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The Verdi Album / Jonas Kaufmann [Deluxe Edition]

Kaufmann,Jonas
Release Date: 09/17/2013 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 549200   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas KaufmannFranco VassalloDaniele Cusari
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
In Stock: Usually ships in 24 hours.  


Notes and Editorial Reviews


One keeps searching in vain for flaws in Jonas Kaufmann’s performances—an attack on a high note that’s slightly under, a shortness of breath, a diminuendo that fails, a lack of interest in the text, an ugly sound. Nothing. Niente. Nada. He’s not The Perfect Tenor—nobody ever has been—and his sound, it might be argued, lacks the brightness and brilliance, the “squillo” (ring) that is essential to the Italian sound. But it’s close enough. Judging from the two excerpts from Verdi’s last tragedy, one thing is certain: Kaufmann is the Otello we have been waiting for. The dark-hued pillar of sound that is nonetheless clearly that of a tenor, the attention to detail, the long line, the soft attacks on
Read more notes that Verdi marked piano or pianissimo, and the intelligent reading of the text, even in these two snippets (“Dio mi potevi” and “Niun mi tema”) assures that there will be lines around the block when Kaufmann adds the entire opera to his repertoire. Elsewhere, at the start of the second verse of “Quando le sere al placido”, he sings with great tenderness and introversion, but pulls out all the stops for the final outcry.

He doesn’t quite have the lightness of touch—or tone—to make “La donna e mobile” sound as whimsical as did Gigli or di Stefano, but he articulates the long, difficult cadenza with ease and nails the high B-natural at the end. His “Ah, si ben mio” is both virile and tender, and if his trill isn’t quite a “real” trill, it’s 80 percent closer than almost any other tenor’s in memory (except for Richard Tucker, whose trill was real). “Di quella pira” (both verses are sung) is a roof-raiser, and the final high C is sung on both syllables—no vowel fudging. Alvaro’s “O tu che seno” is delivered with great poetry, the high A-flat on “seno” is sung “dolce”—many tenors try, few succeed. An excerpt from “I masnadieri” is thrilling in its full-out, exclamatory delivery.

In “Di tu se fedele” he reins in his big sound, but fans of Björling, et al, may not be won over despite Kaufmann’s descent to the two bizarrely low notes in the aria that most tenors take up an octave. And the only thing I’ll say about the “Celeste Aida” is that it outdoes Jon Vickers’ in heroics, dreaminess, and in the gorgeous use of dynamics: the final phrase, taken in one very long breath, ascends to the high B-flat quietly and then is beautifully, perfectly diminished. And nothing sounds like a gimmick.

Pier Giorgio Morandi leads the Parma Orchestra with distinction and sensitivity, but the group’s playing is not up to par. Happily, Kaufmann is what matters here, and he’s spectacular. It’s rare that 70 minutes of music sung by the same voice doesn’t tire the listener, but Kaufmann is creating individual characters and is anything but an all-purpose tenor. Bravo!

-- Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Un ballo in maschera: Ma se m' è forza perderti by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
Notes: This selection begins "Forse la scoglie attinses..." 
2.
Un ballo in maschera: Di' tu se fedele by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
3.
Simon Boccanegra: Sento avvampar nell' anima by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1857; Italy 
Notes: This selection begins "O inferno..." 
4.
Rigoletto: La donna è mobile by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
5.
Otello: Niun mi tema (Death of Otello) by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor), Franco Vassallo (Bass)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
6.
Otello: Dio, mi potevi scagliar tutti i mali by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1887; Italy 
7.
Macbeth: Ah, la paterna mano by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847/1865; Italy 
Notes: This selection begins "O figli, o figli mieri..." 
8.
Luisa Miller: Quando le sere al placido by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1849; Italy 
Notes: This selection begins "Oh fede negar potessi...." 
9.
La forza del destino: La vita è inferno...O tu che in seno agli angeli by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: Italy 
10.
Il trovatore: Ah si, ben mio...Di quella pira by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
11.
Aida: Celeste Aida by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1871; Italy 
Notes: This selection begins "Se quel guerrier io fossi..." 
12.
Don Carlos: Dio, che nell' alma infondere by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Franco Vassallo (Bass), Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor), Daniele Cusari (Bass)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867/1884; Italy 
Notes: This selection begins "E lui! Desso! L'infante!" 
13.
I masnadieri: Destatevi, o pietre by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Jonas Kaufmann (Tenor)
Conductor:  Pier Giorgio Morandi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parma Opera Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1847; Italy 

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  4 Customer Reviews )
 ***** October 28, 2013 By Janet P. (Coldstream, BC) See All My Reviews "Gorgeous - highly recommended!" Report Abuse
 Rewarding Listening Experience October 16, 2013 By Robert E. (New York, NY) See All My Reviews "This is my second Jonas Kaufmann aria compilation album and it is equally impressive. In my estimation, Mr. Kaufmann is that rare tenor that comes along only rarely. The heft, breadth and depth of his voice are quite exquisite. He can be both heroic and tender, as the passage requires, handling both with splendid artistic taste. To say that I've been bowled over by this listening experience is putting it mildly." Report Abuse
 Kaufman is wasting his time October 15, 2013 By John Olenik (Ballston Spa, NY) See All My Reviews "Jonas Kaufman has been spending his vocal capital in the Wagner repertoire, one would guess, because of the strength of his middle register and his muscular, heroic sound which suits Wagner. After listening to his Verdi album, again, one can only wonder why he has been wasting his time with other roles, and not entering verismo territory, to make maximum use of his incredible talent. Most of the Verdi tenor roles require passionate singing and ringing high notes which he can deliver in spades. His dark muscular sound takes Verdi roles to a different level, injecting warmth and pathos to the role, and never leaves the listener guessing if he will hit those exciting high notes which are unlike any other tenor on the circuit today. Kaufman is a real man's tenor, which makes you wonder why the Met has cast him in the wimpy role of Werther at the Met this year. This Verdi album is a must for high note freaks and for those who love the sound of a virile voice. One minor complaint is that Kaufman, while possessing a wonderful and caressing pianissimo, tends to use it too often in places not called for, which in contrast to the full voice, makes some arias seem a little unbalanced. A must for Verdi fans !" Report Abuse
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