Hot on the heels of Vittorio Grigolo’s debut disc comes the latest from Kaufmann, the world’s leading tenor. The two are so different in personality and repertoire that there is no real competition – but it’s impossible not to notice differences of timbre and style.
Grigolo has Donizetti and Verdi in his blood; Kaufmann sings Giordano (“Come un bel dì di maggio”), Leoncavallo (“Vesti la giubba”), Mascagni (“Mamma!”) and others with lusty good taste, but can’t hide his north-of-the-Alps timbre.
This hardly matters when you are being seduced by his looks in the theatre, but if you listen on CD to Del Monaco or Corelli, you recognise the real thing. The most Italianate quality on Kaufmann’s disc is the Santa Cecilia Orchestra’s accompaniments under Antonio Pappano.