Non-subscription concert chamber music
“Kaufmann conjures up miniature works of art – differentiated, thoughtful and highly intelligent,” reported Kulturradio rbb following Jonas Kaufmann’s first recital at the invitation of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation in the main auditorium of the Philharmonie in February 2012. His programme of songs by Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and Henri Duparc delighted the audience so much that seven encores were demanded from the tenor. Kaufmann is currently among the most sought-after opera tenors internationally – the Berliner Philharmoniker engaged him as Don José for their production of Carmen in 2012 – yet the art song also has a special significance for him. The genre of song is – according to the artist – the most sacred art, and at the same time, not the easiest form of music making. From the beginning of his career, the tenor has worked with pianist and accompanist Helmut Deutsch. While studying music, Deutsch was Kaufmann’s teacher, and today the two form a close artistic partnership. What does the pianist particularly appreciate in his former student? “In song, he can show subtle shades, but the heroic is not in short supply either.” In Franz Schubert’s Winterreise, it is not a hero who undertakes the journey, but a profoundly hurt, introverted man – alone, abandoned, tired of life. The mood of the cycle is of grief and pain, and for the singer and pianist, the artistic challenge is to perform all 24 songs with different variations of these emotions.