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Calling singers and musicians - Please can you help me create a fantastic concert programme!

(22 Posts)
Littlefish Tue 05-Aug-08 12:13:56

In January, I gave my first recital for about 10 years. I absolutely loved it and have agreed to do another one next January.

Last time, I used up all the repertoire I had been singing for years, so I need to find some new things to sing.


I'm a soprano

I trained at one of the London Music Colleges many years ago

Love Mozart

Love Purcell (even though the accompanist doesn't!)

Love 20th Century stuff - Copland, Britten, Gershwin, Cole Porter etc.

Audience will be about 150 people

Needs to be music people are familiar with, or familiar with the style of (sorry, terribly grammar, I know!)

There is a Baritone performing as well, so we would like to sing some duets

I'm not brilliant at runs

Have a reasonably good top end to my voice (top B or possibly C on a very, very, very good day)

The two halves of the programme can be different - e.g. more classical first half, lighter second half (Gershwin, Cole Porter etc.)

I will be starting singing lessons again in October, so realistically, I will only have 3 months to learn all the repertoire.

Sooooooo, what should I sing! smile

Littlefish Tue 05-Aug-08 13:00:01

This was my programme last time.

Faure: Mandoline
Apres un reve

Copland Old American Songs – Set 1

Handel, From Acis & Galetea
As when the dove
Heart, the seat of soft delight

Gershwin Someone to watch over me
Cole Porter The Physician
Ireland Her Song

Offenbach Lovely night
Delibes Flower Duet
Trad. Shenandoah

The pianist and flautist did various pieces too. As I said in my first post, this time it will be a pianist and a Baritone.

IorekByrnison Tue 05-Aug-08 13:04:16

How exciting!

How about the Britten arrangements of Purcell songs which may be more palatable to your pianist?

For crowd pleasers you could put in things like Dido's Lament, Handel Lascia ch'io pianga, Mozart Ruhe sanft/Dove sono/Porgi amor, Puccini O mio babbino caro etc (I'm not a big fan of Puccini but people seem to like it).

Do you know the Wolf Italienisches Liederbuch? Might be nice to do a selection of these with the baritone (some are for men, some for women so can make a nice sort of dialogue piece). Love all the Wolf Morike and Goethe songs too - a group of these would be great.

I love Schumann Frauenliebe und -leben, but don't know if you have the space for it - how long is the recital?

A really good group is Ravel's Cinque Melodies Populaires Grecques (5 Greek folk songs). They are completely wonderful and always go down well. Exotic but accessible and only about 7 mins (iirc) in total.

Reynaldo Hahn's songs are lovely too. L'Heure Exquise is particularly beautiful and quite well known I think.

Lots of lovely operatic Mozart duets for soprano and baritone which audience will recognise - La ci darem la mano etc. There is also the Adam and Eve section from the end of Haydn's Creation which could possibly work well in a recital setting, perhaps with some Haydn songs. There are also some lovely duets by Schumann (think there is a Peters Edition collection of these).

There are some nice Gershwin songs for sop/bar too - "The Man I Love", and a sweet but rather obscure one from Strike up the Band called "Meadow Serenade". There's a nice Noel Coward duet: "I'll see you again", and some good ones for Sky/Sarah in Guys and Dolls ("I've never been in love before" etc). There is a Singers Musical Theatre Anthology volume for male/female duets, as well as one for soprano, both of which might be useful (publ Hal Leonard)

Sorry this is all a bit random - am just thinking off the top of my head. What did you do in your last recital? How many minutes do you think you need altogether of solos/duets?

IorekByrnison Tue 05-Aug-08 13:10:26

Sorry x posts. Lovely. I love Her Song. There are some other great Ireland Thomas Hardy settings too, but they might be a bit low.

Mention of Copland has reminded me of Samuel Barber. Do you know the Hermit Songs? These are fab. Might make sense of the lighter American stuff like Gershwin/Porter to include some more "serious" American songs like these too.

Lucifera Tue 05-Aug-08 13:11:32

Hi Littlefish, don't think I will have good suggestions; I'm sure you are much more familiar with repertoire for sopranos than I am, but just to say how brilliant you are doing this and I hope your next recital is v successful.
I started having lessons in solo singing 2 years ago, pieces i haved loved singing include Lasci'a ch'io pianga from Handel's Rinaldo, Bach's (or Stolzel's) Bist du bei mir, bits of Pergolesi Stabat mater. Do you know Vivaldi's Nulla in mundo pax sincera - too hard for me now but hoping to do it one day.

Lucifera Tue 05-Aug-08 13:12:54

cross-posted with Iorek re Lasci'a!

IorekByrnison Tue 05-Aug-08 13:15:13

Do you know what your baritone has in mind?

IorekByrnison Tue 05-Aug-08 13:16:56

Lascia's always a winner! Sounds like you've been doing some great stuff, lucifera. I love the Vivaldi too.

