Date of Graduation
The issues presented in this paper are a nexus of several concerns: feminist criticism concerning the history of the wives of Henry VIII; applying methodologies of acting to develop a framework or process for the preparation of art songs through an original template of five lenses; and using a song cycle by Libby Larsen that provides both a focus and an example. This study introduces an interpretive process or co-creative strategyâ€”a five-part lens for the preparation and interpretation of the songs by the singing artist. This five-part lens is designed to help bring a personal and unique interpretationâ€”to breathe life into song on a kinesthetic, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual level. This process includes: (1) The cultural, social, and historical context of the authors of the text. (2) The compositional style of the composer as well as her interpretation of the emotional content (subtext) of the words written by the authors of the texts. (3) The singing artist's function as the co-creator, with the composer, of the marriage of text and sound into an artistic interpretation that adds not only an audible but also a visual and kinesthetic dimension to the work. (4) The collaborative accompanist. (5) The personal and emotional response of the audience member. The purposes of this document include promoting the consideration of contemporary American art song, and specifically the art songs of Libby Larsen, as a means to enhance the process of art song interpretation. Such a study is predicated upon the belief that the art songs of Libby Larsen are a significant addition to the art song repertoire. This study has focused on this particular song cycle, Try Me, Good King, because it has characteristics singularly beneficial to this study: it uses English prose written by women and set by an American woman composer who strives for her music to connect on an emotional level with the text, the subtext, the performers, and the audience. These multiple connections will help a woman of the 21st century connect with and develop a personal interpretation of women who lived centuries ago.
Conner-Bess, Cynthia, "The use of a five-part lens to create musical "portraits" of the five queens in "Try Me, Good King" by Libby Larsen." (2009). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8653.