Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: The Irish Tenors - The Essential Collection
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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on October 29, 2000
A fantastic buy! Not only do you get two complete concerts, Dublin, with Ronan Tynan, Anthony Kearns and John McDermott, and Belfast, with Ronan, Anthony and Finbar Wright, and a guest appearance by John, but 49 minutes of great interviews.
The interviews really show each artist (Ronan, Anthony & Finbar), in a relaxed mood, as they talk about the songs they sing on the Belfast part of the DVD. As they talk, you can see them, in the background, on stage, singing the song in a soft tone. They are beautifully done, and a great way to get to know each of these talented artists. Ronan Tynan explains how the conductor, and musical arranger, Frank McNamara, speeded up the lively "Go, Lassie, Go," so it would fit their style and how the three tenors broke into an impromptu Irish jig, which triggered a standing ovation.
Finbar Wright tells about his biggest "gig," being singing before a million and a half people, when the Pope came to Ireland in 1979. This was before he became a professional singer. He was a Catholic priest at the time. Kearns, the youngest tenor, relates how he started his career by winning a telephone contest to find a new Irish tenor, and then studying with the same teacher in Dublin, that helped the other two tenors.
There is also a text bio on each artist, and one for the conductor also. Some of the highlights of the two concerts, are Ronan singing "The Town I Loved So Well", Finbar's rendition of "The Isle of Inisfree," from the movie "The Quiet Man," and Anthony singing a moving rendition of "Boulavogue." The three tenors, of course, sing the traditional "Danny Boy," and the new Irish fovourite, "Fields of Athenry."
We have videos of both of these concerts, but this DVD, with it's improved clarity and sound, and the fantastic extras, make it a must buy item for all Irish Tenor fans, and for those who simply enjoy great Irish music.
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on October 10, 2002
I just purchased this DVD last month as a little treat for our anniversary. We play the CDs of the Dublin and Belfast concerts in our car all the time; now we have experienced a closeup and delightful two evening concert in our own home! All of these four men are talented and enjoyable, along with the excellent arrangements and huge orchestras.
You must have a tissue box at hand when listening and particularly watching Ronan Tynan sing about "simple child" and the "town that I love". Each singer produced a favorite for us. The shorter folk songs, plus the more dramatic pieces, produced a fine variety of the music in these two programs that held our interest from first to last notes.
They're nothing quite as delightful as watching the facial expressions and a little teasing that went on here and there, plus the expressions of pleasure on their faces during the songs. We've yet to view all the interviews on this DVD, but then we just bought it recently. Truly love those Irish accents because it reminds me of my heritage!
I bought one of these DVDs for a gift, and will certainly purchase more now that Christmas and birthdays are coming up! Truly hope that these performers have more offerings in the future. You won't be disappointed with the pleasure of these two fine concerts and interviews! Yes! Yes!
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on April 12, 2004
This DVD has become staple watching and listening fare in our household, from myself and my wife down through all the children to our four-year-old son, whose favorite song is now "Grace" and who runs around the house singing "...and we'll all go together, to pick wild mountain thyme" from "Go, Lassie, Go" at the top of his lungs.
It is fantastic to have both the Belfast & Dublin concerts together on one DVD with the live concert dead time (pardon the pun) between selections minimized. It is hard to imagine, from the robust and polished (virtually operatic, with the exception of John McDermott, whose presentation is much more suited to popular song than to opera or lieder), that in addition to the many traditional Irish songs, some of these are modern popular ballads. For example, I find Finbar Wright's rendition of the Isle of Inisfree vastly superior to (certainly much more classically styled than) the original version actually in the movie from which it was taken (The Quiet Man). This, of course, is testimony not only to the skill and training that went into developing these voices, but also to the skill and stylistic presentation of the arranger/conductor (Frank McNamara).
This is definitely a five-star production. I have to rate it four stars, however, only because the more I listened, the more I wished that the producers of the DVD (not the concerts) had included one or both of these two things: 1) a printed insert containing the poets' and/or composers' names, the stories behind the poetry, or at least the lyrics themselves or 2) the lyrics as optional subtitles on the DVD itself. I found myself searching the Internet for the lyrics to and stories behind almost all the selections. The interviews in the bonus material are a good start, but this is Irish music, after all, and every poem has a story that demands an emotional response in its own right, even setting aside the superb performances.
Besides all of this, it looked like the artists were just plain enjoying themselves; as much as I enjoy the original Three Tenors (Domingo/Carreras/Paverotti), I find this much more natural and fun.
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on December 23, 2001
No words can describe just how good this is. Unlike movies, you will listen and watch these exceptional concerts over and over and never tire of them. The video and sound quality are superb and the voices, phenomenal--And the songs were all in English. Every part of the DVD was perfectly produced and the interviews with the 3 tenors was excellent.
