An Art Song is a composition for voice and piano, usually intended for performance in a more intimate setting than the kind of concert hall or theatre where you would attend an opera or a symphony concert. Art songs are best enjoyed in a recital hall or even in someone's living room. They require a setting where the singer can can invite audience members to share the private world of their imagination. 

 

Singers often ask me how much physical movement and character definition is appropriate for an art song performance. Arias will often benefit from the kind of broad, sweeping movements and gestures you would see in a fully staged opera performance, but art songs require a more subtle approach.

 

In this tutorial, tenor Giovanni Pinto and pianist Eric Sedgwick explore movement possibilities to enhance their interpretation of "When I Have Sung My Songs" by Ernest Charles.


Henry Purcell's song "Music for a While" is wonderful for cultivating dynamic stillness while performing an art song. Click below to download the score. I encourage you to learn the song and see how much you can trust your face and your voice to communicate the text while remaining physically grounded and still. 

Share your performances with us!

Film yourself performing the Purcell or any art song of your choice.

We would love to hear you sing and to provide you with feedback

on your interpretations. 


Physical Movement for an Art Song: Timing Is Everything

Emily Dalessio is a Voice Performance major at the Hartt School of Music. She's preparing for her senior recital this coming Saturday, November 16th. In this Skype session, we talk about how to time gestures more organically for her performance of "Bright Cap and Streamers" by Ben Moore.

 

 

Tags: carnegie hall, claudia friedlander, eric sedgwick, ernest charles, giovanni pinto, interpretation, musical exchange, when I have sung my songs

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This was really useful! I have to sing a chanson this Monday for a class (and the teacher will evaluate my performance), and I'm sure I'll use these tips. I'll try to have it filmed! 

Great, Mariana! It would be fabulous if you could film your performance. Please let us know how it goes either way!

The quality of the video was terrible, so I guess I'll try again another time :S

Oh well! If you've got a decent internet connection we could Skype sometime and you can show us what you're working on. 

Physical Movement for an Art Song: Timing Is Everything

 

Emily Dalessio is a Voice Performance major at the Hartt School of Music. She's preparing for her senior recital this coming Saturday, November 16th. In this Skype session, we talk about how to time gestures more organically for her performance of "Bright Cap and Streamers" by Ben Moore. 

 

 

Wow that was really amazing! I almost applauded right in the middle of a quiet class!

So glad you enjoyed it, Melody! Share some more of your singing with us when you have the opportunity! 

I recently had a conversation with opera director and acting coach David Ronis to ask his advice about physical interpretation of art songs. I've written about our discussion in a new thread and posted some wonderful art song performances to illustrate his points. Read about what he had to say and join the discussion here

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