[ Sony Classical / CD ]
Release Date: Sunday 1 October 2017
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Jonas Kaufmann pays homage to a magnificent era of opera that defined musical splendor and elegance, in his new album of 19th-century French opera arias and duets. His selection of music for tenor spans this momentous period, starting with "Rachel, quand du Seigneur" from Halévy's La Juive (1835), through two of Bizet's greatest works, "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" from Carmen (1875) and "Au fond du temple saint" from Les Pêcheurs de perles (1863), by way of Gounod's "Ah! lève-toi, soleil!" from Roméo et Juliette (1867) and ending with the latest aria "Pourquoi me réveiller" from Massenet's masterpiece Werther (1892). Plus many more along the way. "The French operatic repertory is very close to my heart," says Kaufmann. "This fascinating music reflects a unique period in European culture. I didn't want to choose only highlights for this album but also works and roles that have been key experiences for me. Wilhelm Meister in Mignon, for example, was my first major French role - I sang it in Toulouse in 2001. Carmen and Werther helped to open doors for me. The fact that I sang my first Werther at the Paris Opéra of all places, as a German surrounded by a French ensemble, was undoubtedly rather risky, but I had some excellent guides to help me: répétiteurs, colleagues, conductors and, not least, the recordings of the legendary French tenor Georges Thill."
"There should be no carping at his finely judged phrasing, his psychological acuity and, when he hits a sweet spot, sheer seductive swagger. His and Tézier's searing delivery of the famous duet from Bizet's The Pearl Fishers is as good as any you will hear on record...As the repertoire gets heavier, so the album builds to a terrific climax." The Times, 8th September 2017 ****
La Damnation de Faust, Op. 24: Merci, doux crépuscule!
Inutiles regrets…En un dernier naufrage (from Les Troyens)
La fleur que tu m'avais jetée (from Carmen)
C'est toi, toi qu'enfin je revois (from Les pêcheurs de perles)
Au fond du temple saint (from Les Pêcheurs de Perles)
Ludovic Tézier (baritone)
L'amour, l'amour... Ah, lève-toi soleil (from Roméo et Juliette)
Rachel, quand du Seigneur (from La Juive)
Puisqu'on ne peut flêchir (from Le roi d'Ys)
Vainement, ma bien-aimée (from Le roi d'Ys)
Traduire ! Ah ! Bien souvent mon rêve s'envole… Pourquoi me réveiller (Werther)
Enfin Manon, nous voilà enfin seuls ensemble... En fermant les yeux (from Manon)
Toi ! Vous ! Oui ! Je fus cruelle… N'est-ce plus ma main (from Manon)
Sonya Yoncheva (soprano)
Ah! Tout est bien fini... O souverain (from Le Cid)
Pays merveilleux... Ô paradis (from L'Africaine)
O Dieu, de quelle ivresse (from Les contes d'Hoffmann)
Elle ne croyait pas, dans sa candeur naïve (from Mignon)