by Scholl


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German countertenor Andreas Scholl is known not only for his gorgeous voice, but gutsy programming, and he may never have been more gutsy than in this set of German Romantic and proto-Romantic (an important distinction of which more in a moment) songs. It's pretty clear that any of the composers included on this album would have doubled over with laughter at the idea of hearing his music sung by a countertenor, and the highly gendered quality of the music of the 19th century is one of its primary motivating forces. Thus there's real excitement in hearing that Scholl does, in fact, pull it off. Quoted in the notes, he offers the expected platitudes about how what matters in singing lieder is not voice type but connection with the music. Yet there's more than that to what's happening here. Scholl does not simply program a typical lieder recital; rather, he tailors his repertoire to his unusual voice. Haydn, with three songs, and Mozart (two) are overrepresented, and this helps bridge the acceptance gap: the simple, folklike melodies of these songs (Haydn's are in English) require less suspension of disbelief than do the full-blown Romantic pieces. Moving into Schubert, Scholl makes some interesting choices. The famed "Ave Maria" is a piece of sheer Italianate melody that works beautifully in Scholl's voice; it's of a piece with any number of his earlier recordings. In "Der Tod und das Mädchen, D. 531" (Death and the Maiden, the source of a tremendous set of variations in one of Schubert's string quartets), Scholl sings both of the dialogic parts himself: the Maiden is his usual countertenor voice, while he sings Death as a baritone. The strangeness of this leapfrogs, as it were, that of hearing a countertenor sing Schubert. Add to these the fact that Scholl mostly avoids songs with romantic and erotic themes, and it adds up to an album that continually surprises rather than one that is trying to force something into a mold where it doesn't belong. Accompanist Tamar Halperin stays mostly out of the way, which is the right thing to do, and in all Scholl can claim another in his string of triumphs, even if it's maybe not the first one for newcomers to start out with.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/16/2012
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028947846963
catalogNumber: 001752902
Rank: 118315


  1. Du bist die Ruh, song for voice & piano, D. 776 (Op. 59/3)
  2. Intermezzo for piano in A major, Op. 118/2
  3. Ellens Gesang III ("Ave Maria"), song for voice & piano, D. 839 (Op. 52/6)
  4. Der Jüngling auf dem Hügel ("Ein Jüngling auf dem Hügel"), song for voice & piano, D. 702 (Op. 8/1)
  5. Da unten im Tale, folk song for voice & piano, WoO 33/6
  6. All mein Gedanken, folk song for voice & piano, WoO 33/30
  7. Der Tod und das Mädchen ("Vorüber, ach vorüber"), song for voice & piano, D. 531 (Op. 7/3)
  8. Abendempfindung an Laura ("Abend ist's"), song for voice & piano, K. 523
  9. Mein Mädel hat einen Rosenmund, folk song for voice & piano, WoO 33/25
  10. An Mignon ("Über Tal und Fluss getragen"), song for voice & piano, D. 161 (Op.19/2)
  11. Abendstern ("Was weilst du einsam an dem Himmel"), song for voice & piano, D. 806
  12. Despair ("The anguish of my bursting heart"), song for voice & piano (English Canzonettas I), H. 26a/28
  13. Im Haine ("Sonnenstrahlen durch die Tannen"), song for voice & piano, D. 738 (Op. 56/3)
  14. Waltzes (12), Ländler (17) and Écossaises (9) for piano, D. 145 (Op. 18): Waltz No. 6 in B minor
  15. Das Veilchen, song for voice & piano, K. 476
  16. Es ging ein Maidlein zarte, folk song for voice & piano (Deutsche Volkslieder), WoO 33/21
  17. Recollection, song for voice & keyboard, H. 26a/26 (from English Canzonettas I)
  18. The Wanderer, song for voice and keyboard (from English canzonettas, set 2), H.26a/32
  19. In stiller Nacht, zur ersten Wacht, folk song for voice & piano, WoO 33/42

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Performance Credits

Scholl   Primary Artist

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