Friday, December 21, 2012

Gratuitous Friday – Sándor Kónya is Lohengrin

Following up the Italian opera in German (Sull' aria on Sunday) and on last week's discussion at the Earworm opera blog, here is some German opera in Italian. In his recent Lohengrin interview, Jonas Kaufmann discussed the Italian-ness of the opera. He advises young singers starting to work on the role to learn a few pages of it in Italian, in order to work on line. Elaborating on his theory, Kaufmann named Sándor Kónya as a “perfect interpreter” of the role. Lo and behold, Kónya did sing the role in Italian. (Apparently, it was always sung in Italian in Italy up through the 1960s.) 

I was surprised, hearing this clip (it’s hard to find Wagner in Italian) how Italianate this music does sound. For contrast, I also found a recording of Kónya singing this same aria in German. I wouldn't want to hear Lohengrin exclusively in Italian, but I think hearing it sung this way makes a strong case for calling Lohengrin the most Italian of Wagner's operas. 

in Italiano: Da voi lontan (audio only)

auf Deutsch: Im Fehrnen Land

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