Financial Times, Apr 15, 2003
By David Murray
Recital, Wigmore Hall, London, 11 April 2003, Schumann, Liszt, Richard Strauss
Munich tenor sparkles on Wigmore stage
Jonas Kaufmann, appearing at the Wigmore in William Lyne's splendid valedictory Director's Festival, was unruly and special. In his first half, with Schumann's Kernerlieder and the Dichterliebe cycle he sounded like a high baritone - but he took the high A in "Ich grolle nicht" to frantic effect where for years genteel Wigmore baritones have chosen the lower option and left their accompanists to rise to the climactic phrase instead. All his Schumann was riveting: acute intelligence, every phrase carried straight through and meaningful.

After the interval, he displayed not only clear, open, expressive Italian in Liszt's three "Petrarch Sonnets", but subtle and searching commitment (much aided by Helmut Deutsch's accompaniments) - and also a true operatic-tenor sound, properly scaled down for Petrarch's sentiments. He opened it up for his final Strauss group, alert and penetrating, and choosing to be warmly intimate for "Breit über mein Haupt". In some other Strauss songs, and in his encores, he displayed some extrovert, artful comedy-acting. He is a notably interesting artist and performer, and there are encouraging rumours that he will sing Lensky at Covent Garden before long.

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