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Tales Of Opera - Mozart, Verdi, Etc / Keenlyside, Schirmer


Release Date: 09/25/2007 
Label:  Sony   Catalog #: 713067   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Gioachino RossiniJules MassenetGiuseppe VerdiAmbroise Thomas,   ... 
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 10 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


To say that Simon Keenlyside is a thinking man's baritone might lead people to believe that he's cerebral at the expense of feelings; nothing could be further from the truth. It also should be noted that his voice is beautiful and his technique spotless--he's as comfortable with the low, dark tones of Renato in "Eri tu" as he is with the high, soft singing in the middle of the Pagliacci prologue and the aria's penultimate high A-flat and the high G that follows it. The voice itself is not large, but it does precisely what it has to to bring these scenes to life.

This CD is titled "Tales of Opera" (rather than the usual "Great Baritone Arias" or the latest
Read more "Songs of Lust and Passion", the former generic and the latter designed to sell the album as something "hot"), and there's a reason for it. Baritones who get inside their roles and make us care and wonder about their characters are not as rare as tenors with the same characteristics, but Keenlyside almost never goes for the obvious. Opening a recital CD with "Largo al factotum" is both safe and daring, but Keenlyside does it and makes us hear it clearly: he's witty but he doesn't mug, and his showing-off is in step with the character's virility and not his own.

In the following "Sois immobile" from William Tell Keenlyside sounds as if he's a different singer. All swagger is gone and he sings intimately and with a type of focus utterly right for this terrifying father/son moment. His reading of Herod's "Vision fugitive" is oozing with desire; his "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" does not give us a silly bird-man--it gives us someone searching for love. Similarly, "Eri tu" is the tragic exposing of a soul. Perhaps because Keenlyside's voice is not huge he opts for another way to sing the aria, but I suspect that he thought it through before realizing what might be called a limitation, i.e., the inability to boom like a Milnes or Warren.

In aria after aria we get caught up in character; the glorious singing is taken for granted. In what Sony refers to in the booklet as "Dah (sic) vieni alla finestra", Keenlyside is serenading and seducing for real, as the Don should be; and Wolfram's Song to the Evening Star, so difficult to "sell" outside of the opera, here is a gentle, evocative, frozen moment in time. A rarity from L'Arlesiana and a rousing version of Hamlet's Drinking Song are other interesting stops along the way, and Keenlyside's musical, sensitive way with "Di Provenza il mar" makes it seem truly fresh as well.

Ulf Schirmer is the responsive conductor and the Munich Radio Orchestra plays with warmth and professionalism. The sound is excellent. The accompanying booklet has intelligent notes by Keenlyside himself, but no texts or translations, which probably is a money-saving move. At any rate, it's nice to have Sony releasing classical material that isn't Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, or a re-tread, and with Keenlyside they've got a real winner.

--Robert Levine, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1. Il barbiere di Siviglia: Largo al factotum by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1816; Italy 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 56 Secs. 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
2. Guillaume Tell: Sois immobile by Gioachino Rossini
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1829; Italy 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
3. Hérodiade: Vision fugitive by Jules Massenet
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1881; France 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
4. Don Carlos: Per me giunto è il dì supremo by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1867/1884; Italy 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
5. La traviata: Di Provenza il mar by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1853; Italy 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 16 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
6. Hamlet: O vin dissipe la tristesse by Ambroise Thomas
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1868; France 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 53 Secs. 
Language: French 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
7. I puritani: Ah, per sempre io ti perdei by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
8. Die Zauberflöte, K 620: Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1791; Vienna, Austria 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
9. I Pagliacci: Sì può? [Prologue] by Ruggero Leoncavallo
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1892; Italy 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
10. L'Arlesiana: Come due tizzi accessi by Francesco Cilèa
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1897/1937; Italy 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
11. Queen of Spades, Op. 68: I love you beyond all measure [Yeletsky's Aria] by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
12. Don Giovanni, K 527: Deh vieni alla finestra [Serenade] by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Classical 
Written: 1787; Prague, Czech Republ 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
13. Un ballo in maschera: Eri tu che m'acchiave quell' anima by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1859; Italy 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 6 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
14. Zaide, K 344 (336b): Nur mutig, mein Herze by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
15. Tannhäuser: O, du mein holder Abendstern by Richard Wagner
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1845/1861; Germany 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: German 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 
16. Queen of Spades, Op. 68: I love you beyond all measure [Yeletsky's Aria] by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Performer:  Simon Keenlyside (Baritone)
Conductor:  Ulf Schirmer
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1890; Russia 
Venue:  Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Russian 
Notes: Bavarian Radio, Munich, Germany (05/29/2006 - 06/02/2006) 

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