Review Essay of Books on Song
The Cambridge Companion to the Lied, by James Parsons, ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 399 p. ISBN 0-521-80471-X.
Shakespeare's Songbook, by Ross Duffin. New York and London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2004. 528 p. ISBN 0-393-05889-1.
C.P.E. Bach and the Rebirth of the Strophic Song, by William H. Youngren. Lanham, Maryland and Oxford: Scarecrow Press, 2003. 536 p. ISBN 0-8108-4840-6.
The Dickinson Songs of Aaron Copland, by Larry Starr. CMS Sourcebooks in American Music No. 1. Hillsdale, NY: Pendragon Press, 2002. 139 p. ISBN 1-57647-092-X.
That the most minute of musical forms, a mere three minutes or so of sound from start to finish uttered by two musicians, has arrested the imagination of countless poets, composers, performers, and listeners for over 250 years attests to the monumental impact that even a small statement can make. As Wolf's Lied "Auch kleine dinge," so tenderly set to Heyse's poem, offers: "Even small things can delight us, even small things can be precious." The four books under review here illuminate different aspects of the wondrous world of song.
The much beloved German song form, the Lied, receives front-and-center attention in one of the latest titles from Cambridge University Press's Companion Series, The Cambridge Companion to the Lied. Essays by fourteen formidable scholars, including editor James Parsons, take the reader through a tour of the venerable musical form from its inception, through its emergence and refinement, up to its presumed demise in modern-day culture. Prefaced by a chronology from 1729 to 2002, the book is divided into five sections: 1) Introducing a genre; 2) The birth and early history of a genre in the Age of Enlightenment; 3) The nineteenth century: issues of style and development; 4) Into the twentieth century; and 5) Reception and performance.
James Parsons immediately engages the reader's interest by examining the paradoxical nature of the Lied, initially a musical rendering of a German poem. Simplistic musical settings were favored which allowed the poems to dominate. Germanic reverence for poetry (beginning with Goethe) coupled with a love for popular, singable ballads led to the earliest experiences of song in the home. This gradually led to a shift from the intimate to the grand as the genre spiraled upward into the concert hall and metamorphosed even further into the orchestral Lied. No longer remaining exclusively in the domain of the amateur or relegated to Sunday parlor gatherings around the piano, the Lied became a product of the "bigger is better" syndrome: bigger voices, bigger halls, bigger instrumentation, and bigger audiences.
While much of this book is devoted to works produced between 1811 (Schubert's first song) and 1897 (Wolf's last), Parsons astutely points out that a void still exists in scholarship and performance of the Lied from before and after these pivotal years. For the reader, one of the most pleasant aspects of new scholarship in such familiar terrain is the sense of becoming reacquainted with an old friend. And for the lover of Lieder, The Cambridge Companion to the Lied offers just such a visit, most certainly with Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Wolf, and Brahms. Additionally, Parsons and his distinguished colleagues delve much deeper than just the names and stories of these familiar composers. Perhaps the greatest strength of this book is that it illuminates the significance of so many composers who were consumed with Lied composition. Perspectives on the musical, social, and cultural influences of their times, the unique contributions and style of each person, and their individual literary preferences offer a panoramic view of this most intimate of song forms as it was treated in the hands of so many creators. One comes away, after navigating the fifteen chapters, with a broader perspective of the growth and development of the Lied. The book offers a fascinating glimpse into an era in which the public's voracious appetite for song led to an almost symbiotic relationship with the imaginations of a succession of composers. Banner years such as Schumann's Liederjahr of 1840 and Wolf's Mörike and Eichendorf settings of 1888 resulted in an oeuvre encompassing some of the best-known collections of songs and song cycles. The progression of the song from the almost self-contained environment of domestic performance in Liederabends to the public recital and orchestral forms elevated this humble genre to almost God-like prominence in the course of German music history.
Jane K. Brown's early chapter "In the beginning was poetry" effectively sets the stage for her colleagues' contributions as she explores the influence and changing styles of the Romantic and Biedermeier poets. The importance of the poets of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries cannot be underestimated and certainly, without poetry, there would be no song. A great deal of focus, naturally, is on Goethe, easily the most frequently chosen poet for song settings, followed by Heine in a close second place.
