The Art Songs of Louise Talma  book cover
1st Edition

The Art Songs of Louise Talma

ISBN 9781138707160
Published May 11, 2017 by Routledge
302 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $170.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The Art Songs of Louise Talma presents some of Talma’s finest compositions and those most frequently performed during her life. It includes pieces appropriate for beginning, intermediate, and advanced singers and collaborative pianists. The songs include text settings of American, English, and French poets and writers, including Native American poems, works by W. H. Auden, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Emily Dickinson, e. e. cummings, John Donne, Gerald Manley Hopkins, William Shakespeare, and Wallace Stevens, as well as poems from medieval France and religious texts. Because of the popularity of Talma’s choral works and the fact that her works for voice and piano were performed often, this sourcebook will be useful to singers at all stages of their careers, as well as scholars of twentieth-century music as a whole. The diversity of compositional approaches Talma used provides a snapshot of American trends in composition during the twentieth century; during the course of her career, Talma moved from neo-classicism to serialism and finally to non-strict serial-derived atonality in her works. Inclusion of performance and reception histories of the songs helps trace changing public taste in American art song and the repertoire of performers, particularly those interested in contemporary music.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1: Reading Talma’s Songs

A Brief Overview of Talma’s Life

Talma’s Compositional Language

Appropriate Research Methodologies

Concerning This Volume

CHAPTER 2: Songs of Mourning and Love

"Invocation to the Rain" (1925)

"On the Surface of Things" (1926-1927)

"When the Storm Breaks" (1927-1928)

"Song in the Songless" (1928)

Five Sonnets from the Portuguese

"XXI. Say Over Again" (1934)

"VII. The Face of All the World Is Changed" (1934)

"XXII. When Our Two Souls Stand Up" (1934)

"I. I Thought Once How Theocritus Had Sung" (1934)

"XXXIII. Yes, Call Me by My Pet Name" (1934)

Vocal Ranges in the Early Songs

CHAPTER 3: Farewell to Youth

Terre de France (1945)

"Mère, voici vos fils" (1943)

"Sonnet" (1945)

"Ballade" (1945)

"Ode" (1945)

"Adieux à la Meuse" (1945)

"Letter to St. Peter" (1945)

Vocal Range

CHAPTER 4: A Haunted Psyche

Seven Songs

"One Need Not Be a Chamber to Be Haunted" (1941)

"Rain Song" (1973)

"Glory Be to God for Dappled Things" (1949)

"Spring and Fall: To a Young Child" (1946)

"Sonnet: Carrion Comfort" (1950)

"Sonnet: I Wake and Feel the Fell of the Dark" (1946)

"Leap before You Look" (1945)

CHAPTER 5: Metaphors of Music

Infanta Marina

"Infanta Marina" (1988)

"The Brave Man" (1988)

"Domination of Black" (1988)

"Ploughing on Sunday" (1988)

"Lunar Paraphrase" (1988)

"Hibiscus on the Sleeping Shores" (1988)

"A Load of Sugar-cane" (1988)

"Re-statement of Romance" (1990)

"The Pleasures of Merely Circulating" (1990)

"Finis" (1993)

BIBLOGRAPHY: Cited Sources and Suggested Readings

APPENDIX 1: Sources on the Vocal Works of Louise Talma

APPENDIX 2: The Complete Works for Voice by Louise Talma

APPENDIX 3: Recordings of Talma’s Vocal Works

INDEX 1: Individuals, Places, and Ideas

INDEX 2: Titles of Musical Compositions

View More



Kendra Preston Leonard has her Ph.D. from the University of Sunderland and was an instructor of Musicology at Westminster Choir College, 2009-2011.