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Selected twentieth and twenty-first century solo vocal works that tribute visual artists.



REMINDERS OF THE INCREASINGLY DAUNTING PRACTICAL challenges faced by career classical musicians multiply as fast as next month's bills, while solutions for most of us remain as lean as next month's paychecks. The litany of threats to the artistic world as we know it is all too familiar: changing demographics, shrinking leisure, diminished funding, and the relentlessly expanding domain of the virtual. Doomsayers have often been wrong, of course, and the predictions of classical music's death, like the accounts of Mark Twain's demise, have so far proven to be greatly exaggerated. (1)

Painful realities remain, though, and classical vocalists must find ways to accommodate a rapidly changing artistic landscape. One line of fruitful possibility may well lie in the career trajectories chosen by musicians like Yo Yo Ma and Thomas Hampson, individuals whose unique talents and wide appeal would cast them for many as exceptions to be envied rather than examples that could be emulated. Both, however, have by design downplayed exceptionalism, and have cultivated instead a broadly diverse catholicity, building ever wider bridges to millions, rather than ever higher pedestals for themselves. What likely comes to mind first is cellist Ma's energetic, sometimes daring, exploration of music genres from a culturally and socioeconomically inclusive global mosaic. Significant as that is, our present focus concerns not Ma's eclecticism, but his more fundamental interest in synthesis: his efforts to bring art domains together that, at least in modern music, usually function in separate spheres. In his six-part Sony film series Inspired by Bach, for example, Ma uses the Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello to probe connections between music, landscape gardening, cathedral architecture, theater, and dance--both traditional Japanese and contemporary Western. (2) Artistic integration likewise has been a hallmark goal of baritone Thomas Hampson, about whom critic David Weininger wrote, "Few living musicians have explored so widely or thought more deeply about the intricate craft of joining poetry and music." (3) As its Program Booklet notes, Hampson's 2011 recital, "Water: A Musical Celebration of America's Heartland and Heart," "represents a confluence of aesthetic experiences," and "was inspired by the Minnesota Marine Art Museum and the illustrious Burrichter/Kierlin Marine Art Collection." (4) Reflecting this commitment to connectivity, Hampson established in 2003 The Hampsong Foundation, which, among its other initiatives, funds selected projects that "use American classic art song... to tell a larger narrative in history, culture, literature, and/or the visual arts." (5)

The fostering of that last named variety of integration --exploring relationships between modern and contemporary solo vocal works and the visual arts--is the core aim of the present project. Before moving further, though, we should point out that Hampson is by no means the sole vocal pioneer in this innovative approach to interpretation and program building. A 2013 recital sponsored by the Vancouver International Song Institute featured the world premiere of composer Lloyd Burritt's Triptych--Three Songs on Three Abstract Paintings. VISI's website at the time noted that the pieces are "musical settings of poet Marilyn Lerch [that were in turn] inspired by paintings of artist Liberia Marcuzzi." "As the moving work is performed," the note continued, "Marcuzzi's paintings will be projected onto the stage." (6) The preceding year (January 22, 2012), a faculty recital at Boston Conservatory ("A Gallery of Song--Musical Reflections of Visual Art") showcased "live music [set] to themes portrayed in the paintings of Doron Putka, which will be exhibited at the performance." (7) And as a third example, SongFusion, an art song ensemble based in New York City, states that its "mission is to expand the traditional recital format, creating programs that explore familiar themes from unexpected angles, and collaborating with instrumentalists, dancers, actors, and visual artists." (8)

Similar integrative examples could probably be multiplied. As yet, though, each program or project seems to be independently conceived, laudably earnest in its attempt to find, as painter and theorist Wassily Kandinsky wrote in 1912, "a richness and power that cannot be attained by one art alone," (9) but more or less unaware, seemingly, that many of the major art song composers from the late 19th century on have contributed to a complex ongoing interchange--often serious, sometimes playful, always lively--between music and the visual arts. (10)

The project that follows calls attention to that interchange by partially documenting it in the Annotated Bibliography below (Part II). By combing through catalogs of publishers and record companies, searching the major bibliographies and finding aids (see Selected Resources below), and querying archivists, libraries, research institutes, and survivors, I have assembled an annotated bibliography of thirty-six solo vocal works by thirty-four composers from twelve different countries. Sixteen of the composers are living, and the works assembled, all written or published between 1907 and 2013, tribute or otherwise reference thirty-four different visual artists, most of them major figures. Much of the information given in each entry focuses on performance: timings, pitch ranges, and all other vocal requirements are listed and whenever necessary, based on firsthand examination of the score. (11) A decided majority (twenty-seven) of the works require only classical rather than extended vocal techniques, but many nonetheless present challenges such as serialism, difficult rhythms, changing metrics, and chromatic intervals. Nine works do demand extended vocal techniques, including Sprechstimme, microtonality, and pitch-sliding or vibrato variations; six direct the performer to determine organizational elements or to improvise on them. In addition to these performance requirements, I have in each entry included relevant information about the visual artist (name bolded for the reader's convenience), his or her "school" or stylistic niche, and/or the particular work or works the composer is referencing. Supporting secondary works are identified by brief in-text citations, with full documentation supplied in the Selected Resources list immediately following Part II. Finally, I have tried whenever possible to indicate the motive or ground of the linkage between the two creators and their respective realms. (12)

In doing so, my goal is to put into the hands of singers, program planners, and teachers of song literature a reference tool that will foster the more frequent inclusion of underperformed works, and encourage the development of more intentionally integrative approaches to the arts of eye and ear.


