Saturday, 1 November 2014

Franz Schubert, Winterreise - Simon Keenlyside, Emanuel Ax

Performance 30th October

This thursday Schubert's Winterreise cycle was performed at the great hall of the Mozarteum. Simon Keenlyside sang together with Emanuel Ax on the piano. The Winterreise is a very dark and serious song cycle with many very touching songs. Keenlyside's interpretation was very interesting and showed many extraordinary details. His baritone voice has a very strong lower register and a surprisingly bright upper register. Very often he sang with his most upper register wich sometimes sounded a little bit unsecure and unsteady. He obviously was focused more on expression and persuasion than on the perfect tone. This might be risky, but totally worked out in his case. Moreover he was moving a lot and walking quite much. This gave a very restless and wandering impression which fits perfectly to the songs. I have not heard or seen the cycle being performed so vividly. The dynamic spectrum was huge. From the most delicate pianissimi to dramatic outbursts in songs like Muth or Der stürmische Morgen. I really enjoyed this evening although I am not really a big fan of Schubert songs. However, this performance was quite diverting and it could have gone on in my opinion. Keenlyside's Winterreise gets 7 stars.
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