The Sunday Times
Hugh Canning
Bizet — Carmen
Rattle’s Berliners offer a dynamic Vorsprung durch Technik Carmen for the British conductor’s wife, Magdalena Kozena, who sings Bizet’s sultry gypsy in a restrained, quasi-Mozartian style. The Czech mezzo is a subtle, intelligent singer with not-bad French, but she never convincingly suggests she is inside the skin of the part, and sounds ill-matched to Jonas Kaufmann’s unhinged, fearsomely intense José in their final confrontation. The German tenor is the main reason for acquiring this set, but Genia Kühmeier’s ­pure-toned, if Germanic, Micaëla is easy on the ear.

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