Anderson, T. J. (b. 1928) USA

"Living below Van Gogh" (T. J. Anderson III), from Songs of Illumination. For T [[C.sub.3]-[A.sub.4]], pf. T. J. Anderson Music Publishing Co.: Distributed by Subito Music, 1989. [6:15] Dedicated to Chicago sculptor Richard Hunt, in whose studio Songs was performed two days after its April 27, 1990 premiere at Tufts University (Anderson, Selected Resources). The vocal line features a "wide range and large leaps" (Clifton p. 5, Selected Resources) in a generally dissonant setting. The text, written by the composer's son, a poet and English professor at Hollins College, reflects the personality and painting style of Vincent Van Gogh. CD: Songs of Illumination. Bill Brown, T; Vivian Taylor, pf. Centaur Records CR 2357 B00000AFFZ (1998, 2006).

Barrett, Richard (b. 1959) Wales/UK

"Co'igitum," from After Matta. For M [[F.sub.3]-[B.sub.5]], afl, ob d'am, pf, 1 perc, composed 1983-85. Tondon: United Music Publishers 511-00888-C, distributed by Classical Vocal Reprints, 1986. [15'-17'] Commissioned by New Macnaghten Concerts with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain. Dedicated to Michael Finnessy (pianist, work's premiere), for his help in the development of virtuosic sections of the piano score. Surrealist Roberto Matta's (1911-2002, Chile; Italy) identically titled painting is the focus. The text consists of phonemes written in IPA. "Severe demands" (Barrett's description) include quarter tones, glissandi, circular breathing, trills, throat tremolo, Sprechstimme, vibrato and dynamic control. Notes accompanying the score indicate that an image of Matta's Co'igitum should be projected on a large screen during the performance. United Music Publishers holds the copyright to the following noncommercial CD: Richard Barrett: Co'igitum. Jacqueline Horner, M; Isabelle Carre, afl; Christopher Redgate, ob; Richard Benjafield, perc; James Clapperton, pf; Ensemble Expose, Roger Redgate, conductor. Tondon, UK: United Music Publishers, Ttd. (1991).

Behrend, Siegfried (1933-1990) Ger

Yo lo vi (Ich habe es gesehen), from Szenen nach Francesco de Goya (title of each song in cycle [Spanish, with German translation] is also its lyric, and Behrend names each after an individual Goya print). For T [[B.sup.[??].sub.3]-[E.sub.5]], gtr, composed 1959. Miinchen: Edition Modern M 1608 E, 1971. l."Non [sic] te escaparas"; 2. "Dioslo perdoney era su madre"; 3. "Yo lo vi"; 4. "Porque fue sensibile"; 5. "Ya eshora." [5:17-8:00] Some wide intervals, Sprechstimme, and falsetto are required of the singer. Song 2 references Print 16 in Goya's Los Caprichos series; Songs 1 and 3-5 are inspired respectively by Prints 72, 44, 32, and 80 of the Los desastres de laguerra series. Video: Hitoshi Tamada, T; Stefan Volpp, gtr; ensembleVAct; uploaded October 15, 2011 (accessed April 25, 2016).

Brandmiiller, Theo (1948-2012) Ger

"Wie du unsern Vatern geschworen hast" (Scriptural texts in Hebrew from Genesis, Exodus). For M [[A.sub.3]-[E.sub.5]], 2 tpt, 2 tbn, org, 1978. Israeli Music Publications, 1978. Subtitles: "Abrahams Fiirbitte," "Isaaks Opferung," "Jakobs Traum," "Am Berge Sinai." [11:28] This work celebrates the first of nine biblically-themed stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall for St. Stephen Church in Mainz. Chagall desired that the windows foster reconciliation between Jews and Christians, Germans and French, after WWII. The vocalist speaks and sings. CD: Hommage a Chagall. Ursula Mayer-Reinach, M; Theo Brandmiiller, org. Gallo Records 47-604 (1990).

Burritt, Lloyd (b. 1940) Can

Triptych (Marilyn Terch). For M [[G.sup.[??].sub.3]-[G.sub.5]], alt sax, pf, 2012. Canadian Music Centre (rental), 2012. [18:00] "Prologue to 'Due Donne'"; 1. "Due Donne"; "Prologue to 'After the Fall'"; 2. "After the Fall"; "Prologue to 'Native Rights'"; 3. "Native Rights." The text and music are named after and inspired by three abstract paintings by Italian-Canadian artist, Liberia Marcuzzi. Slides of the paintings are to be projected on the stage during the performance. The artist's perspective on her paintings is given in the score.

Busser, [Paul-] Henri (1872-1973) Fr

"Watteau," Extrait No. 1 de Trois melodies pour voix & orchestra, reduction pour chant & piano, poems d' Albert Samain, Op. 109, No. 1. For medium voice [[F.sup.#.sub.4]-[G.sup.#.sub.5]], pf. Paris: Editions Max-Eschig, 1948. Biisser sets the first and last stanza of this text, which describes Jean-Antoine Watteau's painting Pilgrimage to Cythera as "soft," "gentle," and "melancholic" (Samain poem, stanza 2). The impressionistic musical setting supports this characterization with soft dynamics, text painting, and flowing musical figures.

Casanovas, Josep (1924-1996) Sp

"Joan Miro" (Joan Brossa, in Catalonian). For voice [[B.sub.3]-[B.sup.[??].sub.5]], pf, 1962. [2:48-52] Flexibly serial, this work contains elements of rhythmic, metric, and tempo improvisation, as well as some microtonality, complex rhythms, and disjunct intervals. CD: Compositors del cercle Manuel de Falla; Anna Ricci, M; Angel Soler, pf. Barcelona, Spain: Edicions Albert Moraleda (1995).

