Matching Items (4)

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Kurt Weill's little masterpieces

Description

This study focuses on three songs from stage works of Kurt Weill (1900-1950): “September Song” from Knickerbocker Holiday (1938), “Speak Low” from One Touch of Venus (1943), and “Lost in

This study focuses on three songs from stage works of Kurt Weill (1900-1950): “September Song” from Knickerbocker Holiday (1938), “Speak Low” from One Touch of Venus (1943), and “Lost in the Stars” from Lost in the Stars (1949). All from Weill’s time in the United States, these songs are adaptable as solos and have become American standards performed in various arrangements and styles of popular music by many different artists.

The first part of this study is a biographical sketch of Weill’s life and music. It is intended to provide context for the three songs by tracing his beginnings as a German composer of stage works with volatile political messages, to his flight to the United States and his emergence as a composer of Broadway successes.

The second part is a commentary on the composition of the three selected songs. The lyrics and musical content are examined to show how Weill’s settings convey the dramatic mood and meaning as well as the specific nuances of the words. Description of the context of these songs explains how they were textually and musically intended to advance the plot and the emotional arc of the dramatic characters. The popularity of these songs endures beyond their original shows, and so there is discussion of how other artists have adapted and performed them, and available recordings are cited.

Weill’s songs, his little masterpieces, have proven to be truly evocative and so attractive to American audiences that they have undergone myriad adaptations. This study seeks to provide the personal and historical background of Kurt Weill’s music and to demonstrate why these three songs in particular have proven to have such lasting appeal.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Emily Dickinson's "There came a wind like a bugle--: a singer's analysis of song settings by Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty

Description

Emily Dickinson is a well-known American poet of the nineteenth century, and her oeuvre consists of nearly 2,000 posthumously published poems. Written largely in hymn form with unique ideas of

Emily Dickinson is a well-known American poet of the nineteenth century, and her oeuvre consists of nearly 2,000 posthumously published poems. Written largely in hymn form with unique ideas of punctuation and grammar, her poetry attracts composers with its inherent musicality. The twentieth-century American composers Aaron Copland, Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty have created song settings of Dickinson's poetry. Copland's song cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1949-50) is admired by many as an illustration of poetry; however, the Dickinson cycles by Bacon, Hoiby, and Getty are also valuable, lesser-known representations of her writing. Settings of one poem, "There came a Wind like a Bugle--", are common among Copland's Twelve Poems, Bacon's cycle Songs from Emily Dickinson: Nature, Time, and Space (1930), Hoiby's Four Dickinson Songs (1988), and Getty's The White Election (1982). These latter three settings have previously undergone some theoretical analysis; however, this paper considers a performance analysis of these songs from a singer's point of view. Chapter 1 provides background for this study. Chapter 2 consists of a biographical overview of Dickinson's life and writing style, as well as a brief literary analysis of "There came a Wind like a Bugle--". Chapters 3, 4, and 5 discuss Ernst Bacon, Lee Hoiby, and Gordon Getty, respectively; each chapter consists of a short biography of the composer and a discussion of his writing style, a brief theoretical analysis of his song setting, and commentary on the merits of his setting from the point of view of a singer. Observations of the depiction of mood in the song and challenges for the singer are also noted. This paper provides a comparative analysis of three solo vocal settings of one Emily Dickinson poem as a guide for singers who wish to begin studying song settings of this poem. The Bacon and Hoiby settings were found to be lyrical, tonal representations of the imagery presented in "There came a Wind like a Bugle--". The Getty setting was found to be a musically starker representation of the poem's atmosphere. These settings are distinctive and worthy of study and performance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Art songs of Charles Ives: accessible to beginning singers

Description

The performance of Charles Ives's art songs can be challenging to even the most experienced singers, but to beginning singers, they may be even more so, due to such twentieth-century

The performance of Charles Ives's art songs can be challenging to even the most experienced singers, but to beginning singers, they may be even more so, due to such twentieth-century aspects as polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter tones. However, Ives used previously existing material, often familiar hymn tunes, as the foundation for many of his art songs. If beginning students first are exposed to this borrowed material, such as a simple hymn tune, which should be well within even the most experienced singer's comfort range, they can then learn this tune first, as a more simplistic reference point, and then focus on how Ives altered the tunes, rather then having to learn what seems like an entirely new melody. In this way, Ives's art songs can become more accessible to less-experienced singers. This paper outlines a method for researching and learning the borrowed materials in Ives's songs that utilize them, and reviews materials already commonly used by voice teachers to help beginning students learn their music. By combining this method, which focuses on the borrowed materials, with standard practices teachers can then help their beginning students more easily learn and perform Ives's art songs. Four songs, from the set "Four Hymn Tune Settings" by Charles Ives are used to illustrate this method.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Observations and insights into the life and vocal work of Joseph Bologne (Chevalier de Saint-Georges)

Description

ABSTRACT

Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the brilliant swordsman, unequalled equestrian, athlete, dancer, violin virtuoso, composer and orchestral conductor is, and remains a singularly unique historical figure of the 18th century French Court

ABSTRACT

Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the brilliant swordsman, unequalled equestrian, athlete, dancer, violin virtuoso, composer and orchestral conductor is, and remains a singularly unique historical figure of the 18th century French Court of Louis XVI. Believed to be the first man of mixed race to compose classical music, Saint-Georges, who was frequently invited to the court at Versailles to make music with Marie Antoinette not only thrived, but excelled during the height of an appalling slave trade and one of the most explosive periods in European history: the French Revolution. Saint-Georges’ ever evolving talent, and without preamble composed six operas. This research document will introduce to the reader important milestones that influenced the direction of his life, as well as a survey of two arias and duet from the opera L’Amant Anonyme using the paradigm of dance metrics as described in “Rhythmic Gesture in Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni,” by Wye Jamison Allanbrook and “Classical Music, Expression, Form and Style” by Leonard Ratner.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016