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2002.08.23 – Recital, Salzburg Festival: Angelika Kirchschlager, Julius Drake


Mozarteum (Großer Saal), Salzburg Festival
23 August 2002

Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo)
Simon Keenlyside (baritone)
Julius Drake (piano)

Franz Schubert:
Lambertine   AK
Der liebliche Stern (The lovely star)   AK
Die Einsiedelei (The hermitage)  SK
Der Wanderer an den Mond (The wanderer to the moon)   SK

Robert Schumann:
Er und sie (He and she)  AK, SK
Schön ist das Fest des Lenzes (The feast of springtime is nice)  AK, SK
In der Nacht (At night)  AK, SK
Wiegenlied am Lager eines kranken Kindes (Lullaby at the cradle of a sick child)  AK, SK

Peter Cornelius:
Der beste Liebesbrief (The best loveletter)  AK, SK

Hugo Wolf:
Der Knabe und das Immlein (The boy and the honey-bee)  SK
Ein Stündlein wohl vor Tag (An hour before daybreak)  AK
In der Frühe (Early in the morning)  SK
Auf einer Wanderung (On a walking-tour)  SK
An die Geliebte (To the beloved one)  SK
Lebe wohl (Good bye)  AK
Lied eines Verliebten (Song of an enamoured man)  AK
Der Jäger (The hunter)  SK
Bei einer Trauung (At a wedding)  SK
Begegnung (Meeting)  AK

Robert Schumann:
Ballade des Harfners (Ballad of the harper)  SK
Lied der Mignon II – Heiß mich nicht reden (Mignon’s song – Don’t ask me to speak)  AK
Lied der Mignon III – So lasst mich scheinen (Mignon’s song – Let me appear like this)  AK
Mignon’s Gesang (Mignon’s song – Do you know the land)  AK

Franz Schubert:
Mignon und der Harfner (Mignon and the harper)   AK, SK
Ganymed  SK
Suleika II  AK

Johannes Brahms:
Ständchen (Serenade)  SK
Vor dem Fenster (In front of the window)  AK, SK
Dein blaues Auge hält so still (Your blue eyes are so calm)  AK
Auf dem Kirchhofe (In the churchyard)  SK

Peter Cornelius:
Ich und Du (Me and you)  AK, SK

Johannes Brahms:
Es rauschet das Wasser (The water is rustling)  AK, SK
Der Jäger und sein Liebchen (The hunter and his sweetheart)  AK, SK


Franz Schubert:
L’incanto degli occhi (The magic of the eyes)  SK

[please do contact us if you know what other encores there were]

What the critics say

Salzburger Nachrichten, 26th August 2002 (Reinhard Kriechbaum)

Translated by Ursula Turecek.

High Art of Lieder singing

Angelika Kirchschlager and Simon Keenlyside: A recital of exquisite literary taste in the Grosser Saal of the Mozarteum

“Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt” – there are six settings of Goethe’s „Mignon und der Harfner“ alone by Schubert. The one for two voices may be less known but it is one of the most expressive versions. Like a shadow, the male voice traces the melody sung by the partner, following tightly in close imitation. This gives the impression of an outline inserted with dark pencil. – In their recital at the Mozarteum on Friday, Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo soprano) and Simon Keenlyside (baritone) kept track of songs for two voices. But the programme was not intended to be an exhibition of rarities, let alone of oddities.

Nine songs for two voices were included organically into a very opulent series of solo songs, compiled with literary taste from the “classic” canon between Schubert and Hugo Wolf. Recitals like this, conceived with consideration and concentrating on the genre “German Lied” have become extremely rare.

The principal theme was love, of course: enthusiasm and uncertainty, diffident or vehement approach, withdrawal, disappointment. Inward dispositions and contemplation from outside, especially in Hugo Wolf with a strong lacing of irony – two ambitious interpreters of lieder have the possibility to act out many facets here.

Simon Keenlyside (Papageno in Salzburg’s „Magic Flute“) is a considerate lieder singer who works very deliberately with timbres. He draws much expression from changes of register and puts the different shades of the voice very purposefully into the service of literature. Angelika Kirchschlager acts definitively more carefree, she heads for the respective atmospheres directly but always with charm.

For Schubert’s „Lambertine“, a tale of amatory doubts with a strong relief of emotions, she brings the necessary flexibility and for “great” songs like Mignon’s “Kennst du das Land” (here in a version by Schumann) or “Suleika II” by Schubert the adequate operatic gesture. But she did not achieve a drawing as subtle and dignified as Simon Keenlyside’s in “Ganymed” where the inventive linguistic pictures were immediately reflected in the timbre – and last but not least in the sublime piano accompaniment by Julius Drake.

Less popular gems: Schumann wrote rewarding duets like „Wiegenlied am Lager eines kranken Kindes“ which harmonically is downright idiosyncratic and which produces an ominous rather than a somniferous impression. “Schön ist das Fest des Lenzes” invites the voices to play tag, whereas the song “In der Nacht” with its floating movement permits deep insights into the souls.

These songs are particularly delicate in intonation – which sadly is to be heard excessively clearly. Another memorable duet is “Der beste Liebesbrief” by Peter Cornelius on an unusually exuberant text by Hebbel. The settings for several voices by Brahms are among the literature most likely to be remembered by singers at times. The popular “Der Jäger und sein Liebchen” set the final applause quite thoroughly going.

Recital with Angelika Kirchschlager Salzburg Festival August 2002

Angelika’s Art. Extracts from an interview with Angelika Kirchschlager, Opera News, 2003


…… in a joint recital of German lieder she performed with baritone Simon Keenlyside at the Salzburg Festival in August 2002. In songs such as Wolf’s “Bei einer Trauung,” she showed a rare degree of responsiveness to her stage partner. “That’s the most exciting thing about music,” she says. “You just stand next to each other and feel it, you know? It’s like when you jump out of a plane, and you are connected, and you only have one parachute. Whatever you do, when you start from the first note, you connect, and no matter what one does, the other will follow.”

Keenlyside is a favorite colleague of Kirchschlager’s. Their friendship dates back to a B-minor Mass in Rome under Riccardo Muti, which was followed by Le Nozze di Figaro at the Vienna Staatsoper. “Whilst we were doing that,” recalls Keenlyside, “I went to hear her sing a liederabend, and I was knocked silly by it. Everything I admired — lots of colors, a nice wide palette and simple delivery. No nonsense. I thought, ‘If I’m going to sing recitals with her, I’m going to have to be on the ball. We’ve been friends for years, but just being friends isn’t going to to help me!’ So I went to her and said, ‘I’m nervous about our friendship.’ She was so upset by that, the next day she summoned me to a restaurant and said, ‘What did you mean when you said you think our friendship is not going to work?’ So I told her I wanted to do something with her. And that was it.”

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