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Andreas Scholl (Counter-tenor)
Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works
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Andreas Scholl - Short Biography
Recordings of Vocal Works under his name


Scholl down under

Jill Gunsell wrote (January 20, 2000):
The Decca site (not known for giving up to date info) announces that Andreas Scholl is in Australia recording Vivaldi's greatest hits (sic - not). I suppose that means he was there some time back and so this probably is a bit late for Aussies to find out where he might be appearing in live recitals in the Antipodes. Anyhow, just FYI.

Billy Kitson wrote (January 20, 2000):
(To Jill Gunsell) WE "LOVED" IT/HIM!
But I think he may be on Holiday Incognito NOW?
We had him "Live" on a chat show & interviewed in the "papers"!
Hard life && 40 degrees C too!

Jill Gunsell wrote (January 20, 2000):
(To Billy Kitson) So - Decca is ahead of the news as usual. Bless 'em. Scholl's management companies in Germany and UK are just as good (ha) at saying where he will go and what he will do.

Bill - what went on with his Oz tour? When was it, what was that TV program, what concerts etc.? Any press coverage?

He's a real star in UK early music though there's too little coverage of his work in the press, and (amazingly) not so much so in his native Germany. Any info gratefully records.

Billy Kitson wrote (January 20, 2000):
Oh Dear, Decca were 2 weeks behind!
Andreas was seen in the Bondi surf on 05/01/00!
2 recitals @ the new Hall in Sydney;
&&& a CD made with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra;

&&&&& we all suspect a Summer Holiday as Mrs. S & the daughter were here too!

This is what the paper wrote:
Humble Scholl rides a wave of Success. A special connection with an Australian Orchestra, and Not a Summer Holiday, has brought one of the world’s finest singers to Sydney. The Bondi surf is not the only Australian attraction that keeps bringing Andrea Scholl back to our shores. This Friday, the German counter-tenor will be reunited with one of his favourite period ensembles, marking his Third appearance with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (ABO) in as many years. “The very first rehearsal I did with the Brandenburg I realised there was something special about this Orchestra, and it is difficult to put this in words’, says Scholl, fresh from a Bondi dip on the First fine day since his arrival. “There is this spontaneity; a sense of fun, a collective joy, a freshness that results in a different approach to the music, I think”. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Scholl’s 1998 debut with the ABO astonished Sydney Festival goers. A voice ravishing beyond belief, “Herald” critic Peter McCallum decided after praising the “transcendent perfection, marble smooth-ness and simple expressive eloquence” of the Scholl vocal cords. “In an age where ivory is banned, and marble prohibitively expensive, it is reassuring that we still have Andreas Scholl”, McCallum concluded 12 months later, when the counter-tenor made his triumphant return. Much had happened to Scholl in the interim. Certainly, his international reputation as one of the finest counter-tenors in Europe was on the sharp incline. But then the 30-year old had yet to make his operatic debut – a debut, which was to crown him the greatest counter-tenor of his generation. Scholl’s unfeigned humility and quiet charm have not altered in the least since that first Sydney appearance. The only suggestion of a more affluent lifestyle to match the critical and popular acclaim: a pair of Armani sunglasses to ward off the Bondi glare. He acknowledges that since debuting at Glynebourne in mid-1998 as King Bertarido in Händel’s “Rodelinda” (“Has there been finer Händel singer this century?" Sun Herald” music critic John Carmody wondered, after witnessing that debut first-hand), his professional life has taken off at an almost frightening pace. Had somebody foretold the boy soprano’s future while he was singing in the local choir at Wiesbaden, Germany, before music studies at the Schola Cantorum in Basle, Scholl would have not believed them. “I always felt that everything should just happen the way it happens,” Scholl says. “I never had the need to rush things, or to be ambitious saying “I have to achieve this or that by a certain time”. He shrugs, “But sometimes things move very quickly, sometimes you have no choice – luck just hits you with a hammer from behind”. Luck and fate are two words in which Scholl sets much store. It was fate, he believes, that introduced him to his Belgian wife, Joelle, two years ago. On stage in Brussels awaiting his turn to sing in Händel’s “Solomon”, he spied a beautiful young woman in the audience. The two began a mute flirtation as the concert progressed, but when the applause was over, Scholl searched in vain for his new love. He returned to his home base of Switzerland downcast. Two months later a fax arrived “Do you remember that concert in Brussels?” it went. “I thought you were singing just for me….”. They were married soon after and now have a 12-month old daughter, Clara. The complete Scholl family made the trip to Australia this year, despite the counter-tenor’s sworn testimony to his record company, Decca, that the purpose of the trip down under was more than just a Holiday. Between concerts this Friday and the following Friday at City Recital Hall, Angel Place, the ABO will join Scholl in the recording studio to make an-all Vivaldi CD. Early last year, his ales pitch to Decca went something like this: “Yes, I could record in Europe; yes, there are plenty of good Baroque orchestras in Europe; and No, it’s not that I want to have a holiday in Australia. It is because this orchestra [the ABO] is a special orchestra and because the chemistry is so good, if we do this recording together, it will be a very happy special re-cording.” In 2002, the orchestra will tour to Europe with Scholl, with venues in Frankfurt, Vienna, Cologne and Paris confirmed. The idea of an Australian orchestra playing Baroque music is being viewed as something of a novelty, says Scholl, so the tour marketing will take pains to present the ABO as an orchestra in its own right – not merely as a backing for one of the world’s most increasingly sought after singers. The year 2002 will also see Scholl take his second leap into the world of opera, in Copenhagen, as Händel’s “Guilio Cesare”, But recital work will remain the staple diet of this counter-tenor. “I like opera a lot but opera is not the big love of my life”, he says. “Singing, that is what I like. The experience of the recital, to stay with an audience for a period of one and a half hours, singing songs, creating an atmosphere, guiding them through songs of a time that was so long ago…That is what I love most”.

