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Les Contre-ténors, a compilation of solo counter-tenors singing baroque and Renaissance repertoire, charts the international stature of counter-tenors today. The most famous English and German singers in this category, James Bowman, Andreas Scholl and Iestyn Davies are represented, but also singers from as far afield as Korea, such as David D. Q. Lee. Andreas Scholl’s account of J. S. Bach’s ‘Ich bin ein guter Hirt’ from Cantata BWV 85 is the finest track vocally and musically, and his richness of tone and full vibrato continue to stand as the benchmark for counter-tenors. The bonus track, ‘Son qual nave ch’agitata’ by Riccardo Broschi – taken from the soundtrack of the 1994 film Farinelli: Il Castrato – also has some very high and intricate coloratura. When you discover that the sound is in fact that of a female soprano and a counter-tenor blended together in the mixing room, you may feel a little disappointed.

Nicholas Bown Read the full review on Agora Classica


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