Wayfaring Stranger: Folksongs
Andreas Scholl, Edin Karamazov, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra & Stacey Shames
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Ravishing Singing Outdoes All that went before
When one recalls the first renaissance of this voice type in the first half of the 20th century and with that, the resurgence of a neglected repertoire of vocal music, one must count Alfred Deller as one of the most important pioneers. Yet comparing Deller in similar repertoire, there is no doubt who is the greater artist. Scholl's sensitivity and subtlety with text, even in a language which is not his first, is remarkable, and in these songs, I would say without parallel. In one's youth, one might have had late nights listening to Joan Baez or Judy Collins singing some of the same songs, and thought we were transported to a different world, a past we could not connect to, but here Scholl bridges the gap between populist and authentic style. We do not feel we are transported to another temporal context, what he sings it is about something that is happening right now. The evennness of this voice is perfection. Perhaps such perfect tonal control has never been achieved by any other countertenor voice. I simply cannot imagine Bowman, Minter, Asawa, Daniels and even the great Rene Jacobs bettering these performances. This is the pinnacle.