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Andreas Scholl – Heroes (1999)

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Andreas Scholl – Heroes (1999)

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1. Serse / Act 1 - Rec. "Frondi Tenere E Belle"
2. Serse / Act 1 - "Ombra Mai Fù"                    play
3. Semele HWV 58 / Act 2 - Where'Er You Walk
4. Saul, HWV 53 / Act 2 - 46. Air: Such Haughty Beauties
5. Saul, HWV 53 / Act 1 - 32. Air: O Lord, Whose Mercies Numberless
6. Rodelinda / Act 3 - Vivi, Tiranno, Io T'Ho Scampato
7. Rodelinda / Act 2 - Con Rauco Mormorio
8. Giulio Cesare / Act 3 - Dall'Ondoso Periglio      play
9. Giulio Cesare / Act 3 - Aure, Deh, Per Pietà
10. Artaserse - Opera in 3 Acts - Pallido Il Sole
11. Orfeo Ed Euridice (Orphée Et Eurydice) - Sung In Italian/Vienna Version (1762) / Act 3 - Aria: "Che Farò Senza Euridice?"
12. Ascanio In Alba, KV 111 / Part 2 - Al Mio Ben Mi Veggio Avanti
13. Telemaco, Or L'isola Di Circe - Dramma Per Musica In 2 Acts - Ah! Non Turbi Il Mio Riposo
14. Mitridate, Re Di Ponto, K.87 / Act 1 - "Venga Pur, Minacci E Frema"

Andreas Scholl - countertenor
Sarah Fulgoni - vocals
Frances Kelly - harp
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Roger Norrington - conductor


The gods of musical commerce are smiling on hot young countertenor Andreas Scholl: this is his second CD of opera arias to appear in less than a month. The previous disc, a selection of Handel arias on Harmonia Mundi, showcased Scholl's considerable strengths: subtle and sensitive phrasing, deft coloratura, and a pure, rounded tone with little of the disembodied hootiness that used to be accepted from countertenors. His first recital disc for Decca gives us a wider range of music (Hasse, Gluck, and Mozart as well as Handel) and a more complete representation of Scholl's singing--vices as well as virtues. Among the former are his top notes (sometimes squealy or poorly tuned) and a Joan Sutherland-like combination of beautiful sound with indistinct diction and lack of temperament. This is particularly damaging in the laments from Rodelinda and Giulio Cesare, which come across as mere pleasant pastorales; the famous "Che farò?" from Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice sounds self-satisfied rather than bereft. (To be fair, Roger Norrington's jaunty tempos deserve much of the blame for this.) Scholl also aspirates his coloratura, which will bother some listeners more than others. On the other hand, "Oh, Lord, whose mercies numberless" from Handel's Saul is radiant, and the two arias from early Mozart operas are thrilling. In the end, the disc gives a fair, well-rounded picture of an important young singer. Speaking of pictures, by the way, Decca's photographer deserves plaudits for making this tall, somewhat gawky German with Nana Mouskouri glasses look almost glamorous. --Matthew Westphal

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Last Updated (Sunday, 28 July 2013 11:32)


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