Bel Canto: A Performer's Guide
Bel canto, or 'beautiful singing,' remains one of the most elusive performance styles vocalists strive to master. During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, composers routinely left the final shaping of recitatives, arias, and songs to performers, and singers treated scores freely so that inexpressively notated music could be turned into passionate declamation. In other words, vocalists saw their role more as one of re-creation than of simple interpretation. Familiarity with the range of strategies prominent singers of the past employed to unlock the eloquent expression hidden in scores enables modern performers to take a similar re-creative approach to enhancing the texts before them. In this first ever guide to bel canto, author Robert Toft provides singers with the tools they need not only to complete the creative process the composer began but also to bring scores to life in an historically-informed manner. Replete with illustrations based on excerpts from Italianate recitatives and arias by composers ranging from Handel to Rossini, the book offers discussions of the fundamental principles of expressive singing, each section including a practical application of the techniques involved. Drawing on a wealth of documents from the era, including treatises, scores, newspaper reviews, and letters, this book captures the breadth of practices singers used in the bel canto period. Complete with six scores (recitatives and/or arias) for performers to personalize through the old methods, and a companion website offering demonstrations of the principles involved, Bel Canto is an essential resource for any singer or vocal instructor wishing to explore and master historical techniques of interpretation and re-creation from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Altering Rhythm and Tempo
Tonal Contrast Register and Vibrato
Handel Armida dispietataLascia chio pianga Rinaldo
Other editions - View all
accent and emphasis accented syllable Adelina Patti Angelica Catalani Angels ever bright annotator anticipation appoggiaturas Austin Barnett batti bel canto Braham breath bright and fair cadence cadenzas composers crescendo delivered delivery diminuendo divisions Domenico Corri dotted early nineteenth centuries editors Egestorf eighteenth and early Elizabeth Billington embellishments emotions Euridice Example Gardiner gesture Giuditta Pasta grace Handel head voice Italian Jephtha John Braham Jousse Lablache Lanza Lascia ch’io pianga late eighteenth legato listeners main note manner Manuel García 1857 measure melody messa messa di voce Mozart Nathan notation ornamentation passage passion Patti pauses performers petto phrase portamento practices principles prosodic QMMR recitatives and arias Richard Bacon Robertson 1785 Rossini sang sapete scores sentence sentiments singers slide slur song sound staccato sung teachers of singing techniques tempo rubato tonal quality tone treatises vibrato vibrazione vocal vocalists Welsh worse than death writers