Many DVDs have disappointed me, this one is worth more than I paid.
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on May 28, 2001
The Irish Tenors have a lot of talent and their plain spoken ways are refreshing. The two concerts and the background interviews on the DVD provide a great value for those interested in Irish music. I found several of the pieces emotionally charged and I appreciated their performance.
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on November 1, 2000
Have just watched the DVD for the third time and it gets better with each viewing. The quality is beyond description. The clarity of picture and of the songs is wonderful. The biographies are my favorite as I can watch the three Belfast tenors in a relaxed mood as they discuss their reasons for choosing their songs and their backgrounds which brought them into performing. The tenors become more endearing to their fans as they speak from their hearts about their different backgrounds. Finbar's twinkling eyes and infectious smile captivate and make you want more information about him. I can't wait for another concert from these gentle men and I sincerely hope they don't overlook Colorado in their next tour!!!
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on January 23, 2001
This is a great DVD for the fan of the tenors. It is nice to have both concerts and the interviews were great. You should be aware that John Mcdermott's Danny Boy, and the group's Amazing Grace have been cut--much to my disappointment. One of the promos I saw indicated that there was previously unseen material--which I had taken to be some more songs from the performances. There is nothing in the concerts that is not on the videos. Also, I know that Finbar had sung Maggie at the Belfast concert because it was on the PBS broadcast. I'm guessing there may be some other songs that were done at the concert that are not on the recordings. The short gaps on the Belfast VHS video are still there on the DVD and it seems to me that these could have been smoothed out. John McDermott should have been included--at least on the written bios if not on the interviews. He is after all one of the original tenors and in fact was the first one selected for the group. In spite of these drawbacks, I'm still giving this 5 stars simply because the quality of the picture and sound are great and bios of Ronan, Anthony, Finbar, and Frank were interesting, and the interviews were a wonderful touch. And the music is marvelous!
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on March 5, 2001
I WANT MORE OF THIS TYPE OF ENTERTAINMENT. I WILL SOON NEED A NEW COPY OF THIS ITEM AS I'VE JUST ABOUT WORN OUT THE ORIGINAL ONE, WHICH I GOT AT THE CONCERT IN TORONTO IN DEC. IT WAS SUCH A PLEASURE TO MEET THEM AND THEY AUTOGRAPHED THE DVD FOR ME. IT CERTAINLY WAS A THRILL TO MEET RONAN, FINBAR, ANTHONY AND FRANK. OF COURSE I GOT TONGUE-TIED AND JUST BLURTED OUT SOME INSANE THING, I DON'T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS, BUT THEY THOUGHT IT WAS FUNNY. OF COURSE IT REALLY WAS NOT MEANT TO BE FUNNY.!! BUT JUST TALKING TO THEM WAS A TREAT. I JUST LOVE THE INTERVIEWS. THEY ARE ALL SO "DOWN-TO-EARTH" AND THEY SEEM TO BE DELIGHTED AT THEIR OWN SUCCESS, WHICH THEY HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE. HAVING BOTH VIDEOS ON THE ONE DVD IS JUST GREAT, SAVES A LOT OF HASSLE FOR ME AND I'M EQUALLY FOND OF BOTH THE SHOWS, SO I WATCH IT SEVERAL TIMES A WEEK, AND ENJOY EVERY MINUTE OF IT. NOW I AM JUST WAITING FOR THE "ELLIS ISLAND" VIDEO. I EXPECT I WILL WEAR THAT OUT IN A MONTH OR LESS. THANKS, GUYS. YOU ARE THE BEST. YOUR #1 FAN. JOAN WAY
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on June 1, 2004
I can only add to what other reviewers have said: these are two wonderful concerts by truly talented artists who obviously took great pleasure in performing and entertaining their audiences.
The DVD itself is well produced and clear as a bell. There is one shortcoming: As was noted by one reviewer, there is no accompanying hard copy text with the lyrics, etc. But this is a minor glitch.
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on May 15, 2014
I am an old enough fan of the Tenors that all the videos I had of them were on tape. This is a great one-stop resource for both of their initial special concerts in Dublin and Belfast.

I went to Ireland twice to see Anthony's debut opera performance and other performances, and a nicer guy cannot be found. I feel lucky to have met him when he was still so new to the fame these specials brought him, Ronan, and Finbar. All sweethearts. I even got to enjoy hearing him sing at his favorite pub, run by Ronan's cousin, and they all made you feel like long-lost family from America.

These bring back very, very fond memories of hearing them for the first time on PBS, and later, discovering them on a more personal level, along with their beautiful country.
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