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Jacob Smith, baritone
Mark Smith, piano
Hillary Herold, mezzo-soprano
Madelyn Mazzeo, flute
Christa Navy, soprano
Ensemble: Dr. Larry Stickler, Mycah Pemberton, Rebekah May, Erin Sears, Hillary Herold, Olivia Watson, Corynn Hawkins, KeAnna Georges, Brooke Fisher, Madelyn Mazzeo, Sean Price, Gabriel Gray, Michael Bare, Jarohn Grandstaff, Daniel Gray, Josh Stewart, Joshua Steinle, Jonathan Young
This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Music. Mr. Smith is a student in the vocal studio of Dr. Larry Stickler.
"Arm, Arm Ye Brave"
George Frederic Handel, 1685-1759, was one of the most prominent English composers of his time. Although born in Germany, his travels included much of Western Europe, namely France and Italy before he finally found his home in England. His musical style influenced composers such as Mozart, who re-orchestrated Handel's oratorio Messiah, and Beethoven with themes stylistically attributed to Handel in select piano works. Although Handel wrote many operas, his oratorios are what are most performed in present day. "Arm, Arm Ye Brave" is an aria taken from Handel's setting of the biblical story Judas Maccabeus. Simon, brother of the leader Judas, sings this aria to assemble the people and call them to battle to defend their land. In much of the vocal line, there is a plethora of tonic and dominant chord structures being outlined as is typical of the Baroque musical era. Rhythmically, in the second section, in the relative minor key, there is a rhythmic motive related to the French Overture, a dotted eighth-note into a connected sixteenth, which is applied to the word "strengthen." The vocal line exhibits the feeling of strengthening the soldiers going into battle though being somewhat shaken by what they are about to face. The middle section on the word strengthen demonstrates a usage of text painting, a musical adaptation of a verbal message.
"I Attempt from Love's Sickness to Fly" and "Sound the Trumpet"
Henry Purcell, 1659-1695, was the son of a court musician, and due to his father teaching him music from infancy, one could say he had music given to him from birth. He was a native-born English composer who was one of the only during his period who would come close to the later success of Handel. Purcell's musical occupatio11s included organist at the esteemed Westminster Abbey, counter- tenor chorister of the Chapel Royal, and court appointed musician duties under Charles II until his death in 1695. Some of his pieces include early forms of opera and his most recognizable setting of Dido and Aeneas, which includes "When I Am Laid in Earth," said to be the saddest song ever written until Samuel Barber composed "Adagio for Strings." It has been stated that no other British composer brought the English stage back to life like Purcell until the lifetime of Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Benjamin Britten, who took many of Purcell's folksongs and rearranged them into a new collection. A few of his stage settings have kept his early songs alive in the vocal repertoire to this day.
"I Attempt from Love's Sickness to Fly" is taken from The Indian Queen written for soprano, but can be adapted for any voice which feels technically capable. In the repeated refrains, the word "fly" is stretched across an eighth-note vocal run to show the word appearing to fly. In the final repetition of the refrain, it is stylistically accurate to ornament, add appropriately placed notes, to show vocal ability of the singer. "Sound the Trumpet" is taken from Come, Ye Sons of Art originally written as a duet for two countertenors. It too has been arranged for multiple voice types and at times even one voice and a trumpet with basso-continue as the accompaniment style. H. Wendell Howard, a member of National Association of Teachers of Singing, said, "Purcell is to English sung what Shakespeare is to English spoken."
"0 du mein holder Abendstern"
Richard Wagner's, 1813-1883, music is some of the most controversial from the past two centuries. While this is the case, the generalized public unknowingly uses his music in most weddings. His opera Lohengrin includes the piece "Treulich geführt," known to the general public as the Bridal Chorus. Wagner's music had an effect on the political outlook of late nineteenth and early twentieth century Germany. Leaders of the country used his music in forms of propaganda to influence national pride in their efforts in many different facets. In his music, he uses high amounts of chromaticism, both vocally and instrumentally, as well as leitmotifs. Leitmotifs [late-moe-teefs] are associated somewhat with character pieces in that they use music to identify people by specific sounds or melodic sequences. In "O du mein holder Abendstern" from Tannhäuser, Wolfram begs the stars to watch over the love of his life, Elizabeth. She has fallen in love with Wolfram's best friend, the title character. Wolfram's desire of being with Elizabeth cannot be fulfilled; therefore, he plans on leaping from the bell tower rather than living to see her love someone else.
