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4.8 out of 5 stars57
4.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 2 September 2013
This disc gives an excellent overview of the German tenor Jonas Kaufmann in all the great Romantic opera composers. As a newcomer to his voice, I found it useful to get to know his dramatic sound and hear it turned to account across the board in repertoire of that period. He is ideal for Verdi, being a singer who seems to imply some narrative direction as opposed to the sheer beauty, say, of Joseph Calleja. There is a slightly rough-hewn, woody quality to the sound which gets the drama of Verdi or Wagner. However it is also effective in Puccini in that it works against sentimentality and arguably brings more grandeur to the vocal line. He sounds a bit like a baritone, which is heard to superb effect in the concluding Wagner items, including a wondrous `Wintersturme ...' from Die Walkure, recorded in 2007 and 2008 - the two years, along with 2010, which most of the material dates from. The only exception is a Weber aria from Oberon sung in English, recorded in Watford in 2002. He has very good diction in English, unexpected as it is from a glance at the programme. A few isolated items from the French repertoire - Carmen, Werther and Faust - are particularly lovely, while the two previously unreleased items are both under three minutes. Strauss's Cacilie is sumptuous, while an aria from Mascagni's Iris struck me less, but has, I presume, a certain rarity value. There are also a couple of well-placed chorus items, a number from Puccini's La Rondine being especially charming. Altogether it is, at nearly 80 minutes, a multi-course feast, with Kaufmann's swarthy cover picture suggesting a baronial mien entirely in keeping. Only the pewter goblet is missing ...
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on 30 September 2013
Jonas Kaufmann is certainly - for me at any rate - the most exciting , inspiring and soul-refreshing Tenor of this generation.
His timbre is unmatched, his pianissimi phantastic his forte overwhelming and his acting quite superb.
The arias he sings on this CD are very beautiful, one and all.
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on 6 September 2013
A great diversity in this cd enchants and convinces Mr Kaufmann is today's very best tenor.
I would have preferred 'Ruler of this Awful Hour' instead of 'I revel in hope and joy again' but I guess it may not have fitted in well as the 17th aria. A necessary and great buy even if one's owns already every other cd from this great artist.
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on 14 February 2014
Never did I think there would be a singer who would topple Pavarotti off my personal podium of top rate tenors but Jonas Kaufmann has achieved this. This is a superb album and would make the perfect present for anybody who enjoys a selection of some of the finest songs sung by one of the world's greatest tenors.

Absolutely stunning performances.
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on 21 February 2014
Fantastic, fantastic, Fantastic., Here is a virtuoso at his very best. He is an up and coming legend to rival the likes of Pavarotti. Great listening.
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on 5 October 2013
As fine a 'baritenor' voice as ever existed, especially in the lower register. There is no tenor to rival him in the foreseeable future.
Dipak Nandy
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on 8 October 2013
This sampler spans the repertory of this extraordinary singer. The lyric Verdi arias which open the programme are exciting and musical if less then than ideal in tone. But once we get to the Tosca aria the disc becomes a sensation. When will be get a Kaufman Cav and Pag, or Andrea Chenier - on this evidence lets hope sooner rather than later. The Amor Ti Vieta is as glorious a performance as any that I know in the recital catalog. Throw in the wonderful french arias, the incomparable Wagner and some gems such as the Magic Flute and Oberon (sung in fantastic English) and this disc becomes special indeed. If you need transporting for 40 minutes, this compilation is a must.
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on 30 October 2013
In my (not professional) opinion, Kaufmann is the very best tenor of our times. He is not just a very good belcanto tenor. His voice is astonishingly strong and yet extremely moving, especially in dramatic roles. What a Werther! What a Faust! Kaufmann is also a dramatic actor of unusual power and quality and this adds very much to his operatic performance. I recommend his recordings to all friends. Thanks to MEZZO TV, we listen to him from time to time and thanks to AMAZON we have his recordings. Thanks again!
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on 11 September 2013
A great singer with a voice smooth as silk and made for all classical composers but especially suitable to Wagner where he has no equals I know of.
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on 3 November 2013
It seems that Jonas Kaufmann has taken by storm the first years of the 21st century in something of the way that Caruso was the voice of the early 20th -- and Caruso didn't do Wagner! It's a great voice, and it is used with great musicality and with good dramatic instincts. Although it's dark (some say baritonal), the darkness is a matter of coloring. The voice is all of a piece, and Kaufmann has no trouble with his top notes. Just listen to the climax of "Che gelida manina" on this disc, and the attack in the big moments of "Pourquoi me reveiller." And when a softer attack on the high note is needed, it's there. Listen to the Flower Song from "Carmen." He's also effective in "De miei bollenti spiriti . . . O mio rimorso" from "Traviata," and my only objection to his "Parmi veder . . ." from "Rigoletto" is the unnecessarily refined ending.

Some caveats are in order: this disc has material from a variety of sources, so the placement of the voice in the aural picture isn't consistent throughout. Also, there's an account of "Apri la tua finestra' from Mascagni's "Iris" -- and not even Kaufmann can make it interesting. In the "Cavalleria Rusticana" drinking song, the chorus needs to be more present, and the selection from "La Rondine" isn't all that interesting either. Fans of Kaufmann will have all the earlier recitals from which this material is taken, but if you don't have these and want to hear what the fuss is about, you should get this. He's a great voice and a great singer, and he's at his peak right now.
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