PURCELL O Solitude Andreas Scholl


O Solitude
Andreas Scholl
Accademia Bizantina
Stefano Montanari
Int. Release 05 Nov. 2010
1 CD / Download
CD DDD 0289 478 2262 2 DH
Andreas Scholl sings vocal jewels by Purcell

Lista de temas

Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695)
Andreas Scholl, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Come, Ye Sons of Art, Z.323

Andreas Scholl, Christophe Dumaux, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Come, Ye Sons of Art Away, Z. 323

Andreas Scholl, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari


Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

King Arthur, or The British Worthy, Z.628

Act 5

Act 3

Andreas Scholl, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

The Fairy Queen, Z.629

Act 2

Pausanius, the Betrayer of his Country. (1695), Z585

Dido and Aeneas, Z. 626

Act 3

Andreas Scholl, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

The Gordian Knot Untied, Z.597

Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Ode for St Cecilia's Day, "Welcome to all the pleasures", Z339

Oedipus, Z.583

Andreas Scholl, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Andreas Scholl, Christophe Dumaux, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Andreas Scholl, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Andreas Scholl, Accademia Bizantina, Stefano Montanari

Tiempo total de reproducción 1:16:31

[CD review O Solitude]: He sounds well on it, the music suiting his unusually warm, full, rich tone . . . [Concert review]: His "O Solitude" brought out the rare beauty of Purcell's inspiration . . .

Andreas Scholl might just be the Cadillac of countertenors . . . his creamy, rounded tone, combined with a broad range of colors, shades and emotions, is still something to luxuriate in.

The superb German countertenor puts ravishing spins on music by Purcell, including an achingly beautiful account of Dido's Lament. Hearing a high male voice sing these works is a refreshing experience, but the striking thing about Scholl's artistry is the tonal purity and expressive depth that add layers of nuance. He teams with Accademia Bizantina, a fine Italian period-instrument ensemble, which plays Purcell with lucid urgency.

Ethereal yet visceral, Scholl's voice is the dream vehicle for Purcell . . . highly responsive to the poetic rhetoric . . . Stefano Montanan coaxes thrilling playing from Accademia Bizantina, who dance and swagger, throb and pulsate with true Latin passion. Their continuo realisations ¿ here delicate and intimate, there audaciously jazzy ¿ are an unceasing delight.

Purcell's "Sound the Trumpet" from his 1694 "Birthday Ode to Queen Mary" and, especially, his sublime "Music for a While," sound exceptional from Scholl . . . The high male voice surprises the audience and transcends classification . . . Especially singing music as beautiful as this and singing it as beautifully as this.

. . . his performance is extraordinarily haunting . . . "O Dive Custos" is arguably the disc's high point. The Academia Bizantina, meanwhile, are on fine form . . .

His English diction has improved markedly . . . ["Music for a while"]: he sings it seductively . . .

[Listening to Scholl's latest album] you can't help wondering, why the UK's first front-rank composer didn't have mass appeal along . . . Scholl understands the importance of words and remains the countertenor of choice; it's not so much the intelligence and grace that make his artistry so instantly recognizable, as the hypnotically soothing quality of his voice which, even after 15 years at the top, remains in peak condition. He excels in the slow, intimate music -- notably the achingly beautiful "Music for a while" and " O dive custos", sung in duet with Christophe Dumaux. The latter's feminine timbre makes a superb foil in the lively "Sound the trumpet", while Scholl matches the ethereal quality of "Fairest Isle" and the famous mezzo lament from "Dido and Aeneas". Among the many joys of this exceptional recital are the accompaniments by Accademia Bizantina.

. . . few maintain his width of repertoire or vocal acumen . . . [Scholl's flair for clear diction and emotional weight emerge] in his "Cold Song" from "King Arthur", a shivering, juddering triumph, and the entire package pleases.