Robert Schumann, 1810-1856, began his artistic career at the age of six by taking piano lessons. His start on the piano may have been what pushed him toward an almost entirely instrumental repertoire in his early composing years. He had little experience with vocal music since he saw it as inferior to instrumental and orchestral works, that is, until he met his future bride, Clara Schumann, nèe Wieck. After struggling through a lengthy legal battle with Clara's father Schumann was able to marry her, and thus began his vocal composition phase being that love had moved him to write for the voice since instrumental music could not express how he felt. At that point m Schumann history, it was referred to as the "Liederjahr," or Year of the Song (1840). Most, if not all of his vocal works from then on were dedicated to his wife, for he felt that his relationship with her had inspired a new genre of music within him. "Widmung," translated as Dedication, is the first song in a set titled Myrthens, Opus 25. The text comes from a set by German poet Friedrich Rückert. The form is ABA with the opening section being his pledge of love to Clara, "Du meine Seele (You are my soul), Du mein Herz (You are my heart)," and reappears at the end of the piece stating again all of what she means to Schumann. This piece has been transcribed for multiple instruments, and remains one of his most performed vocal selections.
"Auf ein altes Bild"
Hugo Wolf, 1860-1903, has been referred to as the "Wagner of the Lied." Despite his immense success, he was not a stable man, neither financially, nor mentally. Wolf depended heavily on the kindness of close friends to look after him for both shelter and food. He, like many Romantic era composers such as Schumann, contracted syphilis which affected his mental capacity and social life, and the further the disease developed, the darker his songs became. His disorder brought on extended bouts of depression, long periods between composition, and eventually a suicide attempt, which led to his admittance into a psychological facility. While his work remained sublime, according to multiple sources he was unable to keep friends close, which is most likely a reason for the darker sounds of his later songs. Eduard Mörike, German poet, inspired Wolf’s 1888 53-song collection, which he titled the Möorike Lieder. "Auf ein altes Bild" sustains heavy tension in such a thin texture, both rhythmically and melodically. Number 23 in this set talks of the future crucifixion of Jesus being "whispered" in the wind through the tree that will eventually become his cross. The last six words are hushed, and also accompanied by a fermata to create the illusion of time standing still. The song is written in F# minor, but adds the A# at the end to create a major chord, giving a haunting sense of false security for the future of the boy-child. Wolf's music uses a heavy amount of chromaticism, while still remaining lyrically melodic and somewhat unnerving.
Richard Strauss, 1864-1949, was an orchestral genius. His most recognizable work is Also sprach Zarathustra, featured as the theme in 2001: A Space Odyssey. While his main vocal focus was in operas, he gave much attention to his art song collections, completing six collections in under two years. His musical outlook influenced his song style by moving away from the piano and toward a fuller, heavier sound of an orchestra to accompany the voice. The accompaniment choice of the orchestra is said to be his major contribution to the history of the German lieder. With his innovative attitude, he was able to develop lush harmonies, which are prevalent in this selection, in styles that followed the ways of Hector Berlioz and Gustav Mahler. His wife was also an inspiration and companion in Strauss's endeavors being gifted in music herself. The poetry was taken from a predecessor to Strauss, Austrian author and public servant, Hermann von Gilm (1812-1864). Gilm's message in this poem is one of love that cannot be regained due to a tragic loss. The intensity of the harmonies and vocal line grow throughout the piece until the climax on the forte, high A-flat which accompanies the message, "Komm an mein Herz, dass ich dich wieder habe (Come to my heart, let me hold you again)." The piece ends with a reluctantly quiet attitude of the realization that this cannot happen again, "Wie einst im Mai (As once in May)."