Casken, John (b. 1949) UK/Eng

Ia Orana, Gauguin (John Casken, in French, English). For S [[B.sub.3]-[B.sup.[??].sub.5]], pf, composed 1978. London: Schott: ED 11460,1983. [14:00-17:36] For Jane Manning. The text of this cantata empathizes with Paul Gaugin's search for ultimate meaning in life and death. Difficult rhythms and some humming, falsetto, Sprechstimme, and quarter tones are required. Performers determine some rhythmic durations. The influence of Debussy is evident in quotations from Cinq poems de Baudelair. LP: The Moving Fires of Evening. Jane Manning, S; John McCabe, pf. West Germany: Wergo, WER 60096; USA Distributor: Los Angeles, CA: Harmonia Mundi (1984).

Corbett, Sidney (b. 1960) USA/Ger

Le Cirque (Marc Chagall, in French), from Archipel Chagall II. For S [[C.sup.#.sub.4]-[A.sup.#.sub.5]], 2 gtrs, perc, 1998. Commissioned by the City of Remagne. [20:00] Corbett created the texts by arranging excerpts from Chagall's poetry and other writings. All performers play at least one hand-held percussion instrument such as bells, triangle, and wood block. The vocal writing is generally soft, lyric, and expressive, with some leaps, and humming. CD: Le Cirque: Contemporary Music for Guitar Duo. Elizabeth Farnum, S; Oren Insipid, William Anderson, gtrs; furious artisans, perc. Reutlingen FP: 1998; rereleased 2012. This score and recording may be obtained through the composer's website, and from respectively (both accessed April 25,2016). For a shortened version of this work, see: (accessed April 25,2016).

Diamond, David (1915-2005) USA

"Homage to Paul Klee" (Babette Deutsch). For voice [[B.sup.[??].sub.3]-[A.sup.#.sub.5]], pf, 1970. Bryn Mawr, PA: Elkan-Vogel, Inc., Div. of Theodore Presser #161-00062, 1973. [2:09] A painter himself, Diamond creates a wide angular melody, fast staccato, and repetitive rhythms in the pf part, which may suggest bird sounds, possibly referencing Klee's Twittering Machine, 1960. CD: A Diamond Jubilee: Songs by David Diamond. Helene Williams, S; Leonard Lehrman, pf. Albany: Troy Records 817 (2005).

Dickinson, Peter (b. 1934) UK/Eng

Surrealist Landscape (Lord Gerald Berners). Sets poem Berners dedicated to Salvador Dali for the opening of his first London exhibition (composer's notes accompanying score). For CT or M [[A.sup.[??].sub.3]-[E.sup.[??].sub.5]], pf, tape. Novello & Company Ltd., 1973. Distributed by Hal Leonard, HL14008084. [9:45-14:00] Inspired by Berners, himself a composer, writer, and painter, Dickinson creates a surrealistic atmosphere by playing a taped song in Berners's style describing a "Dali-like seascape" (Ibid.), which is played back while performers independently improvise on it. The pf plays "quiet chords," and its strings are plucked. Various voice types are accommodated by transposing the song. Two pfs may be used. CD: Songcycles. Meriel Dickinson, M; Peter Dickinson, pf. Albany: Troy Records 365 (2000).

Feldman, Morton (1926-1987) USA

"For Franz Kline." For S [[B.sup.[??].sub.3]-[A.sup.[??].sub.5]], with variable instrumentation, including vn, vc, pf, chimes, hn (aleatoric), and pf, 1962. C. F Peters: PE P06948, 1962. [5:04-11:41] The S sings neutral syllables. Most durations and elements of organization are determined by the performers. Influenced perhaps by his friend John Cage, Feldman makes silence here just as significant as sound, as Kline's artwork similarly does with white and black. CD: Chamber Music. Kerstin Klein, S; Ensemble Avantgarde, Roland Kluttig, conductor. West Germany: Wergo 6273-2 (1996).

Finzi, Gerald (1902-1956) UK/Eng

"The Rapture: Danza," (Thomas Traherne), Part 3, from the cantata, Dies Natalis, Op. 8. For T [[D.sub.4]-[B.sup.[??].sub.5]], str orch, composedl938-39. London and New York: Boosey & Hawkes, 1939. [3:48-3:58] "Rapture" was inspired by 1) carved angels in March Church, Cambridgeshire, and 2) the Sandro Botticelli "Mystic Nativity" (oil painting) in the National Gallery (London). "Mystic Nativity" can be described as a "swirling dance of praises" (CD liner notes), which Finzi illustrates with musical lines moving in different directions (McVeagh, p. 105, Selected Resources). CD: British Composers: Finzi, Hoist, Vaughan Williams. Wilfred Brown, T; English Chamber Orchestra, Christopher Finzi, conductor. EMI CDM5 56588-2(1996).

Gilboa, Jacob (1920-2007) Czech/Israel

Chagall sur le Bible (Marc Chagall, Hebrew text). For M [[B.sub.3]-[G.sup.#.sub.5]], 2 tpt, 2 tbn, org, composed 1966. Tel Aviv: Israel Music Institute, Inventory No. 7808, 1981. [9:36-10:00] The Chagall texts, some spoken, others sung, are quotations from the Hebrew Bible. Tike the twelve stained glass windows the artist designed for Abbell Synagogue at the Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, they evoke Israel's history and celebrate Jewish identity. Sprechstimme and long held trills are required of the soloist, who, in the following CD, sings the same Chagall texts in English, French, Hebrew, and German. Hommage a Chagall, 1990. Ursula Mayer-Reinach, Ms; Theo Brandmiiller, org; Mayence Brass Quartet. Gallo 604 (1990).

