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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or - Gramophone Editor's Choice - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released June 13, 2011 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4F de Télérama - Gramophone Record of the Month - Diamant d'Opéra Magazine - 4 étoiles de Classica
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Opera Extracts - Released September 13, 2013 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles de Classica - Hi-Res Audio
German tenor Jonas Kaufmann has been laying a strong claim to the legacy of the superstar tenors of the 1980s and 1990s, but until now it hasn't been completely clear that Verdi, the tenor's bread and butter, was a fully compelling part of his arsenal. With this release, Kaufmann puts any doubts to rest and steps up in a big way to his signing by the Sony Classical label and its attendant operatic muscle. The sheer ease of Kaufmann's voice in its upper register is about to get to casual opera fans in a big way (and he's a bit hipper than Pavarotti or even Domingo ever were), and right now the sky would seem to be the limit to his popularity. Yet there is plenty here for opera scorekeepers to dig their teeth into, and it seems likely that Kaufmann will come out very well with them, too. Consider the high C at the end of "Di quella pira" from Il trovatore: surely few tenors in history have hit it out of the park the way Kaufmann does. There is a good mix of hits from various parts of Verdi's career and some lesser-known pieces, and the album is all newly performed, not a collection of things recorded at different times. It has a sense of confidence, purpose, and commitment to the text (no soulless technical perfection here), and it's a joy for listeners at all levels. With recent Wagnerian (and Straussian) triumphs under his belt, Kaufmann seems to be entering a period where he can do pretty much anything and probably will.
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Classical - Released September 12, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Diapason d'or / Arte - Choc de Classica - Choc Classica de l'année
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Classical - Released September 15, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
This record sees the most francophone (and francophile) of the German tenors take up a few pearls from the French repertoire. What's more, it's not only the big hits: "La fleur que tu m’avais jetée" is up in front, but also – or even, first and foremost – much rarer pearls have been fished up from the shoals of Meyerbeer, Berlioz, Thomas or Lalo. Jonas Kaufmann has succeeded in developing an irreproachable French elocution, in an equally impeccable style, denuded of the base Italianisms – glissandos, cooing, sobs, parasitic diphthongs, fermatas on the high Cs, etc. – that so many tenors (Italians, yes, but also French singers, including some stars...) impose on this music, which is not built to support them. Kaufmann's voice, which almost approaches a baritone, confers a different masculinity onto these roles (which is neither a virtue nor a vice, but a fundamental quality) and a depth for which the roles of Nadir, Don José or Werther all cry out. Moreover, Kaufmann's dynamic palette, from the fullest fortissimo to the suavest murmur, including on the high notes, is a joy to behold. The excellent Ludovic Tézier provides his counterpart in the duo of Pêcheurs de perles, while Sonia Yoncheva takes on the role of the tender Manon - even if the latter's French still leaves a little to be desired. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released September 11, 2015 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
The most German of tenors, Jonas Kaufmann, tackles a new Italian recital, following 2013's The Verdi Album, which was released to mark the composer's bicentenary. Today, Kaufmanndedicates an entire disc to the operas of Puccini. The all-important pieces are naturally found in the form of the "Recondita armonia" from Tosca, and "O soave Fanciulla" from La Bohème. Also of note are "No piangere, Liù!", from Turandot, and some special moments on less-performed works such as Le Villi ("Ei giunge!") and Edgar ("Orgia, chimera dall'occhio vitreo").Kaufmann does not seek, in any way, to copy Italian tenors or the Italianate mode of singing. Instead he yearns for a fidelity and purity of expression, as well as an absolute respect for the original works. This tenor moves us subtly away from what we are used to; which will delight some, and astonish the rest. Is this how Puccini really meant for his work to sound?
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Classical - Released April 7, 2017 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Art Songs - Released February 14, 2014 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice
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Classical - Released September 14, 2018 | Sony Classical

Hi-Res Booklet
Built to specifications set down by Joseph Goebbels for the 1936 Olympic Games as a showcase of triumphant Nazism, this open-air stage was inspired by the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, and had almost perfect acoustics. With the theatre renamed "Waldbühne" (forest stage) and the ghosts of the past exorcised, this gigantic space was used in the 1960s for boxing matches and rock concerts, including the 1965 Rolling Stones show which ended in a veritable riot. There was nothing like that on the July evening in 2018 when Jonas Kaufmann gave his recital, although a very large crowd had come to hear their national tenor deliver a 100% Italian repertoire. It was chilly that night in Berlin, with rainclouds threatening, but the 20,000 spectators gave long ovations for Jonas Kaufmann and the Berlin Radio Orchestra, conducted by Jochen Rieder, in this concert which was also graced by the Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili. The programme was calculated to electrify the crowd, and included a recital of the immortal Nessun dorma (Turandot by Puccini) which set off great cries from an audience which Kaufmann had to repay with seven encores. Popular songs, (Volare, Parlami d’amore Mariù) and film music (Le Parrain) rounded off a generous programme covering ground that our most illustrious tenor had first broken with his album "Dolce Vita", released in 2016. A solar voice, approaching a baritone on the lower notes and shining at the top of the scale, Jonas Kaufmann's rude vocal health makes him one of the most thrilling tenors of the early 21st century. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Art Songs, Mélodies & Lieder - Released August 15, 2007 | harmonia mundi