"Bella siccome un angelo"
Gaetano Donizetti, 1797-1848, gained international musical fame with his operas Lucia di Lammermoor and L 'elisir d'amore in the nineteenth century. In his younger years, his musical experiences involved being a choirboy in St. Maria Maggiore's church, instruction at the Liceo Filarmonico Music School and staging his first successful composition Enrico di Borgogna at age 21. B; the age of 33, Donizetti had composed at least 31 operas that are, for the most part, no longer staged. Don Pasquale, one of his most well-known operas, is set in early nineteenth century Rome, and had a Paris premiere in January of 1843. The cast is small, as is typical of Donizetti's operas, and is in three acts. In this scene, the deceitful Dr. Malatesta, one of the two baritone roles, tries to convince the elderly character, Don Pasquale, that he has found a beautiful bride for him. The girl is none other than Malatesta's sister, and in a fit, Don Pasquale pushes him to hurry and bring her to him.
"Avant de quitter ces lieux"
Charles Gounod, 1818-1893, is probably best known to the general public for his arrangement of Ave Maria set to J.S. Bach's "Prelude in C Major" from The Well-Tempered Clavier. His works on the opera stage and concert hall earned him the title of "Father of the Melodie," which is the French answer to nineteenth century art song. Although French in nationality, he credited German composers such as Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Schumann as his musical inspirations all while conforming his music to the idea of nationalism in French repertoire. His operas are among the most highly revered in French history. Faust is the French version of the German tragedy by Johann von Goethe of the same title. The opera contains four acts set in 16th century Leipzig, Germany, and premiered in Paris in March of 1859. The aria is performed by the character Valentin as a prayer for his sister Marguerite to be protected while he is away at war. The pairing of the slow lyrical opening recitative transitions into the march off to war triplet motion under the vocal line. As the end is coming, a reintroduction of the rubato-tempo theme comes back into the voice to emphasize the message of the prayer request.
Deux Romances, "Beau soir"
Claude Debussy, 1862-1918, was a conservatory student at The Paris Conservatory in the late nineteenth century under the influence of fellow French composer, Gabriel Fauré, who did not see the creativity or structure in Debussy's music. Debussy wrote around 90 pieces for vocal soloist, which are considered the height of the mélodie, alongside his German counterpart Hugo Wolf. The most famous of Debussy's work is his piano piece, Claire de Lune, featured in multiple films, commercials, and even ballet routines. He is considered a member of the impressionistic movement, which transitioned the romantic era into the modern twentieth century period of music. Debussy's death in 1918 was attributed to cancer, one of the first times this disease was listed as the cause of death.
Debussy's set, Deux Romances (Two Romances), is not a typical set, only tied by their opus number. The first song in this set is called, "Romance," and starts with a small two-measure introduction. The text begins with the words "L'âme évaporée et souffrante (The vanishing and suffering soul)" all while the piano is silent until the first phrase is complete. In his style, Debussy does not crowd obvious ideas into his music, but rather nuances that one must have a somewhat in-tune musical understanding to grasp. In the second of the set, "Les cloches", the opening theme in the left hand is repeated throughout the entirety of the song. C#-D#-E-returning to C# is the motive of the bells. If one listens, one can hear it subtly throughout. Beau soir was written very early in Debussy's career, estimated at age 18, and shows the lyricism and simple beauty of his vocal melody. He was very fond of the poetry of his contemporary Paul Borget, whose texts are in all three of these selections. Debussy said, "Musicians who don't understand anything about poetry ought not to set it to music. They can only ruin it."
"Sure on this Shining Night"
Samuel Barber, 1910-1981, is one of the most recognizable American composers of the modern era. From the start, Barber's family had a strong influence on his musical career, seeing as how his maternal aunt was Metropolitan Opera contralto, Louise Homer, and his uncle, Sidney Horner, was also a composer. During the beginning of his musical education, he was in the inaugural class at the Curtis Institute of Music where he met lifelong friend Gian Carlo Menotti, an Italian transplant who made his way in musical America. He and Menotti worked together on Barber's opera, Vanessa (1958), still said to be the only truly American opera in practice. His solo vocal works total over 100, but none are as performed or well known as "Sure On this Shining Night." Set with the poetry of James Agee, Barber himself said, "... if I'm writing music for words, then I immerse myself in those words, and I let the music flow out of them." Barber had a talent for capturing the natural expression of the text he chose for his music. The vocal line and piano accompaniment echo each other at different times throughout this piece. The tradeoff between the vocal line and accompaniment, coupled with a mixing meter, makes the lines flow, one after the other. Barber also set this solo as a four-part choral song, with an additional ending written in the vocal line with the piano accompaniment from. the solo version. The text is a hushed repeat of" ... on this shining night."
