Matching Items (12,017)
- Creators: ASU Library. Music Library
Even in the most despondent situations, the arts find a way to flourish. This research document examines the vocal music that Viktor Ullmann composed in the concentration camp-ghetto of Theresienstadt in German-occupied Czechoslovakia, and the notable aspects of his compositional writing style. Although his opera Der Kaiser von Atlantis has been performed globally, the remainder of his oeuvre has rarely been recorded or performed. Singers often shy away from twentieth-century composers such as Ullmann, with claims that the music is not lyrical or relatable. Perhaps the irregularity of the meter, rhythms, or intervals seem too daunting for many to consider attempting a performance. With Confined, But Not Silenced: Vocal Music of Viktor Ullmann from the Theresienstadt Ghetto, I hope to open the door to music that is both accessible and uniquely beautiful. Not intended as a performance guide, this document aims instead at unearthing the appeal of music that is often perceived as unusual and difficult to perform through analysis that emphasizes relatable aspects of the compositions. By exposing colleagues to relatable music by a composer such as Ullmann, that has not normally been integrated in the canon, the boundaries of standard vocal repertoire can be expanded to include unconventional contemporary compositions. In addition to highlighting specific musical examples, Confined, But Not Silenced focuses on music’s positive effects for World War II prisoners in Theresienstadt.
A resurgence of the American art song is underway. New art song composers such as Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa, and Georgia Stitt are writing engaging and challenging songs that are contributing to this resurgence of art song among college students. College and University musical theatre programs are training performers to be versatile and successful crossover artists. Cross-training in voice is training a performer to be capable of singing many different genres of music effectively and efficiently, which in turn creates a hybrid performer. Cross-training and hybridity can also be applied to musical styles. Hybrid songs that combine musical theatre elements and classical art song elements can be used as an educational tool and create awareness in musical theatre students about the American art song genre and its origins while fostering the need to learn about various styles of vocal repertoire.
American composers Leonard Bernstein and Ned Rorem influenced hybridity of classical and musical theatre genres by using their compositional knowledge of musicals and their classical studies to help create a new type of art song. In the past, academic institutions have been more accepting of composers whose careers began in classical music crossing between genres, rather than coming from a more popularized genre such as musical theatre into the classical world. Continued support in college vocal programs will only help the new hybrid form of American art song to thrive.
Trained as a classical pianist and having studied poetry and text setting, Georgia Stitt understands the song structure and poetry skills necessary to write a contemporary American art song. This document will examine several of Carol Kimball’s “Component of Style” elements, explore other American composers who have created a hybrid art song form and discuss the implementation of curriculum to create versatile singers. The study will focus on three of Georgia Stitt’s art songs that fit this hybrid style and conclude with a discussion about the future of hybridity in American art song.