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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
a great voice of our time
on 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 ...