"Long Time Ago"
Aaron Copland, 1900-1990, was a composer, arranger, conductor, and someone who tried to capture just exactly how America sounded. While not considered a force in the choral world, his instrumental works still keep musicians' attention in other realms with such pieces as his ballets Appalachian Spring and Rodeo, and his orchestral work Fanfare for the Common Man. As a young musician, he studied in Paris with the revered Nadia Boulanger who trained many American greats such as George Gershwin, Philip Glass, and Gian Carlo Menotti. Copland arranged his first five Old American Songs, taken from old hymns and minstrel songs in 1950 for solo voice and piano, and his second set in 1952. The first set was premiered, oddly enough, in May of 1950 in Britain at the Aldeburgh Festival by composer/pianist Benjamin Britten and English tenor Peter Pears. The American premiere did not take place until January of 1951. After both sets had gained success, Copland rearranged them for a medium range voice to be accompanied by a small orchestra. This particular song, Long Time Ago, is the third movement of the first collection. The range is rather small, only an octave wide, but requires keen attention to the natural lyricism that Copland has written.
"When I Think Upon the Maidens"
Michael Head, 1900-1976, is a lesser known English composer. In his early education, he began studying mechanical engineering, but transferred into the Royal Academy where he eventually was named the piano professor. His instructor before he attended the Academy was Jean Adair, a former student of Clara Wieck-Schumann. During Head's career at the Royal Academy, he studied voice enough to grasp its composition techniques. Upon entering his first composition competition, he ceased voice lessons altogether. To market his music during his professional years, he would frequently give one man recitals for the public. His style was never defined wholly, mostly because he took ideas from romanticism, impressionism, and others, but his vocal music lies somewhere between early show tunes and "art song proper." "When I Think Upon the Maidens,'' is an art song, published in 1920, which is about a Don Juan character who recounts all of his exploits with the women on his travels. The character has a temporary bout of regret, but it is quickly whisked away and the main theme from the beginning returns, showing the lessons learned have not stuck in his mind. After Head's retirement from the Academy in 1975, his touring took him to Cape Town, South Africa where he died in August of 1976.
"A Simple Song" and "Make Our Garden Grow" Leonard Bernstein, 1918-1990, is an American treasure who has given the artistic community shows like West Side Story, Candide, On the Town, and many more. In his working on West Side Story, he partnered with Stephen Sondheim (Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Sweeney Todd) as his lyricist. Later in his career, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Children of Eden, Godspell) also worked with him as his lyricist on Mass. Bernstein was the first American-born conductor of the New York Philharmonic. His inclusion of the public in a generalized type of televised music education was a breath of fresh air for the classical scene. Bernstein's mission was to educate the younger generations about what classical music could offer them. He led these events from the 1958 season through the 1972 season. He left his post at the New York Philharmonic in 1969, but continued to be a part of these programs for three years after.
Commissioned by First Lady Jackie Kennedy, Mass, is a parodied look at the Roman Catholic service. The entire work is titled Mass: A Theatre Piece for Singers, Players and Dancers. '' It was just that, somewhat of a show making two choruses, a boy's chorus, and a large orchestra necessary for performances. Famed choreographer Alvin Ailey was the original dance instructor for the show. "Simple Song" is the song most contrary to its title, because it has a lightly textured solo, in the work that calls for such a large membership to perform it. Bernstein's title of the song is also its message. He saw praise as simple and direct in nature. "Make Our Garden Grow" is the finale from Bernstein's setting of Candide, a book taken from French writer Voltaire. It was, at Voltaire's time, a parody of the Catholic Church's "activities" among the general public. Lillian Hellmann, playwright and stage partner to Bernstein, saw this as a government parallel to Washington's, namely McCarthy's, communist search and seizure "witch trials" of the 1950s. Bernstein had a large impact on multiple facets of music from conducting, Broadway, operetta, music education, and so many others. He shared his thoughts in his book Findings, "Life without music is unthinkable, Music without life is academic. That is why my contact with music is a total embrace."
