Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

REVIEW
RECORDING OF THE MONTH



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

alternatively
CD: MDT AmazonUK AmazonUS

Jonas Kaufmann – Verismo Arias
Jonas Kaufmann (tenor)
Eva-Maria Westbroek (sop) – Maddelena, track 17; Rosa Feola (soprano) – Lola, track 7; Cristina Reale (mezzo) – Mamma Lucia, track 8
Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Roma – track 7
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia,Roma/Pappano
rec. 18-22 March 2010, Petrassi Hall, Parco della Musica, Rome
DECCA 478 2258
[61 :52]

Experience Classicsonline


Riccardo ZANDONAI (1883-1944)
Giulietta e Romeo
1. Giulietta, son io
Umberto GIORDANO (1867-1948)
Andrea Chénier
2. Colpito qui m’avete…Un dì all’azzurro spazio (Improvviso)
3. Come un bel dì di maggio
Francesco CILEA (1866-1950)
L’Arlesiana
4. È la solita storia del pastore (Lamento di Federico)
Ruggero LEONCAVALLO (1857-1919)
La Bohème
5. Musette...Testa adorata
Pagliacci
6. Recitar...Vesti la giubba
Pietro MASCAGNI (1863-1945)
Cavalleria rusticana
7. Intanto, amici…Viva il vino spumeggiante (Brindisi)
8. Mamma! Mamma, quel vino è generoso
Arrigo BOITO (1842-1918)
Mefistofele
9. Dai campi, dai prati
10. Giunto sul passo estremo
Umberto GIORDANO
Fedora
11. Amor ti vieta
Francesco CILEA
Adriana Lecouvreur
12. L’anima ho stanca
13. La dolcissima effigie
Amilcare PONCHIELLI (1834-1886)
I Lituani
14. Sì, questa estrema grazia
La Gioconda
15. Cielo e mar!
Licinio REFICE (1883-1954)
16. Ombra di nube
Umberto GIORDANO
Andrea Chénier
17. Vicino a te

 
Despite my impatience to see Jonas Kaufmann move into the great Wagner roles, I realise that to rush that process could be fatal to one of the few very great voices singing today. I am delighted by his evident intention to keep his voice still light and flexible enough to sing Mozart, even at this stage of his career. While I do not find that he has the sweetness and "ping" ideal for Puccini, he is very fine in Verdi and the movement into verismo is not too great a leap. Kaufmann is now forty; his powerful, smoky voice is now presumably at its peak, and while it will never have the juicy resonance of Corelli he is a superb vocal actor who throws himself into his characterisations. He utterly convinces the listener of the sincerity with which he inhabits his roles. There is a plaintive as well as a heroic quality to his singing. He has virtually eliminated the glottal, "gulping" tic - presumably injected for emotive effect - which was beginning to infect his vocal production. He now sings "straight", relying on tonal colouring and superb control of dynamics. The top B in his "Come un bel dì di maggio" is appropriately climactic. He then moves straight into a deeply affecting account of that wonderfully melancholy aria "È la solita storia", using a mesmeric half voice. It is that combination of baritonal heft and restrained delicacy which he can command that makes his voice so moving. He can scale his voice right down to express tenderness then deliver thrilling top As and Bs. It is such a pleasure to hear a singer begin so many arias with due attention to dynamics and subtlety rather than go straight for the "can belto shock and awe" attack. Thus "Dai campi" builds properly to the climactic "a meditar" and is all the better for the contrast Kaufmann engineers between it and the meditative, almost tentative, opening phrases. Similarly, "Giunto sul passo estremo" is a genuine psychological portrait. I love the way Kaufmann gives the best possible advocacy to Boito's oft-derided music which I so enjoy. He even shows his command of the fabled "messa di voce" (producing a smooth, swelling crescendo and then a diminuendo on one note) - a bel canto technique almost lost amongst modern singers.

The opening track is a surprise: a virtually unknown aria from Zandonai's "Giulietta e Romeo", a choice typical of a novel, artfully structured programme designed to provide maximum pleasure without recourse to too many old chestnuts. That said, I suppose no verismo recital would be complete without "Vesti la giubba", especially when it is delivered as it is here with such passion and artistry. Another novelty is an aria from Ponchielli's "I Lituani"; not especially original as music, perhaps, but a pleasure to hear. I am also delighted to see Kaufmann's inclusion of Refice's exquisite song "Ombra di nube", which was made into an immortal gramophone classic by the great Claudia Muzio in one of my favourite recordings. Kaufmann cannot erase memories of her vulnerable, otherworldly poise, but he sings that lovely music with real Innigkeit and actually adopts a "new" voice of incomparable tenderness for such a large instrument. With "Cielo e mar" we are back on more familiar Ponchielli territory, and once again Kaufmann rethinks the aria to make it a lesson in restrained, poetic power rather than the usual bombastic bawl. One gem follows another and I am amazed by the judicious admixture of intelligence and passion that Kaufmann brings to all the music he sings here. The generous recital concludes with a real belter: the final duet from "Andrea Chénier", when the lovers declare their undying devotion as they are trundled off to the guillotine. Kaufmann and guest soprano Eva-Marie Westbroek cannot rival Corelli and Stella, or Gigli and Caniglia for that matter, for sheer animal abandon, but it's still a thrilling ride.

Pappano's accompaniments are simply superb: great, throbbing waves of sound from the reinvigorated Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

There are still, perhaps, individual performances of certain arias which I favour over Kaufmann's interpretations here but as a recital disc taken as a whole, it is hard to think of another superior in vocal brilliance, interpretative depth and mature artistry. Kaufmann's voice is virtually - and uncannily at times - indistinguishable from Vickers', who was also criticised for lacking Italianatà but still carried the day by dint of conviction and sheer force of personality. But I also think that stylistically Kaufmann is just right for this music even if the vocal make-up lacks that Italianate squillo. He just gets better and better. This definitely goes alongside the "Verdi Arias" disc on Delos by Sondra Radvanovsky (yet to appear) as my two "Discs of the Year": two superlative recitals by the two best Verdi voices by far to emerge for a generation.
 

Ralph Moore
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.