Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Franz [Vienna] Schubert, Felix  Mendelssohn, Kristian Bezuidenhout|
Genres: Pop, Classical
Listen to Samples
A Young Tenor with a Pleasing Voice and Intelligence
J Scott Morrison | Middlebury VT, USA | 10/25/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jan Kobow is a young German tenor, born in Berlin, initially studying organ and church music at conservatory before switching to vocal studies. His singing and the sound of his voice reminds me of the young Peter Schreier. He has sung on a number of Bach cantata CDs and has recorded with some acclaim Die Schöne Müllerin for Atma Classique. Here he follows it up with Schubert's Schwanengesang collection and six Mendelssohn lieder to texts of Heinrich Heine. His voice is notable for its light sweetness. He has wonderful diction, has clearly thought deeply about the texts he is singing, and sounds like what he is, a young man. The latter was one of the notable features of his Schöne Müllerin disc and it stands him in good stead here as well. Granted these are Schubert's 'swan songs' but then Schubert himself never got beyond young manhood and his approach was always that of a young man. Kobow is most effective in the songs of a lighter, more lyrical nature such as Liebesbotschaft and Ständchen. He is suitably carefree in Abschied and the "ade's" ring out with joy. He is marginally less effective in the more dramatic songs such as Kriegers Ahnung. Still these are all more than acceptable performances. The same goes for the lovely Heine songs, including the most famous of them, Auf Flügeln des Gesanges (On Wings of Song), which Kobow inflects with tenderness.
Kobow is accompanied sensitively by Kristian Bezuidenhout. He plays a fortepiano constructed by Paul McNulty after a Conrad Graf instrument from ca. 1819. It is a nice-sounding instrument whose sound is enriched by the slightly over-reverberant acoustic; the recording was made in the Andreaskirche, Berlin. I found this acoustic to be a bit wearing after a few minutes; I discovered I appreciated the recital more in short sessions of listening.
Jan Kobow is definitely a young singer to take notice of. I have not heard his Bach recordings but imagine he would be excellent in that repertoire.
Full texts in the original German and with French and English translations are provided.