This imaginative album from Jonas Kaufmann contains not just
Viennese music but Viennese songs and arias about the city. It's
very well sung, with only a few signs of the vocal problems that
have afflicted him in recent years. It's also well accompanied
by the Vienna Philharmonic under Adám Fischer and, at 78
minutes, is excellent value.
The Johann Strauss items
include few of the usual suspects. The only well-known aria is
Franz Lehár's Lippen Schweigen from The Merry Widow, a duet with
It's good to be taken off the
beaten track with two songs by Robert Stolz, the last of the
waltz kings, and items by unknowns, at least to me, such as
Rudolf Sieczynski and Hans May. May's two songs come from a 1935
movie starring the ill-fated tenor Joseph Schmidt, who died aged
The second of these, Es Wird lm Leben... is very
touching and shows that Kaufmann is happy to engage with
Austria's murky past, as well as its joyous one.
with another Jewish composer, Georg Kreisler and his cynical
view of Vienna where, as Kaufmann says, Kreisler illuminates his
Vienna and his Jewish roots with a healthy dose of sarcasm.'