21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful new voice.
This voice is new to me. It is certainly something special. It is a huge voice (so far as one can judge from a recording), not Italianate but with brilliance and power at the top. Given its size, Kaufmann handles his voice with exemplary technique and artistry - shading the volume down to a whisper when necessary and finding tenderness one wouldn't expect in a...
Published on 17 May 2008 by Mr. J. Andrews
3.0 out of 5 stars Richard Strauss: Lieder. Jonas Kaufmann (t) Helmut Deutsch (p)
As a long-time admirer of this splendid tenor it would have given me much pleasure to report that this recital was yet another feather in his cap. However, after several auditions of this all Strauss collection, it must reluctantly be concluded that Lieder appears to remain the only unconquered. field in the tenor's wide-ranging repertoire. Almost all his earlier forays...
Published 16 days ago by stuartliff
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful new voice.,
This voice is new to me. It is certainly something special. It is a huge voice (so far as one can judge from a recording), not Italianate but with brilliance and power at the top. Given its size, Kaufmann handles his voice with exemplary technique and artistry - shading the volume down to a whisper when necessary and finding tenderness one wouldn't expect in a heldentenor. This repertoire (the songs are so beautiful) requires sensitivity and delicacy and Kaufmann has these in abundance as well as passion and a feel for the text that helps him to communicate very directly. When he opens his voice up, hairs stand up on the back of the head - it reminds me of Vickers or Melchior in its power and thrust. My only reservation is a "whiteness" - a loss of colour - when he sings very quietly which may be the recording, although in all other resepects it is excellent. Worth mentioning is the superb accompanist - matching Kaufmann in artistry and dedication.
This is a well-filled CD with a mixture of the very familiar (Befreit, Cacilie, Morgen, Ruhe, Meine Seele - real highlights, all)with some lesser-known songs. It has given me the greatest pleasure and I think it will do the same for any lover of Strauss or the human voice. Kaufmann's name will, I believe on the basis of hearing this CD, enter the annals of the great voices of our age.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strauss with hair on its chest - but sung with delicacy, too,
In a world increasingly enamoured of gargly German baritones and weedy English tenors it is such a pleasure to those of us who value "real" voices to hear this music sung full-throatedly by a proper tenor who offers hefty tone with the ability to fine it down to an attractive mezza voce; thus there is a true distinction between Kaufmann's operatic top B's and his whispered pianissimi rather than just different degrees of microphone-caressing bleating in mixed falsetto.
Since this first disc won Lieder-lovers' attention, it then took the Gramophone 2007 award for the best vocal recital and Kaufmann has gone on to release several more wonderful recitals while establishing himself as a rising Wagnerian tenor who also sings Don Carlo, Don José and still do justice to Mozart. Of course some will accuse him of bellowing and never be reconciled to his beefy, grainy tone, very reminiscent of Jon Vickers'. (I cannot for the life of me understand why commentators persist in apparently hearing similarities between, and making comparisons with, Fritz Wunderlich; apart from the fact that they are both German tenors and great artists they have virtually nothing in common.)
The intensity and commitment he brings to these gorgeous songs is a shock to those who want to hear pallid little voices aping emotion instead of testosterone-pumped outpourings of passion. His diction is of course a joy and his willingness to shade the dynamics from one phrase to the next - and indeed within phrases - brings enormous variety and drama. The best illustration of this width of tonal range, ability to shade dynamics and broad palette of vocal colours is perhaps to be found in his mesmerising account of "Ruhe, meine Seele" - but you could drop in on any song and find those qualities displayed to advantage.
