The Spectator
by Michael Tanner
Edinburgh Festival, August 2002: Die schöne Müllerin
Music in Edinburgh, Festival 2002
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
It was characteristic of this year’s Festival that the first three song recitals should all be on the same day, six days after the opening. In the evening we had Ian Bostridge singing Vaughan Williams, Schubert and Faure, with Julius Drake and the Belcea Quartet, very much the pallid intellectual interpreter, unsmiling, deadly serious, purveying a continuous rather sickly intensity, varieties of pianissimo his forte. An hour after his concert ended, Jonas Kaufmann, heartthrob of last year’s Festival, bounded onto the stage and, with the marvellously sympathetic accompaniment of Helmut Deutsch, gave an exhilaratingly alfresco account of Die schoene Mullerin. He has a full, rich but fairly small tenor voice, and if he continues to use it as sensitively as he has done in Edinburgh, he should take his place among the ranks of major German lyric tenors.

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