As a child, I associated countertenors with cars and my brother, as invariably on car rides in my mum’s old station wagon (now my old station wagon) she would pop in one of several King’s Singers tapes and my brother and I would wail the intros, add descant harmony, and/or respectfully reproach each others’ backseat manners in a time-honoured sibling fashion (fight over the armrest). Because these were old tapes made from old records before the advent of the Internet, I had no idea what these men looked like; however I somehow had the idea that in order to sing such a high part, a guy had to have large glasses, a turtleneck, and know how to smile. At the time I vaguely wondered if this assumption might be weird (obviously I was right. But anyway). In high school when my brother began entertaining notions of becoming a countertenor, I had the most absurd image of him in a turtleneck and large glasses, grinning fit to bust his face. Even then he was a very muscular guy with big curly hair you can lose several combs in, and not exactly turtleneck and glasses material. Where do these notions come from?
But incidentally, Andreas Scholl fits all my criteria, as you can well see.
[Note: Apologies for the inane post. Although I’m all tuckered out from avoiding my papers and really know nothing (yet) about Andreas Scholl, I felt compelled to try to introduce this astonishingly beautiful recording. In terms of interpretation, I find his ornamentation quite sensitive, and even gentle. The soaring E flat at 2:50 just lifts the top off of my depression.)