1st Edition

The Art Songs of Louise Talma

By Kendra Preston Leonard Copyright 2017
    302 Pages
    by Routledge

    302 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


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