Jonas Kaufmann’s first note alone is a good reason to buy this new recording of Beethoven’s stirring opera. The note arrives early in Act II, when the hero Florestan, a political prisoner, is introduced chained in his underground dungeon. “Gott!” the wonder German tenor sings, unaccompanied, in a remarkably piercing and forceful crescendo, the musical equivalent of a widening chink of light suddenly thrown into the prisoner’s dank gloom. The effect makes your jaw drop, your pulse pause, your hairs stand on end. – Geoff Brown of The Times reviewing the new Fidelio recording with Kaufmann and Nina Stemme.
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