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Schumann: Dichterliebe; Brahms: Lieder

Schumann: Dichterliebe; Brahms: Lieder

18 Sep 2009
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Schumann: Dichterliebe; Brahms: Lieder
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 18 Sept. 2009
  • Release Date: 21 Sept. 2009
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Copyright: (P) 2009 Sony Music Entertainment UK Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:16:43
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002MWXL1Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 319,282 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although Simon Keenlyside is better known for his contributions to Opera, having sung in most of the best Opera Houses and with many of the world's finest orchestras, his pure baritone voice is a genuine delight with these more subtle and delicate lieder. The piano, played by Malcolm Martineau, is an absolute joy, rippling and bubbling along, reminiscent of Schubert's 'Trout'.

There are 16 songs by Brahms followed by 16 songs comprising Schumann's Dichterliebe (a Poet's Love). The combination is perfectly logical when one considers that Schumann had, for two years, been Brahm's mentor and Brahms was the pianist at the first public performance of this work.

Dichterliebe is a collection of beautiful songs, some lively and cheerful, others thoughtful and one or two melancholy. German is such a wonderful language for rhyming: ich liebe alleine, Die Kleine, die Feine, die Reine, Die Eine (I only love she who is small, fine, pure, rare) from Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube, Die Sonne (rose, lily, dove, sun) is perhaps the pick, but there are many other pearls in this oyster: notably track 27, Ein Jungling liebt ein Madschen (a boy loves a girl) and track 31, Aus alten Marchen winkt es (a white hand beckons). Schumann's music provides energy and adds beauty to the poetry.

The songs by Brahms, while pleasant enough, are all fairly sombre and rather similar, which is the reason for the four star, rather than a five star rating. However, they improve with familiarity and the disc is well worth purchasing for this outstanding version of Dichterliebe alone.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I stumbled upon this album whilst surfing Amazon. I love baritone voices - probably more than I do a nice tenor, and I was not disappointed with this collection!

There are SO many great performances here, from the hauntingly beautiful track two, to track three, where Simon's voice is so full of gentleness - without losing any of the masculinity (not always easy for a man to achieve such gentleness) to track seven which is another fine example of this gentleness at work.

I think out of the two - the Brahms collection is by far the best for me - but each to their own of course. I have put the highlights at the end of this review (of which there are so many) but for me as personal favourites, it's a VERY tight contest between tracks seven and fourteen I think!

I also love the fact that most tracks are nice and short numbers, which is just the way I like it!

Highlights - Tracks; 1, 2, 3, 7, 10, 11, 14, 15, 20, 26 & 28
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This disc is most artistically and beautifully sung especially the wonderful quiet singing of this person. I greatly recommend this piece for the serious lover of music of this kind
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Dichterliebe 12 Feb. 2010
By Lee Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm hard-pressed to decide which performance of Schumann's Dichterliebe song cycle I like better between this one with baritone Simon Keenlyside and pianist Malcolm Martineau and the recent one by Canadian baritone Gerald Finley with Julius Drake at the piano. There's a certain raw emotional honesty in Finley's singing, although his German diction to my ears doesn't have quite the subtlety of Keenlyside's. But I'll leave that judgment to a native German. For sheer beauty of voice and sensitivity of interpretation, Mr. Keenlyside can't be beat. The pianists Martineau and Drake are among the very best and offer masterful interpretation of these lieder. They remind me of their predecessor, the great accompanist Gerald Moore in his prime. There's something about Keenlyside, the artist, who just moves me more than any other baritone. It's his intelligence, his emotional commitment to the meaning of the text, his sensitivity to nuance and mood. I have enjoyed Keenlyside's recordings of Strauss and Schubert lieder but what a pleasure to hear his voice in this new recording which catches his voice in full maturity. There is a bit more power to it now and his singing career is in its absolute prime. The recording has spirit and vigor. The tempi are all alive and moving without feeling rushed. By contrast, the hyperion recording of Dichterliebe (from ten years ago) with baritone Christopher Maltman and pianist Graham Johnson sounds overly careful, anemic, and somewhat lethargic. Keenlyside sounds like the poet of Heine's texts: impulsive, passionate, fully alive and very moving.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simon Keenlyside Brahms/Schumann CD 9 Mar. 2010
By holland741 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Schumann: Dichterliebe,Brahms:Lieder
Mr. Keenlyside is perhaps best known for his outstanding operatic portrayals in Hamlet, Billy Budd, Don Giovanni, Marriage of Figaro, Pelleas, etc., but his voice really shines in the Lieder recital. Here he spreads his honeyed legato baritone over some too seldom heard Brahms songs, as well as the Schumann Dichterliebe. While the overall sonic picture may not be quite as favorable as in his live recital performances (as reflected to perfection in his Wigmore Hall CD), here is a masterful rendition of some high points in the German song repertoire, with the Dichterliebe delivered in one unbroken dramatic arc.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the purchase 1 May 2011
By R - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Keenlyside brings a type of character that many overlook. The nuances of Brahms lieder are well taken care of here by both singer and pianist. This is a recording that's made for the music's sake and not poorly put together. Keenlyside's tone in cooperation with the piano balance very well and portray the meaning of the lyrics.

The reason I did not give it a 5? Keenlyside seems to lose control of his voice in a few spots, trying to sustain at too high a dynamic or slightly off centered pitch in select spots. The technical aspect of the recording wasn't the best. Microphones could have been more strategically placed. Overall, a very good buy. Highly recommended and brings a new found enthusiasm for Brahms lieder for me.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfull 30 Dec. 2013
By chacha - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Is a wonderfull CD, the voice of Simon Keenlyside is just amazing and make me fell calm. He has a wonderfull voice.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A natural-born lieder singer at the top of his form 4 Nov. 2009
By Santa Fe Listener - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
British baritone Simon Keenlyside hasn't lacked for first-rate recording opportunities, including Don Giovanni under Abbado on DG, and his portrayal of Billy Budd in Britten's opera leads a crowded pack. But this eminently musical singer hasn't become a star in the U.S. greatly as he's admired in Europe. Sony has given Keenlyside a contract, but I felt lukewarm about his duet album of Viennese operetta with his frequent partner, Angelika Kirchschlager. Will an audience flock to a lieder album that features a raft of somewhat offbeat Brahms songs and the evergreen Dichterliebe of Schumann? Certainly the musical values are strong. Accompanist Malcolm Martineau can hardly be bettered on the current scene, and although the recorded piano sound is too distant and echoey, the colorations in the singer's voice are well captured.

I thoroughly enjoyed everything here. It's rare to hear a male singer who is willing to sound so sensitive, even to the point of tremulousness. Keenlyside wants to touch our hearts, and although German lieder isn't a natural vehicle for that purpose, so far as general listeners are concerned, he's very successful. The Brahms songs bear no trace of over-earnestness; they often sound quite fresh. Thomas Hampson has a more glamorous voice but sometimes adopts a platform manner in this material. Keenlyside has no interest in coming across as a star. Such unaffected sincerity, combined with passionate delivery, makes his Dichterliebe better than Hampson's, or almost anyone else's in the recent past.

As he's matured, Keenlyside's baritone, although not immediately recognizable, has become flexible and secure -- he can make it do anything he wants, as wtiness the fearless top notes of "Ich grolle nicht." His German is convincing, and he's attentive to the texts. In all, I'd favorably match him with another impeccable British singer, Thomas Allen, and like Allen, Keenlyside fills many roles in opera and the recital stage. A singer with a modest profile scores a quiet triumph here.
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