Opera is not known for holding back when dealing out passion
and, with the verismo composers such as Mascagni and
Leoncavallo, emotion, often at its most raw and tumultuous,
Jonas Kaufmann's Verismo Arias includes a few
favourites on its aria list. A searing Vesti la giubba
from Pagliacci is followed by a lusty drinking song from
The joys of this recording, however, lie in the discoveries
to be made. Romeo's tombside soliloquy from Zandonai's
Giulietta e Romeo is a heart-wrencher, so lush one is
surprised to find it dating from 1922.
When he lets forth with the hero's intense soul-searching in
Giordano's Andrea Chenier, Kaufmann has a focus and a
virility that could make the susceptible weak at the knees.
Yet there is such intimacy in Federico's lament from Cilea's
L'Arlesiana, its comparatively fragile scoring showcasing
the finesse of the Academy of Santa Cecilia orchestra under
conductor Antonio Pappano.