Jonas Kaufmann – Dolce Vita (2016) [HDTracks 24-96]

Jonas Kaufmann – Dolce Vita (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – :06:57 minutes | 2,17 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Digital booklet | © Sony Classical

Italy! Like nowhere else on earth – the sunshine and sea salt, the smell of citrus and coffee, a flirtatious glance, an incomparable song drawn deep from the heart. Italy and its immortal music have a magical pull on people like no other culture – and Jonas Kaufmann feels this particularly keenly. The new album Dolce vita is his tribute to this culture, this way of life that has conceived one immortal melody after the other for the tenor voice and influenced him so much. Now Sony Classical is proud to present this special collection of timeless Italian songs – sung by “The world’s greatest tenor” (The Daily Telegraph).

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Jonas Kaufmann – Wagner (2013) [HRA 24-96]

Jonas Kaufmann, Donald Runnicles , Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra – Wagner (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.35 GB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Highresaudio

Kaufmann’s fifth solo album on Decca is specially recorded for the Wagner anniversary year by the world’s leading Wagner tenor. Kaufmann and Wagner is a classic combination: “For any Wagnerians who’ve been slumbering, Fafner-like, in their caves during the last few years, here’s your wake-up call: Jonas Kaufmann is the tenor we’ve been waiting for” (Washington Post).

A selection of the great Heldentenor scenes and arias coupled with the complete (and rarely recorded by the tenor voice) Wesendonck Lieder. Also includes scenes from Die Walküre, Siegfried , Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin (extended Grail Scene – Gralserzählung – with its original second verse).

Joined by one of the most formidable combinations in the opera world today – the chorus and orchestra of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, under director Donald Runnicles – this recording is also a sonic spectacular, made in Decca’s time-honoured tradition.

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Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Antonio Pappano – Verdi: Aida (2015) [Qobuz 24-96]

Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Antonio Pappano – Verdi: Aïda (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 02:25:21 minutes | 2,39 GB | Genre: Classical, Opera
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | @ Warner Classics

This magnificent recording of Aida, made in Rome, rises to all the musical and dramatic challenges presented by Verdi’s richly-coloured Egyptian epic. Antonio Pappano, once again proving his mastery of Italian opera, moves between sumptuous grandeur and touching intimacy. The responses of the Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia are both immediate and vibrant, while the singers – Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Ekaterina Semenchuk, Ludovic Tézier and Erwin Schrott – do justice to every facet of their roles.

Gramophone Recording of the Month: “A magnificent achievement that gives enormous pleasure…Karajan has the Vienna Philharmonic but it is arguable that Pappano goes one better, with orchestral playing of rare accomplishment from an Italian ensemble which is alive to the opera’s every word.”

This recording of Verdi’s Aïda makes a good impression even before the first bit of information meets the laser. It’s a non-live recording of an opera, in a time when those were thought to belong to the past. It features the hottest Italian opera conductor, Antonio Pappano, whose fame has apparently reached such levels that he needs only his surname in the cover graphics, along with veteran Italian instrumental forces who know the music almost by heart. The vocal stars, however, are from outside Italy, and part of the appeal of Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann is that when you do get into the music is that they seem to approach the score fresh; although both are certainly competent in Italian music, neither has had much contact with Aïda in the past. The recorded sound is captured in the new Renzo Piano-designed Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, and it turns out to be splendid, right from the orchestral prologue that is tantalizingly shaped by Pappano in a way that wouldn’t be as vivid in a live recording. The bottom line is that the recording justifies the high expectations. You can believe Harteros in her varied moods of nostalgia for home, grief, and undying love, and Kaufmann’s set pieces are, as usual, marvelous exemplars of pure technique. The supporting cast, notably Ekaterina Semenchuk as Amneris and bass Erwin Schrott as the slightly over-the-edge High Priest Ramfis, is uniformly strong. This is state-of-the-art Verdi, musically, sonically, and vocally, and for a lot of listeners it’s going to be the new Aïda they’ve been waiting for.

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Jonas Kaufmann – The Age Of Puccini (2015) [Qobuz 24-48]

Jonas Kaufmann – The Age Of Puccini (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 76:16 minutes | 788 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: Qobuz  | Artwork: Digital booklet | @ Decca/London

On 14 April 2010 Jonas Kaufmann became the first German tenor to sing Cavaradossi at the Metropolitan Opera in 103 years. He shaped Puccini’s music with exceptional elegance, balancing the character’s essential revolutionary fervour with a heart-stopping tenderness. Critics and audiences received the portrayal ecstatically. Listeners familiar with Kaufmann’s artistry in German and French repertoire exclusively will be astonished by his affinity for Italian music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In preparing this music by Puccini and his contemporaries (including Puccini’s and Mascagni’s teacher of composition, Ponchielli), Kaufmann was gratified that his fluent Italian enabled him to “understand double meanings and discover the secrets between the written lines”. Freedom from technical worries allowed Kaufmann to concentrate exclusively on communication, “with the text leading me automatically into the emotional circumstances of each piece.”

In conversation Kaufmann repeatedly emphasizes the emotional content of this repertoire — above all, the Zandonai aria: “I doubt that you can put more personal feelings into music. Romeo is mourning Giulietta, but in a shockingly realistic way. Listening to it is like sneaking into someone’s privacy.” In such music, “it’s satisfying when you can slip into your character and feel how the emotions change your sound, your breathing, your whole approach to the notes.”

Producers: Christopher Alder and David Frost
Recording engineers: Oldřich Slezák, Ivan Zbiral, Mike Hatch, Philip Siney
Mixing engineer: Richard King

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Jonas Kaufmann – The Age Of Puccini (2015) [Qobuz 24-48]

Jonas Kaufmann – The Age Of Puccini (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 76:16 minutes | 788 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Source: Qobuz  | Artwork: Digital booklet | @ Decca/London

On 14 April 2010 Jonas Kaufmann became the first German tenor to sing Cavaradossi at the Metropolitan Opera in 103 years. He shaped Puccini’s music with exceptional elegance, balancing the character’s essential revolutionary fervour with a heart-stopping tenderness. Critics and audiences received the portrayal ecstatically. Listeners familiar with Kaufmann’s artistry in German and French repertoire exclusively will be astonished by his affinity for Italian music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

In preparing this music by Puccini and his contemporaries (including Puccini’s and Mascagni’s teacher of composition, Ponchielli), Kaufmann was gratified that his fluent Italian enabled him to “understand double meanings and discover the secrets between the written lines”. Freedom from technical worries allowed Kaufmann to concentrate exclusively on communication, “with the text leading me automatically into the emotional circumstances of each piece.”

In conversation Kaufmann repeatedly emphasizes the emotional content of this repertoire — above all, the Zandonai aria: “I doubt that you can put more personal feelings into music. Romeo is mourning Giulietta, but in a shockingly realistic way. Listening to it is like sneaking into someone’s privacy.” In such music, “it’s satisfying when you can slip into your character and feel how the emotions change your sound, your breathing, your whole approach to the notes.”

Producers: Christopher Alder and David Frost
Recording engineers: Oldřich Slezák, Ivan Zbiral, Mike Hatch, Philip Siney
Mixing engineer: Richard King

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Jonas Kaufmann – Nessun Dorma: The Puccini Album (2015) [HDTracks 24-96]

Jonas Kaufmann – Nessun Dorma: The Puccini Album (2015)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 60:53 minutes | 1,21 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  | Source: HDTracks | @ Sony Classical

The ultimate all-Puccini album from “The greatest tenor of our day”. Contains famous arias and scenes drawn from Puccini’s greatest operas including Turandot, La Bohème, Manon Lescaut, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and more…

This release by the celebrated German tenor Jonas Kaufmann has been attended by a good deal of controversy; Kaufmann has publicly protested the release of a rival Puccini album by Decca, drawn from earlier Kaufmann recordings. He has a point in that the Decca album does not even consist entirely or even mostly of Puccini. Here you get a well-chosen set of Puccini arias, touching on hits like “Recondita Armonia” from Tosca and the title track, but also bringing out worthwhile, slightly frenetic pieces from the rarely performed early operas Le Villi and Edgar. Everywhere, Kaufmann continues to astonish with his sheer versatility. Opera specialists may quibble with the details, but for the ordinary fan of Puccini’s dramatically expansive style there’s little to suggest that Kaufmann has not been specializing in this stuff for his entire career, and that seems to happen whether he’s singing bel canto opera, Wagner, or what have you. The program consists mostly of duets, and Kaufmann or his handlers choose partners who can keep up with him. The only mild complaint is with the Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia under Antonio Pappano, who at times don’t put the tenor quite front and center (something that may be an issue with the very live sound environment). In general, this is a major triumph from a true vocal star.

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Jonas Kaufmann, Donald Runnicles , Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra – Wagner (2013) [HRA 24-96]

Jonas Kaufmann, Donald Runnicles , Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra – Wagner (2013)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Digital Booklet | 1.35 GB
Genre: Classical | Official Digital Download – Source: Highresaudio

Kaufmann’s fifth solo album on Decca is specially recorded for the Wagner anniversary year by the world’s leading Wagner tenor. Kaufmann and Wagner is a classic combination: “For any Wagnerians who’ve been slumbering, Fafner-like, in their caves during the last few years, here’s your wake-up call: Jonas Kaufmann is the tenor we’ve been waiting for” (Washington Post).

A selection of the great Heldentenor scenes and arias coupled with the complete (and rarely recorded by the tenor voice) Wesendonck Lieder. Also includes scenes from Die Walküre, Siegfried , Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tannhäuser and Lohengrin (extended Grail Scene – Gralserzählung – with its original second verse).

Joined by one of the most formidable combinations in the opera world today – the chorus and orchestra of the Deutsche Oper, Berlin, under director Donald Runnicles – this recording is also a sonic spectacular, made in Decca’s time-honoured tradition.

Composer: Richard Wagner
Performer: Jonas Kaufmann
Conductor: Donald Runnicles
Orchestra/Ensemble: Berlin Deutsche Oper Orchestra

Reviews: This should clinch it: Jonas Kaufmann is the pre-eminent Wagner tenor of this generation. (Slated to sing Manrico soon, and judging from his Werther, he may just be the pre-eminent tenor, period.) For those who haven’t heard him, the voice is dark and manly, with easy ascents above the staff at all dynamic ranges (including some crooning that can become more like a mannerism than a service to the music), a top that rings loud and clear, phrasing that confirms great musicianship, a smooth legato, and flawless diction. When he sings softly for a period you are stunned by the power he can muster, and vice-versa. And the sound itself is beautiful—fully rounded, lustrous.

Rienzi’s prayer is inward, pious, and sung with seamless bel canto line; conversely, Tannhäuser’s Rome Narrative is tortured, enraged, and jagged, missing just a smidge of the insane coloring that, say, Wolfgang Windgassen gives to the Pope’s cruel edict. His Grail Narration from Lohengrin, sung complete with second verse, begins softly, seemingly in mid-air, and builds to a passionate climax. Siegmund’s first-act monologue, “Ein Schwert verhiess mir der Vater”, is delivered with ardor, dark, secure tone, and staggering breath control on the huge outcries of “Wälse”, probably not matched by any tenor since Melchior and Vickers. And his Siegfried is full of wonder in the Forest Murmurs, sung sweetly and with what can pass for true naiveté. “Am stillen Herd” from Die Meistersinger makes us want to hear the Prize Song.

The surprise entries here are the Wesendonck Lieder, invariably sung by mezzo-soprano or soprano. Kaufmann and the marvelous Donald Runnicles, who leads sympathetically and very much in keeping with his tenor’s strengths and feelings throughout the recital, do not linger morbidly or unnecessarily over each song; nor are they rushed. Runnicles allows the freshness of Kaufmann’s soft singing to take center stage (listen to “Traume”—it’s gorgeously dreamy) and he makes certain that the transparency in Wagner’s orchestration is at the fore. The understanding that they both—and Kaufmann in particular—bring to these songs never seems out of place; the fact that it is a man’s voice never jars. The sound on this recording and the playing of the Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin are peerless. As the joke goes, I wish I could jack up the scorecard and give this CD an “11-11”.


Tracklisting:

Die Walküre
01. Ein Schwert Verhieß Mir Der Vater (Erster Aufzug)
Siegfried (Original Version)
02. “Daß der mein Vater nicht ist…Du holdes Voglein!” (Zweiter Aufzug)
Rienzi (Original Version)
03. “Allmächt’ger Vater, blick herab” (Act 1)
Tannhäuser (Original Version)
04. “inbrunst Im Herzen” (Dritter Akt)
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Original Version)
05. “Am stillen Herd” (Act 1)
Lohengrin (Original Version)
06. “in Fernem Land, Unnahbar Euren Schritten” (Dritter Aufzug)
Wesendonck-Lieder
07. Der Engel
08. Stehe still
09. Im Treibhaus
10. Schmerzen
11. Träume

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