Academic journal article Journal of Singing

The Brief Light, for Baritone and Guitar

Academic journal article Journal of Singing

The Brief Light, for Baritone and Guitar

Article excerpt

John Musto (b. 1954), The Brief Light, for Baritone and Guitar. Peer Music Classical, 2015. "When You Danced," C^sub 3^-F^sub 4^; "Song," A^sup #^^sub s^-D[musical flat]^sub 4^; "The Voices," C^sub 3^-E^sub 4^; "The Brief Light," D^sub 3^-E^sub 4^; "The Summons," B^sub 3^-E[musical flat]^sub 4^; "I Have Drifted," C^sub 3^-E^sub 4^. Medium difficulty for both voice and guitar.

John Musto's contribution to American art song is prodigious. His background in both classical and jazz music lends an improvisatory and quintessentialy American feel to his work. Doubtless the fact that this composerpianist grew up with a jazz guitarist father informs these challenging and engaging songs, written for baritone Patrick Mason and renowned guitarist David Starobin (the latter served as editor for the guitar part). Musto has chosen to set the sensual poetry of American poet James Laughlin, and has created a distinctive feel for each of the six songs in the cycle. Meter changes are frequent, and the harmonic structures are challenging for both singer and guitarist. But the range of the vocal line is always modest, and provides a pliant and graceful counter to the technical virtuosity of the guitar. …

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