Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Canvas of Colors from Jonas Kaufmann

Verismo is a style of Italian opera which depicts real life situations often associated with the lower classes in society. Verismo operas most often end in tragedy. Don't most operas? These operas get violent though. What is unique to me about this style is that each line of music and text gets inside the hearts of the characters and the audience. A singer must know how to spill their guts out if they want to sing this repertoire. Jonas Kaufmann knows how to sing from his gut, that is for sure. He has created a sensation over the past couple of years all over the world, and deserves the recognition he is getting. This cd of him singing verismo arias accompanied by Maestro Antonio Pappano and the famous Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia is incredibly well done. As a singer, Kaufmann has a canvas of paints that he uses to act with his voice. His vocal colors come straight from his heart. He is extremely versatile, and he makes every word mean something. Verismo repertoire fits his voice extremely well, and he knows how to sell these arias. A lot of these arias have been performed by tenors from Caruso, through Pavarotti, so selling them is a daunting task. Kaufmann makes each aria his own. His rendition of "Amor ti vieta" is really unbelievable. This aria is a famous crash and burn aria for tenors because of the difficult tessitura. Kaufmann makes it sound easy, and does the first phrase in one breath. Federico's Lament, is one of my favorite pieces for tenor. Kaufmann's dynamic range is impressive and well thought out, making his interpretation absolutely heart drenching. I was blown away by the performances on this disc. Maestro Pappano does an outstanding job as an accompanist for Kaufmann. This is one of the greatest aria recital CDs I have ever heard. Do not let the popularity of these arias, and number of tenors who have sung them turn you away from these great interpretations.

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