Russell Oberlin was arguably one of the greatest vocal wonders of the 20th century. In terms of the beauty of his sound, his virtuosity, expressiveness and naturalness, the American singer can undoubtedly be regarded as the father of all modern countertenors – and this even though, or precisely because, unlike almost all high male voices, he did not have to resort to the fragile head voice. He was able to lead his natural tenor voice easily and effortlessly over two octaves into the alto range, making his singing sound powerful, masculine, homogeneous and intonationally pure across all registers.
His repertoire ranges from medieval chants, English lute songs, Renaissance choral music, baroque opera arias and German Lieder to songs from musicals and films. What other singer would have such a wide vocal range? This box set is also a reencounter with a pioneering ensemble of historical performance practice: New York Pro Musica, founded by Noah Greenberg in 1952, one year before Harnoncourt’s Concentus Musicus. In addition to the first worldwide release of four works, most of the recordings are released internationally outside the USA and UK for the first time. They have been carefully remastered from the original tapes for this set. A knowledgeable essay by Pierre Ruhe, Publications Director of Early Music America, and numerous rare images complete the edition.