The Sydney Morning Herald; 05/01/00. "Summer Times"; written by Kelly Burke.


Andreas Scholl future appearances

Jill Gunsell wrote (February 16, 2000):
Does anyone have details of Andreas Scholl's future appearances, anywhere, any programme, any date? A group of us are trying to put together a definitive schedule on our new Andreas Scholl Website. Info to me, please? All assistance very gratefully received - thank you very much.

I had the honour of meeting Andreas in Birmingham last week after his CBSO concert and he gave our project his support.

Please visit: which points to


Andreas interview on BBC radio this Sunday/Andreas Scholl on Bach's sacred music

Jill Gunsell wrote (March 2, 2000):
Sunday March 5th, BBC Radio 3 UK and online at 4:45pm Bach Year
Christopher Cook talks to the gifted young Counter-tenor Andreas Scholl about the challenges and rewards of performing some of Bach's most emotionally chargworks. Music includes excerpts from St Matthew Passion (BWV 244), the St John Passion (BWV 245) and the Cantata BWV 170 `Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust'.

Jill Gunsell wrote (March 5, 2000):
FYI - Andreas Scholl on Bach's sacred music.

Transcription of interview by Christopher Cook BBC Radio 3, Sunday 5 March, with acknowledgements to BBC. File available at:

Matthew Westphal wrote (March 6, 2000):
(To Jill Gunsell) I clicked on the URL but I can't see how to access the!

Jill Gunsell wrote (March 5, 2000):


Markus Märkl

Stephanie Triska wrote (March 9, 2000):
Jill Gunsell wrote:
< Märkl accompanied Andreas Scholl (again) at the Wigmore Hall (London) recitals last year - for which I could not get tickets <gnash> and is on Scholl/Herreweghe CD's. Does anyone know of forthcoming concerts at which he will appear with Andreas Scholl again? Has he recorded "in his own right" or only in ensemble? >
I saw him accompanying Scholl at the German baroque cantatas concert in Cologne in February, but there he played harpsichord, not organ. The only other concert I know of with Andreas and Markus Märkl will be in June in Bad Kissingen/Germany (German and English baroque songs). In my Cologne concert programme are some info about him: Märkl has studied organ and harpsichord at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where he taught also improvisation (while studying!). He founded the ensemble "I Musici Gelosi" with which he won an award in 1996. He works with Ensembles like "Ensemble 415" and tours regularly with Scholl. He has also done some recordings (unfortunately there aren't any listed).


Definitive new contact info for the Andreas Scholl Society

Jill Gunsell wrote (April 3, 2000):
The Andreas Scholl Society: New details after merger of eGroups and Onelist.

Please note: The former AndreasScholl List no longer exists at Onelist. (All records and data have been moved to the new URL)

Please alter your links, favourites and e-mail address book.

Apologies for lack of information earlier - we were not fully informed by admin at Onelist/eGroups. I trust there will be no more changes.

