All Music Guide
by James Leonard
Jonas Kaufmann (tenor), Helmut Deutsch (piano)
Harmonia Mundi HMC 901879
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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