Gilboa, Jacob Czech/Israel

Three Vocalises For Peter Breughel: For Female Voice, Magnetic Tape and Chamber Ensemble, 1979. For M [[G.sup.#.sub.3]-[A.sub.5]], chamb orch (cl, bsn, tpt, trb, perc, hp, pf, cel, vn I/II, va, vc, db), double-speed tape. Israel Music Institute Inventory No. 7480, 2002, reissued 2012.1. "The Tower of Babel"; 2. "Hunters in the Snow"; 3. "Peasant's Wedding Dance." [13:29] Based on three paintings of Breughel, who was in turn inspired by the earlier Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch. Singing consists of humming and vowels, long trills, and some lengthy glissandi and quarter tones. The magnetic tape was produced at the electronic studio at Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv, Israel. CD: From the Dead Sea Scrolls: Kathros upsanterin; Sonata; Three Vocalises for Peter Breughel. Album produced by Music in Israel, 1995. Emilie Berendsen, M; Joan Franks-Williams, conductor. Three Vocalises track originally recorded at the Tel Aviv Museum, Israel (1979).

Granados, Enrique (1867-1916) Sp

"La maja de Goya" (Enrique Periquet), No. 8 from Tonadillas. For voice [[D.sub.4]-[G.sub.5] original key] and pf (or gtr), 1910. New York: International Music Co. [1:24-2:53] Composed in Catalonian style, with accompaniment figures suggesting a gtr, under a passionate folk-like melody with words that express great love for Francesco de Goya. TP: Hommage to Granados. Conchita Badia, S (premiered); Alicia de Tarrocha, pf. Tos Angeles, CA: Everest Records, SDBR 3237 (1969).

Halffter, Ernesto (1905-1989) Sp

"Pregon" (Salvador Dali, in Spain), from Hommage a Salvador Dali. For T [[E.sub.3]-[A.sub.4]], pf, 1974. Paris: Eschig/T. Presser, 1997: Edition Durand HE 50563 657. [3'] Composed for the opening of the Dali Theater and Museum in Figueras, Spain. The three movement cycle sets texts by Dali in language intended to echo Spain's 16th century golden age (Harper p. 755, Selected Resources); in "Pregon" (movement two), the tenor chants in Gregorian style (Ibid., 756). CD: La Corza Blanca (Integral de canto). Elena Gragera, M; Anton Cardo, pf. Barcelona: Columna Musica (2002).

Heider, Werner (b. 1930) Ger

Picasso-MusikI(W. Heider, "[Pablo] Picasso" in German and French (notated differently). For M [[A.sup.[??].sub.3]-[A.sup.[??].sub.5]], cl, vn, pf, composed 1965-66. New York: C. F. Peters EP8281, 198?. 1. "Ophelie"; 2. "Mirakel das der Torero"; 3. "Tocusche der Stunde"; 4. "Junges Madchen 'Kss' schoner Schreiner"; 5. "Ins geheim schweige"; 6. "Te cygne sur le lac"; 7. "Bau reiss aus verrenk und schlag Tot." [10'] Requires wide intervals, difficult rhythms, and various extended techniques for voice (e.g., Sprechstimme, long trills, pitch sliding) and instrumentalists. The score is remarkably well notated. Heider later arranged this work for a larger ensemble: "Picasso IT' (1994) [18'].

Kruyf, Ton de (1937-2012) NL

Einst dem Grau der Nacht enttaucht (Paul Klee) For M [F3-G5], chamb orch (fl/picc, eh, cl, tbn, perc, hp, cbsn), 1964. Amsterdam: Donemus 05515,1964.1. "Einst dem Grau..."; 2. "Du Feierblume"; 3. Intermezzo I; 4. "O lass den unendlichen Funken..."; 5. Intermezzo II; 6. "Nachtregen." Dedicated to composer's wife, Ileana Melita. [21:35] Four poems set with detailed expression, moderate extended vocal techniques (e.g., Sprechstimme, long trills), and two brief instrumental interludes. TP: Donemus Audio-Visual Series 1966, No. 3. Ileana Melita, M; Radio Chamber Orchestra, Francis Travis, conductor. Amsterdam: Donemus (1966).

Kruyf, Ton de (1937-2012) NL

Tone aus der Feme (Paul Klee, 1914), Op. 20. For M [G3-G5], chamb orch. Amsterdam: Donemus (Boosey & Hawkes), 1967. 1. "Meine kristallklare Seele"; 2. "Traum"; 3. "Tone aus der Ferne"; 4. "Ich gliihe bei den Toten." [10:00-11:03] Instrumental passages produce and connect the sections. This very expressive work is centered around a clearly presented text, with voice and instruments contributing greatly toward its enhancement. LP: Live-recordings of the Concerts of the 1968 International Composition and Interpretation of the Gaudeamus Foundation. Ileana Melita, M; Radio Chamber Orchestra, Roelof Krol, conductor. Bilthoven, Holland: Gaudemus Foundation (1969).

Kupferman, Meyer (1926-2003) USA

Miro, Miro on the Wall (Titles of thirty paintings by Joan Miro, freely arranged by Kupferman). For S [[B.sub.3]-[B.sub.5]], vib, sop sax, db, and pf, 1995. Soundspells Productions. 1. ["The stalk of the red flower pushes toward the moon."] 2. ["Girls covering their nudity, transparent in the dawn..."]; 3. ["Woman. Woman and bird in front of the moon."]; 4. Saxophone interlude; 5. ["Wall of the moon. Wall of the sun."]; 6. Vibraphone interlude; 7. ["Lady smiling on the Rambla in Barcelona."]. [19:00] This "solo cantata" (Kupferman's subtitle) requires vocal flexibility. Elements of jazz style and surrealism are found throughout the work. CD: Images of Chagall: the Music of Meyer Kupferman. Bronx Arts Ensemble, Kupferman, conductor. Soundspells Productions (1989).