Aside from the expected content, Parsons also includes several chapters which focus on less familiar aspects of the genre. One such case is Christopher Gibbs's "Beyond song: instrumental transformations and adaptations of the Lied from Schubert to Mahler". The influence of the Lied upon other musical forms was significant; not only did songs receive greater currency through arrangements such as those by Liszt, for example, but the public could hear and "own" the songs they loved this way, in an era when no recordings or radio performances existed to serve this purpose. In early Lieder, ease of performance was an important factor—the average music-loving person needed to be able to access and enjoy the popular songs of the day. As improvements in the piano led to more complex piano parts and more demands were placed upon the pianists, performances moved from amateurs at home to professionals in the concert hall. Gibbs also discusses unsung songs, subsumed songs (songs recycled and transformed by composers), and songs transfigured, as in Mahler's work, where song "seeds" appear in symphonies. Unquestionably, as the nineteenth century unfolded, Lied served composers as a springboard to other forms and was an integral part in their creative development as composers.
A fascinating chapter by David Gramit, "The circulation of the Lied: the double life of an artwork and a commodity," draws one into the financial implications of Lied transformation. The emergence of the Lied in the concert hall had an enormous financial impact upon composers. As their music received greater exposure to larger audiences, composers experienced greater demand for more publications and more performances. An underrepresented aspect of Lied history is the circumstance surrounding its marketing and currency (through song cycles and anthologies of works), and likewise the resultant financial impact upon and indeed presumed success and output of particular composers.
This reviewer notes a rather troublesome omission of women's names (aside from a brief mention in Parsons' introduction) until chapter 7, in James Deaville's "A multitude of voices: the Lied at mid century." Before this, virtually no mention (aside from a casual reference to two women poets) is made of women, whether composers, poets, performers, or patrons. This would lead one to believe that no women even existed in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Refreshingly, Deaville devotes substantial paragraphs to Fanny Hensel and Clara Schumann. Yet one wonders why Fanny receives less attention than, say, Robert Franz (another underrated figure) who composed an equal number of some 300 songs? And why is Clara Schumann, or Fanny for that matter, not accorded her own chapter? Maria Theresia von Paradis (an Austrian pianist and composer who pursued composition though blind since age three), Luise Reichardt (a prolific composer of Lieder as well as choral music popular in her day), and Josephine Lang (who witnessed the publication of some 150 Lieder during her lifetime) are only mentioned briefly on one page. Conversely, the names of numerous lesser-known men composers are sprinkled throughout the volume. No late nineteenth century or twentieth century women composers of Lied are mentioned and one would have to assume from this that there were none. At the very least, a key component of Lied development was the considerable influence of women on such composers; take Beethoven, for example. It might have been fascinating to include a chapter in this volume devoted to an examination of a culture that suppressed, or ignored, the contributions of women song composers. This was a culture that approved of women as composers only until they ventured beyond the realm of the amateur and aspired to be professionals. This observation reinforces the hope that more comprehensive research on women Lied composers will be forthcoming.
Parsons' final chapter on the Lied in the twentieth century leaves one wondering about the song's diminishing importance due to shifts in musical and literary tastes, performance practice of the last decades, and a culture that is careening forward in another direction. A look at the Lieder of Pfitzner, Reger, Krenek, and Webern reveals a genre that increasingly served as a two-way mirror of the very society and culture they scrutinized. As to Parsons' belief that the Lied continues only as a museum piece, this may well be true in terms of contemporary concert hall fare and composers' preferred output.
The celebrated pianist and collaborator Graham Johnson shares his angst at the difficulties of making a career as a Lieder-performing pianist in his chapter, "The Lied in performance." A fitting postlude to the Companion, Johnson's humorous exposé of the Lieder singer and the practical aspects of Lieder performance hit the mark for the performer reading this volume. Is the Lied so out of fashion that extinction threatens? This reviewer's observation is that Lied is clearly thriving in voice studios across the country in a culture that continues to train masses of young singers with literature of another century because it was often, magically, written so beautifully for the vocal instrument. The number of emerging young song composers whose "fresh take" on song combines traditional Lied values with influences from jazz, blues, and pop confirms the need to keep scores and recordings of this older repertory coming.
The Cambridge Companion to the Lied whets one's appetite for a more in-depth look at some of the personalities dedicated to song composition as well as the songs themselves. Many musical examples appear throughout the book (even more would have been welcomed). The Companion concludes with extensive notes on each chapter and a guide to suggested further reading and an index. No doubt, this book will quickly earn deserved prominence as a treasured resource in the studio, classroom, and college library.