Drawbacks are the brittle recorded sound of the piano and even the rather polite accompaniments from Helmut Deutsch, who is the regular partner to the whole current generation of German Lieder singers and more restrained here than in "Die Schöne Müllerin" with Kaufmann - or perhaps that restraint is partly a function of the slightly recessed, clattery sound and Deutsch is intermittently decidedly more extrovert, such as at the climactic end of "Ich liebe dich". Either way, these minor cavils are not enough to make me withhold a star from these captivating readings; as I listen, one song after another vies to be my favourite the way they are performed here.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterly Strauss,
I'm not familiar with Strauss' Lieder except The Four Last Songs. This is a jewel of a recital and Kaufmann's Tenor voice has to be heard to be believed. He can be big and imposing but also delicate and hushed. This is an artist in total control of his material and utterly in tune with Strauss' tonal palette. His technique is superlative but is never for it's own sake. I can only image Strauss himself would be thrilled to hear his songs delivered with such passion, feeling and artistry. The accompanist is marvellous and compliments the vocalist perfectly; voice and piano in total harmony giving these Lieder room to breathe. The only caveat is that the booklet just gives the German text with no translation into either French or English which is a pity as I like to follow the songs as they are performed. Nevertheless this is highly recommended.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He is the best!,
He is one of the most beautiful tenors who is brave enough to tackle Strauss's orchestral songs. The voice is absolutely in top form, crystal clear and syrupy. The whole album is so wonderfully romantic. You want to hear this voice more and more everytime you listen. Just listen to track No. 10 "Morgen (Tomorrow)", you will see what it feels like. It's beautiful piano arrangment and Kaufmann's haunting and longing voice leave you breathless. Stauss's songs were mostly written for sopranos but Kaufmann pull it off so well and each track does the justice. If you love art songs and Strauss's romantic songs, this album with beautiful 28 songs is highly recommended.
3.0 out of 5 stars Richard Strauss: Lieder. Jonas Kaufmann (t) Helmut Deutsch (p),
As a long-time admirer of this splendid tenor it would have given me much pleasure to report that this recital was yet another feather in his cap. However, after several auditions of this all Strauss collection, it must reluctantly be concluded that Lieder appears to remain the only unconquered. field in the tenor's wide-ranging repertoire. Almost all his earlier forays into music ranging from Mozart to Wagner have offered memorable, fresh insights into roles once considered incapable of further interpretation. Nearly all these songs have been recorded by some of the greatest singers of the past, many of whom put their stamp on them and demonstrate to perfection, the more intimate style ideally required. Kaufmann may be paying a price for his current enormous popularity for his voice occasionally sounds tired and his usually fine piano singing sometimes fails to tell. Finally, why has one of Strauss' most delightful composition - the Serenade been omitted?
5.0 out of 5 stars Kaufmann triumphant again.,
The songs of Strauss are wonderful. Kaufmann is a wonderful tenor. Some rate him as the best around. Ergo, this album is wonderful. I know most of the songs with soprano voicfdes, so it is wonderful to hear them sung by a tenor. The males voice brings something else to the songs: a greater warmth with less passion perhaps? It is a very big selection of songs (over 40), all of them dating from before 1900. My only complaint: No English translations of the words. Songs need words and you cannot appreciate them without the translations unless you are a German speaker. However, apart from that I am loving every song!
5.0 out of 5 stars A LOVELY DISC,
Kaufmann's superb voice has now been recognised in many opera releases. A superb voice.
But singing Lieder exposes both voice and interpretation much more. So this is new for him and
he does not disappoint'
5.0 out of 5 stars Not your usual Strass Lieder,
Most of the CDs of these songs are by sopranos. These are wonderfully sung by Jonas Kauffman, certainly the tenor of the moment.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JONAS KAUFMANN - A GREAT TALENT,
JONAS KAUFFMAN- STRAUSS LIEDER
IMAGINE MY EXCITEMENT WHEN I FIRST SAW THIS C.D. - MY FAVOURITE TENOR SINGING MY FAVOURITE LIEDER - AND I WASN'T DISAPPOINTED - THIS C.D. REGULARLY STAYS FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS IN MY C.D. PLAYER AND I WOULD NOT BE WIOTHOUT IT . QUITE APART FROM A WONDERFUL VERSION OF MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE SONG ( MORGEN) THE FIRST FIVE TRACKS ( ESPECIALLY NO 1 , ZUEIGNUNG) ARE A REAL JOY . I FIRST HEARD KAUFMAN ON HIS 'ROMANTIC ARIAS ' C.D. AND ADORE HIS VERSION OF MOGENLICH LEUCHTEND ( WAGNER) BUT AM MORE OF A LIEDER AND CHANSON FAN ( ESPECIALLY SUSAN GRAHAM AND THE SONGS OF RINALDO HAHN Q.V. ) . NEXT GOAL , TO SEE MR KAUFMANN SING LIVE .... I WISH ....
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime!,
I have practically worn this cd through - the combination of Kaufmann and Deutsch is incredible. Cannot recommend highly enough
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