Three very different voices, three very different interpretations, and in three languages!
Lemeshev is the rare tenor who can float his voice so ethereally that we forget that singing is a physical process. I want to award him a special prize for this every time I hear him. His is the dreamiest - in the literal sense - version of this aria imaginable; he seems to be off somewhere in his own mind, imagining or remembering something. It's enchanting, and it's not an unreasonable approach, given that Werther is reading a poem. The passion in the music is slighted, though.
Thill is impeccable, as he usually is. Sometimes I think that nothing else needs to be said about any Thill performance. I won't say that this makes him boring - he's too fine and sensitive a musician, and always worth hearing - but I never find much imagination in his renderings, and I get no sense of him as an individual or, here, of Werther as a character.
Schipa? Unmistakably an individual, offering total involvement, both poetic and passionate, and a piquant, oboe-like vocal timbre impossible to mistake for any other. Lemeshev and Thill may both be more perfect singers, but Shipa seems to me to do the fullest justice to the music and drama. I can't ask for more.