Editor: Marc Bridle


Webmaster: Len Mullenger





WWW MusicWeb

Search Music Web with FreeFind

Any Review or Article



Seen and Heard Recital Review


Handel, Haydn, Mozart: Cantatas, Songs and Keyboard Pieces – Andreas Scholl, Markus Märkl, Wigmore Hall, 16th October 2004 (ME)


This concert was far more deserving of the title ‘Festival’ than last week’s official opener, featuring as it did a genuinely great singer at the height of his powers and a harpsichordist of whom the word ‘virtuoso’ can be used without exaggeration or embarrassment. There was, however, plenty of the latter to be had early on, when the artists marched onstage before the staff had managed to remove the huge ‘no mobiles’ placard, followed by a piercing blast of electronic sound from an unknown source, and then a bit of a false start in the performance. No matter: it all settled down, and despite Scholl’s obvious cold and Märkl’s sniffles, we were treated to a superbly crafted programme full of dazzling singing and playing, ecstatically received by a genuine capacity audience.


The structure of this programme was clearly designed to take us on a journey through the development of vocal music from the Handel Cantata to the Mozart Lied, with two instrumental pieces for ‘light relief.’ Scholl is one of the rare band of singers who can take you into the world of a song straight away, and ‘Nel dolce tempo’ was a perfect example of this: the voice is of course supremely beautiful even with a cold, but here it was the dramatic ‘dialogue’ which chiefly impressed, and the wonderful suspensions at moments like ‘Senti’ made this fragile tale all the more engrossing – the Pastoral is the most rigid of conventions, yet Handel’s music gives it such life and colour that you can’t help but become involved. The all – Handel first part was full of delights such as the wonderful final part of ‘Lungi da me, pensier Tiranno’ where Scholl sang the line ‘Clori amata, adorato mio Nume!’ with utterly persuasive skill, and the Chaconne in G which Märkl played the twenty one variations with insouciant virtuosity.


After the interval we were treated to a group of Haydn songs, settings of poems by Anne Hunter, the wife of the famous surgeon John Hunter at whose London house the composer was a frequent visitor: the poems are slight enough, being mostly lyrical treatments of the kind of themes which Young explored in his ‘Night Thoughts,’ but the music is something else, in its sparseness and melancholy prefiguring the Romantic composers of the Lied, its fortepiano accompaniments anticipating theirs. The superb ‘Recollection,’ in particular, brought to mind Beethoven’s ‘Resignation,’ and Scholl sang it brilliantly.


Mozart’s Fantasia no 3 in D minor gave Märkl another chance to display his virtuosity, this time on the fortepiano, and even if it was not quite so startling a performance as he had given on the harpsichord, the mournful adagio was beautifully phrased and minutely articulated. The two Mozart songs which followed it were finely chosen to remind us of the composer’s place in the history of Art Song, and it was most revealing to hear ‘Abendempfindung’ sung by this particular kind of voice, which had the effect of making it more like an aria than a lied.


The audience’s ecstatic reception was rewarded with three sublime encores, the finest one being ‘Verdi Prati’ which was sung with all those qualities which distinguish Scholl’s art: understated virtuosity, luminous beauty of tone, liquid phrasing and absolute identification with the sentiments being expressed. I could not help recalling the last time I heard him sing here, partnered on that occasion by the great lutenist Karl-Ernst Schröder, whose sudden and untimely death this year deprived us of one of the finest musicians of our time: Markus Märkl’s playing and of course Scholl’s singing were a fitting tribute to his memory.


Melanie Eskenazi

Back to the Top     Back to the Index Page






MusicWeb - The International Web Site Founder: Len Mullenger [UK], Classical Editor: Rob Barnett [UK],  Regular Reviewers:   Steve Arloff [UK], Guy Aron [Australia], Tony Augarde [UK], Terry Barfoot [UK], Melinda Bargreen [USA], David J. Barker [Australia], Rob Barnett [UK], Nick Barnard [UK], Robert Beattie [UK], Dave Billinge [UK], Peter Bright [UK], Byzantion [UK], Colin Clarke [UK], Dominy Clements [Netherlands], Michael Cookson [UK], Hubert Culot [Belgium], Evan Dickerson [UK], Gavin Dixon [UK], Robert J. Farr [UK], Christopher Fifield [UK], Göran Forsling [Sweden], John France [UK], Patrick Gary [USA], Pierre Giroux [CAN], Paul C. Godfrey [UK], Michael Greenhalgh [UK], William Hedley [France], Gary Higginson [UK], Neil Horner [UK], Robert Hugill UK], David Jennings [UK], Bill Kenny [UK], William S Kreindler [USA], Ian Lace [UK], Em Marshall-Luck [UK], Oleg Ledeniov [USA]Rob Maynard [UK], David A McConnell [USA], Kirk McElhearn [France], Robert McKechnie [UK], Ralph Moore [RMo] [UK], Dan Morgan [UK], Margarida Mota-Bull [UK], Glyn Pursglove [UK], John Quinn [UK], Carla Rees [UK], Brian Reinhart [USA], Donald Satz [USA], Mark Sealey [USA], John Sheppard [UK], George Stacy, Kevin Sutton [USA], Bert Thompson [USA], Simon Thompson [UK], Zane Turner [Australia], Steve Vasta [UK], Johan van Veen [Netherlands], Raymond Walker [UK], Derek Warby [UK], Brian Wilson [UK], Jonathan Woolf [UK] Leslie Wright [USA]. A complete list of contributors can be seen here


Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews


      Composer surveys
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
Prepared by Michael Herman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site


Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure



Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Past and present

Helpers invited!

How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips

Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Other links
Web News sites etc

A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools

MusicWeb International thank Naxos for the no-strings use of their server to mount the website.