Jonas Kaufmann defeats himself

Jonas Kaufmann defeats himself


norman lebrecht

August 27, 2015

Remember that touching message from Jonas, asking you to buy his new Sony album rather than the recycled one from his former label, Decca?

Well, Decca’s Age of Puccini is topping the German charts this week, leaving Sony’s release puffing some way behind at number 2.

Decca are cock-a-hoop. Sony, on the other hand, say their album is not out yet in Germany. It has achieved second place in the charts on pre-orders alone.

kaufmann sony


  • Emil says:

    “Decca are cock-a-hoop. Sony, on the other hand, say their album is not out yet in Germany. It has achieved second place in the charts on pre-orders alone.”

    ??? And yet it is worth an article, comparing a CD which has not been released (and won’t be for another two weeks) to one which has been out for two weeks?

    In last night’s Bohème, Rodolfo was clearly more professional than Mimi, as he started singing earlier.

    In political news, David Cameron is clearly more popular than Merkel, as he was reelected this year while Merkel will only face election in 2017. This is how much sense this story makes.

  • Pedro says:

    The Sony DVD was already in the Salzburg shops during the early weeks of the Festival.

  • Pedro says:

    Sorry. CD not DVD.

  • Martha Dudrow says:

    Oh good grief. You are really straining to publish a negative here, aren’t you? The notice posted by Jonas Kaufmann on FB was a “caveat emptor” notice really, stating that the Decca cd was in fact not all Puccini but actually a re-packing of much of the Verismo cd. “THE AGE of Puccini does not say it IS Puccini, but with a fairly recent photo of the artist on the cover it would be easy for eager folks to be misled into thinking it was all Puccini. Your “story” is a misguided, non-sensical bit of foolishness. I anticipate that when the official release date rolls around, the REAL Puccini cd will leave Decca in the dust.

  • Greg from SF says:

    OK, Norman, for the benefit of non-Brits – what the heck does “cock-a-hoop” mean?
    Or is your blog meant strictly for the local trade?

    • V.Lind says:

      Do San Francisco computers not offer Google searches? Do you read anything other than blogs? I started looking up words I was not familiar with at the age of about ten, and did it consistently through my teen years as my reading stretched to works with ever more wide vocabularies. I also from childhood could read an unfamiliar word without breaking stride, as I could grasp context, but liked to make a list of unfamiliar words that I could look up later. (I rarely had to stop and hit the dictionary in order to progress). Looking things up was part of the pleasure of reading, as well as constantly broadening my vocabulary and comprehension skills so I could enjoy the richness of a writer’s approach.

      I recently found in a book I had kept since my early teens a list of pencilled words I had clearly had to look up at the time. I was about 13 or 14 when I first read the book. I was pleased that I would not have to look up any of the eight or ten words again, but unsurprised that a reader of that age would have had to — the novel was set at Oxford and many of the words were university terms.

      I grew up with the Oxford English Dictionary always within reach (it still is, and I have several editions, from the Compact to the Complete, the handiest being the two-volume Shorter). However I have found many good online sources, and have OneLook dictionary Search bookmarked.

      I checked out cock-a-hoop on Google for you and a good selection of definitions and word origins popped in the first few entries. I knew the term from my (British) childhood, but not the origin, and enjoyed learning the various theories. In such ways does one become educated.

      So your ignorance became, briefly, my bliss. Do write in if Norman flummoxes you again. Which, as you appear not to have been able to follow the post, seems likely.

  • norman lebrecht says:


  • Gloria says:

    The Sony cover makes Kaufmann look like someone from Mme Tussaud.
    Much ado about money?


    Those who follow Kaufmann’s career knew about this clash months ago when Decca first announced the reissue album’s contents. This is the 3rd Decca reissue (Best of, 50 Arias set). It must be legal or lawyers, not JK, would be speaking. Why did Sony wait until just before the Decca release? Same date-upmanship as Decca played. Prediction: another Gold (#3) for Sony, Decca & Sony collide on the way to the bank and JK cashes BOTH royalty checks.