Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jonasabend at Théâtre des Champs Élysées

The other day Elina Garanca was ill and had to cancel both her concerts in Baden Baden and at Pleyel, Paris. I can only imagine the mess the organizers at Pleyel had to deal with after that cancellation as she was coming with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra...

We kept our fingers crossed for tonight's liederabend with Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch, and hoped no last minute surprise --like last week  in Barcelona-- would stand on the way to a superb Liederabend. These two exceptional artists gave us a magnificent concert two years ago at Opéra Garnier, and the tonight's concert was just a confirmation that Jonas is at his best in this form of recital.

This was 1 hour and a half of pure beauty, in front of the crowd of 1,920.  They performed the full opus of Die schöne Müllerin in one go. You could hear a pin drop...

In the end, what to say? He really is an exceptional singer.

Have a look at his sched and if these two guys happen to perform somewhere near you, do not miss it. Pure gem!

The story of Die schöne Müllerin:
At the beginning of the cycle, a young journeyman miller wanders happily through the countryside. He comes upon a brook, which he follows to a mill. He falls in love with the beautiful miller's daughter (the "Müllerin" of the title), but who is out of his reach as he is only a journeyman. He tries to impress her, but her response seems tentative. The young man is soon supplanted in her affections by a hunter clad in green, the colour of a ribbon he gave the girl. In his anguish he experiences an obsession with the colour green, then an extravagant death fantasy in which flowers sprout from his grave to express his undying love. In the end, the young man despairs and drowns himself in the brook. The last number is a lullaby sung by the brook. The question remains: is the brook really the miller's friend or is it a friend like Mephistopheles in the Faust legend, who leads the miller to his downfall and destruction?

and all 20 poems with translation are available here.

Helmut Deutsch and Jonas Kaufmann after Die schöne Müllerin at Théâtre des Champs Elysées (October 14, 2010)


  1. I am amazed at how quickly you have posted your impressive review and photos of the Jonas Kaufmann and Helmut Deutsch concert at the TCE this evening! What a wonderful experience for the 1,920 attendees!

    Thank you!

  2. Glad it went so well :-) Really sorry to have missed this... stupid strike!!! (my TGV got cancelled :-().. and totally with you there on the Liederabend, there never are enough with these two as far as i am concerned!

    There are still plenty of tickets left for the Maestranza in Sevilla... if only it weren't a weekday...

  3. Ah strike... You wouldn't believe the amount of adrenalin you need to spend to get to the airport.

    I'm gonna make it, I'm gonna make it...
    Let's hope my next post will be from Copenhagen!
    Cheers (and yes, Jojo's concert was truly fantastic)

  4. Glad you were lucky.... I had a ticket to the Barcelona recital. :(((( was really upset when he cancelled... apparently they are rescheduling but I'm not sure if I can go... my only hope is to have it on the 2 April 2011 :))) as I have ticket to those dates... I'm so sad I missed it...

  5. oh my God, what I would not have given to be there... I am on a waiting list for Wigmore Hall, but it will never happen... so I will have to just stick to my recording...

  6. What can I tell you guys except that I wish you the best of luck to score the ticket and to have Jonas healthy to perform. It really is worth it!

    This kind of format (Liederabend) is what Jonas is best at. His recitals with arias from various operas are OK, but the atmosphere of intimacy and the "music matters only" kind of feeling is nowhere when compared to this kind of recital format.

    Plus he's truly a nice guy...

  7. where is April 2? is it Schone Mullerin? I have ticket to Los Angeles (I live in the US) but it is an orchestra concert, no program announced.... and yes, he is an incredibly nice guy...

  8. And don't forget their 4 encores:

    Die Jüngling an der Quelle D 300
    Die Forelle D 550
    Der Lindenbaum, from Winterreise (fantastic!!!)
    Der Musensohn D 764

  9. Not only 4 encores but then another hour or so meeting and signing for fans.

    As this concert had already been postponed from earlier in the year for various reasons and with Jonas's recent illness, the omens were not promising. I've only been to a handful of Jonas's performances and never to a liederabend, being more interested in opera. But I am now fully converted. You're right; this sort of programme really does show off his voice, talent and communication at its best. It was a wonderful, beautiful evening in every way. Thanks for posting.