The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (56): What beats a Welsh baritone?

The Slipped Disc daily comfort zone (56): What beats a Welsh baritone?


norman lebrecht

May 10, 2020

Men of Harlech, Covid version.

And the epic version from the movie. Best line: ‘Well, they have very good bass section, mind, but they’ve got no top tenors, that’s for sure.’

And this is John Barry’s orchestral score for Zulu:


  • Alviano says:

    The music may be great, but the film made me sick and depressed even when I saw it as a child. At that time I thought your empire (the British one)was bad and ours (the American one) good, but now I know they are all bad.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Huh? This kind of blanket unthinking is somewhat intellectually peculiar. Most “empires” have good and bad things they did, and are morally ambiguous. And most enjoy at least the tacit support of a large proportion of the people who live in them; without this support they do not survive for long.

  • MezzoLover says:

    Brilliant filmmaking – and without a doubt the finest achievement by Cy Endfield as director.

    I first saw “Zulu” on American television more than 35 years ago. What struck me the most then (aside from the tenors-versus-basses chanting of course) was its unmistakable message of anti-militarism and anti-imperialism. The film does a great job depicting bravery on both sides, but I think it also reflects the personal valor of Endfield, Stanley Baker (who also co-produced) and John Prebble in defining – and defending – their vision.

    By the way, “Zulu” is one of Ridley Scott’s favorite films, and the Germanic war chant in the battle scene at the beginning of “Gladiator” is none other than the Zulu war chant from “Zulu.”

  • gareth says:

    Ivor Emmanuel had such a lovely baritone voice.

  • Michael Wilkinson says:

    A timely remainder. It is 75 years since the death of the last survivor of Rorke’s Drift, the former Colour Sergeant (later Lt. Colonel) Bourne (Nigel Green in the film), who died on VE day.

  • BillOxford says:

    I do hope Sir Bryn’s ankle injury is improving. Get well soon!

  • V.Lind says:

    Similar emotion in Sean Connery singing The Son of God goes forth to war when he crosses the bridge in The Man Who Would be King.

  • Blaenboy says:

    The Welsh singing was done by the Ferndale male voice choir at Llanwynno near Blaenllechau in the rhondda fach, it was where Stanley Baker was born and where his ashes were scattered.

  • Tamino says:

    Rhythm vs melody. Make music together, not war against each other.