Scholl's voice is so beautiful that even listeners who normally have trouble with the countertenor sound will be won over . . . This CD is glorious from start to end . . . a master class in exquisite blending, fine Baroque singing and ornamentation, and present opportunities for comparisons between countertenor voices . . . One of Purcell's greatest arias, "What power art thou" (a.k.a. the "Cold Song") is here performed with such sureness of pitch, eerie expressivity and purposefully audible breaths that it enchants as much as it terrifies. It is helped by the striking playing of the Accademia Bizantina under Stefano Montanari, who gives the lie to the theory that early music need be performed in a sterile manner. The band's solos from "The Gordian Knot Unty'd", "King Arthur" and other pieces are exquisitely, vividly played. With the surprising "When I am laid in earth" from "Dido and Aeneas", normally the property of mezzo-sopranos, gender is quickly and utterly forgotten in this outpouring of grief. This is a major release, simply stunning.

. . . a deeply expressive version of "Music for a While", a highlight of the disc and a potent vehicle for Mr. Scholl's vocal control and distinctive, unearthly and dark-hued timbre . . . The Accademia Bizantina, led by Stefano Montanari, provides lithe, vivid accompaniment and also offers distinguished playing in instrumental selections, including the incidental music from Purcell's "Gordian Knot Unty'd".

The Accademia Bizantina, under the direction of Stefano Montanari, makes ravishing sounds . . . Scholl uses his unique tone to bracing effect -- as in "Music for a while," where the repeated word "drop" registers with onomatopoetic clarity . . . Throughout the disc -- even in his outré Dido's lament -- Scholl renders Purcell's long vocal lines with bel canto mastery. In the title number, "O solitude, my sweetest choice," the repeated ground bass acts as an anchoring element; against it, Scholl unfurls the melody with supple rhythmic freedom.

I admire the zest of the music-making here, the power and pure tone of Scholl's singing, and the beautifully recorded instrumental music as well.

. . . few can equal the sheer beauty of tone and dramatic instinct displayed by Andreas Scholl. From the unsettlingly breathless account of "What power art thou" from "King Arthur" to the gloriously serene "Evening Hymn", Scholl illuminates every nuance of Purcell's music in this beautifully programmed recital. And he's matched by the unforgettable dynamism of the Accademia Bizantina.

Mit seiner Countertenor-Stimme kann er einfach alles singen . . . [wenn er] singt, dann klingt die Musik einfach zeitlos. Und überirdisch schön.

Mit stimmtechnischer Perfektion zaubert Scholl mal durch virtuose Höhen, mal durch anrührende Tiefen einen einzigartigen androgynen, barocken Klangkosmos.

[Wenn Andreas Scholl Einsamkeit in Töne übersetzt], lernt man Einsamkeit von ihrer beglückenden Seite kennen.

Purcells sanfte Melancholie und die meist langsamen Stücke bringen die Stärken des deutschen Countertenors ideal zur Geltung: sein schmelzend anschwellendes Crescendo, die weiche Bindung der Gesangslinie, den Farbenreichtum seiner Töne. Für die Tiefen wechselt er in ein klangvolles Bariton-Register und verblendet es so perfekt mit der Kopfstimme, dass kein störender Bruch, sondern ein aparter Reiz entsteht. Der Umstand, dass es sich bei den meisten Stücken um Chaconnen, Passacaglien und andere Sätze mit ostinaten, immer wieder wiederholten Bässen handelt, versetzt den Hörer in Trance mit Suchtpotenzial. Höhepunkt der CD ist der Titel-Song, eine bittersüße Meditation über die Zeit . . . In "Sweeter than roses" sowie "Sound the trumpet" zeigt er im Duett mit Christophe Dumeaux, dass er auch die schnellen Koloraturen tadellos beherrscht . . . Scholls Wärme und Empfindungstiefe, die bittere Schärfe auf "Remember me" gehen ohne den leisesten Travestie-Effekt unmittelbar zu Herzen.

Scholl singt Purcell, wie in "Strike the viol", auf denkbar intime Weise, fernab jeder großtheatralischen Geste . . . eine Empfehlung wert.

Scholl erweist sich einmal mehr als Virtuose in der Interpretation dieser eher lyrischen, teilweise romantischen Musik ohne jene großen halsbrecherischen Effekte der nachfolgenden und doch so viel prominenteren Arien eines Vivaldi oder Händel . . . Die geschmeidige Stimme fügt sich elegant in den Orchesterklang ein und präsentiert sich ausgesprochen wendig . . .

