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  • Writer's pictureladiesvoices

Diva / Mensch pair for 2/26/20

I'm closing out my art song tribute by returning to the undisputed master, Franz Schubert, but with a different focus. It seems that the spotlight is almost always on the singer, but the form requires a balanced collaboration between the singer and pianist. This week I'm featuring two Schubert songs with different singers (Barbara Bonney and Olaf but the same pianist, the great Geoffrey Parsons:

Diva: "Auf dem Wasser zu singen"

Mensch: "Ständchen"

The Diva song has a showy, elegant line for the right hand, it's like a piano piece with a singer added. The Mensch song definitely puts the singer in the spotlight, and it requires that the pianist and singer be on the same wavelength at all times, with constant, subtle fluctuations in tempo and phrasing. In a sense the Diva is played with the hands but the Mensch is played with the brain.

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