Rufus Müller, born in Kent, England, and described on his Web site, rufusmuller.com, as a British-German tenor, gave the strongest theatrical performance of a Bach Evangelist that I have encountered, and one of the most musical.
— The New York Times
...This was, after all, one of the world's great pianists.., and a Lieder singer to die for...Rufus Muller is a singer in the great German tradition. More—he embodies it...the long melodic line, the breath control, the light and shade and the glancing underscoring of telling words (I recalled Ernst Haefliger).
Rufus Müller’s creamily virile tenor cut a swathe through Soliman’s bravura arias.
— The Independent on Sunday
This dramatic tenor is everything an oratorio needs—clear, thrilling and dramatic in everything he did.
— Toronto Star
…the songs were…projected with a vocal freedom and interpretative eloquence that took the breath away.
— New York Magazine
Rufus Müller rose to the challenge of…the Evangelist with a performance of wonderful drama and passion
— Independent on Sunday
The tenor Rufus Müller was brilliant, with a ringing and cultivated delivery…glorious cantabile…technically masterful.
— Rheinische Neue Zeitung
…Müller’s heroic-toned Tamino phrases his Portrait aria poetically…
— The Sunday Times
Müller’s magnificent high tenor voice obliges one to question the limits and definitions of what a tenor is.
— As Folhas Ardem, Lisbon
Müller performed [Bach's Christmas Oratorio] with a calm, authoritative poise and a sure command. His ornamented lines were calibrated so precisely that from a less musical singer they might have sounded mechanical. From him, they were simply astonishing.
— Akron Beacon Journal
[With pianist Maria João Pires]…an evening of magical music-making beginning with a stunning performance of Beethoven’s Adelaide with Müller demonstrating not only a fine lyrical tone and immaculate diction, but also considerable reserves of sheer vocal power, a full operatic voice of remarkable quality.
— The Sunday Tribune
In a superlative, mostly American troupe of singers …. I was especially struck by the sweet intensity of Rufus Müller’s Evangelist.
— New York Observer
The role of the Evangelist introduced…tenor Rufus Müller to Cleveland, and it is probable he will be back sooner rather than later. With a voice both firm and clarion, Müller unfolded the story as a series of exuberant and mystical statements, finding all sorts of penetrating nuances within the text and projecting the English translation with exceptional clarity.
— The Plain Dealer
The English-born tenor is an accomplished stylist with a voice that blends charm of tone with unaffected ease of manner, and a discreet sensibility to work and phrase.
— The Times
Leopold Bloom’s Homecoming (2011) is a scena for tenor (sometimes speaking, sometimes singing) and piano, part of a varied series setting portions of Joyce’s Ulysses (Molly ManyBloom is available on Albany). Composed for Rufus Müller – who sings, narrates and declaims it with relish, nimbly accompanied by Jenny Lin – it is perhaps more of an acquired taste (like Joyce) but there is no denying the inventiveness of Bond’s setting. The performances throughout are well prepared and committed, from the virtuoso pianism of Olga Vinokur to the effortless ensemble of Chicago Pro Musica. An excellent disc and a benchmark for how contemporary music can be presented to a wider public.
Rufus Müller is a favourite of mine on recordings and I was looking forward to hearing him live. He didn’t disappoint: singing from memory (a remarkable feat of honesty, if not courage), he displayed extraordinary expressive control, tenderly shaping each phrase…His voice has an unusual, covered colour, reminiscent of recordings from the 30’s and 40’s.
— The Ottawa Citizen
The tenor Rufus Müller, as Evangelist and narrator of the pages which relate the last hours of Jesus Christ, established himself as the indisputable protagonist of the St. John Passion. Müller, without a score, told it with all the richness of means at his disposal, excelling himself in the moment when Peter weeps bitterly on realising that he has denied Jesus thee times…
— El Periòdico
…the portentous Evangelist of Rufus Müller. With disarming naturalness and simplicity (and singing from memory), this tenor was the perfect guide for the greatest story ever told: the bitter tears of Peter after the three denials, the tenderness when Jesus sees his mother at the foot of the cross, above all the last gasp of Christ, in which Müller left us with a lump in our throat. Impressive.
…the audience celebrated with a standing ovation…especially for the Evangelist, who delivered his role with precision and magnificent diction, with moving moments like that of Mary at the foot of the cross…
— La Vanguardia
…There is nothing like good company for a journey in the cold of winter, especially for a journey of love. And this is how they seem to have thought of it, the magnificent tenor Rufus Müller and the phenomenal pianist Maria João Pires, both well known in Barcelona. Müller sang the verses of his eponymous German poet with economy, with Britannic distinction…His phrasing shone in its unity of musical and textual direction. His whole narrative was full to the brim with inflections, from the sweetness of the beginning, all the way to his …description of the frozen landscapes or of the linden-tree, stirred by pianistic gusts of wind. The most relaxed phrase in Rast, the happiest in Frühlingstraum, always with dramatic flavour, with the contrast in the lower register, with the play between the distant pianissimo of the narrative voice and the more intense one of feelings….It is difficult to describe the poetic nature of this interpretation, which left the audience transported.., a version into which both interpreters were able to pour their expressiveness with the naturalness of the slow flowing of water…
— La Vanguardia
…the truth is that this evening was one of the most intense sessions of Lieder ever experienced in the Palau…The story of Winterreise is not happy, far from it, even if it could be considered cynical, but what Müller and Pires did was to drain it of all hope, offer it a cloak of monochord colour, a savage melancholy, a bottomless grief….This was a Winterreise full of possible interpretations, despite seeming at the start to be an incomprehensible monolith, sad and dreary. But once inside, ineluctably, the art hits you: the last song of the cycle, the always tremendous Der Leiermann, was the most devastating expression of pure grief made music. Unforgettable.
— El Periòdico
Rufus Müller… possesses a beautiful, not too gentle, characterful, lyric tenor voice. He interprets Winterreise not so much through expressive declamation as musical line, in which he embeds expression and the forces of intensification: not opera, but psychogram. At the same time, Müller treats it with care; the start of Gute Nacht has an almost tender resignation, and the singer’s reflexive abilities impress time and again. The “hot stingof the “worm(Rast) is unusually gentle, although here—as during the entire evening—his carefully applied mezzavoce was outstanding. These virtues, far from any personal showing off, came together in songs like Im Dorf, which I have seldom heard delivered with such griefstricken pain.
— Frankfurter Neue Presse
Of the soloists Rufus Müller was especially impressive. I can hardly imagine a more ideal Evangelist. His flexible and clear voice is an infallible instrument, played by an intelligent person with a great ability to project himself into the text.
— Utrechts Nieuwsblad
Rufus Müller’s Evangelist is superb in its animated lyricism (far from the standard figure of passive condolence).
— The Independent on Sunday
Rufus Müller [is] endowed with a most beautiful voice, which he uses to great effect in dramatic delivery
Rufus Müller drew the Peter Pears role of Sir Philip, Owen’s officer grandfather. … The part is softened somewhat by giving Müller the tenor role of the Ballad Singer who opens Act II…. Müller manages to blow hard (from the wings) as the furious general and then demonstrate his fine lyric gift in the ballad.
— Parterre Box
Tenor Rufus Muller, expertly sings the angry outbursts of the General and then switches gears to become the Narrator of the story, beautifully delivering the most melodious lines.