"Kailin Chen, Tenor, in his Master of Music Recital"
The repertoire for my recital includes a range of pieces from the Romantic era to the twentieth century. Some of the genres include Italian art song, German lied, French mélodie, the English art song, and opera arias. These were present in the same time period in different cultures. There are four sets chosen for the program. The text and music will bring both the audience and the performer to that era and to that moment, as they will feel the sincere emotion of the Romantic period and 20th century. Everyone will have a different way of understanding the music. The first part of the recital is Italian art songs. There are three represented composers in this section: Stefano Donaudy (1879-1925), Francesco Paolo Tosti (1846-1916) and Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835). The first song is "O del mio amato ben" by Italian composer Stefano Donaudy. Donaudy created various "ancient" songs. In this song, the subtitle is "aria." "O del mio amato ben" is the most performed of his works. This song has strophic form and was written in the 18th century, but it uses 20th -century harmony. The introduction in the piano is four measures, which is repeated in the second verse. The piano accompaniment starts lightly and makes a legato line to support the lyrics and vocal line. The emotion develops with the melody. Then, more tension is added to the harmony to represent the inner pain of lost love. Francesco Paolo Tosti often used Neapolitan folk song style in his work. The lyrics of "La serenata" are written by Neapolitan dialect poet Salvatore Di Giacomo. The song's accompaniment presents a quick, light tempo with strong arpeggiated figures, which imitates the plucking of a mandolin or guitar. "Per pietà, bell'idol mio," is a very famous song by Vincenzo Bellini. This song expresses the desire of the lover. In the beginning, five measures introduce the song through descending notes in a minor key to build up tension. This speaks to the conflict in this song. The dynamic dotted sixteenth notes show us the man's passion and how he wants to express to his lover that he still loves her, even though she says he is ungrateful. The accompaniment repeats small descending phrases, which bring the emotion of sorrow and deep sighs to the audience. In the second verse, the 44th measure changes to C minor from E flat, and the accompaniment of the bass line reflects that the singer is close to getting what he wants. The singer sings a victorious A flat in the end to represent the resolution of the conflict. In the last three measures, the accompaniment ends with a march form to show the audience that there is a happy ending to this song. These three songs were all written in Romantic era. Stefano Donaudy's song "O del mio amato ben" has an inner sensuous and graceful melody. The classical elegance and romantic sensibility combine in this song. Tosti's song "La serenata" is representative of his style, that is expressive and natural, characterized by smooth melodies and sentimentality of the Romantic form. Bellini is known especially for his sensuous and expression vocal lines, especially in this song "Per pietà, bell'idol mio." The second set is the German section. The five songs all come from the "Die schöne Müllerin" a song cycle by Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828), who was an Austrian composer of the late Classical (1730-1820) and early Romantic eras (1780-1910). This song cycle is based on poems by Wilhelm Müller. As with many of his early works, it is performed widely. In the beginning of the story a young miller is light of heart, walking in the countryside. He walks following the brook, which leads him to a mill. This young man falls in love with the miller's daughter. However, he is just a journeyman, he can't reach her level. After that the miller's daughter falls in love with a hunter. In the end, the young man feels hopelessness, and he probably drowns himself in the brook. The last song is "The Brook's Lullaby." The five songs in this program seem to change the story, which here ends happily. "Das Wandern" starts in a major key. This is the introduction to the story as the protagonist is wandering in the countryside. The next song, "Halt!" is also in a major key. It tells the audience that the brook leads the young man to the mill in the countryside. The accompaniment imitates the mill wheel turning, which has a foreboding quality. "Danksagung an den Bach" is through-composed, with a contemplative broken chord pattern in the accompaniment. A section in the parallel minor introduces the heroine, the miller's daughter. The young man thanks the brook for leading him to the miller's daughter. "Der Neugierige" shows us that this young man falls in love with the miller's daughter. The opening accompaniment sets a musical question in the beginning and a rising pattern ending on a diminished chord. This highlights the question posed by the story. The second verse represents the miller's mixed feelings with its flowing broken triads. "Mein!" is sung by this young man because he supposes this girl belongs to him. The low-register accompaniment in broken chords represents the young man's excitement. The accompaniment ends with a D- major chord. This is the last song in my German section. It has a happy ending. Franz Schubert redefines the art song in this "Die schöne Müllerin"; he changes the traditional form of the art song and makes it more dramatic. The piano is not only accompaniment in this work, it also imitates the mill or brook and describes the situation. The piano plays