Jonas Kaufmann;  Helmut Deutsch          (Decca B0014133)
Item# V1973
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Jonas Kaufmann;  Helmut Deutsch          (Decca B0014133)
V1973. JONAS KAUFMANN, w.Helmut Deutsch (Pf.): Die Schöne Müllerin (Schubert). Decca B0014133, Live Performance, 30 July, 2009, Munich. Final Copy! - 028947815280


“At 42, Mr. Kaufmann, the German tenor who sang Mahler’s setting of Rückert’s poem during his first New York recital on Sunday afternoon at the Metropolitan Opera, is one of the busiest and most celebrated singers in opera.

His career has developed with extraordinary speed. As recently as 2004, he was singing minor parts like Cassio in a Paris production of Verdi’s OTELLO, and it was just last year that New York audiences really seemed to take notice of him, in a revival of Puccini’s TOSCA. Luciano Pavarotti’s first recital at the Met presented by the company occurred after he had been singing in New York for 20 years; Mr. Kaufmann made his Met début in 2006.

The swiftness of his rise to prominence speaks both to his great talent and to an art form decidedly lacking in bankable stars, particularly male ones. Mr. Kaufmann has quickly become a key component of artistic plans at the Met and other major companies, so there was widespread concern in August when he announced that he would be undergoing surgery to remove a node from his chest.

He recovered without a hitch, and on Sunday, accompanied by the pianist Helmut Deutsch in a program of Liszt, Mahler, Duparc and Strauss, his voice sounded intact: dark, burnished and steady. He floated Strauss’s ‘Morgen’ with exquisite control.

Mr. Kaufmann’s quirks have also remained. His voice still has a hooded, covered, slightly burred quality that can be dusky and mysterious, making it sound as if the tone were being drawn out by force of masculine will. It’s an exciting effect, particularly when clarion high notes sail out….[yet] he was strongest in a smoothly winning closing set of six songs by Strauss. (Four of his five encores were Strauss songs too.)

- Zachary Woolfe, THE NEW YORK TIMES, 31 Oct., 2011