Hot on the heels of their warmly received Lieder album, Selige Stunde , Jonas Kaufmann and pianist Helmut Deutsch have once again teamed up, this time to record songs by Liszt. Both have performed his works throughout their respective careers, and that experience and affinity with the composer is on ample display here.

Jonas Kaufmann
Lieder fans are likely to have caught at least one instalment in Hyperion’s excellent series of Liszt’s complete songs, so won’t be too struck by how singular – and perhaps uneven – his vocal music can be at times. Kaufmann and Deutsch have handpicked some of his very best however, and there’s hardly a dull moment for the listener. Most of Liszt’s vocal music can be described as “big”, and much of the challenge for the singer lies in navigating the emotional and expressive extremes.

Kaufmann more than rises to the occasion, sounding in handsome, clarion voice. There’s much less of the preciousness that used to dog even...