Alfred Deller (1912-1979) was one of the first musicians to popularize early music performance. He was basically self-trained and for many years he was the only purveyor of the countertenor voice, which you might think of as a male alto voice. He was an amazing talent and he performed in concert internationally. As interest in early music grew, other countertenors appeared such as Russell Oberlin and James Bowman. More recently, there is the incredible David Daniels, whose voice is truly a marvel.

Here is the great Alfred singing a song called Of all the birds that I do know by John Bartlett. Listen!

One of the great countertenors of the 21st century is Philippe Jaroussky. Listen to the agile flexible beauty of this virtuoso singer. Listen!

Fantastic, isn't it?

Album info

Alfred Deller Album title: Elizabethan and Jacobean Music Label=Vanguard Classics

Catalog number=8102

Jaroussky Album title: Vivaldi--Heroes Label=Virgin Catalog number 63414 Return to classroom.