Entitled A Musical Banquet, this recital by countertenor Andreas Scholl is one more irritating disc in a series of annoying discs by one of the most affected and porfoundly emasculated of the contemporary crop of countertenors. Essentially the highlights of Robert Dowland's collection of lute songs bearing the same name, Scholl's recording is as vapid and void as it is frail and feeble. Scholl's tone is so attenuated as to be nearly inaudible and his expression is so eviscerated as to be all but imperceptible. And in Elizabethan lute songs, songs with titles like "In darkness let me dwell" and "Must I then die," such emotional coyness is hardly appropriate much less justifiable. While there might be good musicological reasons why Scholl should sing with a dull and listless expression and such a fragile and weak tone, those reasons are why musicology is bunk. If being a countertenor means having to renounce any but the most exenterated means of expression, you can keep it.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
The Right Honourable Lord Viscount Lisle (Sir Robert Sidney, his galliard), for lute, P 38 (A Musical Banquet)