HOW I DISCOVERED JONAS
This recording was the first time I ever heard Jonas's voice and I have never forgotten it. I knew nothing about him, had never even heard his name, and was sent his Strauss album to review, and out came this...voice. Blimey, guv....
WORDS OF WISDOM
Here are some choice quotes from my interview with him exactly three years ago, for BBC Music Magazine. It was February 2014 in New York, it was sodding freeeezing, the snow was piled six and a half feet high around the sidewalks and I turned up in a thick jumper, a hat that wrecks my hair and snow boots. He was rehearsing Werther intensively, but looked fresh as the proverbial daisy. We talked mainly about Winterreise. Also...
JK: “One of the key ingredients to make an audience suffer with you, feel with you, to make things credible and look and sound natural is that you must really believe in it. You need to fill up these wonderful compositions with sense, meaning and genuine emotion.
“I always refer to Herbert von Karajan’s words when he said that what we’re seeking as musicians is ‘controlled ecstasy’. The world around you – including yourself – has to believe that you are a hundred per cent this other person and only when this happens is it something real. But it’s a game, and at the beginning you don’t know how far you can go before you lose control.
“This feeling of almost flying, of almost convincing yourself you’re this other person, that’s what makes this job so exciting – and also in the end so easy, because since you ‘are’ that person, all the words you are singing or saying make total sense.”
(For the rest, order the relevant issue of the magazine here.)
Better? Let's have some appropriately Wintersturmerish Wagner, with thanks to the excellent quality of Medici.tv...
AND A SPOT OF LEHÁR WITH PLÁCIDO
If this next one doesn't work, nothing will! Come on, SMILE....
Last but not least, here is my dad's hot toddy recipe. Should dispel a cold in moments.
1 measure brandy (more if necessary)
A spoon of apricot jam, to taste (or alternative flavour, or honey)
A slice of lemon
Put ingredients into a mug. Fill with hot water. Stir well. Enjoy while listening to Meistersinger.