Lombardo, Robert (b. 1932) USA

Songs To [Wassily] Kandinsky (Kathleen Lombardo). ForS [[A.sub.3]-[B.sub.5]],cl/bcl,va, 1980.1. ["Song To Kandinsky"]; 2. "Folksong"; 3. "Aria a due"; 4. "Burlesque, 1912"; 5. [untitled]. [11:00] For Elsa Charleston. The original poem is translated from English to Russian, Russian to Italian, Italian to German, and finally German back into English. The compositional approach is influenced by certain aesthetic tenets held by Kandinsky, especially the notion of "color hearing," and the related ideal of synthesizing various art forms. Score and recording available from composer and painter Lombardo's website: (accessed April 25, 2016), and Northwestern University, where his scores, recordings, and papers reside.

Matousek, Lukas (b. 1943) Czech

Colors and Thoughts (Painters: [Vasilij] Kandinsky, [Paul] Klee, [Joan] Miro, [Georges] Rouault. Poets: Vladimir Holan, Mikulas Medek, Stephane Mallarme). For M [[B.sub.3]-[F.sup.#.sub.5]], fl, cl, va, hpd, 1976.1. "Arts"; 2. "Beauty"; 3. "The Work"; 4. "Form"; 5. "The Artist." [13:22-15:00] The texts, in English, French, German, and Czech, are settings of philosophic quotations concerning their art by the painters and poets listed above. These texts are clearly central, with the instruments preparing, undergirding, or commenting on the meaning. The soloist sings or recites the texts, some of which are set in short recitativelike phrases, others in a sustained melodic style. CD: Lukas Matousek: Chamber Music. Zuzana Matouskova, M; Ars Kameralis (recorded 1992). Praha: Studio Matous: MK 0044-2 931 (1999). CD can be obtained from (accessed April 25, 2016).

Mekeel, Joyce (1931-1997) USA

Corridors of Dream (Wassily Kandinsky, Manfred P. Hein, Wolfdietrich Schnurre, Gustave Stramm, Hans M. Enzensberger). Some of the German texts are rendered in English, and both flutist and conductor have some whispered and spoken parts respectively. For M [[D.sub.3]-[F.sup.#.sub.5]], afl,bcl,hp,va,vc, 1972. [11:15-12:45] Mekeel, herself a sculptor and trained in anthropology as well as music (Ammer, p. 216, Selected Resources), registers the shifting moods of her chosen texts by asking performers to control gradual changes in pitch, volume, vowels, and vibrato. Sprechstimme, pitch sliding or bending, rhythmic speech, and other moderately extended vocal techniques are required. Free sections are also included. CD: Premiere Performances by Boston Musica Viva. Jan Curtiss, M; Richard Pittman, conductor, perc, and recitation; Boston Musica Viva. Chatsworth: Delos Records International # 1012 (1987).

Minchev Georgi (b. 1939) Bulgaria

Three Poems for Soprano [[B.sub.3]-[A.sub.5]], Strings, and Percussions (Pavel Slaviansky, based on Rumen Skorchev etchings, in Bulgarian transcribed into phonetic symbols), composed 1973. Sofia: Muzika, 1989. 1. "Antique Vase" (multiple repetitions of f#-a-e-g-c#); 2. "Dawn" (primarily instrumental, but some unaccompanied voice); 3. "Solitude" (S begins unaccompanied). [22:00] Photos of the Skorchev etchings are in the score. Requires disjunct intervals and gradual changes in volume, tempo, and pitch. CD: Concerto for piano and symphony orchestra; Symphonic prologue; Three poems for soprano, strings and percussions [sic]... Tiha Genova, S; Bulgarian Television and Radio Symphony Orchestra, Assil Kazandjiev, cond. Bulgaria: 030066 Balkanton, NY: Qualiton Imports (1990).

Nelson, Ron (b. 1929) USA

"The Drifter" (Vocalise), from Five Pieces After Paintings by Andrew Wyeth [1917-2009]. For B [[A.sub.2]-[D.sub.4]], orch, composed 1976, c. 1979. NY: Boosey & Hawkes, 1982, rental only. This portrait takes the name of the original watercolor by Wyeth who considered his subject, Willard Snowden to be an elegant speaker "clothed in mystery" (score notes). Song features predominately soft dynamics that build to forte near the end, and then diminish to soft again. "A folk-like theme" (Nelson's phrase) consisting of eighth notes is used to immortalize the drifter, and the soloist hums. Nelson prefers an African American singer.

Osborne, Nigel (b. 1948) UK/Eng

"I am Goya" (Andrei Voznesensky, English translation by the composer), for BBar [[G.sub.2]-[A.sub.4]], fl, ob, vn, vc, 1977. Tondon: Universal Edition 1982 EU 16208 T. Commissioned by Radcliff Trust. [9:41-12:00] Voznesensky's most famous poem strongly associates Francesco Goya's early 19th century engravings with the horrors of the Nazi invasion of Russia in the winter of 1941. Voice requirements include difficult rhythms, roulades, microtonality, wordless falsetto, Sprechstimme, whispering, and singing with and without text. CD: I am Goya; Concerto for flute and Chamber Orchestra; Remembering Esenin; The Sickle (1983). Stephen Varcoe, BBar; City of Tondon Sinfonia, Richard Hickox, conductor. Tondon: N. M. Classics NMCD087 (2003).

