Date of Award

5-1977

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Betty Hammond

Abstract

Preparation for the graduate recital provides the Master's candidate an opportunity to exercise a variety of musical skills. Choosing the best possible program requires not only a working knowledge of the available repertory, but a personal assessment of the particular voice with its characteristic strengths and weaknesses. The final selection must reflect a fine balance of material difficult enough to provide a musical challenge and material with which a singer can feel comfortable in communicating.

Working toward the performance involves both intellectual preparation through research and physical preparation through vocal conditioning. It is not enough to anticipate vocal difficulties and then to rehearse and memorize the music, the singer must understand what he sings. Proper performance of the songs requires a study of the period and the genre of each composition, the composer and his use of musical devices within a particular piece, and the individual text with its mood or purpose. The primary source for study is the music itself, and this is supplemented by materials written about the author and his works.

An exhaustive study of each composition on the program is beyond the scope and intention of the recital report. Therefore, because of a special interest, the author has chosen to study one group of songs, Finzi's I Said to Love, in sufficient detail as to exhibit a maturing of analytic techniques.

Although Gerald Finzi was not an unusually prolific or heralded composer of the twentieth century, his vocal selections are beautifully endearing and skillfully crafted examples of the solo song. Within the realm of his craftsmanship was the gifted ability to provide a near perfect union of text and music, even with difficult material such as poems of Thomas Hardy. The purpose of this paper is to discuss general characteristics of Finzi's music as revealed in the six songs of I Said to Love and his particular affinity to the poetry of Thomas Hardy.

In order to discuss the song cycle I Said to Love with understanding, it is necessary to include general background information. Biographical considerations of both Gerald Finzi and Thomas Hardy are provided with a brief summary of their particular styles. Each song setting is analyzed first as poetry and then according to musical considerations. Comments on performance problems are included when they seem appropriate.

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