Photo: Mark Allan
"The art of Jonas Kaufmann is that of an intimate expressive surrender; a song from the depth of his being, based on an absolute control of the emotional voltage, which he doses and administers with almost religious care. He has a supernatural ability to communicate in a confidential manner the subtleties of a musical language whose life is a melismatic journey through words and syllables involved in variations of tone, almost imperceptible accents and highly complex phrasing rhythms. A musical fabric that, in the case of the “Vier letzte Lieder”, deeply moves the listener. And a vocal test which is only possible for a master, due to the dense orchestration which puts to the test the central register and also the demanding score and the total control of the song line, an essential condition to achieve flow without losing the position through this undulating Straussian road."
Juan Antonio Muñoz Herrera, El Mercurio
"Although the Four Last Songs are more usually sung by a soprano, Kaufmann revealed just how well his tenor is suited to carrying them off. (...) The first two songs, ‘Frühling’ and ‘September’, saw single words such as ‘Gegenwart’ (the final word of the former) receive such exquisite attention that even alone they brought into play several facets to Kaufmann’s voice. The orchestra also contributed to the stunning performance by, for example, bringing impeccable balance to the foreboding opening to ‘Beim Schlafengehen’, and a beautiful sense of flow to its violin solo, courtesy of guest leader Igor Yuzefovich. ‘Im Abendrot’ then saw ‘nicht’ in ‘Dass wir uns nicht verirren’ given just a slight emphasis that spoke volumes, while even the final two words, ‘der Tod’, were given very different places in Kaufmann’s voice, thus epitomising how he explored each word to the very end."
"He was wonderful. He sang with artistry. He sang with heart. He made you feel as if you understood even more than the words, as if you understood worlds when mainly you were listening to a foreign tongue, written by a composer of 70 years before, writing from within a worldview that hardly now exists."
Don't miss the revival of Otto Schenk's production of "Andrea Chenier". The performance with Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros and Roberto Frontali in the leading roles and conducted by Marco Armiliato will be broadcasted via livestreaming and starts at 7pm. At 8:15pm the performance will also be shown on ORF 3.
Foto: Michael Pöhn / Wiener Staatsoper