Wagner: Tenor Arias & Lieder
Jonas Kaufmann, Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin & Donald Runnicles
Open iTunes to preview, buy, and download music.
Leaves us wanting more...
...but perhaps that's the idea.
Mr. Kaufmann has built quite a reputation as the world's finest Wagnerian tenor, and he proves it here. The recital is a wonderful compilation of some of his finest stage roles with a few snippets of those to come.
One can't help but wish for the Forging Song from Siegfried rather than "Du holdes Voglein" which is rather boring, but shows what a sublte singer Kaufmann is. The gem of the disc is "Allmacht'ger Vater" from Rienzi and we are also treated to a lengthy selection from Lohengrin (which Kaufmann has recorded before, but not the scene in it's entirety).
We also find Siegmund's first aria from Die Walkure, Walther's other showpiece song from Meistersinger, the "Rome Narritive" from Tannhauser, and the complete Wesendonck Lieder.
These last two are questionable selections, though Kaufmann's voice is nothing short of spectacular. The "Rome Narritive" (as is the case with most Wagner "arias") is not much of a stand alone piece. When we come to the end, the music simply stops where were we watching the opera, the action would be continuous. Wagner relied so heavily on the text to drive the emotions of the music and without the context of the entire opera, this selection in particular falls a little short, as does the piece form Siegfried.
The Wesendonck Lieder contains some of the only songs (if not the only) Wagner set to poetry other than his own. They were penned by his mistress, Mathilde Wesendonck and her words are well-suited to the male voice though Wagner originally set them for mezzo-soprano.
Here we find Kaufmann the lieder singer - and what a wonderful one he is! I had the pleasure of hearing him in recital recently and he is quite simply one of the best singers of song I have ever heard. One hopes to have recordings of Dichterliebe and Winterreise from him in the near future. The trouble lies in the songs themselves, not the singer. They are just not Wagner's best writing. He composed the songs during the same period he was writing Tristan and indeed there are shadows of the tonal experiments found in that opera but the ideas are not fully developed. The songs are beautiful and lovely and it is wonderful to have a singer such as Kaufmann interpreting them, but when one has works such as the Ring and Parsifal, the Wesendonck Lieder fall a little short.
Mr. Kaufmann has given us a true gift with this recording. Wagner is clearly a composer near and dear to his heart and this is a fitting love letter before he leaves the comfort of the German tenor and sets his sights on the high-flying tunes of Il trovatore later this year. He leaves us wishing and some of us pining for Schubert and Shumann, for a complete Tristan, and for the soaring lines of Siegfied. Will we get them? Who knows? But Kaufmann has proven himself a bankable, powerful, popular opera star so it's safe to hope.
Awesome Just Awesome
Outstanding singing by one of the greatest Wagner tenors. And he sings the Lieder. Must buy!
this is amazing
Born: 1969 in Munich, Germany
Years Active: '00s, '10s