Buffalo News, March 07, 2010
Mary Kunz Goldman
Schubert, Die Schoene Muellerin, Jonas Kaufmann, tenor, Helmut Deutsch, piano (Decca)
Jonas Kaufmann, handsome and fortysomething, is sort of an “it-tenor” around Europe whose fame has not spread much to this country. The Munich-born singer made a flap a while ago about being promoted as eye candy—but, I mean, if you do not want to be promoted as eye candy, do not pose like eye candy, you know? None of this hype gets in the way of his singing. Everyone who loves Schubert, which I do, is fussy about his bittersweet song cycle “Die Schoene Muellerin.” Kaufmann gets it right. He is natural and, joined by old pro Helmut Deutsch—who also accompanies Matthias Goerne—he lets the songs’ youthful, guileless emotions shine. His voice, too, lends itself well to this music. It’s a rich low-timbred tenor, almost a baritone, and its robust, good-natured strength makes the cycle’s tragedy that much more heartbreaking. The last song is incredible.

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