Brahms-Saal, Musikverein, Vienna

| 9 March 2023 |
7:30 pm

    Simon Keenlyside : baritone
    Malcolm Martineau : piano

The recital will include selected songs by Hugo Wolf, Hanns Eisler, Johannes Brahms, Francis Poulenc and Benjamin Britten.




Benjamin Britten


Hanns Eisler

Diese Stadt hat mich belehrt 

Benjamin Britten

The Chimney-Sweeper

Hanns Eisler

Despite these miseries 

Verfehlte Liebe

Benjamin Britten

Think in the morning

The Tyger

Hanns Eisler

The only thing 

Unter den grünen Pfefferbaumen

Hugo Wolf 


Neue Liebe


Lied vom Winde

Gesang Weylas 



Johannes Brahms


Über die Heide

Wie rafft ich mich auf in der Nacht


Es schauen die Blumen

Gabriel Fauré


Rêve d’amour

Au bord de l’eau

Francis Poulenc

Le disparu

Priez pour paix



Claude Debussy

Ballade des femmes de Paris


Wolf: Wie sollt ich heiter bleiben

Duparc: Phidylé

Wolf: Blumengruss




(payment required)

"...Mitternächtliche Straßen, Angstschreie, ein Leichenwagen und hallende Seufzer: Düster und erschreckend ist das Bild, das William Blake in seinem Gedicht „London“ von der Stadt zeichnet. Diese Grundstimmung war sofort da, als Simon Keenlyside seinen Liederabend im Brahms-Saal des Wiener Musikvereins begann...

...Die Stärke des Abends lag dort, wo Pianist und Sänger durch die Betonung dissonanter Zusammenklänge eine mysteriöse Grundstimmung kreierten. Mit „Montparnasse“ von Francis Poulenc und Claude Debussys „Ballade des femmes de Paris“ wurde schließlich ein Bogen zum Beginn gespannt."

How Keenlyside manages to make us fear London 

At his Lieder recital in the Musikverein, the baritone was only partially convincing.

"Midnight streets, cries of fear, a hearse and resounding sighs: William Blake paints a gloomy and frightening picture of the city in his poem “London”. This basic mood was immediately present when Simon Keenlyside began his recital in the Brahms-Saal of the Vienna Musikverein. The British baritone emphatically put the horror into his voice. And, without respite, he extended the arc of this setting by Benjamin Britten to the Hanns Eisler song “Diese Stadt hat mich belehrt”, which contains Brechtian wisdom such as: “Paradise and Hell may be one city". The singer and his partner at the piano, Malcolm Martineau, merged the songs to create a threatening whole.

Keenlyside was generous in expressively using his considerable vocal power. Especially in the mid-range, his baritone projects very well. But in the upper register he obviously had problems. Often he did not manage transitions into the head voice ideally. But in his core area he was able to present something that got under one's skin, although he did not squander his powerful organ: in Britten’s “Tyger” he almost whispered – and then let his voice swell again to underline fear and threat.

He showed his soft side in Hugo Wolf’s Mörike settings, especially in “Gebet”. The understatement, which is also known from his interpretations of opera characters (most recently he sang Rigoletto and Macbeth at the Staatsoper), he used in the recital, too. Sometimes too much. But then he presented Wolf's "Seufzer“ full of pathos and "Neue Liebe“ too dramatically – which makes both songs less interesting. The strength of the evening lay where pianist and singer created a mysterious mood by emphasizing dissonant harmonies. With “Montparnasse” by Francis Poulenc and Claude Debussy’s “Ballade des femmes de Paris”, they finally drew an arc to the beginning."


Translation by Gudrun