(0 du mein holder Abendstern) Wie Todesahnung Dämmrung deckt die Lande, umhült das Tai mit schwärzlichem Gewande; der Seele, die nach jenen Höhn verlangt, vor ihrem Flug durch Nacht und Grausen bangt. Da scheinest du, o Jieblichster der Sterne, dein Sanftes Licht entsendest du der Ferne; die nächt'ge Dämm rung teilt dein lieber Strahl, und freundlich zeigst du den Weg aus dem Tai. 0 du, mein holder Abendstern, wohl güsst' ich immer dich so gem: vom Herzen, das sie nie verriet, grüsse sie, wenn sie vorbei dir zieht, wenn sie entschwebt dem Tai der Erden, ein sel'ger Engel dort zu werden!
Like a premonition of death, darkness covers the land, and envelops the valley in its sombre shroud; the soul that longs for the highest grounds, is fearful of the darkness before it takes flight. There you are, oh loveliest star, your soft light you send into the distance; your beam pierces the gloomy shroud and you show the way out of the valley. Oh, my gracious evening star, I always greet you like happily: with my heart that she never betrayed take to her as she drifts past you, when she soars from this earthly vale, to transform into blessed angel!
(Widmung) Du meine Seele, du mein Herz. Du meine Wann', o du mein Schrnerz, Du meine Welt, in der ich lebe, Mein Himmel du, darein ich schwebe, 0 du mein Grab, in das hinab Ich ewig meinen Kummer gab! Du bist die Ruh, du bist der Frieden, Du bist der Himmel, mir beschieden. Daβ du mich liebst, macht mich mir wert, Dein Blick hat mich vor mir verklärt, Du hebst mich liebend über mich, Mein guter Geist, mein beβres lch!
You my soul, you my heart, you my bliss, o you my pain, you the world in which I live; you my heaven, in which I float, o you my grave, into which I eternally cast my grief. You are rest, you are peace, you are bestowed upon me from heaven. That you love me makes me worthy of you; your gaze transfigures me; you raise me lovingly above myself, my good spirit, my better self!
(Auf ein altes Bild) In grüner Landschaft Sommerflor, Bei kühlem Wasser, Schilf, und Rohr, Schau, wie das Knäblein Sündelos Frei spielet auf der Jungfrau Schoβ! Und dart im Walde wonnesam, Ach, grünet schon des Kreuzes Stamm!
In the green landscape of a blossoming summer, beside cool water, reeds, and canes, Behold, how the sinless child plays freely on the virgin's knee. And there, in the woods, blissfully, growing already is the stem that will become the cross.
(Allerseelen) Stell auf den Tisch die duftenden Reseden, Die letzten roten Astern trag herbei, Und laβ uns wieder von der Liebe reden, Wie einst im Mai. Gib mir die Hand, daβ ich sie heimlich drücke Und wenn man's sieht, mir ist es einerlei, Gib mir nur einen deiner süβen Blicke, Wie einst im Mai. Es blüht und duftet heut auf jedem Grabe, Ein Tag im Jahr ist jaden Toten frei, Komm an mein Herz, daβ ich dich wieder habe, Wie einst im Mai.
Place on the table the fragrant mignonettes, Bring inside the last red asters, and let us speak again of love, as once we did in May. Give me your hand, so that I can press it secretly; and if someone sees us, it's all the same to me. Just give me your sweet gaze, as once you did in May. Flowers adorn today each grave, sending off their fragrances; one day in the year is free for the dead. Come close to my heart, so that I can have you again, as once I did in May.
(Bella siccome un angelo) Bella siccome un angelo in terra pellegrino. Fresca siccome il giglio che s'apre in sul mattino. Occhio che parla e ride, sguardo che I cor conquide. Chioma che vince l'ebano sorriso incantator. Alma innocente ingenua, che sé medesma ignora; modestia impareggiabile, bonta che v'innarnora. Ai miseri pietosa, gentil, dolce, amoroso. Il ciel l'ha fatta nascere per far beato un cor.