Paulus, Steven (1949-2014) USA

Artsongs. For T [[C.sup.#.sub.3]-[A.sub.4]] and pf. Valley Forge, PA: European American Music, 1983. 1. "Archaic Torso of Apollo" (Rainier Maria Wilke, trans. Stephen Mitchell); 2. "The Dance" (William Carlos Williams, from Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems); Paulus sets poem inspired by Pieter Breughel the Elder's painting, Peasant Dance, or "The Kermess" (Greenway, Selected Resources); 3. "Museum Piece" (Richard Wilbur, from Ceremony and other Poems); sets droll text in which a museum guard dozes while seated under an Edgar Degas painting of a "dancer [who] pirouettes / Upon the parting of his hair"; 4. "[Georges] Seurat" (Ira Sadoff); sets prose poem inspired by famous pointillist painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte; 5. "On Seeing Larry Rivers's Washington Crossing the Delaware in the Museum of Modern Art" (Frank O'Hara); sets O'Hara's tonally complex poem responding to a work inspired in turn by Tolstoy's War and Peace, and described by its painter as a "mixture of grand art and absurdity" (Tarry Rivers Foundation, Selected Resources); 6. "Moor Swan" (John Togan); this, the third of "Three Poems on Morris Graves's Paintings," is Togan's unflattering description of a subject Graves renders sympathetically; 7. "Warrior With Shield" (Michael Dennis Browne); "Warrior," referencing 1953-54 sculpture by Henry Moore, was "commissioned especially" for the Artsongs cycle. Paulus acknowledges Browne's "invaluable assistance in helping compile this set of seven poems" (Kimball, p. 328, Selected Resources). Artsongs was commissioned by and dedicated to Paul Sperry, and the Schubert Club of St. Paul, MN. [27:00] As is evident from the preceding, the set embodies a wide variety of vocal settings and styles. The voice often sings intricate rhythms in relation to the accompaniment, and some wide intervals. Sensitively responsive to the texts, Paulus's settings are musically descriptive and highly unified. CD: Songs. Paul Sperry, T; Irma Vallecillo, pf. Albany: TROY 036-2 Albany Records (1990).

Poulenc, Francis (1899-1963) Fr

Le travail dupeintre (Paul Eluard, 1948). For medium voice [[B.sup.[??].sub.3]-[F.sup.#.sub.5]], pf, 1956. Paris: Max Eschig, 1957. 1. "Pablo Picasso"; 2. "Marc Chagall"; 3. "Georges Braque"; 4. "Juan Gris"; 5. "Paul Klee"; 6. "Joan Miro"; 7. "Jacques Villon." [10:59] Although Poulenc knew most of these figures personally, his settings in this cycle may reflect Eluard's perspective more than his own. Dedicated to Alice Esty. Song 1 quotes the initial theme of Mother Marie from Dialogues des Carmelites. LP: Presence de la musique contemporaine: Banalites; Tel jour, telle nuit; Calligrammes; Le travail dupeintre. Ades: ADE 202942. Pierre Bernac, B; Francis Poulenc, pf, 1987. Paris: Disques Vega DL (1961).

Ravel, Maurice (1875-1937) Fr

"Sur I'herbe" (Paul Verlaine, from Fetes Galantes, no. 3). For voice [[C.sub.4]-[G.sub.5]], pf, 1907. Paris: A. Durand, 1909. [2:16] After Antoine Watteau's style of painting. Soft dynamics are used, with emphasis on ascending lines and a dance-like accompaniment. Text and voice are playfully and somewhat suggestively conversational in manner, but satiric undertone should not be missed (Gartside, Selected Resources). Premiered in 1907 by Jane Bathori, M, accompanied by Ravel. CD: Songs by Ravel. Gerald Finley, Bar; Julius Drake, pf. London: Hyperion CDA67728 (2009).

Romberg, Sigmund (1887-1951) Hungary, USA

"Currier and Ives" (Dorothy Fields), from Up in Central Park. For voice [[B.sup.[??].sub.3]-[D.sub.5]], pf, 1945. New York City, NY: Williamson Music, Inc, 1945. Broadway style singing with a chatty, humorous text to lighten any recital. Nathaniel Currier (1813-1888) and James Merritt Ives (1824-1895) were lithographers.

Rorem, Ned (b. 1923) USA

"The Dance" (William Carlos Williams), from Nantucket Songs. For voice [[D.sub.4]-[C.sub.5]], pf, 1979. New York: Boosey &Hawkes, 1981. [1:27] Commissioned by the Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge Foundation. This 3/4 time setting of a kermesse, inspired by the early Dutch Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch, portrays an enthusiastic peasant dance in the vocal melody, while suggesting the coarse bagpipes, sackbuts, and fiddles of that day in the accompaniment. CD: The Songs of Ned Rorem. Phyllis Bryn-Julson, S; Ned Rorem, pf. New York, NY: CRI Masters CRI 657 (1993). Originally recorded at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC (1979).

Schafer, R. Murray (b. 1933) Can

"Paul Klee" (Klee's Diaries [ Tagebucher], R. M. Schafer's selections), from Three Contemporaries. For M [[G.sup.[??].sub.3]-[G.sub.5]], and pf, 1954-56. Toronto: Berandol Music, Arcana Ed., 1976, reissued 2014. Dedicated to and premiered by Phyllis Mailing, accompanied by Weldon Kilburn. Having been an aspiring painter himself, Schafer created a text that brings greater understanding of Klee's style. The text is set in English and German. In the extensive set of comments Schafer prepared "for all my compositions ... [that] I consider worthy of retention," he says of this piece: "The style is expressionistic, reminiscent of the young Schoenberg but much less dense" (Schafer, p. 9, Selected Resources).

Tanguy, Eric (b. 1968) Caen

Lejardin des delices (Garden of Delights) (Michel Onfray, "Hommage a Jerome [Hieronymus] Bosch"). For S [[D.sup.#.sub.4]-[G.sub.5]], pf, fl, and vc, composed 1996. Paris: Salabert, 1997. EAS 19493, reissued 2000. [9:16] Onfray's text verbally depicts Bosch's identically titled triptych painting imaging the world's creation. This trio creates an impressionistic aura, with soft atmosphere, and dynamics that build moderately. The instruments weave around the soprano's long, chant-like lines and provide interludes. CD: Eric Tanguy: Lejardin des delices; Piano Sonata. Delphine Collot, S; Juliette Hurel, fl; Henri Demarquette, vc. France: Disques Chamade CHCD 5654, (1998). Videoclip: (accessed April 25 2016).

