Jonas Kaufmann: The Verdi Album – Arias from Rigoletto, Aida, Un ballo in maschera, Il trovatore, Luisa Miller, Simon Boccanegra, Don Carlo, La forza del destino, I masnadieri, Otello and Macbeth

Reviewed on Fri 04 Oct, 2013

Jonas Kaufmann's Verdi heroes find him in splendidly ringing voice, but as always with this singer it's the quiet passages which are the most remarkable. His 'no-good boyo' 'La donna è mobile' (Rigoletto) and ardent 'Di quella pira' (Il trovatore) are all very well, but it's the lilting tenderness of his 'Celeste Aida' and 'O tu, che in seno agli angeli' (La forza del destino) which you'll want to hear again and again. The two extracts from Otello reveal a readiness to take on the supreme challenge of this role; 'Niun mi tema' is sung with exact control of dynamics, wonderful vocal colour and mesmerizing tenderness; and just listen to 'O gloria!' and '..un bacio...' for an example of how a great voice can characterize both powerful command and heartbreaking sadness, the final dying fall leaving the listener awed. I shall be returning to this as often as I do to Ramón Vinay's recording of it, and I can't give higher praise.
–Melanie Eskenazi