The Art of the Art Song, March 4 to 6

Sarah Nelson Craft, mezzo soprano

Two accomplished alumni artists teach and perform art songs at the Hop

Art songs...ah! Who can resist a singer and a pianist, together telling a compact story full of colorful words and music?

Two Dartmouth alumnae known for their ability with art songs return to their alma mater to share this passion. Deirdre Brenner, piano, and Sarah Nelson Craft, mezzo soprano, perform a wonderful program of German lieder (a form of art song) and American art songs on Wednesday, March 6, 7 pm in Spaulding Auditorium. They also give two master classes that are free and open to the public to observe, and will take you into the intense craft involved in making art songs fly.

Dierdre Brenner

Those master classes are as follows:
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Monday, March 4, 5 to 6:30 pm, in Faulkner Recital Hall, Nelson Craft will coach Dartmouth singers Brianna Aubrey, Tara Gallagher and Margaret Cross (sopranos) and Ben Nesselrodt (baritone). On Tuesday, March, 6:30 to 8 pm, in Spaulding Auditorium, Brenner gives a piano/chamber music master class.

Brenner and Craft both have achieved celebrated music careers. Brenner has performed throughout the US, Europe and Asia and co-founded music festivals in Ireland and Vienna. Craft has received wide acclaim for solo and operatic performances in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Paris’s Opéra Bastille and with opera companies around the country.

Watch Craft prepare for her performance at the Carnegie Hall, about which Voce di Meche wrote, “She is a born storyteller and one can readily visualize the scenes about which she is singing. She truly inhabits the song and makes it hers, as if she were making it up on the spot... the use of vocal color and dramatic expressiveness brought the songs to vivid life... We felt as if we were living this scene along with her.”

Their Hop program brings together German lieder and American art songs clustered around scenes of nature and forests. Lieder are usually written as a narrative, sung by a solo singer to a piano accompaniment. Art songs are often compositions set to poems, and Brenner and Craft’s performance will include art songs set to the works of several instantly recognizable poets such as Robert Frost and James Joyce. Among the works being performed are: Three Songs by Samuel Barber, which include a setting of Joyce's translations of German poet Gottfried Keller; Gilda Lyons's universally evocative Songs of Lament and Praise, using texts from the Middle Ages; and Pulitzer-Prize winning composer Elliott Carter's Three Poems of Robert Frost.

Watch this ‘last interview’ with the late Elliott Carter:

 

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