Tavener, John (1944-2013) UK/Eng

Three Surrealist Songs (Edward Lucie-Smith). For M [[E.sub.3]-[B.sup.[??].sub.5]], pf doubling, bongos, tape, composedl967-68. London: J. & W. Chester Ltd, 1971. 1. "To Rene Magritte" describes Magritte's oil painting, Bottom, and its philosophy; 2. "To Max Ernst" describes Ernst's oil painting, Cry of the Seagull (1953). With head positioned inside piano, the singer is to make a tape of the complete song. In performance, the singer sings with the tape, per instructions; 3. "To Salvador Dali" alludes to Dali's oil painting, The Persistence of Memory (1931). [10:00] Dedicated to soprano Honor McKellar. Some improvisation and Sprechstimme are required. Also requires taped sounds of ticking clocks, organ clusters, and a pf pattern. LP: Dorothy Dorow & More Friends. Dorothy Dorow, S; Rudolf Jansen, pf; Carol-Axel Dominique, perc. Stockholm: Caprice 1112 (1977).

Wilson, Richard E. (b. 1941) USA

Three Painters (Phyllis McGinley), from Eight Comic Songs. For T or S [[C.sup.#.sub.3]-[A.sup.#.sub.4]], pf, composed 1985. NY: Southern Music, 1994. 1. "On the Farther Wall, Marc Chagall"; 2. "Grandma Moses"; 3. "Jackson Pollock." [4:01-4:36] To Barbara Haskell, curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City. The poems Wilson chooses to set are amusing interpretations of the respectively named artists and their works. Voice sings wide intervals; chromatic intervals are required of both performers. CD: Paul Sperry Sings American Cycles and Sets. Paul Sperry, T; Irma Vallecillo, pf. Albany, NY: Albany Records (1991).


The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of her husband, Dr. William Graddy. He wrote Part I and its notes, helped with reference issues, editing, and word processing, and provided needed encouragement and support throughout.

For valuable research assistance she thanks librarians Gregory MacAyeal (Northwestern University) and Gary Gustin (Skokie Public Tibrary). Composer and pianist Michael Finnissy gave information regarding his part in the premier and recording of Richard Barrett's "Co'igitum," and Robert Tombardo volunteered background and score information on his Songs to Kandinsky. Several individuals very kindly provided scores, recordings, or information on related sources: Richard Barrett ("Co'igitum"); Odile Brandmuller ("Wie du unsern Vatern geschworen hast"); Sidney Corbett (Archipel Chagall II, Le Cirque); Douglas Freundlic (Joyce Mekeel's Corridors of Dream); Meyer Kupferman (Miro, Miro on the Wall); Lukas Matousek (Colors and Thoughts); Stephen Varcoe (Osborne's I am Goya); Katie Wood (Barrett's Coigitum); and Yoram and Irit Youngerman (Gilboa's Chagall sur le Bible).


Adams, Stephen. R. Murray Schafer. Canadian Composers 4. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983.

Ammer, Christine. Unsung: A History of Women in American Music, Contributions in Women's Studies 14 Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980.

Anderson, T. J. "Compositions: Chronological List of Compositions by T. J. Anderson." (accessed April 27, 2016).

Carman, Judith E., William K. Gaeddert, and Rita M. Resch. Art Songin the United States, 1759-2011: An Annotated Bibliography, 4th ed. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2013.

Clifton, Keith E. Recent American Art Song. A Guide. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2008.

Emmons, Shirley, and Wilbur Watkin Lewis. Researching the Song: A Lexicon. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

Evans, Gary. Music Inspired by Art: A Guide to Recordings. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press: Music Library Association, 2002.

Gartside, Robert. Interpreting the Songs of Maurice Ravel. Geneseo, NY: Leyerle, 1992.

Gradenwitz, Peter. Music and Musicians in Israel: A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Israeli Music, 3rd ed. Tel Aviv: Israeli Music Publications, 1977.

Greenway, Jonathan. "The Peasant Dance by Pieter Brueghel the Elder"; (accessed April 25,2016).

Harper, Nancy Lee. Review of Hommage a Salvador Dali by Ernesto Halffter; El ser humano muere solamente cuando lo olvidan: Vagina en recuerdo de Arthur Rubinstein para Piano Solo (1987/1993) by Cristobal Halffter; Zeitgestaltfur Streichquartett (1996) by Cristobal Halffter. Notes, 2nd Ser., 57. no. 3 (March 2001): 754-757.

Hunt, Jeremy. "Artsongs-Stephen Paulus." DMA diss., Indiana University, 2005.

Larry Rivers Foundation. "Seminal Works: Washington Crossing the Delaware 1953"; (accessed April 25, 2016).

Kimball, Carol. Song: A Guide to Art Song Style and Literature, rev. ed. Milwaukee, WI: Hal Leonard, 2006.

Mabry, Sharon. Exploring Twentieth-Century Vocal Music: A Practical Guide to Innovations in Performance and Repertoire. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

McVeagh, Diana M. Gerald Tinzi: His Life and Music. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2005.

Manning, Jane. New Vocal Repertory, vol. 2. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

Musik nach Bildern; (accessed April 25, 2016).

Pugin, Tristan. "Through the Spectrum: The New Intimacy in French Music (II)." Tempo, n.s., 217 (July 2001): 38-44, 47. Rorem, Ned. A Rorem Reader. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001.

Schafer, R. Murray. Program Notes, n.d.; (accessed April 27, 2016).

Stevens, Denis. A History of Song. New York: W. W. Norton, 1970.

Taruskin, Richard. Music in the Late Twentieth Century. Vol. 5 of The Oxford History of Western Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Tischler, Alice. A Descriptive Bibliography of Art Music by Israeli Composers. Sterling Heights, MI: Harmonie Park Press, 2011.