Katisha Tue 05-Aug-08 13:18:55

I second Hahn - another lovely one is his "A Chloris" which is based on Bach in the accompaniment.

Poulenc : Les chemins de l'amour - a waltz.

A sop/baritone duet we had at our wedding was "Bei Mannern, welche Liebe fuhlen" from Magic Flute. Excellent.

Duet - Bess you is my woman now : Porgy and Bess - a challenge!

EachPeachPearMum Tue 05-Aug-08 13:40:02

Purcell's Evening hymn (Now, now that the sun hath veiled his light)

Love Stabat Mater too....

Littlefish Tue 05-Aug-08 13:53:42

Oh thank you everyone!!!! My musical brain is so rusty that I need to spend about a month going through all these suggestions and listening to them on CD!

I love the idea of doing some Barber Iorek - also, there's another set of the Copland songs which I might look at. You're right about the balance between the lighter and heavier American songs - it worked really well last time. I'm not sure my voice is up to O mio babbino. It's not very operatic. I love Dove Sono - I'd forgotten about that one.

Lucifera - thank you for the suggestions - I'll look into the Handel and the Vivaldi - they sound great. It is amazing to be singing again after all this time. I get such an incredible sense of well-being and pride. Taking time out to have singing lessons felt so self-indulgent at first, but now, it feels like a necessity. I'm a much nicer person when I've been singing wink

Katisha - I love Poulenc, so I'll definitely look at that one. I've never met the Baritone, so I probably need to have a chat with him and see whether he's a Gershwin sort! I've got a score of Magic Flute downstairs - I'm off to look at it now.

Eachpeachpearmum - am now humming the Purcell - I suspect it will now be lodged in my brain until bedtime!

Littlefish Tue 05-Aug-08 13:55:54

I forgot to mention that the recital will be in a church, but it's a flexible seating arrangement, so we actually face the side wall if you see what I mean. The accoustics are lovely and we were sponsored last year by a local piano maker who provided a wonderful baby grand for us to use.

Littlefish Tue 05-Aug-08 13:57:28

Iorek - I've just re-read your selection. I've never sung any Ravel but those folk songs sound perfect - what is the range like?

tortoiseSHELL Tue 05-Aug-08 13:57:47

What about some Kurt Weill? That usually goes down well.

IorekByrnison Tue 05-Aug-08 14:21:39

Range is tiny - only go up to F and down to E above middle C, but they are all incredibly different in character to each other. Piano part is quite challenging.

IorekByrnison Tue 05-Aug-08 17:35:11

Lovely duets by Mendelssohn too sometimes done by soprano/alto and sometimes sop/baritone.

Littlefish Tue 05-Aug-08 19:17:08

Thanks Iorek - I'll look into them.

Tortoiseshell - is there any particular Weill that you'd recommend? I've never sung any.

I'm going to be off-line until the weekend now, but please post any other suggestions you can think of and I'll be back on Sunday.

Thank very much everyone.

tortoiseSHELL Wed 06-Aug-08 17:38:44

I think 'My Ship' is very popular, but there are loads of songs.

IorekByrnison Wed 06-Aug-08 18:37:24

Can I recommend some more Weill? Nanna's Lied, Surabaya Johnny, September Song.

Some Satie cabaret songs would link in very nicely to this (especially if you are doing Hahn or Poulenc): Je te veux and La Diva de l'Empire are the two I know well but I think there are lots of others.

OK I'll stop now.

Good luck - let us all know what you decide.

Marina Thu 07-Aug-08 23:54:47

Weill: have a look at Lady in the Dark, esp. My Ship.
Could you have a stab at Glitter and Be Gay, from Candide? If I was a proper sop instead of a weedy amateur I would love to conquer that aria...
Am trying to think if there is anything suitable from Boyce's Solomon - A Serenata (because you mention Purcell and you are duetting).
Definitely recommend the Hal Leonard anthologies.
I seem to recall a lovely, lovely song from Evening Primrose - Sondheim. There's also some fab stuff in Follies - I'm Still Here and Losing My Mind, for example
If you need a listen for 20th century repertoire, check out Dawn Upshaw's CDs. She has the knack IMO of selecting beautiful modern material.
Best of luck with this, how incredibly exciting for you littlefish

Littlefish Fri 08-Aug-08 17:00:59

Thank you Iorek, Tortoishell and Marina - so much to think about.

I need to go away and do lots and lots of listening.

I will, of course, come back and let you know what I decide.

You've all suggested such fabulous sounding stuff, I'm not sure where to start.

Marina, I'm sure your not a "weedy amateur"! Is "Glitter and be gay" terribly fiendish? Good idea to look out for Dawn Upshaw.

tortoiseSHELL Fri 08-Aug-08 17:03:48

There are some nice arias in Cosi Fan Tutte - especially if you've got a good top range - good for getting the audience excited! Something like Una Donna.

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