. . . sein schmelzend anschwellendes Crescendo, die weiche Bindung der Gesangslinie, den Farbenreichtum seiner Töne. Für die Tiefen wechselt er in ein klangvolles Bariton-Register und verblendet es so perfekt mit der Kopfstimme, dass kein störender Bruch, sondern ein aparter Reiz entsteht . . . Scholls Wärme und Empfindungstiefe, die bittere Schärfe auf "Remember me" gehen ohne den leisesten Travestie-Effekt unmittelbar zu Herzen.

[Scholl] bringt das Wunder fertig, etliche von Henry Purcells berühmtesten Liedern zu einem stimmig packenden Panoptikum zu versammeln.

Die fast stille Feier der Unmittelbarkeit und die schwerelose Natürlichkeit des Gesangs -- das sind denn auch die zwei Seiten einer Interpretationsmedaille, die so nur ein Countertenor vom Schlage Scholl zu prägen versteht . . . [Die italienische Accademia Bizantina sorgt] für markante Binnenspannungen . . . [bei] "Dido's Lament", das für Mezzosopran geschrieben wurde, beweist Scholl einmal mehr, dass es nicht auf die richtige Stimmlage, sondern auf die Seelenqualität eines Sängers ankommt. Und genau diese besitzt Scholl wie kein Zweiter.

Scholls Stimme funkelt wie ein perfekt geschliffener Edelstein, das adäquate instrumentale Klanggewand steuert die federleicht musizierende Accademia Bizantina bei.

Scholl singt Purcell, wie in "Strike The Viol", auf denkbar intime Weise, fernab jeder großtheatralischen Geste . . . Scholl gestaltet diese Arie [Didos Klagelied "When I Am Laid In Earth"] ebenso schlicht wie intensiv, wunderbar die Endungen rundend, einzelne Vokale dezent crescendierend, das Ganze so gut wie vibratolos. Das Zusammenspiel mit der Accademia Bizantina funktioniert tadellos.

[Ehrenvoll ist, dass er dem beinahe abgenudelten] Stück seine frostige Würde, seine ganze dramatische Dringlichkeit wiedergibt. So kalt ist einem noch selten das menschliche Sich-Ergeben-in-Verzweiflung ins Ohr geritzt worden wie während dieser knapp drei Minuten . . . Der "Cold Song" ist das kalte Herz des vielleicht wärmendsten Albums dieses Winters . . . es ist eine dezente, sehr melancholische, sehr menschliche Kunstübung, der man beiwohnen darf . . . [Scholls ungeheuer runder, schön geführter, nie hysterischer, immer leicht halbdunkler Altus] kehrt damit sozusagen in sein musikalisches Kernland zurück. Nichts ist hier schrill, alles ist rund, hat den Herzton, ist warm und schlicht und schön.

[Die Aufnahme des Klagegesangs der Dido wird] von Scholl musikalisch sehr überzeugend gestaltet . . . Die interpretatorischen Stärken liegen hörbar im stillen Teil des Programms, etwa bei "One charming night", "Sweeter than roses" oder auch in Didos Klage "When I am laid in earth". Höchst erfreulich sind zudem die instrumentalen Beiträge des Programms: Die Accademia Bizantina bekommt vor allem in der Instrumentalmusik zu "The Gordian Knot Unty'd" reichlich Gelegenheit, ihr eminentes Potenzial zu präsentieren . . . Andreas Scholls Stimme fasziniert immer wieder damit, wie sie schmelzendes Melos und einen differenzierten, wenig vordergründigen dramatischen Ansatz zusammenbringt. Von dieser oft betörenden Mischung ist auch auf dieser Platte zu hören, die weiche, bewegliche Stimme des deutschen Altisten zeigt sich unvermindert auf der Höhe ihrer Möglichkeiten. Auffällig in den beiden Duetten mit dem französischen Fachkollegen Christophe Dumaux ist, wie verschmelzungsfähig Scholls Stimme ist, während Dumaux' Organ deutlich schärfer konturiert, wenngleich ebenfalls von insgesamt charmanter Prägung ist . . . Besondere Erwähnung verdient die Accademia Bizantina: Dieses famose Ensemble geht weit über das hinaus, was Produktionen großer Labels gewöhnlich von Instrumentalformationen an der Seite gewichtiger Solisten erwarten: Natürlich, es wird aufmerksam und sehr gut dosiert begleitet, auf der Basis eines geradezu plastischen Basso continuo. Aber es bieten sich genügend Spielräume bis zur orchestralen Geste, in denen sich die Accademia als gleichberechtigte interpretatorische Größe profilieren kann -- mit Dezenz und Temperament, mit Klangsinn und enormer Spielfreude. Besonders deutlich tritt eine hervorragende Artikulation in den Vordergrund, die dezidiert und kleinteilig ist, alles Breite und Unfokussierte meidet. Das Klangbild nimmt diese Vorlagen gelungen auf, ist schön gestaffelt, voll, angemessen erwärmt und dennoch von jener nötigen Klarheit, die Strukturen und Einzelstimmen jederzeit erkennbar werden lässt . . . Scholls Purcell ist klangschön, nah an den oft eindringlichen Texten, meist mit einer Ausdruckspalette von milder Elegie bis zu gedämpfter Expressivität . . . ein souveräner Blick Andreas Scholls auf einen der zentralen Komponisten des Repertoires.

