Search - Henry Purcell, Alfred Deller, William Christie :: Music for a While / O Solitude

Music for a While / O Solitude
Henry Purcell, Alfred Deller, William Christie
Music for a While / O Solitude
Genres: Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (13) - Disc #1


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Deller's final offering
J. Lumbroso | Paris, France | 04/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This recording has moved me beyond words.

Certainly, Deller's voice has aged but he more than makes up in experience. His voice is still voluptuous, and its languid tones have nothing to envy the voice of a soprano.

While a few of the songs will be listened to with a distracted ear, other won't. For instance "The Plaint", which probably the most stunning song of this recital. The tempo is just right (which is rare for this piece, often overly slowed down), and Deller does not overdramatize the already sad text. "O Solitude" and "An Evening Hymn" (along with the title song) are the other two gems ... "An Evening Hymn" with it's beautiful ostinato, and light singing.

Something must be said for the other performers. While Deller's voice is the heart and soul of this recording, its quality is in no small part due to (younger) William Christie and Wieland Kuijken. I listened recently to Anne Sofie von Otter's renditions of "Music for a while" and "An Evening Hymn", and although her voice is clear, the tempi are wrong and the incompetence of the harpsichordist makes Christie's performance stand out all the more.

If you aren't prejudiced against counter-tenors (and if you haven't yet entered the Visse/Deller or Jacobs/Deller polemic-which I will *NOT* get sucked into), you will find be entranced by this recording."
A must
Stockhomme | Sweden | 09/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"My twin sister got this record as a present when she was 14, maybe a bit too early. But it remained a great memory and 30 years after, I bought it for me : it is even more beautiful than I remembered. It is not only great classical music, it's also that there is something moving in the voice and in the lyrics. Just what you can appreciate when you also like pop songs."
A few points...
Mr. W. Gaunt | London | 05/11/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First I should like to point out that Deller's role in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" was that of Oberon rather than Puck. Secondly, a much more serious point, is that the idea of natural tenors making better countertenors is something of a myth. It is almost totally to do with the ability to produce a pleasant-sounding headtone, something which high natural tenors do as part of their normal singing. There is something of a blur between falsetto and head voice, admittedly, and it is the case that the physical process is very similar indeed. So I am of the opinion that there was nothing more unnatural about Deller singing countertenor than there is about Visse. And I think the results speak for themselves. Instead of the... sound produced by Visse, and David James for that matter, Deller's purity of tone still places him ahead of many other countertenors active today. That said, this recording does appear to be a late one and .... Still an interesting recording though, showing that musicality can often triumph over rather dull "authenticity"."