22 De Stentor

Smooth sounds by The Celtic Tenors

The Celtic Tenors (Niall Morris, James Nelson and Matthew Gilsenan).


A table with CDs for sale is normal. But videos and even T-shirts with the name of the group, are something else. We are dealing with the Celtic Tenors, immensely popular in Ireland and Germany and on their first tour of the Netherlands. They have performed before famous people like Bill Clinton. A group of about ten women have taken possession of the empty first row, all ready to go into raptures. As the night progresses, they tone it down somewhat, noticing that the rest of the audience didn't completely follow their example. However, this had nothing to do with the attitude of the gentlemen or their performance. They were impeccably dressed. They interlaced the repertoire - made up of predominantly Irish and Scottish songs, opera highlights and Christmas songs - with commentaries that appeared to be spontaneous, so a program wasn't missed and didn't exude glamour. There was great variety in the stage arrangement, and as a surprise the sister of I think Matthew joined the trio about four times.

Dressed differently every time (her outfits ranging from beautiful robes to a white pantsuit) she reinforced the trio with her angelic voice, singing beautiful duets and even a few solos. Pianist David Munro and guitarist Martin Quinn - sometimes supplemented with a recorded orchestra - were satisfactory in accompanying them, though the contribution of the guitarist might have been a little too modest. The fact that the Celtic Tenors were laurelled opera singers before they stroke out upon new paths, shows in the way they approach the folk songs. With their trained voices they turned them into little pieces of art, which made them sound polished and romantic. A one-sided approach? Might be, but I was happy to let myself get carried away, thoroughly enjoyed both the Dublin selection and the Pavarotti-song Caruso, and Granada. However, they don't really need microphones or musical accompaniment. In my opinion, the close harmony songs allowed them to make far better use of the natural qualities of their voices than the songs that were enriched with resonance through their microphones.