Sent by Doris|
Date: 2014-11-19 21:59:43 CST
You don't have a SUBJECT INDEX Emily, so there.
w w w . o p e r a c a s t . c o m / v r c s p r e s e n t s . h t m
Art songs are really the poor stepchild of the classical music industry, being outsold by
symphonic music, instrumental music, and, of course, opera; but despite their low sales, their
Spartan performing forces, and their rarefied appeal, art songs just seem to hang in there. How is
it they survive? And should they??
Half of that rarefied appeal comes from poets that supply the texts, and here we find employed
some of the greatest names in the language. Yeats, Frost, Sandburg, Whitman, Dickinson, etc. If
opera, “blood and guts”, is the hysteric response to everyday events, art songs are a more
internal balancing of the humors, a contemplation of the navel.
Ernest F. Krysty, a then-future VRCS member, remembers working at the Sam Goody Bargain Outlet on
49th Street in the early 1970s, where he picked up his first arts songs, the An die ferne
Geliebte, sung by Haefliger on a Heliodor LP for 69 cents, less his employee discount! A first
step down a primrose path that wound through King Karol Records, the Gramophone Record Shop, and
the Tower Annex on Fourth Street. He also began pasting the texts and translations on index cards
for all his precious holdings, a practice that eventually necessitated learning the Cyrillic
alphabet so that texts could be copied from the Russian scores at the Lincoln Center Library.
Eventually there were over 10,000 cards with multiple composers and performers listed on the back.
Then came Emily’s List, the internet compilation by Emily Ezust that quickly outstripped all of
the amateur cataloguing attempts, and is a great reference for finding the text that you are
looking for in all of modern poetry, and now numbers composers in the 40,000s! But she doesn’t
have a SUBJECT INDEX. So Ernest is still at home cutting and pasting, and selecting the proper
color of ink for each performer to be entered on the back!
He has prepared a selection of modern English art songs so the VRCS can determine whether or not
they should survive. The emphasis will be on newly written songs and up-and-coming art song
specialists, so bring your reading glasses and navels! (Yes, texts will be provided.)
It’s always a great pleasure to welcome a new presenter, and Ernest Krysty, a longtime member,
has certainly come up with a most interesting subject for a first outing, so let’s urge him on