Beautiful as an angel on earth as a pilgrim. Fresh as a lily that opens upon morning. Eyes that speak and laugh, Glances that conquer the heart, Hair that surpasses ebony, Enchanting smile! A soul innocent and ingenuous that ignores itself. Modesty incomparable Goodness that makes one fall in love. To the poor piteous, Gentle, sweet, loving! Heaven made her be born to make a heartbeat!
(Avant de quitter) 0 sainte médaille, Qui me vient de ma soeur, Au jour de la bataille, Pour écarter la mort, Reste sur mon coeur. Avant de quitter ces lieux, Sol natal de mes aïeux A toi, Seigneur et Roi des cieux, Ma soeur je confie. Daigne de tout danger Toujours la proteger, Cette soeur si chérie. Déelivré d'une triste pensée J'irai chercher la gloire, La gloire au sein des ennemis, Le
prémier, le plus brave, Au fort de la mèlee, J'irai combattre pour mon pays, Et si, vers lui, Dieu me rappelle, Je veillerai sur toi fidèle, Ô Marguerite!
0, holy medal. Which comes to me from my sister, On the day of battle, to guard against death, Stay on my heart. Before leaving this place, Native soil of my ancestors, to you, Lord and King of Heaven My sister I entrust. Deign from all danger. Always to protect her, This sister, so dear! Delivered from a sad thought, I will go in search of glory, Glory in the midst of enemies, The first, the bravest, In the heat of the fray, I will go to do combat for my country, And if, to him, God calls me back, I will watch over you loyally, Oh, Marguerite!
(Romance) L'âme evaporée et souffrante, L'âme douce, l'âme odorante Des lys divins que j'ai cueillis Dans le jardin de ta pensée, Oùdone les vents l'ont-ils chassee, Cette filne adorable des lys? N'est-il plus un parfum qui reste De la suavité celeste Des jours où tu m'enveloppais D'une vapeur surnaturelle, Faite d'espoir, d'amour fidele, De beatitude et de paix?
The vanishing and suffering soul, the sweet soul, the fragrant soul of divine lilies that I have picked in the garden of your thoughts, Where, then, have the winds chased it, this charming soul of the lilies? Is there no longer a perfume that remains of the celestial sweetness of the days when you enveloped me in a supernatural haze, Made of hope, of faithful love, of bliss and of peace?
(Les cloches) Les feuilles s'ouvraient sur le bord des branches Délicatement. Les cloches tintaient, légères et franches, Dans le ciel clément. Rythmique et fervent comme une antienne, Ce lointain appel. Me remémorait la blancheur chrétienne. Des fleurs de l'autel. Ces cloches parlaient d'heureuses années, Et, dans le grand bois, Semblaient reverdir les feuilles fanées, Des jours d'autrefois.
The leaves opened on the edge of the branches delicately. The bells tolled, light and free, in the clear sky. Rhythmically and fervently, like an antiphon, this faraway call reminded me of the Christian whiteness of altar flowers. These bells spoke of happy years, and in the large forest they seemed to revive the withered leaves of days gone by.
(Beau soir) Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses, Et qu'un tiède frisson court sur les champs de blé, Un conseil d'être heureux semble sortir des choses Et monter vers le creur troublé; Un conseil de goûter le charme d'être au monde, Cependant qu'on est jeune et que le soir est beau, Car nous nous en allons comme s'en va cette onde: Elle à la mer, nous au tombeau!
When streams tum pink in the setting sun, and a slight shudder rushes through the wheat fields, a plea for happiness seems to rise out of all things and it climbs up towards the troubled heart. A plea to relish the charm of life while there is youth and the evening is fair, for we pass away, as the wave passes: The wave to the sea, we to the grave.
Sure on this shining night of star-made shadows round. Kindness must watch for me, this side the ground. The late year lies down the north. All is healed, all is health. High summer holds the earth. Hearts all whole. Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder, wand'ring far alone of shadows on the stars.
"Music is, to me, proof of the existence of God. It is so extraordinarily full of magic, and in tough times of my life I can listen to music and it makes such a difference."
- Kurt Vonnegut
Smith Recital Hall
Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance
Smith, Jacob, "Marshall University Music Department Presents a Senior Recital, Jacob Smith, baritone" (2015). All Performances. 688.