The other three books reviewed here concern song from before and after the nineteenth century (the focus of The Cambridge Companion to the Lied). The first focuses on repertory from Tudor England, the second from eighteenth-century Germany, and the third from twentieth-century America.
For actors, directors, musicians, literary scholars—indeed anyone who loves and lives Shakespeare—Ross Duffin's Shakespeare's Songbook fills the void in the body of extant songs and ballads referenced throughout the Bard's works. As a practical handbook, it offers a wealth of historically informed settings of formerly lost music that is ideal for use in contemporary productions. As was common practice in Shakespeare's time, much of the music was not original but was appropriated for insertion. The tunes or popular hits of the day were passed along largely through an oral tradition and lyrics were composed to fit the music. That multiple lyrics were created for the same tune is evident in the proliferation of the broadside, or printed ballad, during the sixteenth century. In Shakespeare's time the actual music and lyrics rarely appeared together—many of the tunes resurfaced in later instrumental collections of lute, cittern, or virginal music.
Duffin's book of reconstructed music offers over 100 songs that he believes Shakespeare must have known and used. Quotations of song texts abound throughout the Shakespeare plays in all manner of forms, including ballads, love songs, drinking songs, and rounds. The reference of such songs often served as an "inside joke" or clue to the audience, who recognized the popular ballad set to that tune. Duffin's theory that Shakespeare cited many tunes in his texts in order to pass along another layer of meaning to his audience is well supported throughout the book by numerous references and cross-references. In performances at the Globe, for instance, even the mere mention of a particular song title could fill the audience with expectation of events to follow. Duffin contends that in researching these songs he has not only added to the body of song literature probably known during this period but also has offered a key to a deeper understanding of William Shakespeare's craft as playwright.
Although Duffin acknowledges several of his predecessors who began the research into Shakespeare's songs, he clearly claims credit for assembling both texts and music into stylistically authentic and historically accurate renditions. Without doubt, he has taken license. Yet the depth of his research as presented in this volume in both ballad and musical rendition is perfectly plausible. Some of the best-known texts are included, such as "O Mistress Mine" (Twelfth Night), and "Orpheus With His Lute" (Henry VIII) to such engaging titles as "The Lovely Lamentation of a Lawyer's Daughter for Lack of a Husband" (Taming of the Shrew) and "While You Here Do Snoring Lie" (The Tempest).
In addition to detailed discussions of the origins of dozens of songs and the texts that could fit them, the book also includes a compact disc of brief performances and song excerpts that serve as a sampler of Duffin's work. Accompanied by the able Paul Odette on lute and cittern, six professional singers alternate from song to song with tasteful and stylistically correct performances. These singers are not afraid to inject lusty characterization into their voices when comedy is required, and the men in particular perform the ballads with a beauty of tone and appealing sensitivity to text. The recording offers an enjoyable extension of Duffin's work, as more than half of the reconstructed songs in the book are presented here in very singable solo and ensemble versions. Because so many of the songs survived without the original tunes, it is a credit to Duffin's musicianship that his renditions have the ring of authenticity.
Shakespeare's Songbook is a handsome and visually attractive volume that beckons the reader with exceptionally clear musical notation and text. The book includes many reproductions of period illustrations taken from such sources as the Folger Shakespeare Library. Duffin provides several useful appendices, including a list of ground bass melodies that commonly appear in the songs, a guide to Shakespearean pronunciation with IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbols, and references to modern-usage words. There is also a "Source List and Chronological List of Printed Collections" followed by an "Index of Titles, First Lines, and Refrains" (essential for locating specific texts) and an "Index of Names and Places," an "Index of Citations," and a list of contents on the CD.
A fascinating and fun look at the sources for Shakespeare's song references, Shakespeare's Songbook draws the reader into the realm of Shakespeare's theatre and the musical and literary culture of the day. Duffin's sleuthing abilities in tracing the earliest sources for many of the tunes has proven extremely successful. Although some scholars may raise their eyebrows at Duffin's conclusions, others will applaud him for assembling such a usable collection.
Most musicians in today's era of "information proliferation" would pride themselves on being acquainted with the music of composers who have been significant contributors to major musical genres. Certainly singers, voice teachers, pianists, as well as historians, expect to have been introduced to the names of composers whose song output numbered in the hundreds. And yet, how many can lay claim to having even a superficial knowledge of the almost 300 songs of C.P.E. Bach? The second son of J.S. Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) was a devoted Lieder composer although he is now primarily remembered for his instrumental works. Famous during his lifetime for the exceptional quality of his many songs, Bach had almost all of his works published and in circulation by the time of his death. He began writing songs at age twenty-seven and continued to experiment with various song forms, including strophic songs, chorales, and song-like cantatas, throughout his life.
