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Crystal clear heights

Andreas Scholl
sings folksongs,
reviewed by

Decca    468 499-2

Andreas Scholl - Wayfaring Stranger - Folksongs. Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. © 2001 Decca Music Group Ltd

Of all the Scholl CDs, this one ranks high among my favourites. It is hard to pinpoint why, because I am not usually a fan of folk music, which Webster defines as 'traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of the people in a community'. But when the German-born, yet very anglicised, countertenor Andreas Scholl, who happens to be one of the best in the world, takes on such music it is amazing what he can do to it.

The title song, I am a poor wayfaring stranger [listen -- track 1, 3:22-4:44], becomes a statement of faith and of beautiful music, the crystal clear heights of which leave you wondering whether folk songs should ever be sung by anyone but those with full classical training to bring out their full potential. For this song alone, with its haunting quality, the CD would be worth buying, but there are plenty of other memorable tracks like Blow the wind southerly, Barbara Allen, or She moved through the fair.

Scholl is always an enjoyment to listen to, but here he also provides a revelation: of what he is capable of, aside from the early music that he is best known for.

Copyright © 16 July 2005 Tess Crebbin, Germany


Andreas Scholl - Wayfaring Stranger - folksongs

468 499-2 DDD Stereo FIRST RELEASE 74'24" 2001 Decca Music Group Ltd

Andreas Scholl, countertenor; Edin Karamazov, lute; Jon Pickow, dulcimer, banjo; Stacey Shames, harp; Craig Leon, organ; Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Traditional, arr Craig Leon and Andreas Scholl: I am a poor wayfaring stranger; The salley gardens; My love is like a red, red rose; Wild mountain thyme; Henry Martin; Charming beauty bright; I will give my love an apple; She moved through the fair; Blow the wind southerly; The wife of Usher's Well; I loved a lass; Pretty Saro; Down in yon forest; Barbara Allen; The wraggle taggle gypsies, o!; Annie Laurie; Black is the color; Lied vom Mississippi; Heil dir, Columbus


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Record Box is Music & Vision's regular series of shorter CD reviews