Hmmm...another Strauss lieder recital, eh? Are the usual songs -- "Zueignung," "Allerseelen," "Morgen!," and the rest -- represented? Yes: of the 28 songs here, nearly all come from the period between 1885 and 1900, the 15 years that were the high watermark of Strauss' lieder production. How about the performances -- do they match or exceed the great performances of the past? No, not really: Jonas Kaufmann has a strong voice, a tender delivery, and seemingly endless stamina, and, taken on their own merits, his performances are quite persuasive. But compared with some of the great performances of the past -- Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's inevitably come to mind -- Kaufmann is not quite as persuasive. His Nachtgang is exceedingly erotic, but perhaps too blatant. His Sehnsucht is full of heartfelt yearning, but possibly too obvious. His Ruhe, meine Seele is deeply restful, but maybe a tad too soporific. With veteran accompanist Helmut Deutsch, Kaufmann's is a fine recital that will give much pleasure to those who already know the music and serve as a reasonable introduction for those who don't, especially in Harmonia Mundi's close, full, and warm sound. But a singer like Fischer-Dieskau will transport you.
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Vocal Music (Secular and Sacred) - Released January 1, 2008 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released September 12, 2014 | Sony Classical

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After a fairly long period of relative obscurity, German tenor Jonas Kaufmann experienced a sharp rise in popularity once he hit his forties in 2009. Each of his albums outsold (or at least out-reached) the previous one, and he seems to have been deemed ready for the crossover treatment. Showing typical gravitas, Kaufmann avoided contemporary pop and even Broadway, reaching back to the world of German-language operetta between the world wars, and even including a few weighty serious opera numbers. The new audience hook consists of the album's dual release in German and English versions. The difference is partly a question of the title: the You Mean the World to Me version, including the title track, is still more than half in German. But, to answer the question that will be on everyone's mind, yes, Kaufmann can handle the English language, and he still sounds gorgeous. There is a consciousness that it is not his own, but no more than that, and it can be forgotten at times. In fact, part of what makes the English version work is not any particular amount of woodshedding on Kaufmann's part, but the intelligence of the program, which reflects a music balanced between the Germanic and American worlds. He does Franz Lehár's Girls Were Made to Love and Kiss not simply because he wants to cross over to Anglophone popular audiences, but because understanding that work requires addressing the fact that it became very popular indeed with its English text. Figures like Richard Tauber were household names for some, and it may be that Kaufmann's fine release will be seen as a forerunner of this extravagantly romantic tradition. ~ James Manheim
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Classical - Released October 7, 2016 | Sony Classical

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Some spectacular efforts in standard operatic roles have brought tenor Jonas Kaufmann to the point of emerging as the current generation's Pavarotti or Domingo, and the release of an album of popular Italian songs fits into the marketing plan. Said plan comes complete with brutally stereotyped verbiage in the graphics ("even in the darkest moment, the Italian finds a way to put a little bit of powdered sugar on top and to continue finding sweetness in life") that have supposedly come from Kaufmann himself, purported to have a special understanding of the culture because, growing up in Munich, he was only a day's drive away from Italy. The plan may well succeed. Kaufmann is in fine voice, and this alone will appeal to his growing legion of fans. He respects the basic simplicity of the material, never overwhelming it with vocal heroics. And he's got a good, organic program of Italian and Neapolitan classics to work with, avoiding chestnuts, pulling a few rarities off the scrap heap of history, and incorporating some of the recent additions that show the continuing vitality of this tradition. These include the Nino Rota Godfather classic "Parla più piano" and a song, Lucio Dalla's Caruso, originally written for the aging Pavarotti. If you're going to compete with him, you'd better bring your A game, and Kaufmann's technically unimpeachable, but curiously detached, reading doesn't cut it. The Orchestra del Teatro Massimo di Palermo under Asher Fisch has the right slightly loose sound for the music, and there are many tunes that may well connect with one or another individual listener. Sample to see if Kaufmann's way with these evergreen songs is for you.
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Classical - Released August 7, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released August 31, 2018 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released September 4, 2015 | Sony Classical

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Classical - Released January 1, 2013 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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.
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Classical - Released September 15, 2017 | Sony Classical

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You might not have looked to Germany as the source of the next big opera star, but there you have it: tenor Jonas Kaufmann has reached the point where he can sing almost anything and coax beauty and even sensuousness out of it. Can big crossover albums be far off? He doesn't have quite the charisma of a Domingo, but the voice is at its breathtaking peak and seems to be well enough cared for that it could stay there a while. As the title implies, this album is devoted to French operatic repertory. Kaufmann has a good deal of experience in this field, and he sets the album up as a group of pieces that have had personal significance to him because they played a part in the development of this aspect of his career. The particulars are spelled out in an interview-style booklet note. As such, the program touches on some less-than-standard items; this may appeal to opera devotees, but the general listener might want to hear a familiar tune from time to time. There is no denying the sheer beauty of the voice, though, most of all in the quiet high notes that have become Kaufmann's specialty. You could start sampling with the opening "L'amour... Ah! Lève-toi, soleil," from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette, with the Bayerisches Staatsoper under Bertrand de Billy setting Kaufmann up perfectly (as they do throughout) with its delicate instrumental introduction and Kaufmann caressing his entrance in a way that nobody else can quite do these days. Other pleasures involve the two guest singers, baritone Ludovic Tézier in an excerpt from Bizet's Les pêcheurs de perles and soprano Sonya Yoncheva in Massenet's Manon. This is choice Kaufmann.
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Classical - Released January 1, 2005 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Classical - Released January 1, 2009 | Decca Music Group Ltd.

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Jonas Kaufmann in the magazine
  • The Qobuz Minute #42
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