Jonas Kaufmann rebooks his Four Last Songs

Jonas Kaufmann rebooks his Four Last Songs


norman lebrecht

October 11, 2017

The tenor has reinstated the Barbican concert he cancelled with bronchitis in February this year.

The BBC Symphony concert has been rescheduled for Saturday 19 May 2018 at 7.30 pm and will include:
Strauss Selected Songs
Elgar In The South
Strauss Four Last Songs

People who booked for the previous event will have a priority booking period, starting this morning.


  • Ungeheuer says:

    Why oh why is Kaufmann squandering his time and the audience’s by programming the VLL? In my world these songs lend themselves only to the female soprano voice. Anything else is an indulgence and an aberration.

    • Francois Joubert says:

      I completely agree. But then, he can always transpose Frühling down an octave and make the allegretto an Adagio. Sorry to be so catty about this, but heck, the L’Opera CD was baritone versions of tenor arias. Now a baritone version of 4LL? As my sister’s 4 your old would say: “Yuk!”

    • Liloloperaluv says:

      Why don’t you wait and hear it before you dismiss his performance? Those who similarly dismissed his solo Das Lied von der Erde, missed gaining a new perspective on that complex work. His Wesendonck lieder are wonderful, not necessarily “better” than the best female singers but on a par with them. If I hear a performance of a familiar work that satisfies or even thrills, should I ignore future versions? Definitely not!

      • Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

        Well, how should I explain…
        OK, let me put it this way: Do you have to ACTUALLY taste the shit in order to tell that it tastes shitty? But on the other hand, no one stops you to give a try. You are good to go.

  • Sanity says:

    What a shambles this is. But I suppose no-one will ask the questions that really need to be asked and he will stagger on for what little time remains to him.

    I await his debut in the Verdi baritone repertoire…

  • Patricia says:

    For goodness sake, why all this malicious chat. If you don’t like him, no one is forcing you to go hear him. There are plenty of others who enjoy his singing.

    • Sanity says:

      Oh, dear! You’re not related to Donald J. Trump, are you? The last I heard, everybody had a legal right to express their opinion. Or would you rather everyone just thought the same way as you?

      • Francois Joubert says:

        I had the Rene Kollo version of some of the 4LL – I gave that away too because it just didn’t sound right. I really love the music – and I shudder at the thought of a baritonal tenor trying to sing the phrase “Und die Seele Unbewacht”. I wonder what his compatriot Schwarzkopf would have thought of such an endeavor.

        He had trouble sounding like a tenor in his recent French album. I really didn’t like it. Maybe he is just one of those singers I don’t “get” – like Milanov, Vishnevskaya, Gruberova etc.

      • stweart says:

        Oh dear ! Handbags at dawn.

    • Christina says:

      I agree Patricia – as my Father once told me “unless you’re going to say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. I personally think Jonas Kaufmann is WONDERFUL – best singer ever, good looking and he can act too!!!

  • Ben says:

    If he and the conductor care to second-guess the great R. Strauss’s score, they may as well perform the Mahler 3rd together, with a men’s choir and a girl’s choir.

    In fact, Jonas is sexist! No man shall take away any employment opportunity that is intended for woman!!!! I am going to make a fist whenever the German national anthem is played!!!!!


    P.S. Mirga should have hired the Chipmunks to sing the Mahler 4th when she conducts Philadelphia in 2018. I am disappointed that she will honor Mahler’s original score instead. 🙂

  • George Marcus says:

    Strauss was infatuated with the sonority of the female voice.
    LVL are definitely for hoarse tenors on their way to become neo-baritones

  • Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

    I’m looking forward to his role debut as Isolde and Brünnhilde.
    Also, I hope he can make a recording of Beethoven 9th symphony where he sings all the solo parts.

  • Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

    Arthur Grumiaux is Jonas Kaufmann’s role model.
    The art of One Man Show:

  • Bruce says:

    Kaufmann would make an interesting and sexy Carmen. Just sayin.

    • Analeck Kram-Hammerbauer says:

      Tell us more about your storyline. Maybe Herr Kaufmann is reading and he will bring it to the stage.

    • John Borstlap says:

      A regietheater director would certainly create a PC version in which minorities finally get their operatic due, but on stage this time.