11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2007
If you're new to Andreas Scholl and want to dip a toe in the water of his recordings I think this would be an excellent choice - not only because it is mid-priced and because it has a generous 21 tracks. This countertenor singer has an unsurpassed voice, pure and beautiful but also strong and yet not overblown. Unlike many singers he doesn't (for me) ruin it by being excessively warbly but adds just the required variety to the tone.
This album contains a selection of tracks from several of his albums for the Harmonia Mundi label (he then switched to Decca and is now back with HM) which include a variety of styles and accompaniments. The first two tracks, for example, are English folksongs, then we have an Air from Handel's Messiah and three tracks (one instrumental) from Handel's Serse opera, some lively Vivaldi cantatas, there are a couple of German baroque songs, a JS Bach opera Aria from Hercules and finally the big guns (in my opinion), "Agnus Dei" from J S Bach's Mass In B Minor, Vivaldi's "Stabat Mater," a Buxtehude cantata "Jubilate Domino" and the incomparable recording of "Erbarme Dich" from the St Matthew Passion by Bach. That last track is so good I tend to feel I have to lie down afterwards and contemplate the world whilst waiting for the hairs on the back of my neck to settle down. The album price is worth it just for that one track.
The accompaniment on this album varies from just lute (in the folk songs), organ lute and cello on the German baroque songs, the Ensemble 415 with Chiara Banchini and several full orchestras. There's something here for everyone and none of the tracks is in any way disappointing (although I have my favourites, of course). The album was produced in 2000 and of course Andreas Scholl has done many more recordings and probably become an even better singer since this album but it's still an excellent album which can be played and enjoyed over and over again.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2001
Andreas Scholl's voice combines the essence of purity and vitality that will get you, if you are not already, hooked for life to the works of one of the best and most popular countertenors in the world. This compilation brings together some of the most warmly-received works that Scholl has done for Harmonia Mundi before he became an exclusive Decca artist. Widely acclaimed as the standard with which other countertenors should be compared, and winner of numerous prestigious awards, Scholl delivers to perfection works written for the alto voice. If you've been put off by the male falsetto voice previously, you'll be surprised by Scholl's sheer power of attraction and enchantment. An excellent CD for its price too. If you've enjoyed this, you shouldn't hesitate to grab a copy of each of all his other works, which of course are available at Amazon.co.uk. Also try David Daniel, available here too, who's got a creamy and rich head voice quite different from Scholl's lighter and more cystalline expressions.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2001
Versed in all Italian, German and English Early Music repertoire - Andreas Scholl, young as he indeed is, deserved such a compilation of his awesome singing career dating back to the late 80s. Such a cd should not forget his magnificent Bach, both religious (his "Agnus Dei" from Bach's Mass in B minor is indeed the finest I have heard, only comparable to Bowman's) and secular, which has often brought him the applause of critics from all over the world (including some not so much in favour of his voice type - the lately rather fashionable countertenor one). Neither have they forgotten his award-winner Vivaldi, mainly represented in this album by the cantata "Cessate, omai cessate" as dramatically powerful both the work and the reading as one could ever wish for. So much could one add about his delighting english folksongs, which will undoubtely lead most listeners to his forthcoming Dowland album, to be released in a few weeks. Indeed, a excellent introduction not only to Mr Scholl's unique singing but also to the interesting figure of the countertenor and to the intensely compelling music prior to Mozart.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2009
A pleasure and a delight! I am "musically ignorant" and did not know much abouth Andreas Scholl, but one day I was listening to Desert Island on BBC radio and the guest, a doctor whose name I don't remember, was talking about his favourite music and singers. The Cantata by Vivaldi sung by Andreas Scholl was among them, and I just fell in love with it. Being Italian, I have always loved Vivaldi but always listened to the most popular works. This CD is a gem and I would recommend it to anyone, I play it loud in my car while I go to work and it's a real mood lifter!
on 26 July 2009
I didn't know Andreas Scholl before but was interested in counter tenor voices. I bought three Scholl cds in one go and haven't stopped listening to them since.I have also booked a concert in Liverpool next April. The other two are as good - Heroes and Arias for Senesino. Will be buying more soon. Amazing vocal ability and a superb repertoire. One drawback on this cd is the lack of a transcript, which the other two cds have. I like to follow the words!DKG
on 29 August 2010
A selection of some of his best songs, many from longer works; I bought this cd for the two favorite Bach areas from St Mathew Passion and the B minor mass, and found other wonderful works including Vivaldi's 'Cessate, omai cessate', which is shear ecstasy to listen to. There is surly no other voice at this time to equal that of Andreas Scholl .
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2008
A great many things have been said about this CD. Indeed, a great many things have been said about Andreas Scholl. No doubt, among the ever-increasing number of countertenors, he is one of the most admired. He is also (and that is far from saying the same thing) one of the best, one of the greatest. But where - to my mind - he is totally unsurpassed, nay most probably totally unsurpassable, is in his interpretation of the religious music of the baroque era, be it by Vivaldi, Bach, Handel or whoever. This is due to the fact that, in addition to his beautiful voice, he also has the fullest possible understanding and appreciation of the deep faith that motivated the composers. So, while every single recording on this CD is a gem of the first water, his interpretation of the 'Agnus Dei' from Bach's Mass in B minor and of course his version of 'Erbarme dich' from the St Matthew Passion by the same composer, can only be described as heavenly, indeed as reflecting inspiration at its most divine!