How to Handle Spelling Händel

February 1, 2011

The scene: A London Pub circa 1713. A dapper man sits at his table scribbling music on a blank page. He is young, wealthy, and having recently floored the London opera-going audience with his hit Rinaldo, he knows this is his time.
The waiter, an immigrant from Berlin, asks him,
“Excuse me sir, aren’t you the Mr. Händel?”
The dapper man pauses briefly, as if relishing the moment.
“Mr. Händel was my father; you may call me Handel.”

While it appears that Handel was flexible about the spelling of his name throughout his life, he was not arbitrary in his choices. This article offers an appropriate spelling for modern use based on both the historical record, and what can be gleaned of the composer’s intentions.

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Feature: Are We Post-Anglican Yet? Part 1

January 1, 2011

The Anglican Church was the keeper of a male alto sound that justly captured the imagination of the nascent early music movement. This article asks whether today’s countertenor sound is inherently tied to that tradition, as one cannot help but notice that recent generations of countertenors have found themselves less restricted to this aesthetic. This article aims to begin a conversation about what is inherent versus chosen in the countertenor sound, and – if you are a countertenor – we hope that you will take our brief survey on the subject.

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Are you a Countertenor? Take our Survey

January 1, 2011

We want to know what you think the ideal countertenor sound is, what qualities you strive for in your own sound, and what experiences dictate the choices you make. Read our feature article this month, Are We Post-Anglican Yet: Part 1?, take our survey, and pass it along to your colleauges. Welcome to the Countertenor Voice community!

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Feature: Counterpoints Publishing Announces Initial Repertory to be Offered

January 1, 2011

Our team of elves has been hard at work crafting high quality, original piano/voice editions of countertenor appropriate arias. These scores are crisp and clean and incorporate a number of innovations (including an ossia stave for working out your ornaments). We are excited to announce these arias by Handel, Bach, and Mozart. They will be offered in our initial release (which we expect to be online and available for purchase by January the 15th).

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The New York Times has the adjectives, but does it know what it is describing?

November 24, 2010

Following the recent New York Times article on countertenors via a feature on Philippe Jaroussky (Who Can Resist a Man Who Sings Like a Woman? by Fernanda Eberstadt), I stumbled upon a critique by Bernard Gordillo (who deftly beat us to the punch). The NYTimes article once again brings up the old question of whether a countertenor is a genuine male voice type, or a feminine affectation.