Aksel!

Record and Artist Details

Composer or Director: George Frideric Handel, Nigel Short, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach

Genre:

Vocal

Label: Signum

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 58

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: SIGCD435

SIGCD435. Aksel!

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Cantata No. 51, 'Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!' Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Cantata No. 68, 'Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt' Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Joshua, Movement: Happy, Oh, trice happy we George Frideric Handel, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
George Frideric Handel, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Alcina, Movement: ~ George Frideric Handel, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
George Frideric Handel, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Rinaldo, Movement: ~ George Frideric Handel, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
George Frideric Handel, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
St John Passion, Movement: Ich folge dir Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, 'Eternal source of light divine' George Frideric Handel, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
George Frideric Handel, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Bist du bei mir Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Messiah, Movement: How beautiful are the feet George Frideric Handel, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
George Frideric Handel, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Messiah, Movement: Thou art gone up on high George Frideric Handel, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
George Frideric Handel, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Samson, Movement: Let the bright Seraphim George Frideric Handel, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
George Frideric Handel, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Magnificat, Movement: Quia respexit humilitatem Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Cantata No. 205, '(Der) Zufreidengestellte Äolus Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Joshua, Movement: O had I Jubal's lyre George Frideric Handel, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
George Frideric Handel, Composer
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
(Le) nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro', Movement: Voi che sapete Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
(Le) nozze di Figaro, '(The) Marriage of Figaro', Movement: Non so più cosa son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
Exsultate, jubilate Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
Aksel Rykkvin, Treble/boy soprano
Nigel Short, Composer
Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Composer
A successful boy treble is every record label’s nightmare. No sooner does your artist reach his peak than he is forced to retire for at least a decade. Which is no reason not to celebrate and preserve this fleeting musical moment. Thirteen-year-old Norwegian chorister Aksel Rykkvin is certainly a treble worth preserving – a mature, musical performer whose unbroken voice offers a fascinating alternative take on much of the familiar repertoire recorded here.

Ignore the exclamation mark of the title. It does Rykkvin an enormous disservice, reducing what is an accomplished and adult disc to a novelty nightmare. The music here is carefully chosen – not just textually but musically appropriate for so young a performer. There are no Queen of the Night arias nor twee arrangements of Puccini, just a solid mixture of Bach, Handel and Mozart. Some will balk at a treble singing Cherubino’s arias, but if the result isn’t exactly authentic it’s a fascinating and legitimate experiment, especially when performed as well as here, with Rykkvin living the breathless, desperate emotional confusion of ‘Non so più’.

Recordings of ‘Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen’ and ‘Ich folge dir gleichfalls’ make the most of this agile, accurate voice, while Eternal Source celebrates the easy grace of his upper register. But most interesting, perhaps, are Oberto’s two arias from Handel’s Alcina. Composed for the treble William Savage, these are nevertheless uncompromisingly virtuoso pieces, especially the dramatic ‘Barbara! Io ben lo so’ – a rare example of serious operatic repertoire for this voice. Rykkvin’s passagework is nimble, his phrasing instinctive, and if he doesn’t have quite the emotional maturity 12-year-old Tolzer Knabenchor treble Elias Madler recently displayed in Katie Mitchell’s staged production for the Aix festival, this might be explained by the lack of dramatic context.

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and conductor Nigel Short are Rykkvin’s very classy colleagues, supporting the young soloist with some exquisite obbligato solos and consistently lively, generous tempi. All add up to a recording that’s much more than just the cute curiosity its cover suggests.

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