In C.P.E. Bach and the Rebirth of the Strophic Song, William H. Youngren chronicles the output of this "Forgotten Master of a Neglected Genre," as he titles his opening chapter. Based largely upon Youngren's doctoral dissertation ("The Songs of C.P.E. Bach" [Brandeis, 1999]), this book offers a highly detailed and intensive analysis of not only Bach's songs and the poems he set but also his relationship with poets and publishers in his day and the musical and literary cultures which inspired his efforts in the song genre. Youngren also suggests reasons for the decline of the strophic song in Germany in the late seventeenth century and its rebirth in the 1730s. Later in the eighteenth century, the German Lied again fell largely into semi-obscurity as the taste for through-composed songs overshadowed strophic settings.
Most eighteenth-century scholars and writers considered Bach to be a brilliant song composer and it is especially perplexing that his songs, until recently, have been neglected. Youngren contends that Bach was both misrepresented and misunderstood as a song composer by later generations. His ultimate success lay largely in the hands of music historians who dissected, promoted, or negated his art. According to Youngren, how Bach fared with such German historians as Ritter, Reichardt, Marx, Reissmann, and Donner had an impact on his eventual place in music history. Max Friedlander, with Das Deutsche Lied in 18. Jahrhundert, put Bach back on the map, so to speak, and Bach finally was rediscovered as a song composer in the early twentieth century. At that time, there was a flutter of interest in Bach, a couple of dissertations, and then nothing more for over forty years.
Over half of Bach's total song output of some 300 compositions has texts by just three poets—C.F. Gellert (55 songs), Johann Andreas Cramer (42 psalms), and Christian Carl Sturm (60 songs). In C.P.E. Bach and the Rebirth of the Strophic Song, Youngren focuses much of his writing on these three significant song "projects" of Bach. He pursues with minute detail the circumstances leading up to the composition and publication of songs set to these poets' writing. Youngren also includes a chapter on the poet Heinrich Wilhelm von Gerstenberg, whose text inspired the cantata Die Grazien, which appeared in Bach's last song collection.
Largely through comparative analyses with settings of the same poems by Bach and several other composers (even the illustrious Franz Schubert), Youngren makes a compelling case for the artistic quality of Bach's songs. Beginning with a lengthy discussion of Bach's German predecessors in song, such as Grafe, Hurlebusch, de Giovannini, and Telemann, Youngren also introduces the poets who assisted composers in reinstating the strophic song. Names such as Günther, Broches, and von Hagedorn figure prominently in this movement. Bach's first surviving song, "Schäferlied" (composed in 1741) and set by the woman poet Christina Mariana von Ziegler, becomes a model for Youngren's mode of analysis as he compares it to later settings by both Haydn and Steffan. Several characteristics of Bach's song writing begin to emerge, such as the typical absence of keyboard introduction. Through the many song examples Youngren provides, he always discusses the manner in which Bach's musical choices support both words and sentiments of the selected poem. A particular strength of his scholarship lies in the care with which he examines Bach's text settings and how rhythm and melody become vehicles for characterization and emotion. Utilizing detailed discussions of several selected songs, Youngren reveals to the reader an oeuvre of songs which are both inventive and musically complex.
With the publication of this impressive hardcover volume, Youngren helps to restore Bach's rightful place in song history. It is difficult to predict if the coming century will witness a major resurgence in performances of Bach's songs, as much has yet to be done in assuring their currency with contemporary performers. One small obstacle might be the difficulty of reading Bach's scores, due to the upper stave being in soprano clef. It is regrettable that so few songs from Bach's copious output actually remain in print; restoring his many songs to print again will require significant scholarly endeavor. However, the depth of scholarship and obvious commitment of Youngren to Bach in this monumental work clearly pave the way for more artistic explorations. Highly recommended for anyone who is interested in eighteenth-century music, song literature, or the brilliant offspring of the master himself, J.S. Bach, this book will certainly pique one's curiosity to hear some of these works in performance. If any shortcomings can be noted in a book with such detail, it is that appreciating the many German poems provided would have been enhanced with the inclusion of selected literal English translations. Also, many of the reprints of Bach's song manuscripts are rather light in print quality and small in size, thus making them somewhat difficult to read. Although there is an enormous amount of information to wade through, the book is overall an extremely thorough and thoughtful examination of Bach, his songs, his contemporaries, and eighteenth-century song history. This scholarship serves to return Bach to the forefront of early Lieder composers.
