Academic journal article Journal of Singing

SHADOW SONGS (William Blake)

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

SHADOW SONGS (William Blake)

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

GENDEL, SCOTT (b. 1977). SHADOW SONGS (William Blake). Soprano and Violin. Scott Gendel, 2014 (Classical Vocal Reprints). Traditional keys; B^sub 3^-A^sub 5^; Tess: mL, M, CR; regular meters; varied tempos; V/mE-mD, Vln/E-mD; 10 minutes (11 pages). Soprano.

1. "Hear My Voice." E minor; B^sub 3^-E^sub 4^; Tess: mL; 3/4, 4/4, Largo (... = ca. 63); V/mE, Vln/mD; 2 pages.

2. "Mad Song." A minor; C^sub 4^-A^sub 5^; Tess: CR; 3/4, 4/4, Allegro (... = ca. 116); V/M-mD, Vln/mD; 4 pages.

3. "Memory." C major; C^sub 4^-A^sup [musical flat]^^sub 5^; Tess: M; 4/4, 6/4, Con Moto (... = ca.80); V/M, Vln/M-mD; 4 pages.

4. "Fade Away." E minor; B^sub 3^-E^sub 4^; Tess: mL; Largo (... =ca.63); V/mE, Vln/E; 1 page.

The themes of sorrow, longing for death, and the comfort of darkness run throughout this short song cycle for soprano and violin. A true cycle, both text and music of the first song are repeated, with some modifications, in the final song-"Leave, O leave me to my sorrows." The combination of voice and violin, without the thickness of a piano score, lends a lonely, haunting quality to the songs.

"Hear My Voice" opens with two measures of a double stop and pizzicato figuration in the violin that will be heard between vocal phrases and at the end, evoking repeatedly the feeling of loneliness. The violin doubles the quiet, plaintive vocal line at the upper octave until the middle section, where it adds double stop sixths, the upper note doubling the voice at the unison, intensifying the gloom of "pathless ways." The voice sings the last phrase alone, followed by the opening violin figuration. …

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