I listen and I think to myself, "I'm supposed to think of something to say."
Sometimes the singing of Jonas Kaufmann makes my heart hurt. His German diction is extremely beautiful. It is in every way exactly as I would wish it to be. The vowels are exactly where they should be. The consonants are clear and entirely missing the absurd spitting one hears everywhere today. Singing is in the vowels. Meditate deeply on the vowels. Speech must always be in the service of melody. Always.
I wouldn't so much sound like a lecture if what everyone else is doing wasn't so unmusical. I see that Vesselina Kasarova is singing Octavian again after complaining about the speech song she didn't like, and everyone told her it had to be. Ochs perhaps, but no one else. I advised Mozart. I hope very much that when she sings him again she will feel better about it.
German can be beautiful. Recite Goethe to yourself. "Kennst du das Land wo die Zitroenen bluehn." That is his genius. German was never so beautiful before or since.
But Jonas knows all this. He feels the beauty of his language. If I listen to his Wagner, perhaps I will learn to love it, too. As long as I am not required to have religious discussions. I don't feel respect for Wagner as a philosopher and insist on treating his operas as I would anyone else's.
And then there's the beauty of his voice. Die ist seltsam.
He also phrases with the words, like a great actor. Highly recommended.
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