Villamil, Victoria Etnier. A Singer's Guide to the American Art Song: 1870-1980. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1993.


(1.) For a lucid, well informed summary of both perils and possibilities, see Julie Lee's widely disseminated article, "A Requiem for Classical Music?" Regional Review (Quarter 2 2003): 14-23. The text itself may be accessed at (accessed April 25, 2016). Eddie Yoon, a former professional musician, speaks from personal experience in "How Category Creation Is Reinvigorating Classical Music," Harvard Business Review Blog Network, July 29,2013; (accessed April 25, 2016).

(2.) The participating artists are identified, along with production facts and summaries of each of the six parts, at (accessed April 25,2016).

(3.) "Baritone Hampson Revels in Joining Poem and Music," Boston Globe (April 25, 2013); http://www.bostonglobe. com/arts/music/2013/04/25/baritone-hampson-revels-joining-poem-and-music/tpXVsGb0mK6ixEF033RwrK/story.html (accessed April 25, 2016).

(4.) The recital, presented July 14 and 15, 2011, was part of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival. A printable file of the beautifully illustrated forty-eight page program booklet may be accessed at (accessed April 25, 2016).

(5.) Application forms may be downloaded from the Hampsong Foundations's website. For the guideline excerpted in the text, see, pdf (accessed April 25, 2016).

(6.) VISI's website no longer includes the notes for the program, which was given by the University of British Columbia School of Music and titled "Songs of Here and Now: A Celebration of Art Song by BC Composers"; (accessed April 25, 2016). The Program Note mentioning the projection of Marcuzzi's paintings maybe found and a score downloaded for viewing at https://www. (accessed April 25, 2016). Audio tracks of the 2012 premiere are available on the composer's website; April 25, 2016).

(7.) (accessed April 25, 2016).

(8.) Quoted from the ensemble's website;!about/clhuv (accessed April 25, 2016).

(9.) Wassily Kandinsky, On the Spiritual in Art in Kandinsky: Complete Writings on Art, ed. Kenneth C. Lindsay and Peter Vergo (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1982) 1:191; quoted in Arnold Schoenberg [,] Wassily Kandinsky: Letters, Pictures, and Documents, ed. Jelena Hahl-Koch, trans. John C. Crawford (London: Faber and Faber, 1984), 151.

(10.) So far, the great majority of works comprising this interchange utilize or reference instrumental, not vocal music. And of the vocal genres, the art song is particularly under-represented in the scholarly literature on painting and music. Much of the reason lies in the privileged status that modernism itself accorded to abstraction. In his encyclopedic study, The Music of Painting: Music, Modernism and the Visual Arts from the Romantics to John Cage (London: Phaidon, 2010), Peter Vergo early on identifies the "non-imitative character" of music as "perhaps its most significant draw for later artists and critics" (8). He then goes on to summarize a later chapter's detailed explanation of how "pioneers of visual abstraction looked to the similarly 'abstract' language of music" in their quest to create works whose "coherence and meaning" were independent of their subject matter (10). Ned Rifkin and Jeremy Strick go even further in their Forward to Visual Music: Synaesthesia in Art and Music Since 1900 (New York: Thomas and Hudson, 2005), defining the title phrase, "visual music," as the effort by artists of the last century to "invent a kinetic non-representational art akin to non-representational music" (2). Since art songs by definition strive for a unity of text and music, and since most of the texts art song composers choose are profoundly representational, it simply follows that modernists in both music and art would privilege instrumental over vocal works. In a companion essay, "Robert Lombardo's Songs to Kandinsky: A Performer's Analysis" (Journal of Singing 72, no. 4 [March/April 2016]: 431-440), I try to show how highly lucid compositional strategies can indeed complement a text that celebrates and to some extent mirrors one of the seminal figures in abstractionist art.

(11.) In identifying voice types I have followed the "Boosey & Hawkes Standard Scoring and Language Abbreviations" list, available at In listing accompanying instruments I have followed the abbreviations adopted by the International Music Score Library Project. These are available at http://imslp.Org/wiki/IMSLP:Abbreviations_for_Instruments (accessed April 27, 2016).

(12.) The degree of mutual interest and investment shown between modern composers and visual artists is impressive. Some composers are serious painters, including David Diamond, Jacob Gilboa, and Robert Lombardo. R. Murray Schafer "developed an intense interest in the work of the Bauhaus artists, Paul Klee in particular" (Adams, Selected Resources). And Klee in turn, whose works several of the pieces in my list tribute, was himself an accomplished violinist and often painted musical subjects (e.g., The Place of a French Horn, Forking in 4/4, Kettle-drummer). Morton Feldman was strongly influenced by the theories of his friend, abstract expressionist painter Franz Kline.

Julia H. Graddy completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees in music education from Indiana University, then earned her DMA in Voice Performance from the University of Missouri, Kansas City in 1995, along with the Conservatory Divison Achievement Award in Doctoral Studies and Composition. She is the author of several previous articles in Journal of Singing examining solo vocal works written as tributes by composers such as Ronald Perera, George Crumb, Vally Weigl, and T. J. Anderson. Before retiring in June, 2011, she taught private voice, voice class, sightsinging, eartraining, Vocal Literature, and History of the Oratorio as Professor of Sacred Music at Moody Bible Institute. A lyric soprano, Dr. Graddy has extensive oratorio and recital performing experience primarily in Indianapolis, Kansas City, Grand Rapids, and Chcago. She has adjudicated NATS and other performance competitions in Missouri and Chicago, and has conducted high school, college, church, and community choir voice production clinics. At present, Dr. Graddy's primary professional focus is research.
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Author:Graddy, Julia H.
Publication:Journal of Singing
Article Type:Bibliography
Date:Sep 1, 2016
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