An intellectual Bach,
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This review is from: Andreas Scholl - Bach Cantatas (Audio CD)
As far as I know, Bach's cantatas are not so often sung by countretenors. There may be lots of philological reasons, but, anyway: the common listener is more accostumed to male and female voices than to falsetto.
Thus, for example, I can easily recall great recordings by Susan Baker, Norman Prey or Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau of BMW82, and their rendition is so moving that tears easily fall down.
Scholl's cantatas do not follow this line, they are never "moving" in an easy going way. His measure and composure are extreme, his singing always precise and chiselled, so that this can sometimes appear a little "cold", but his maitrise is so high that sentiments are none theless conveyed, if the listener "listens": that is, IMHO, that these cantatas are not for casual listeners, cannot be appreciated at their full extent as background music.
The choice also of this disc's cantatas is in this direction, as they are all "intimate": here we find no highly rejoicing sounds, like for exemple in Richter's BWV51 (even the lightness of BWV53 is here full of countenance), but we have plenty of intimacy and meditation.
An additional note about Scholl voice. The more I listen to him, the more I find his texture similar to Emma Kirkby's one. Both voices are extremely pure, the purest in their register, and the best-fitting to Bach. OK Handel, Mozart comme-ci comme-ša, but Bach: ideal!
Bach's music is so supernatural and "mathematic" that their voices give us the most "authentic" Bach, putting apart philology. By converse, the sheeer beauty of these pure voices is also exaltated by Bach's music.
So, even though I personally prefer a more visceral approach to several cantatas, I think that the match Scholl-Bach is wonderful and I highly recommend this disc: my 4-star evaluation is connected more to my specific taste than to the objective value of this compilation.