. . . gezielte Klanggebung, Eindringlichkeit und die theatralische Geste. Dies alles beherrscht Scholl -- sparsam, aber mit Festigkeit agierend -- wie im Schlaf . . .

Andreas Scholl a tout: le style, le fluide, le timbre, l'intelligence . . . [dans les airs transposés] le virtuose liberé donne enfin la mesure de son talent . . . sur cet "Evening Hymn" apaisé, la voix se pose comme un oiseau, la basse obstinée partage son extase secrète, et le disque prend fin au paradis.

On savait Purcell génie de la langueur mortifère et des déplorations méditatives, ce superbe album nous le confirme . . . Le programme instrumental et lyrique conçu par Andreas Scholl sait bercer, creuser le sillon des peines terrestres mais aussi s'élever grâce à l'alleluiah final, plein d'une heureuse sérénité ("Now that the sun hath veiled his light"). Outre la suavité nostalgique de son timbre, Scholl sait ciseler cette articulation naturelle de l'anglais dont Purcell garde le secret: "Music for a while" caressé, ondulant, fusionné aux instrumentistes superlatifs . . . Andreas Scholl trouve le ton juste et cette musicalité toujours au service du texte. Même dans l'air du froid, fameuse incantation qui s'échappe peu à peu du sommeil pour gagner le gel de la mort . . . [le contre-ténor] étire une ligne vocale éplorée et colorée qui désigne l'inspiration dramatique de Purcell, entre suffocation et épuisement final. Très bel album qui accrédite les affinités purcelliennes du contre ténor allemand, jamais en reste d'un sentiment et d'une couleur émotionnelle parfaitement justes.

