Financial Times, March 31, 2017
Richard Fairman
Mahler: Das Lied von der Erde — ‘an interesting, one-off experiment’
Jonas Kaufmann sings both the tenor and low-voice songs in this live recording played by the Vienna Philharmonic

“It can’t be done,” said some. “Why does he want to?” asked others.

When star Wagnerian tenor Jonas Kaufmann announced that he was going to sing both the tenor and low-voice (mezzo or baritone) songs in Das Lied von der Erde the anticipation was immense.

In this live recording, played with shimmering detail by the Vienna Philharmonic under Jonathan Nott, we can hear how it turned out.

As expected, Kaufmann is glorious in the tenor songs. In those for lower voice he sings with the same, unaffected sensitivity, but the voice itself sounds unvaryingly grey.

An interesting, one-off experiment.

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