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2017.08.23 Recital, Tanglewood festival, USA: Emanuel Ax

Schubert’s Summer Journey

Tanglewood Festival

23 August 2017

Simon Keenlyside, baritone

Emanuel Ax, piano



SCHUBERT – Impromptus, D.935

Samuel ADAMS – Impromptu (2016)

SCHUBERT – selections from Schwanengesang, D.957

  • Liebesbotschaft (Rellstab)
  • Kriegers Ahnung (Rellstab)
  • Der Atlas (Heine)
  • Am Meer (Heine)
  • Der Doppelgänger (Heine)
  • Ständchen (Rellstab)
  • An den Mond in einer herbstnacht, D.614 (Schreiber)
  • Dass sie hier gewesen, D.775 (Rückert)
  • Die Sterne, D.939 (Leitner)
  • Im Abendrot (Lappe)
  • Abschied (Rellstab)


A highlight of this summer’s Ozawa Hall schedule is the six-concert series, curated by Emanuel Ax and featuring an array of extraordinary performers, entitled Schubert’s Summer Journey, encompassing music from Schubert’s final year plus complementary works ranging from additional vocal and instrumental music by Schubert to a world premiere by Colin Jacobsen (July 6 and 20; August 3, 8, 17, and 23).

tickets and more information


Sound Bites

Andrew L Pincus, The Berkshire Eagle, 25.08.17 (with photo)

“…Keenlyside’s voice could be described as honeyed; it could be described as manly or heroic; it could be described as endlessly versatile. It was all of those things, but in the end the voice and the personality were endlessly equipped to evoke the varying shades of mood and meaning both between songs and within. ….”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee Kefauver August 30, 2017 at 1:07 am

Dear Angelika,
You are very welcome! I am happy that you enjoyed my experience, and I hope I will have more such venues to come and share.

Angelika, Austria August 28, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Thank you Lee and Bill for sharing your Tanglewood impressions in such a lively way with us, who could not be there.

Bill Palik August 27, 2017 at 7:32 pm

I was not sure if or when I would get a chance to hear Simon in recital again, so was very pleased to hear him in such fine form (physically and vocally) last week in his Tanglewood Schubert half recital that he shared with Manny Ax. I had chatted with Ax prior to the recital (was backstage as one of my best friends is head piano tech at Tanglewood) and heard him rehearsing the piano part to “Der Einsame” which in the event they did not end up performing, as there were no encores. Luckily I have heard SK sing that Lied numerous times, both live and on recordings. In a sense, the final song of the program served as an encore, as Simon prefaced it with a moving tribute to Dmitri H, who S said “has given so much joy to so many” and “I hope he makes it” – but somewhat worrisome was the fact that the last Lied was “Abschied.” Afterwards I chatted with Simon, whose son Owen was standing right next to him, and also Zenaida, who had Iona May attached to her – she said they NEVER travel as a family to his performances, so I am not sure why the Tanglewood event was the exception – hope they had a good time in western Massachusetts. Z has just retired from the ballet a month ago. Anyway, no need to elaborate on Simon’s manifold personal and musical gifts – so I will avoid preaching to the choir. Hope to hear him again someplace sometime before too long.

Lee Kefauver August 27, 2017 at 6:11 pm

The Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood seats 1,100 and the lawn outside holds hundreds more. The Emanuel Ax-Simon Keenlyside concert of August 23rd played to a full house, with an added large lawn crowd outside. Many of the people to whom I talked did not know SK, but had come to hear “Manny” Ax play the piano. I told them they would be in for a treat when they heard SK sing.
The first half of the concert was with the great pianist Emanuel Ax who had curated the entire program of “Schubert’s Summer Journey.” It began July 6th with “Reflections on Schubert’s Lieder, then on July 20th with Thomas Ades at the piano, then on August 3rd, Yo-Yo Ma, Jamie Barton, Emanuel Ax at the piano, and Colin Jacobsen at the violin performing music of Schubert and Colin Jacobsen. On August 8th Garrick Ohlsson took the piano to perform Schubert and Scriabin. On August 17th, Emanuel Ax was again at the piano with Pamela Frank on violin, Yo-Yo Ma on cello and the TMC Vocal Fellows performing music of Schubert, Nico Muhly and John Harbison. The final program of this season was Emanuel Ax on piano with not-so-easy pieces by Schubert and Samuel Adams. After the interval, SK joined Ax for the songs of Schubert for which he is so well known.
This was the first time I had seen Simon in person and it was an exceptional experience. He was casually dressed, which is common at Tanglewood, and with the sultry weather necessary. I was seated in the front row center, and was entranced by his dramatic reading of each song. Hearing him sing these songs by way of a CD or You Tube posting had been lovely, but this was much more. I had seen many concerts in my lifetime, but none like this. He acted the story of every song he sang, and at the end of one, he said he was dedicating that song to Dimitry (Hvorostovsky).
At the end, a very appreciative audience gave a thunderous applause to these two great artists.
Afterwards, Simon greeted his “fans” and chatted with them. His two children were there too, and they are adorable kids! (Thus saith a grandmother!). He commented on how every day he had been able to take walks in the surrounding forests of the Berkshire Center. I was told by several administrative people who had greeted me as a returning alum that the Center had grown very fond of him and that he had held a Master Class for the students, which was very well received.
Hopefully, there will be many more visits to Tanglewood by Simon!

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