Is Jonas Kaufmann really an exceptional tenor?

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RE: Is Jonas Kaufmann really an exceptional tenor?

kev wrote:

Thanks naupilus.  I'll include YouTube as a reference source from now on. I'm hoping to be able to hear 'squillo' at home but JKH, page 1 #13 in this thread, suggests that the microphone cannot be relied upon.  Anyway, I'll try YouTube, Spotify, CD & vinyl.

(Ego - join the club - I usually think very carefully before posting here so as not to look too ridiculous.  And doesn't this forum trigger unpredicted activities?  When I woke up this morning, I had no idea I would be looking up Finite Element Analysis and digging out my Pavarotti vinyl).

Kev

I revert to YouTube because Spotify has no reach where I currently work and live - I am jealous! That said there are some amazing rarities on YouTube - you can find a copy of almost every CD issued, though usually somebody feels the need add pictorial representations. If only all the posters had synesthesia...

Good lord... vinyl has me thinking of my old Bush stacker and searching out rare lps. In 1982 it was 12 inch singles off Piccadilly Square in Manchester; 1983 it was mint copies of 60's Motown and 1985 I was to be found scanning the racks at Harold Moores. I have a vague recollection of seeing a disc of songs by Ives (DG) with Fisher-Dieskau and regretting not buying it.

Naupilus

RE: Is Jonas Kaufmann really an exceptional tenor?

Tagalie, thanks for your "thought", but I'm not dealing with "taste" and "opinions", when I have to face Music or Art. It's not a de haut  en bas approach either.

I can't neglect what I learned and what I have experienced some decades in dealing as seriously as it gets with Classical Music. I remember some older Opera cognoscenti in the late sixties, complaining about Decca's casting Windgassen in the Solti's Ring, claiming that he destroyed (!) the whole enterprise or that Hotter was too old for the Ring to deliver the role of Wotan, as it should be performed.

Nowadays, we listen to Mrs. Barker singing Mimi and, taking into account all the other aspects of the work, we can settle with something that, few decades ago, the producers wouldn't dare to record, even as a bargain CD (actually, even now, they confined themselves to issue only the DVD). In the fifties and onwards, dwindling towards the late seventies and early eighties, almost every Opera recording was an event thanks to the singers and conductors. Nowadays, with the exception of the Baroque and some modern Operas, we settle with the second best and with the all round balanced performances, where none excels, let alone be brilliant. I have seen quite a few modern Opera productions live in some quite respectable theatres (in Germany, US and Asia) and none made me thrilled or excited. They looked like movie or theatre productions, where anything mattered except the music and the singing, which were always settled to some degree of mediocrity or second best, in the happiest case.

Anyway, chacun a son gout, if that pleases you, but, frankly speaking, as I cannot imagine a Violin Concerto without a great soloist, I cannot envisage an Opera without great singers.

(By the way, I don't care if "others might think I'm missing a great deal of the total entertainment", because Opera and Clasical Music in general are and offer much more than mere entertainment; it's education, spiritual fulfillment and an intellectual uplifitng experience).

Parla

RE: Is Jonas Kaufmann really an exceptional tenor?

Thanks JKH, naupilus - I've had an enjoyable couple of hours browsing your suggestions on YouTube and am beginning to nail the squillo thing.  Here's something in particular that caught my attention:

'Listeners to "Opera Fanatic" on WKCR-FM voted for Favorite Tenor of the
Century. 47 singers received a grand total of 600 votes. Gigli came in
4th place. The first five places were:
1st: Corelli, with 185 votes or 30.8% of the vote
2nd: Björling 177 (29.5%)
3rd: Caruso 69 (11.5%)
4th: Gigli 50 (8.3%);
5th: Vickers 17 (2.8%)'

from YouTube -  search results for 'beniamino gigli'

p.s. Isn't 'refulgent' a fine word?  I'm trying to improve my understanding of classical music critics' vocabulary so any suggestions there would be gratefully received.