Andreas Scholl sings Purcell
Andreas Scholl has clearly enjoyed putting together the items for this recording, many of them pieces he has sung for many years, others he is now delighted to add to his repertoire. In some ways, it's surprising that he has not recorded a Purcell disc before now, because, as he explains, Òone could say that together with John Dowland and Handel, his music is considered the daily bread of countertenor solo singing. In fact, when I was a student at Basel we did a version of Dido and Aeneas. I sang Purcell then and I loved it, and I have always had some Purcell songs in my recital repertoire, but I had never actually recorded it and I thought now would be a good moment.Ó
Henry Purcell (1659-95) bestrode his period in English music like a colossus or, as he was dubbed shortly after his early death, as Orpheus Britannicus - the British Orpheus. He moved with easy assurance between all the various genres of the time, from intimate music for the chamber to the ceremonial of the court, from the sacred realm of the Anglican Church (he was organist at Westminster Abbey) to what was the West End theatre of his day, writing music for many productions at Drury Lane. He also essayed both small-scale through-composed opera in Dido and Aeneas, and the peculiarly English form of semi-opera in works such as The Fairy Queen and King Arthur - spoken plays interspersed with vast musical interludes. In all his choral and vocal endeavours, Purcell was - and still is - especially admired for his setting of English, which follows the natural rhythms of the language while adding considerably to its eloquence through his music.
For Andreas Scholl, this rhetorical aspect is very clear. ÒThese rules were established in the late Renaissance. Many poets and composers wrote and had disputes about the significance of music, and the balance between words and music in a song or an aria. It is easier as a performer, because the approach is clearly motivated by the words. If you know how you would speak it, or dramatise it in a play, you already have ninety percent of the clues you need to come to a solid interpretation.Ó
It's also clearly a pleasure for Scholl to work again with his friends from the Accademia Bizantina. ÒIt's been a long collaboration, and making music with them is a joy.Ó He has invited, too, the French countertenor Christophe Dumaux to join him. ÒI always thought it would be nice to have the famous 'Sound the trumpet' on the recording. Christophe is a very cool guy and a great singer. We did our Met debut together, and we have also sung in stage productions in Copenhagen, Lausanne and Paris. Ithought it might be fun to invite him to join me for a couple of duets.Ó
There's a tribute, too, to the cult figure of Klaus Nomi (1944-83) - a unique performing artist whose highly individual creativity Scholl has come to admire very much - in the form of one of Nomi's showpieces: the famous ÒCold SongÓ from King Arthur. ÒIn a way it's a very sad story. He was one of the first victims of AIDS in the music world. He started his career in the 1970s, when he wanted to train as a tenor, but he wasn't accepted in music academies. He worked as a baker and as an extra in the Essen Opera House. Later he left Germany to live in New York, where he did some classical music training. There he became a member of a vibrant world of eccentric artists as part of the gay music scene. He always had these wonderful costumes - some people claim that David Bowie copied Klaus Nomi's style. He was on the verge of a huge breakthrough when he died.Ó
Another unusual item, for a male singer, at least, is the famous lament from Dido and Aeneas, usually the realm of the female mezzo-soprano. ÒWell, I know it's a bit controversial, but if it's the only provocative thing about my singing, then that's not too much!Ó There is an underlying subtext here about people's fascination with the high male voice. ÒThere are still the most stupid prejudices. I even had the headline ten or fifteen years ago, 'Man Who Sings Like a Woman' - as if I was a circus attraction. We have certain rules in Western Europe that say that if you're a man, these are the ways in which you have to behave. A countertenor transcends this. He looks like a guy when he walks out on stage, but when he starts singing he's not a clichŽ male voice, but something that we cannot put into a drawer. That's the attraction of countertenor singing. The high male voice is something that surprises the audience and transcends classification, and reminds people that we are primarily human.Ó
A particular favourite of Scholl's is ÒMusic for a whileÓ. ÒThis is one of the greatest songs ever written. Music is the message, of course. Purcell is saying to the audience, 'don't you worry, for the time that this singer sings my music you're going to be alright. Your pains will be eased, and music will transport you to a different place.' It has this hypnotic quality through the repetitive pattern, the basso ostinato, and it pulls you in. If there's a top ten of songs ever written, 'Music for a while' must be in it.Ó
ÒMusic for a whileÓ comes from Purcell's incidental music to Dryden and Lee's tragedy Oedipus, King of Thebes, revived in 1692. Other items here, such as ÒSweeter than rosesÓ, written for Norton's Pausanias, the Betrayer of His Country (1695), or the pieces from the semi-operas King Arthur (1691) and The Fairy Queen (1692), or his miniature through-composed opera Dido and Aeneas (certainly performed in 1689, and possibly earlier), also testify vividly to his love of the theatre and the place of music within it. But there are more private song settings, too, such as ÒIf music be the food of loveÓ (1691-92), one of three he made of that particular text. Rounded off with the equally striking works written for special occasions, such as the 1683 Ode for St Cecilia's Day ÒWelcome to all the pleasuresÓ and the poignant Elegy on the Death of Queen Mary (1695), and some purely instrumental items, this collection samples the huge range of expression and context Purcell could engage with. Nothing, it seems, was beyond him.
How would Scholl introduce Purcell to someone who did not know his music? ÒTo somebody who never listens to classical music, I would say, don't be afraid to hear this. He's certainly not a composer who is difficult to understand. Purcell moves you as a listener on several levels. Of course, you gain more pleasure if you know about the context, but the music itself speaks a universal language. It's not music for musicologists, it's music for human beings.Ó
George Hall