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4.3 out of 5 stars24
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2003
Bold words, this title, and we're fully aware of it. Though countertenor Andreas Scholl is better-known for his acclaimed rendering of pure classic (and, hence, does take risks at singing some classics in the British folk repertoire), his achievement on this cd remains largely flawless. To be true, other reviewers have dotted i's and crossed t's about Scholl's pronunciation, but to me, they just add a little spice to the traditional school in British singing. The selection of songs has been most carefully made and will not cease to strike you by its difference to the renderings you have so far been used to. The cd-box and musical notes are a gem.
My personal favourites are Wayfaring Stranger and the sublimely moving Salley Gardens. Will easily capture your ears and imagaination.
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on 7 June 2010
Time to weigh in to the debate over this CD, which seems to have polarised opinion, and I'm casting my vote at the 5* end of the spectrum. I've listened to these songs repeatedly over the past few months and the more I listen to them, the more struck I am by Andreas Scholl's customary discernment... on first hearing, I often thought "too slow" (we Welsh tend to get a move on) but, after a while, I realise he was quite right. The only exception is Blow the Wind Southerly, which he takes on the faster side and it sounds wonderful - all thoughts of Kathleen Ferrier dissolving, never to return. It could have done with the proper second verse though.

I have nothing against bringing these folk songs up to date with modern backing, but it is true that they are a little over-orchestrated at times; undoubtedly they work best when Andreas Scholl does most of the work. There is a great selection of songs, mostly on the plaintive side, which suits his voice well, though sometimes I wish the poor man could get to sing some rather more cheerful stuff more often - have a listen to him singing the German drinking song "Der Rheinsche Wein" on Deutsche Barocklieder, it's absolutely fantastic!

I've grown up with most of these folk songs and I've never heard them sung better.... there are loads more awaiting him and I hope that he gets round to recording another folk song CD (with some Welsh ones next time, please).
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on 31 October 2005
as a singer myself, other singers rarely have me on the edge of my seat; but having heard andreas scholl at the proms, i had to buy some of his CDs immediately to experience more of the same.
this recording raises the hairs on one's neck with the purity & warmth of the vocal instrument; the meticulous and yet unmannered phrasing and the deceptive simplicity of delivery.
the pronounciation - well, yes. it's certainly idiosyncratic; but to me it's all part of the charm of this performance.
andreas scholl (for me) has more control and colour than any other counter tenor that i've ever heard. i would recommend to anyone and everyone.
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on 6 November 2001
I had never heard of 'countertenors' until 2 weeks ago. It was a wonderful discovery - this is a beautiful type of voice. Andreas Scholl is magnicent; his voice sounds almost medieval and pure, and the tunes he sings here are at once familiar and delightful, and intriguingly different. The songs are well-loved folk songs arranged in a sympathetic way. Scholl has a clear mastery over what he is doing and the result is deeply satifying and moving. The accompanying musicians likewise are just wonderful. It all seems so ethereal and... right. I'm a convert and recommend this to people who like classy, intelligent music. My parents are getting copies for Christmas as are friends my age (28) - I am convinced they will all be won over the beauty of it.
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on 10 June 2002
Listening to this CD is one of the most relaxing hours you could ever spend. Scholl sings with incredible purity and clarity - and it sounds so effortless. There is a haunting quality to his vocals that is both astonishing and utterly beautiful.It is clear that he cares passionately about all the songs on the album, and unlike so many classical performers you can hear every single word; it is a credit to his immense talent that you have to keep reminding yourself that English is not his mother tongue. This is an album I shall definitely listen to again and again.
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on 7 January 2009
I've had this CD for years now, and I see there are people who seem to hate it and others who love it. I find Scholl's voice sublime, whether he's singing Baroque, Dowland, classics or pieces such as these. I play this frequently and find it simply one of the most beautiful albums I own, and my CD collection is in the thousands. For me, the orchestration has a Vaughan Williams feel, and it complements his voice flawlessly. Folk songs are by their very nature simple and accessible, and it seems this annoys some listeners here. I have heard dozens of renditions of "Wayfaring Stranger" and this one breaks my heart every time with its transcendent sense of loss and beauty. If you love it, you'll probably love it a lot. If you don't, well there is other music for you. As a conductor friend of mine said about Mahler, for those who do not like it, you can do nothing.
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on 22 February 2014
Andreas scholl really excels here and his pure alto copes with this selection of folk songs beautifully. Not a bad track on the album, which is magical in atmosphere and quality of sound. Highly recommended and a good place to start if you are trying out the male countertenor voice for the first time.
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on 15 December 2012
I've only come across Andreas Scholl recently, but the quality of his voice is superb, and this recording does him full justice. He's one of the best counter tenors in the world. I would recommend this disc to any lover of the classically-trained solo voice.
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on 3 June 2002
Some other reviewers have criticised Andreas Scholl's handling of some of the songs on this album, but as a person who cannot sing, play an instrument or even read music, I believe they are "nit-picking"! The songs are well handled, and I believe the backing on each one is good. Scholl's English is excellent - how many of us could sing in German with a perfect accent? It was a brave effort, and to be applauded. This recording has brought me great pleasure, and I'm sure will continue so to do. I would definitely recommend it.
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on 16 March 2013
This singing is new to me, having heard Andreas on the radio - this cd is beautiful sophistication. Just love it!
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