3rd April 2017
“Kaufmann certainly has the “baritonal” low notes to justify his decision, and the ringing tenorial top...Kaufmann is more rewarding in the “baritone” songs, his eloquent diction always a pleasure, and with the nuance and sensibility of a great lieder singer...Not perfection, but this is a must-hear for Mahlerians.”
“played with shimmering detail by the Vienna Philharmonic...As expected, Kaufmann is glorious in the tenor songs. In those for lower voice he sings with the same, unaffected sensitivity...An interesting, one-off experiment.”
7th April 2017
“It’s actually the songs usually assigned to the contralto/baritone that come off best. Once I’d got my initial inevitable ‘Can he?’s and ‘Should he?’s out of the way, though, vocal technicalities weren’t really at the forefront of my mind: my overwhelming impression is of how well the orchestration and the texts suit Kaufmann, who's always at his best when pouring out angry frustration at full throttle, or ruminating on dark nights of the soul.”
7th April 2017
“his beautifully recorded version taken from live performances at Vienna’s Musikverein has a great deal to offer, not least of which are Kaufmann’s textual insights, and the revelatory qualities of Jonathan Nott’s interrogation of Mahler’s orchestrations...Kaufmann is able to caress and float phrases at will, and enter into the composer’s more melancholy reflections at his leisure.”
Gustav Mahler's masterpiece Das Lied von der Erde (Song of the Earth) has always been subtitled as a Symphony for Tenor and Alto (or Baritone) and traditionally two voices have sung the six movements of the work. However Jonas Kaufmann felt differently about this and decided to sing both parts himself. This is the first time that one voice has sung both parts for a recording of this piece. Last June, in the tradition-steeped Great Hall of the Vienna Musikverein, where a number of outstanding Mahler performances have taken place, Kaufmann joined the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Jonathan Nott for this historic recording. According to the Kurier newspaper after the performance, "this experiment went far beyond the risky test phase and, in the end, became a complete work of art in itself. What would normally be considered pretentious is absolutely logical in the case of Kaufmann, who is able to showcase the splendor of his baritone as well as the radiant upper reaches of his range."
Munich-born singer, Jonas Kaufmann, is without a doubt at the absolute top echelon of the operatic world. He is in extreme demand with the world's most influential conductors, selling out opera houses and concert venues months in advance wherever he performs. In 2011, he received the Opera News Award in New York and was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. He has been awarded "Singer of the Year" by many prestigious journals including ECHO Klassic and Musical America. Kaufmann is also an internationally sought-after concert and lieder singer. In October of 2011 he performed the first solo recital to be given at the Metropolitan Opera since Luciano Pavarotti in 1994.