Moving to twentieth-century America, Aaron Copland's Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson (1949-50) holds a prominent place in the hearts of performers and listeners alike who continue to hear a fresh voice in these treasured settings. Larry Starr, a scholar and pianist who has performed the cycle, reveals the reasons for such admiration in his monograph The Dickinson Songs of Aaron Copland, the first in the CMS Sourcebooks in American Music Series. Written with the highest regard for both poet and composer, the book provides a carefully conceived exploration of the extraordinary artistic talents intertwined in these twelve songs.
To the contemporary musical world, no lengthy introduction is necessary to either the poet or the composer. Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) reigns as one of the supreme poetic voices in American literature—an enigmatic woman who produced over 1700 poems throughout her lifetime, sparingly shared with only a few friends and family. Her idiosyncratic habits are well documented, and fans continue to ponder how such a major talent could have retained such privacy in both personal and professional lives. When viewed through the lens of nineteenth-century Amherst, Massachusetts society, however, her reasoned choices become somewhat clearer.
Aaron Copland (1900-1990), an icon in American music and perhaps best known for his orchestral and film scores, ventured into uncharted waters with his first settings of Dickinson's poems. At the time these were written, Copland was not considered to be a vocal composer. Yet with the publication of Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson, he established himself firmly within the field of art song composers. Starr makes the case that this work is definitive Copland precisely because it represented a new genre and approach in his body of works—a pivotal addition to his oeuvre. All critical evidence points to the belief that Copland "got it right the first time" with these settings, a factor which no doubt influenced the esteem with which they are still held today in American song literature.
Before launching into a detailed discussion of each song, Starr provides several background chapters assessing Dickinson and Copland as artists, the melodic and rhythmic aspects of the poems to which Copland so uniquely responded, the authenticity of editions available to Copland at the time, and the compositional style employed in the settings. Starr meticulously draws relationships from song to song, poem to poem, in supporting its conception as a song cycle. Throughout the entire monograph, Starr finds ways to support his tenet that Copland was extraordinarily attuned to the poetic voice of Dickinson, perhaps more so than any other song composer. The great themes of Dickinson's poetry—nature, death, life, and eternity—are all represented in Copland's choice of poems. Copland revisited the work in the late 1950s and orchestrated eight of the songs for voice and chamber orchestra. Although wonderfully effective in their own right, they do not quite compare with the absolute clarity of the original voice and piano version.
In each of Starr's chapters on the individual songs, he concentrates on the form and structure Copland chose to musically portray the poems, noting the independent voices in both the piano parts and the vocal lines. Starr draws his reader's attention to the musical types in Copland's work, most often evident in the piano parts, which include pastorale, storm scene, recitative, lullaby, ballad, scherzo, and funeral march. Starr cites many examples that reinforce Copland's highly sensitive interpretations of Dickinson's poems. Copland's skill at the piano is clearly evident in each of the songs; somewhat legitimately he received occasional reproach from singers for the disjunct nature of much of the vocal writing. Perhaps Copland did approach the vocal part rather instrumentally and this did in fact cause singers in the mid-twentieth century to struggle with the large intervallic leaps. However, it is safe to say that what once may have been considered as awkward or unidiomatic for singers is no longer. Most singers are now adroit at negotiating the vocal demands of a song such as "Sleep is supposed to be," and Copland's songs now seem tame in comparison with others.
The monograph concludes with a short discussion of performance aspects of the cycle as offered by sopranos Katherine Ciesinski, Karen Patton Hall, and Carmen Pelton. In addition, Starr reviews several performances and includes a compact disc with soprano Adele Addison's 1964 performance with Copland at the keyboard and the eight orchestrated songs with soprano Barbara Hendricks and the London Symphony Orchestra released in 1994. Certainly including a compact disc of such prestigious performances heightens the appeal of this book, for it is wonderful to be able to immediately listen to the works being discussed. This advancement both in technology and in the publishing field is truly appreciated by readers and musicians everywhere.
