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Verismo Arias

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Since his sensational debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in a performance of “La Traviata” in 2006, Jonas Kaufmann has numbered among the top stars on the operatic horizon. The international press has singled him out as the “new king of tenors”. Insiders praise him as the most important German tenor since Fritz Wunderlich.

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Product details

  • Composer: R. Leoncavallo, K. Giordano, P. Mascagni
  • Audio CD (27 Sep 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca (UMO)
  • ASIN: B003XT8Y3K
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,374 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Riccardo Zandonai (1883–1944): Giulietta e Romeo - "Giulietta! Son io!" (Romeo)
2. Umberto Chénier: Andrea Chénier - "Un dì all’azzurro spazio" (Andrea)
3. "Come un bel dì di maggio" (Andrea)
4. Francesco Cilea (1866–1950): L’Arlesiana - "È la solita storia" (Federico)
5. Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857–1919): La Bohème - "Testa adorata" (Marcello)
6. Pagliacci - "Vesti la giubba" (Canio)
7. Pietro Mascagni: Cavalleria rusticana - "Viva il vino spumeggiante" (Turiddu, Lola)
8. "Mamma, quel vino è generoso (Turiddu, Lucia)
9. Arrigo Boito (1842–1918): Mefistofele - "Dai campi, dai prati" (Faust)
10. "Giunto sul passo estremo" (Faust)
11. Umberto Giordano (1867–1948): Fedora - "Amor ti vieta" (Loris)
12. Francesco Cilea: Adriana Lecouvreur - "L’anima ho stanca" (Maurizio)
13. "La dolcissima effigie" (Maurizio)
14. I Lituani - "Sì. . . questa estrema grazia" (Corrado)
15. Amilcare Ponchielli (1834–1886): La Gioconda - "Cielo e mar" (Enzo)
16. Licinio Refice (1883–1954): "Ombra di nube"
17. "Vicino a te s’acqueta" (Andrea, Maddalena)

Product Description

Jonas Kaufmann returns to the Italian verismo tradition to sing arias that define opera’s most passionate and vulnerable leading men. Kaufmann’s international reputation is soaring as, going from strength to strength, he delivers consistently thrilling performances. The onyx-dark beauty of his tone and the refinement and unexpected insights of his delivery mark Jonas Kaufmann a poet of tenors. Timed to coincide with his role debut as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur at Covent Garden opposite Angela Gheorghiu, this disc includes excerpts from the Cilea work that helped put Caruso on the map. This album also entices with rarities from Zandonai’s dramatic Giulietta e Romeo and Puccini’s Le Villi. Supporting Jonas Kaufmann is Italy’s leading symphonic orchestra, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, under its dynamic music director Antonio Pappano. Both maestro and orchestra are utterly at home in this repertoire.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Abert on 18 Nov 2010
Format: Audio CD
Jonas Kaufmann has of late been a sensation in the operatic world. The frenzy actually got its momentum from his Grammophone Award recording of Strauss's lieder.
I have got most, if not all, of Kaufmann's DVDs and vocal albums. Like most German tenors, he started out as a 'lyrical tenor' singing Mozart and Schubert and some baroque roles. Indeed, he has been a strikingly good interpretor even in his earlier years.
His debut album for Decca was 'Romantic Arias' for tenor. That album contained mostly Italian (and a number of French) operatic arias, and he struck me as being better in the French stuff than the Italian.
Hence it is not without trepidation that I approached his recent solo release on Italian 'verismo' opera arias.
An instant relief was gained when I finished off the second track and approahced the third. Yes - the album is a consistently high-standard performance of some of the most dramatically intense operatic arias.
Kaufmann is never 'Italianate' in the same way as Corelli or del Monaco, nor Placido Domingo. However, he is nonetheless an exceptionally intelligent interpretor, and actually succeeds admirably in forming his own verismo style with a wonderful deployment of his unique timbre.
No - his is NOT the 'successor' of Placido Domingo, nor Jon Vickers, nor of any one, in fact. With his ravishingly expressive voice and wonderful characterisations, he IS a new phenomenon - the 'Kaufmann Phenomenon'.
Indeed, his performance in this album is nowhere short of being phenomenal. His former slight restrictions in Italian repertoire have become 'former' - one immediately senses a big step forward both in terms of vocal production and musical style.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By tony israel on 19 Dec 2010
Format: MP3 Download
In the operatic world, there are now many fine lyrical tenors, almost a 'United Nations' of fine singers. However for me, Jonas Kaufmann is the greatest. I first heard him at Covent Garden in September last year in 'Don Carlo' and was immediately impressed by the voice of this man, his stage presence and his superb acting ability.
Kaufmann is a German, as was the late, great Fritz Wunderlich. Wunderlich sang the Italian repertoire too, but almost all his recorded work is sung in German, as was the fashion in the Germany of his day. Not so Jonas Kaufmann, he sings in the language in which the opera was written, be it German or French or Italian. He first CD explored the familiar Italian and French repertory followed by a second CD where he concentrated mainly on Wagner plus a little of Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven.
Now with this new disc, he is back in the Italian field, all the items from the 19th century, but this time, he mixes the familiar with some lesser known works, and avoids Puccini and Verdi altogether. For instance, there is an aria from the Leoncavallo 'La Boheme' and some lesser known pieces by Zandonai, Ponchielli and Refice. The voice is thrillingly powerful but he is perfectly capable of singing softly when necessary. Some may find the voice a little dark for this kind of singing, but I do not think it matters one bit. Try this disc, I believe that you will not regret it.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Ralph Moore TOP 50 REVIEWER on 9 Oct 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Despite my impatience to see Jonas Kaufmann move into the great Wagner roles, I realise that to rush that process could be fatal to one of the few very great voices singing today and I am delighted by his evident intention to keep his voice still light and flexible enough to sing Mozart, even at this stage of his career. While I do not find that he has the sweetness and "ping" ideal for Puccini, he is very fine in Verdi and the movement into verismo is not too great a leap. Kaufmann is now forty; his powerful, smoky voice is now presumably at its peak, and while it will never have the juicy resonance of Corelli he is a superb vocal actor who throws himself into his characterisations and utterly convinces the listener of the sincerity with which he inhabits his roles. There is a plaintive as well as a heroic quality to his singing; he has virtually eliminated the glottal, "gulping" tic - presumably injected for emotive effect - which was beginning to infect his vocal production and he now sings "straight", relying on tonal colouring and superb control of dynamics. The top B in his "Come un bel dì di maggio" is appropriately climactic; he then moves straight into a deeply affecting account of that wonderfully melancholy aria "È la solita storia", using a mesmeric half voice. It is that combination of baritonal heft and restrained delicacy which he can command that makes his voice so moving; he can scale his voice right down to express tenderness then deliver thrilling top A's and B's. It is such a pleasure to hear a singer begin so many arias with due attention to dynamics and subtlety rather than go straight for the "can belto shock and awe" attack.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Elaine Taylor on 9 Feb 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having seen Jonas in Bizet's Carmen [stunning!] I purchased this CD. I haven't stopped playing it since I got it. If you want reviews that talk about the technicality of his voice and his ability to sing various composers, my review won't tell you that but if you want to listen to an amazing voice that truly shows the emotion of the words he is singing and that give you goosebumps, buy this album. Can't wait until he brings out some more!
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