O Solitude

O Solitude

by Andreas SchollAndreas Scholl




Countertenor Andreas Scholl returns to the Decca label with this all-new recording of vocal gems by Henry Purcell. The singer's unique combination of stunning tone, solid technique, and sensitivity to text is highlighted in these selections of Purcell's arias and songs, including "When I am laid in earth" from Dido and Aeneas.

Scholl has clearly enjoyed putting together the items for this recording, many of them pieces he has sung for many years, others he is now delighted to add to his repertoire. In some ways, it is surprising that he has not recorded a Purcell disc before now, because, as he explains, "one could say that together with John Dowland and Handel, his music is considered the daily bread of countertenor solo singing. In fact, when I was a student at Basel we did a version of Dido and Aeneas. I sang Purcell then and I loved it, and I have always had some Purcell songs in my recital repertoire, but I had never actually recorded it and I thought now would be a good moment."

With the vast repertoire for Scholl to choose from, he decided to make a number of highly personal choices. He performs two duets with countertenor Christophe Dumaux. According to Scholl: "I always thought it would be nice to have the famous 'Sound the trumpet' on the recording. Christophe is a very cool guy and a great singer. We did our Met debut together, and we have also sung in stage productions in Copenhagen, Lausanne, and Paris. I thought it might be fun to invite him to join me for a couple of duets."

In addition, there is a tribute to the cult figure Klaus Nomi (1944-83) with the famous "Cold Song" from King Arthur, a work given memorable performances by Nomi in the late '70s and early '80s. And perhaps in an unusual move, Scholl performs Dido's lament from Dido and Aeneas. While usually performed by mezzo-sopranos, the range and beauty of the music were more important to Scholl than performance practice.

Scholl is joined by the Accademia Bizantina for an energetic and exciting collaboration which brings out the Italian influence in Purcell's music and who contribute a few orchestral items for the album. It has been five years since Decca released a recital of Andreas Scholl, and the record label celebrates his return with this unique and quite beautiful collection of Purcell selections. From the Label

Product Details

Release Date: 11/30/2010
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028947822622
catalogNumber: 001492302


  1. Now that the sun hath veiled his light, sacred song for soprano & continuo ("An Evening Hymn"), Z. 193
  2. Pavan for 3 violins & continuo in G minor, Z. 752
  3. O solitude, my sweetest choice, song, Z. 406
  4. O dive custos Auriacae domus ("On the death of Queen Mary"), song for 2 sopranos & continuo, Z. 504
  5. Oedipus, incidental music, Z. 583: 2. Music for a while
  6. Welcome to all the pleasures (An Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 339: 3. Here the deities approve
  7. The Gordian Knot Unty'd, incidental music, Z. 597
  8. Dido and Aeneas, opera, Z. 626: When I am laid in earth (Dido's Lament)
  9. Pausanias, the Betrayer of his Country, incidental music, Z. 585: 1. Sweeter than roses
  10. The Fairy Queen, semi-opera, Z. 629: One charming night
  11. Chacony, for 4 strings in G minor, Z. 730
  12. King Arthur, or, The British Worthy, semi-opera, Z. 628: What power art thou (Cold Song)
  13. King Arthur, or, The British Worthy, semi-opera, Z. 628: Fairest isle
  14. King Arthur, or, The British Worthy, semi-opera, Z. 628: Chacony
  15. Come ye sons of art away (Birthday ode for Queen Mary), for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 323: 5. Strike the viol
  16. Come ye sons of art away (Birthday ode for Queen Mary), for soloists, chorus & instruments, Z. 323: 3. Sound the trumpet
  17. If music be the food of love, song, Z. 379 (3 settings)

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