Jonas Kaufmann

parla wrote:

Tagalie, thanks for your "thought", but I'm not dealing with "taste" and "opinions", when I have to face Music or Art. It's not a de haut  en bas approach either.

Well, I tried, but the plastic budgie is upright once more.

As long as you keep thinking you’ve cornered the market on musical knowledge you’re going to keep inviting ridicule from those who choose not to ignore you.

 

 

RE: Is Jonas Kaufmann really an exceptional tenor?

I believe personal taste and opinion(s) come after the very important issue of perception of Classical Music, Opera, Chamber Music, etc. This is what I care for. And I try to see if we can...converge, Tagalie.

Music has not been built on taste and opinions...only. They are both useful as long as we may one day understand how we perceive (which are the elements, the features of) Music and its genres.

So, live the "ridicule" and those who wish to "ignore" me aside. They contribute less than they think.

Parla

RE: Jonas Kaufmann

tagalie wrote:

parla wrote:

Tagalie, thanks for your "thought", but I'm not dealing with "taste" and "opinions", when I have to face Music or Art. It's not a de haut  en bas approach either.

Well, I tried, but the plastic budgie is upright once more.

As long as you keep thinking you’ve cornered the market on musical knowledge you’re going to keep inviting ridicule from those who choose not to ignore you.

 

Tagalie, you might have been absent when I similarly tried to temper the zeal of the omniscient One. I proffered pretty much the same advice. I even went so far as to sympathise with Him when everyone else was putting the knife in over the Messiaen plagiarism affair. But He's so thick-skinned that even a knife scarcely suffices.

RE: Jonas Kaufmann

guillaume wrote:

 

Tagalie, you might have been absent when I similarly tried to temper the zeal of the omniscient One. I proffered pretty much the same advice. I even went so far as to sympathise with Him when everyone else was putting the knife in over the Messiaen plagiarism affair. But He's so thick-skinned that even a knife scarcely suffices.

Join the club!

( I do have a soft spot for him though, despite everything.)

Vic.

RE: Is Jonas Kaufmann really an exceptional tenor?

You will still have some time to get to know me further.

For the time being, I still enjoy your mislead perception not only on certain aspects of music but on people you happen to "meet" in an internet forum. Intriguing and, in a way, fascinating.

Going back to the substance, I just learned, experienced and still believe that, let's say, in a Cello Concerto the cellist will make all the difference or the damage (I cannot imagine we can have a successful performance of Dvorak's Cello Concerto with a poor soloist while the rest, namely Conductor, Orchestra, Venue, lighting, acoustics, etc. are perfect. On the contrary, I attended, in early seventies, a performance of the said concerto with Rostropovich with a middle of the road Orchestra, an unknown conductor and in an adverse venue. Still, the audience got crazy with the performance.). In the same way, I cannot imagine how in a genre, where the voices play a very crucial and so predominant role, we can be happy with every other factor involved, most of the time not even a musical one (visual effects, direction, staging, lighting, costumes even dancing) and we can settle for a second rate voice, without feeling even a sense of void or less satisfaction.

However, if that's your perception (even if you wish to call it "taste" or "opinion"), fine. So be it...for you. I simply cannot follow.

Parla

 

RE: Is Jonas Kaufmann really an exceptional tenor?

3 things really made me laugh on this, I trawled through nearly the whole conversation:

1) Ben Heppner as a starving Fidelio - I actually burst out laughing at that

2) Apalling use of grammar and spelling - totally irrelevant but nonetheless I  loved the "See me in my room"

3) Squillo - thanks for the explanation, which was "what Pavarotti had lost in the Chenier recording" - brilliant, that helps then!

Nice way to start the week. Opera comedy

thanks all

 

 

RE: Jonas Kaufmann

Tagalie wrote:

Well, I tried, but the plastic budgie is upright once more.

Hilarious.

I've kept out of this one (like Vic) been there all too often.

Pause for thought.

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