Jonas Kaufmann Antonio Pappano The Puccini AlbumJonas Kaufmann
Nessun dorma. The Puccini Album

Kristine Opolais, soprano; Massimo Simeoli, baritone; Antonio Pirozzi, bass

Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Antonio Pappano, conductor

Sony, 2015

In Nessun dorma. The Puccini Album, Jonas Kaufmann performs an aria or duet from every opera of Giacomo Puccini which requires a tenor part, combining the most famous and beloved works to the less known and rare.

Kaufmann is perhaps one of the most extraordinary cases of our time because, despite his sui generis technique and some defects, knows how to impose himself and how to be appreciated for his beautiful dark timbre and strong personality, which becomes forceful in De Grieux (I refer in particular to Ah! Manon mi tradisce) and poetic in Cavaradossi (Recondita armonia), to end with fine delicacy in La Bohème (O soave fanciulla) and Turandot (Non piangere, Liù); this last is perhaps Kaufmann’s highest achievement. In Calaf’s next aria, the famous Nessun dorma, the sweetness and the strength of a firm and, if I may say so, unrestrainable singing are mixed in equal measure. A nice surprise is Le Villi’s aria, Torna ai felici dì, in which it is particularly remarkable the expression of the long sentence «nel cor io non ho che tristezza e terror», which Kaufmann ends with a cry of fright, while Firenze è come un albero fiorito (Gianni Schicchi) brings a note of liveliness.

In every aria expressiveness, phrasing and perfect vocal line, rich and sumptuous, are remarkable, but what really charms you are the pianissimi.

The album includes the collaboration with artists of exceptional value such as the magnificent soprano Kristine Opolais. The direction of Antonio Pappano is a wonderful accompaniment, but it is so intense and meticulous that could very well stand alone.

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