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Jonas Kaufmann - Schubert: Winterreise / News & Observer review

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For the male classical singer, Franz Schubert's 1828 song cycle, Winterreise ("Winter Journey") is a tantalizing but elusive prize. Its 24 sections, telling the story of a rejected lover's torment, demand every skill in a singer's arsenal. In this 75-minute dramatic monologue, the performer must express minute gradations of emotion (anger, depression, false hope, death wishes), paying close attention to Wilhelm Müller's poetic texts and the composer's dynamic markings.There have been nearly 100 recordings of "Winterreise" over the years. Any new contender must inevitably be compared to the work's most lauded performer, German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, whose eight commercial recordings set the bar for subtlety and insight.

German singer Jonas Kaufmann, arguably today's top operatic tenor, enters the field with high marks. The sheer beauty, clarity and size of his voice count for a lot here, along with his astounding range, from mere whisper to thundering cry, all produced without strain or compromise. READ THE FULL News & Observer REVIEW.