Tonight sees baritone Simon Keenlyside revisit the second of Schubert’s two great songs cycles on Müller’s poems at London’s Wigmore Hall with Emanuel Ax. He last performed the masterpiece at the Wigmore Hall in 2002 with Graham Johnson at the piano, having embarked on a tour of the work together across Italy. The piece remains very close to Simon’s heart and he has noted it as “one of the most beautiful things ever written for voice”.
In 2003, Simon sang in Trisha Brown’s choreographed ‘Winterreise’ at the Holland, Mostly Mozart (New York), Lucerne and Melbourne festivals, and at the Barbican, London and La Monnaie, Brussels with pianist Pedja Muzijevic. These performances were highly acclaimed by the critics as being “a brilliant conception… [with] a mesmerizing potency” (Evening Standard), approaching “the sublime” (The Times), “And the marvel of Keenlyside is that while he’s singing this marathon of a tensely modulated, vividly imagined ‘Winterreise’, his body never loses its poise…the greatness of this ‘Winterreise’ lies in the fact they don’t shatter the score. They hold it and fix it in our memory” (The Guardian).
Simon also performed this mammoth work with Malcolm Martineau at the Edinburgh Festival back in 2003, where the press simply recognised that “this is a remarkable achievement…[with] astonishing intensity”.
So tonight is set to be a real treat for London concert goers. Further tour dates include: