venerdì 25 settembre 2015

The art of piano accompaniment in vocal chamber music

Gerald Moore and Victoria de los Angeles
A piano student can discover a particular vocation, specializing in vocal chamber music.

British pianist Gerald Moore (1899-1987) has gone down in history as one of the most famous pianists in the genre of Lieder.

In his book "The Unashemed Accompanist" describes the value and meaning of this particular artistic activity. His conclusion is that the pianist in vocal chamber music must have all the deposit of human feelings, an inexhaustible source of poetry, fire and romanticism, that is a heart. In other words: it is necessary, but not sufficient, to have a good instrumental technique; we need to hear the poetic value of musical art.

A wonderful example is given by the Lied by Franz Schubert An die Musik (To Music), with text by Franz von Schober:

Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden,
Wo mich des Lebens wilder Kreis umstrickt,
Hast du mein Herz zu warmer Lieb entzunden,
Hast mich in eine beßre Welt entrückt!

Oft hat ein Seufzer, deiner Harf' entflossen,
Ein süßer, heiliger Akkord von dir
Den Himmel beßrer Zeiten mir erschlossen,
Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir dafür!

You, gentle art, in how many gray hours,
when the pain of living I attacked,
with your warm love you have turned the heart,
sending into ecstasy in a better world!

Often a sigh, left your magic harp,
a sweet, holy accord received from you,
It opened the sky for a better time,
oh sweet art, I thank you for it!

The piano "sing", just like the human voice: it happens in the introduction (the song is given to the lower part of the piano, played by the left hand) and then in the final phrase of the two verses piano (at the upper part, on the right hand).
A wonderful example of this interpretative art of the Lied is given by the same Moore, for example in the famous performance of 1957 with soprano Victoria de Los Angeles.