an important part in this song cycle and gives clues to the story. The French mélodie section comes from the French composer Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924). He was one of the foremost composers in French music. Many 20th -century composers are influenced by his musical style. One of his best-known art songs is "Après un Rêve." The text of the song comes from an anonymous Italian poem and Romain Bussine translated it into French. The music form is AAB. The long vocal line presents a beautiful dream, and the dreamer doesn't want to wake up. This dreamer wants to go back to the "mysterious night" of his dream. The soft chordal accompaniment creates and maintains the tension and passion. "Lydia" includes many features from the early song style of Fauré's work. The accompaniment is constructed of narrow intervals, and the song also uses a strophic form. A smooth vocal line uses narrow intervals and blends tonality and modality in the chords. This song is performed for the lover whose name is Lydia. The lover may be gone, but the man still cannot accept the truth and wants her back in his arms. He confides his love in front of the tomb. A legato vocal line and light accompaniment add a touch of sadness to the melody. The last song in this section is "Toujours" from "Poème d'un Jour." The piano maintains the continuous arpeggios to create the dynamic of the song. The accompaniment has a fast tempo of 114, and the first downbeat in every measure reflects the heartbeat of the man. This is because his lover asks him to leave, and she doesn't want to see him anymore. The accompaniment shows the audience that this man's heart is torn with anxiety. The voice should create a legato line, but the aggressive mood pushes the melody forward. Gabriel Fauré makes a connecting link between the Romanticism and the following Modernism. There are similar features also present in these three songs. They have Romantic-era vocal lines with modern-era chords, Fauré likes traditional to use harmonic progressions and sudden modulations. Although he admired music, he also liked to combine existing musical forms and new element. Roger Quilter (1877-1953) is a British composer who loves to use English poetry for his lyrics. For example, he uses "Take O Take those Lips Away." which is by Shakespeare. The accompaniment not only features the Romantic melody style, but also has 20th-century chords. This gives some dissonance to the lyrical Romantic setting. At the beginning of Act IV, Scene 1 of "Measure for Measure" this song is sung by the frustrated Mariana. She was betrothed to Angelo ages before, but he refuses to marry her without a dowry. The vocal line is smooth and light in the beginning, but the 11th measure expresses sadness. The vocal line in measure 16 is like a sigh for love. "O Mistress Mine" is one of a set of three Shakespeare songs. This song expresses youthful ardor. The piano accompaniment begins with a dotted- rhythm melody that introduces the song. Simple chords follow. This immediately grabs the listener. The vocal line is simple, with a lyrical melody and satisfying resolutions. The first line of the text is repeated at the end to complete the song. "Weep You No More" is an anonymous poem. The piano part in the beginning starts in a minor key. The accompaniment is slow and heavy and sets the mood for this song. The singer gradually realizes that his lover is dead. The two verses, with identical music, show the process of coming to terms with her death. The vocal line is sad and gentle. In Roger Quilter's works the harmonic elements are different, as in the song "Take O Take those Lips Away." The harmony is not in a Romantic style, but the vocal line belongs to Romantic song. In the other two songs he also likes to mix 20th -century harmony with 18th -century harmony. The elements are both complementary. The last song is an aria: "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" from the opera "The Land of Smiles". The German -language lyrics were written by Fritz Löhner-Beda (1870-1948) and Ludwig Herzer (1872-1939). This opera is a late work by Franz Lehár. The opera is set in 1912 in Vienna and China. The first act takes place in Vienna. The heroine, Countess Lisa, gets married to a Chinese prince, Su Chong, and follows him to China. Her friends and family warn her top beware of a different culture. They are living in Beijing, the prince's homeland. In the second act, she finds that she cannot accept some of the Chinese culture. She especially has to agree that the prince takes other wives. Disregarding her opposition, Su Chong still marries other girls. In the third act, she wants to go back to her country, but Su Chong locks her in the palace. In the end, Lisa awakes the inner love of Su Chong. He frees her to go back to Vienna. Su Chong sings this aria in Act II. When Lisa knows that Su Chong will marry other girls, she becomes very angry. Su Chong sings this aria to comfort her because he still loves her. This piece is written in D flat major. The accompaniment pushes the emotion, rises gradually, and expresses the energy in the end. It implies that Su Chong is in charge and must be listened to. The text, however, shows his caring side. Music is a wonderful thing, bringing different eras and different nationalities of songs together. We can be an observer how the music develops throughout history. The audience also can explore the of arts of different cultures. This recital has demonstrated different eras and nationalities. Through the composers' music, we can better understand the cultural communication in the music field.