Addresses: Post message (NEW):
Subscribe (NEW):
Unsubscribe (NEW):
List owner (NEW):
URL to Society's web page (NEW):
URL of Society's Homepage (unchanged):

For now, the Andreas Scholl Society List/Group can still be accessed through either or though we should expect the route via ONEList to cease before too long.


BWV 54, 170 - Zurich, 22 June

Jill Gunsell wrote (June 24, 2003):
Last Sunday I attended a concert of BWV 54 and BWV 170 by Andreas Scholl and Capriccio Basel, in Zurich, Switzerland, and found it the most moving concert I have ever attended, anywhere, by any musician, in any repertoire, any time. Geist und Seele wird verwirret ... Es war als wie ein scharfes Schwert, das mir durch Leib und Seele faehrt.

I can imagine no more complete interpretation of these texts, borne along by music of genius speaking to the deepest part of the soul, where words cannot go. Not only was Andreas Scholl's singing flawless throughout both these long cantatas, but it was like hearing an historic orator of the highest order: compelling, fascinating and deeply, deeply moving.

I posted the following, after that concert, on another list, and would be interested to hear the views of people here.

>>I cannot say whether a singer needs what we commonly speak of as 'personal faith' to do this amazing thing. Perhaps only singers can answer that, and maybe, even then, not aloud. On the other hand, faith is not knowledge or intellectual conviction, but lies somewhere that language and argument cannot go, although maybe some music can. Agnostics often find the 'God' they hear about from some 'people of faith' unappealing and problematic. Someone wrote, though, that faith, tiny and hesitant, is the heart's distant memory of having been loved, at the very moment of one's creation. Perhaps this would mean that faith is more universal than our labels allow, more instinctive and more universal than we think, and quite beyond our language. I don't know. I do not know how anyone could sing this music with complete truthfulness without *something* of faith in them, even if only in that very unacademic definition. It is clear that people who profess no formal faith [and I should add, of other, non-Christian, faiths] find Bach's 'Christian' music deeply moving and important in humane terms (transcending confessional distinctions) in a way that other music is not. This is discussed on the Bach Cantatas list, from time to time. What does this mean, other than that Bach was a true and humane genius? <<

Andreas Scholl will sing BWV 170, with Ton Koopman, in New York, on 19 August. I hope to be there: Carnegie Hall

Peter Bloemendaal wrote (June 24, 2003):
[To Jill Gunssell] How I envy you. Thank you for trying to convey to us what you felt at that concert. Andreas Scholl is generally acclaimed to be the best countertenor of the moment. I find the recordings I have heard by him outstanding. Yet, they never moved me the way they touched you that night. I am convinced you will never get those deep feelings when listening to a recording, however magnificent, unless maybe you are in an emotional crisis. At such an extreme occasion you might be knocked over completely by such heavenly music, but it never happened to me. This is a privilege of live concerts and therefore CD's and DVD's will never be able to replace them. I had a similar experience years ago when I sang my first SMP (BWV 244) and realised at "Nun ist der Herr zu Ruh gebracht" it was almost over: "Es war vollbracht!" Wow, and then flying to NY to hear him again. In the same programme? If so, I would love to hear afterwards if the second concert released the same emotions. I know there are great singers who do not believe the words they sing in the traditional Chiristian sense and yet, I am sure they get carried away, both by the music and the text, which can get an interpretation even transcending religion, but certainly spiritual. Also some of the greatest admirers of Bach's music in this country and wherever are non-Christian and have claimed time and again Bach's music moves them as deeply as any Christian. I am a Christian myself and I agree with them, because Bach's music, like you said, is universal and transcends all barriers. On the other hand your final remark that Bach was a true adn humane genius should not detract from his being a faithful Christian.

Dick Wursten wrote (June 25, 2003):
[To Jill Gunssell] Faith and music of Bach...
Jill and Pieter raised the subject, others reacted, I can't resist...

IMHO Humanity and divinity are no competitors in a sense that what is attributed to the one has to be subtracted from the other. On the contrary. So true meta-physics is not unloyal to nature (physica) buonly gives nature back its 'depth' a dimension which can easily be overlooked when never trying to look at nature (and 'natural and human' goods) from a meta-perspective.

Far enough OT I suppose, but Jill, you challenged me..

So: IMO a really good musician has 'contact' with that deep dimension of life, because really good music in the field of metaphysics is an eye-opener with an enormous potentiality, because it is pure physical (sounds are a natural phenomenon), but you cannot see or touch it (you cannot easily 'grasp' it). Neither is music rational (though it has its own ratio and logic) and still it is full of signifiers and gives a lot of meaning to people (but you can only explain it, by referring to the musical experience itself).