From this reviewer's perspective, Starr does not easily mask an obvious bias toward Copland's settings and one wonders if he has had an opportunity to discover some of the other excellent literature available. Aaron Copland's Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson has deservedly become a standard, in fact popular, work in modern vocal repertory. Starr's assessment clearly defends its stature as among the finest of American song settings. However, in praising Copland's genius Starr inadvertently overlooks the affinity that countless other composers have also felt for Dickinson's poetry. Proclaiming Copland as the primary interpreter of Dickinson is somewhat overzealous, as Copland selected just twelve of her over 1700 poems—many of which have been set impressively by a myriad of other composers. The assessment that Copland's contribution is unique is tempered somewhat by the uniqueness of dozens of other settings that continue to issue forth from the pens of contemporary song composers. This reviewer's compilation, which barely scratches the surface, has resulted in no less than 200 composers. Art Song in the United States, 1759-1999 by Judith Carmen, William K. Gaedert, and Rita Resch (Lanham, MD and London: Scarecrow, 2001) indicates that the number of Dickinson poems set to song is only second to those of William Shakespeare. Certainly, these composers have not been intimidated by Copland's settings, but have been inspired to contribute their own interpretations of Dickinson. Indeed, the value of any individual song setting, all musical/vocal considerations being somewhat equal, may rest largely in the performer and listener's interpretation of that poem. It is fascinating, for example, to compare and contrast the various settings available of any single poem, such as "Will there really be a morning?", as set by Ernst Bacon, Richard Hundley, or André Previn, or "Safe in their alabaster chambers" as set by Ernst Bacon or the lesser-known Elaine Hugh-Jones.
Starr supports his opinions by stating that "very few have succeeded in producing works that have entered the repertory." (30) However, such factors as familiarity of name, marketing techniques, and availability of published scores are all significant in affecting the "currency" of music. In addition, vocal instructors influence which songs enter the mainstream by teaching the music they are familiar with or most enjoy. Actually, in the case of Emily Dickinson, a quantity of published works is easily accessible in excellent settings by such composers as Hoiby, Duke, Baksa, Farwell, Perrera, Persichetti, Bolcom, Walker, Heggie, Larsen, to name just a few. To be fair, Starr does mention Ernst Bacon for his many superb settings. Exploring this repertory gives one a multilevel view of the variety and depth of interpretations possible with this poet. Who can lay claim to discerning Dickinson's exact intents? Starr cites essential sources for his research into song settings, including Carlton Lowenberg's "Musicians Wrestle Everywhere": Emily Dickinson & Music (Berkeley: Fallen Leaf Press, 1992). However, much has happened in the world of song since 1992 and contemporary composers here and abroad—both known and as yet unknown—continue to pour their musical inspiration into the many poems of Emily Dickinson. For this reason, it is well worth venturing beyond Copland to discover the gems among these settings. Truly the greatest artist here is the poet herself, Emily Dickinson. That she may have welcomed not only the eventual publication of her poems but also agreed that her poetry became somehow greater by being set musically (as Starr seems to suggest) is only subject to conjecture.
In summary, Larry Starr's contribution to the scholarship on Aaron Copland's song composition is both welcome and especially timely in light of the continuing popularity of Dickinson's poetry in song settings. This monograph is well written and is immensely enjoyable reading for one who admires these artists. The Dickinson Songs of Aaron Copland will undoubtedly become an asset to those studying and performing these expressive settings and will hopefully inspire readers to look even further into the rich and varied world of song settings of Emily Dickinson's poetry.
Joyce Andrews is Professor of Music in Voice at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She combines research with teaching and performing and her articles on women composers of the United Kingdom are published in numerous professional journals. She has received invitations to present lecture recitals and papers across the United States at professional conferences of the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, International Alliance of Women in Music, Festival of Women Composers, and National Association of Teachers of Singing. In 2010 she presented a lecture recital on Afro-Briitsh composer Amanda Aldridge at the IASPM Conference at the University of Cardiff, Wales and in 2008 at City University, London. Also in 2010, she researched Victorian Women Ballad Composers at the British Library in London. She is a recipient of a research fellowship at the Center for Black Music Research at Columbia College (2007) and a Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (2005). Her compact disk entitled "Emily Dickinson Songs," released commercially by Capstone Records (2003), garnered critical acclaim. As a soprano soloist, Joyce Andrews has enjoyed a multi-faceted career in opera, oratorio, concert and recital work across the United States, England and France. Praised for her abilities as a singing actress, her professional opera credits include appearances with the New York City Opera, Chautauqua Opera, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Concert Royale and the New York Baroque Dance Company, Eastern Opera Theatre, Madison Opera, Manhattan Savoyards and Hawaii Opera Theatre, among others.