Jonas Kaufmann, “You Mean the World to Me” (Sony) - Weekend

Jonas Kaufmann, “You Mean the World to Me” (Sony)

Is there anything Jonas Kaufmann can’t do?

Jonas-KaufmannThe great German tenor has long since conquered the worlds of grand opera and classical recital. Now he turns his talents with equal success to lighter fare, on an album of German operetta and film songs from 1925-35.

Those years marked a period of tremendous cultural creativity until it was brought to a screeching halt by the ascension of the Nazis, who forced many of the composers and performers into exile.

The album is a delight from start to finish — and full of discoveries for the casual listener. Beyond more familiar works by Franz Lehar, we get to hear songs by lesser names like Ralph Benatzky, Robert Stolz and Hans May.

Kaufmann, accompanied by Jochen Rieder conducting the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, lightens his voice wonderfully well when the numbers call for seductive crooning. But he is equally good at summoning heroic stamina. (AP)

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