Does a musician has to be a believer to perform Bach? yes, he has to believe in the music.

Charles Francis wrote (June 25, 2003):
Peter Bloemendaal wrote:
< On the other hand your final remark that Bach was a true adn humane genius should not detract from his being a faithful Christian. >
I understand it is known how often Bach went to the Communion, as one was required to confess before going, and the confession records have been kept. I also understand that these records don't show Bach as any more religious than his fellow citizens.

Jill Gunssell wrote (June 25, 2003):
Thanks to all who replied to my query, and particularly to Dick, whose answer I found especially satisfying. Believing as I do (I am a Christian) in the validity of 'the general proposition of metaphysics', I can see no basis of conflict between the religious and the humane (which may not have been quite clear in my original posting) while admitting a distinction between them. It seems to me that Bach was quintessentially both, insofar as one can understand the man through his music which seems to me to reflect this. It surprises me not at all that non-religious people can derive inspiration and joy at the deepest level from works such as these cantatas.

To Peter: Andreas Scholl's present delivery of these two cantatas bears little resemblance to his (excellent) recording with Herreweghe, made as it was in 1998. I beg you to see a live performance if you possibly can because his understanding of these works, his voice and his oratorical skills have developed beyond measure in the few years since then. There is nothing 'operatic' in his delivery to distract, merely an extremely intense and wholly musical communication of the depth of the cantatas. Anyone who saw him on TV in Germany, singing Buxtehude's 'Muss der Tod', would recognise what I mean. Truthful and moving performance of music such as that, or these cantatas, demands both subtlety and humility. In his live performance on Sunday, Mr Scholl exhibited both (together with a quiet, wholly justified confidence in his own interpretations, the fruit of many years' work). This, quite apart from the beautiful voice and his technical skill in using it, is why he is, IMHO! , without equal in this repertoire. And Bach is his favourite composer.

Thanks again.

Paul Farseth wrote (June 25, 2003):
[To Charles Francis] Well... the frequency of "going to communion" has ebbed and flowed a fair bit from generation to generation. In the late middle ages, the frequency was low, with maybe some rise among Lutherans immediately after the Reformation, then some sinking during the run-up to the second half of the 18th Century, when rationalism denigrated the practice in Protestant Germany. I vaguely remember, however, from a book by Frank Senn on liturgical practices, that the records from Leipzig showed a fairly high rate of participation in the eucharist up until the 1740s, so if Bach's frequency of taking communion was like that of his peers, it would not have been grossly neglectful of the sacrament. Note, however, that among Lutheran pietists, piety was judged less by attendance at communion and more by other measures of participation in the life of the community of believers.


A praise for Andreas Scholl

Juozas Rimas wrote (January 7, 2005):
I want to express my admiration with Andreas Scholl's performance of the Agnus Dei aria from the Mass (BWV 232) (Herreweghe 1996 recording). I haven't heard better alto singing - either from a female or male. And, most importantly, the ensemble is playing at the same level as Scholl is singing. So often we can hear great instrumental part and non-satisfactory singing and vice versa, but here is the rare occasion where every element is top-notch.

This package of supreme vocal and instrumental parts reveals the composer's work in all its glory. Previously, I was avoiding the Agnus Dei, regarding it a beautiful, popular but a bit worn-off piece (like the "air on the G string"), not understanding fully it was due to the poor performances I was coming across. Yesterday I listened to this "worn-off" piece 4 times in a row with not a shadow of weariness that I sometimes feel when listening to long pieces of music.Herreweghe's dark, soft strings and the suitable slow tempo revealed the composition being so polished, so exhaustive. And there is no da capo section at the end, everything is different but related. I felt in many occasions that the next note and the melodies in whole cannot
be anticipated, foreseen, and this gave the music absolute immunity to "wear and tear" on repetitive listening. Having listened to a considerable amount of Baroque music, I got the impression that even stylistically this aria, transcends the epoch and soars somewhere above the regular composers' output of the time.

I cannot but call the aria true super music and the Scholl/Herreweghe performance a super-performance.


Andreas Scholl : Singing Bach - The Goldberg Magazine # 34

Teddy Kaufman wrote (August 5, 2005):
The article of Andreas Scholl regarding his approach, feeling and understanding of Bach vocal works would be of much iterest to the members of our website.

