The Best of Jonas Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann

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The Best of Jonas Kaufmann Review

by James Manheim

German tenor Jonas Kaufmann came on the scene in the mid-1990s and has gradually risen to the top rank of the operatic world. His is a remarkable voice in many ways. Like Plácido Domingo, to whom he is a sort of German opposite number, he excels in both Italian and German opera and also sings well in French and English (in an odd performance of a piece from Weber's Oberon, track 17). He adds freely dramatic shaping to lines of the big Verdi and Puccini tunes, almost always defamiliarizing them in ways that seem personal and passionate, with a bit of vocal gravel applied at just the right moment. Kaufmann has done his part to rediscover a languishing repertory, in his case verismo opera from around the turn of the century, and this Best of Jonas Kaufmann collection may be worth the price simply for the little-heard Ombra di nube of Licinio Refice (track 15). The collection represents a good mix of standards and innovative thinking. And, through it all, there's the kind of power that just doesn't come along often. It took a while for general listeners to wake up to the fact that Kaufmann is close to the best out there. This collection draws on recordings made between 2002 and 2010, with a variety of orchestras that are all completely overshadowed by Kaufmann's vocal artistry. It's a fine place to start with a singer well on his way to becoming a household name like the great voices of the past.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
Don Carlo
1 Jonas Kaufmann 03:45 Amazon
La traviata
2 Jonas Kaufmann 07:26 Amazon
3 Jonas Kaufmann 05:28 Amazon
La Bohème
4 Jonas Kaufmann 05:08 Amazon
5 Jonas Kaufmann 03:23 Amazon
La rondine
6 Jonas Kaufmann 03:03 Amazon
7 Jonas Kaufmann 03:40 Amazon
8 Jonas Kaufmann 04:20 Amazon
9 Jonas Kaufmann 02:44 Amazon
Cavalleria rusticana
10 Jonas Kaufmann 02:51 Amazon
11 Jonas Kaufmann 04:35 Amazon
12 Jonas Kaufmann 01:48 Amazon
13 Jonas Kaufmann 03:08 Amazon
14 Jonas Kaufmann 06:15 Amazon
15 Jonas Kaufmann 03:26 Amazon
Die Zauberflöte
16 Jonas Kaufmann 03:57 Amazon
17 Jonas Kaufmann 03:23 Amazon
18 Jonas Kaufmann 02:13 Amazon
Die Walküre
19 Jonas Kaufmann 03:49 Amazon
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg
20 Jonas Kaufmann 05:16 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick