Album review: Jonas Kaufmann, Wagner (Decca)


There's a moment, early on in “Ein Schwert verhiess mir der Vater”, the opening selection of this superb collection of Wagner arias and lieder, when Jonas Kaufmann, as Siegmund, lets out the huge, long cries of “Wälse!” with extraordinary power.

It's as if he's challenging us to think of any contemporary equal; and to be honest, I can't. It's one of a series of outstanding moments that confirm Kaufmann as the pre-eminent Wagnerian tenor of his era, including a breathtaking “In fernem Land”. He's helped throughout by the excellent Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin under Donald Runnicles, who demonstrate a natural grasp of the dramatic requirements for each aria. One of the year's landmark classical recordings.

Download: Ein Schwert verhiess mir der Vater; In fernem Land; Am stillen Herd