The complete essay is available at:

John Pike wrote (August 7, 2005):
[To Teddy Kaufman] He is also interviewed in BBC Music magazine this month, ahead of his debut at the last night of the Proms.


Scholl conducting BWV 105 and BWV 182

Jill Gunsell wrote (August 26, 2005):
Earlier this week, countertenor Andreas Scholl made his conducting debut with BWV 105 Herr, gehe nicht ins gericht mit deinem Knecht and BWV 182 Himmelskönig, sei wilkommen. The singers were about twenty excellent young professionals from all over the world, members of Scholl's extended Bach Cantatas Masterclass at the Britten-Pears Music School at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, UK. The orchestra was the Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra, concertmaster Adrian Chandler.

Each recit and aria was taken by a different singer and all the masterclass students formed the choir. The soloists were superb and the choral work was first rate. Some of the warmest applause went to mezzo Jennifer Enns Modolo (Canada) and to tenor Karim Sulayman (USA). She really connected with the audience with completely natural, assured singing, and he with a simply beautiful voice and very direct communication of the text.

The debutant conductor was very well-received by the audience. One of the most experienced of the choir singers said after the concert that although Scholl is not a trained, professional conductor, she preferred his conducting of this music to that of the professional conductors she had worked with, because of his deep understanding of and passion for this music.

The concert was not recorded.

It may never happen again. Scholl says he has no plans for a conducting career but described this event as in the nature of an experiment arising out of his love of Bach's cantatas, but it was most interesting and very enjoyable for all concerned.

Jill Gunsell wrote (August 26, 2005):
Review of Scholl conducting BWV 105 and BWV 182

Classical: BPBO/Scholl: Snape Proms, Aldeburgh + + + + -
The Guardian, Sec. Leader , p 30 08-26-2005
By Rian Evans

For the participants in the Britten-Pears Young Artist programme, the learning curve is steep, but the rewards of working with an artist of the stature of countertenor Andreas Scholl are manifest. In this pair of Snape Proms concerts, which were the culmination of a 10-day masterclass course directed by Scholl, it may have been the singers who benefited most in practical terms - but, for the instrumentalists, accompanying Scholl himself in works by Handel and Vivaldi was evidently inspirational.

Scholl's conducting debut in the first of these concerts was not perhaps anything to ricochet around the music world, with Bach's Cantata BWV 105 emerging in a slightly leaden fashion, and the penitential mood becoming a little overbearing. By contrast, the Cantata BWV 182, Himmelskonig, Sei Willkommen, had a uplifting joy: its contrapuntal writing was clearly defined and the chorus shaped Bach's phrases with Scholl's trademark finesse. Of the promising voices stepping forward to deliver their solos, the warm mezzo of Canadian Jennifer Enns Modolo was the most impressive.

[... snip... wandering OT...]

In his solos, Scholl relinquished the burden of directing to Christian Rieger - the fine executant of two Bach harpsichord concertos on successive evenings - and guest leader Adrian Chandler. Nevertheless, his freely expressive body language communicated eloquently to the Britten-Pears Baroque Orchestra, and the drama of Vivaldi's cantata Cessate, Omai Cessate was vividly realised.

Rian Evans
copyright The Guardian


Scholl and Bill McGlaughlin's commentary

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 28, 2007):
Bill McGlaughlin is a widely syndicated radio host in the USA. On his Exploring Music program last night in this week-long series about composers "known" to the general public, not to the erudite members of this last, for ONE SINGLE WORK, he offered Albinoni and to demonstrate another side of Albinoni, he gave Andreas Scholl in some amazing coloratura singing doing Albinoni's "Stelle ingrate" or "Ingrate Stelle" (I don't recall the adj./noun order). The singing was amazing of the type known in the opera world as "canary", very bel canto (wrong period perhaps). At all events I have never heard this amazing aria (I did not say "profound"). But more amazing was Bill's comment that singers such as Scholl are the very first to take out their wallets and show their photos with their wives and children. Then he added, in speaking most of those high-singing guys really have deep baritones. He never mentioned the "geschitten" word.It is a family show after all; Duh. But he wanted to assure us that Scholl still has his balls.

I finished CD8 of the Werner set last night and I have never listened to so many cantatas in so short a period and it was a Zen-like thing and, having just gotten home, I am going to eat and go on to complete this vol. 2. I shall return to the responses in the near future.


Andreas Scholl: Short Biography | Recordings of Vocal Works under his name | General Discussions

Conductors of Vocal Works: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Singers & Instrumentalists


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