The article is about Jonas Kaufmann’s concert in the UK on 8 February, 2017 – something which it does not mention. The reviewer has a vast experience of writing for classical and opera repertoire, and has written an interesting read which provides balanced descriptive and analytical ideas, dealing with not only Kaufmann’s performance but also the other performer’s. As Wagner wrote operas that express “the most complex emotional and psychological issues” (Oxford Music Online, 2017) and thus made individual interpretations highly important, such comprehensive approach to the reviewing of this particular repertoire improves the qualitative aspects of the analysis. This is well illustrated in the last two paragraphs in which he discusses about advantages and disadvantages of Kaufmann and Matilda’s different styles on musical contents. Ashley also points out contextual information about Kaufmann’s health problems, which can be commonly found in other reviews of his concerts (Fairman, 2017; Christiansen, 2017). A well-known piece of information may it be, but it seems to make his critiques more justified, hence valid.
The article, written online, helps readers by providing various links to the important subjects – including the pieces, people, or groups – when it mentions them. It is, thus, engaging for them to read, as it encourages readers to understand descriptive terms in a more autonomous way. For instance, while some may find it difficult to imagine what Kaufmann’s “remarkable bronze ring in the tone” should sound like, they can listen to it from the provided YouTube link and have their own imaginations of the sound in the reviewed concert.
It is also obvious that readers actively engage with one another after reading the review, thanks to the publishing platform which has the comment section. The very opening statement that “Kaufmann has sung so little of” Wagner’s music in the UK incurred responses from people with different views (or factual knowledge), and other interpretative statements about the performance as well, though mostly in a moderate tone, can be good discussion materials. Overall, therefore, it appears a good review which conveys personal opinions and critical ideas in an appropriate and convincing stance.
Ashley, Tim. “Kaufmann/LSO/Pappano – magnificent, lyrical Wagner.” The Guardian. February 10, 2017, accessed February 25, 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/feb/09/jonas-kaufmann-lso-pappano-wagner-barbican-london-karita-mattila-die-walkure-eric-halfvarson
Christiansen, Rupert. “Jonas Kaufmann’s Barbican Hall concert proves he’s still the world’s greatest tenor -review.” The Telegraph. February 5, 2017, accessed February 25, 2017, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opera/what-to-see/jonas-kaufmanns-barbican-hallconcert-proves-still-worlds-greatest/
Fairman, Richard. “A brooding, romantic Jonas Kaufmann at the Barbican – The German tenor warmed to his task in an all-Wagner London concert.” Financial Times. February 11, 2017, Accessed February 25, 2017, https://www.ft.com/content/36539d10-eec4-11e6-ba01-119a44939bb6
“Wagner, Richard.” The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd ed. rev., Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press, accessed February 26, 2017, http://www.oxfordmusiconline.com.virtual.anu.edu.au/subscriber/article/opr/t237/e10834.