Toronto Star, Feb 18 2013
John Terauds
Kaufmann, Wagner
**** (out of 4)
There is plenty of ear candy to back up the eye candy that is German Jonas Kaufmann. An operatic tenor with the rich timbre of a baritone, Kaufmann has evolved into the great Wagnerian leading man of our time. He lays out some short highlights of what makes him so on his latest album, a survey of Richard Wagner’s evolution as an opera composer. With the solid support of conductor Donald Runnicles leading the orchestra and choir of the Deutscher Oper in Berlin, this album is nothing less than a how-to guide to any other aspiring dramatic tenor. The care and craft behind Kaufmann’s art, as well as the many colours he can get from his voice, are an opera lover’s dream. The disc includes signature arias from Rienzi, Die Meistersinger, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin, Die Walkyrie and Siegfried. I was especially impressed with the five Wesendonck-Lieder, presented here in Felix Mottl’s orchestration. Each is a joy — especially the final one, “Träume” (Dreams), which contains musical sketches for Tristan und Isolde, currently on stage at the Canadian Opera Company.

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