The Star-Ledger, October 11, 2013
Ronni Reich
The Verdi Album
There is no shortage of recordings to celebrate Verdi'€™s bicentennial, but Jonas Kaufmann provides a worthy addition to the collection.

He brings an uncommonly deep, full sound to "La donna e mobile" from "Rigoletto," giving the upbeat melody a sense of playfulness as well as smooth legato lines. His sustained "Celeste Aida" from "Aida" is just as well sung, with a breathtaking final decrescendo. Kaufmann'€™s tone has an intriguing variety of dark, grainy and golden qualities and his phrasing is consistently thoughtful, whether building suspense while singing of windswept seas in "Un ballo in maschera" or of vengeance in "I Masnadieri." He supplies power and drama to the recitative of an Act II scene from "Luisa Miller" and vividly conveys tremulousness, vulnerability and intensity in its aria. He sings of heartbreak even more affectingly in selections from "Otello." Kaufmann's blend with baritone Franco Vassallo in a "Don Carlo" duet sounds effortless, and he also has sensitive partners in the Orchestra dell'Opera di Parma and conductor Pier Giorgio Morandi.

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