Describing the Countertenor Voice, Ctd
The other day a CD review came out in the New York Times (NYT) that surprised me in two ways.
First off, it was an early music recording, an area that rarely gets covered by the NYT (concerts are another matter altogether). Popular music reviews, on the other hand, dominate for good reason, that’s were the money and internet traffic are.
The recording in question was Andreas Scholl‘s new all-Purcell program of songs and arias (with fellow countertenor Christoph Dumaux) on the Decca label. Reviewer Vivien Schweitzer gave the performance very good marks, and rightfully so. Scholl is known for only putting out a high-quality product.
Yet I was taken aback by the headline, “Andreas Scholl and Christoph Dumaux Play Purcell.”
Which brings me to a second point.
As you can see from the image above (a screenshot of part of the review), the headline clearly states that two countertenors (singers, if you will) are playing Purcell.
Yes, it’s a mistake alright, one that has yet to be corrected (in spite of my direct tweet to @nytimesmusic pointing it out).
It’s not that big of a deal, really, but it reminds me that there are a least two different entities involved in producing the review: (1) Schweitzer, whose depth of understanding would never allow such an error lest it compromise her authority, and (2) the department in charge of creating headlines, which apparently doesn’t know the difference between “sing” and “play,” or the type of musician which either verb corresponds to.
Read more: Andreas Scholl and Christophe Dumaux Play Purcell (New York Times)
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