Date: May 2011
Creator: Yang, Yoon Joo.
Description: The performance of vocal works using the twelve-tone technique requires thorough study of complex rhythms, non-tonal melodies, non-traditional notations, and specific musical terms. They generally also require advanced and varied vocal techniques. Twelve-tone vocal works often contain unusual features vital to the composer's intention. One of the premiere twelve-tone composers in the United States, Donald Martino (1931-2005) composed only two solo vocal works using the twelve-tone technique: Three Songs (1955) and Two Rilke Songs (1961). He has explored innovative and progressive uses of the twelve-tone technique, and composed music with particular methods of his own, later used by other composers. Three Songs, his first twelve-tone work, and Two Rilke Songs, the only twelve-tone song cycle in his mature style, present comparable features in his use of the twelve-tone technique, text setting, and notations. The variety of ways in which Martino uses these features in the song cycles is discussed in the performance guide. The intention of the present study is to help performers, especially singers, understand Donald Martino's two twelve-tone song cycles, and to aid in the preparation of an excellent performance. The study includes a study of historical context, the poems, and Martino's compositional and aesthetic approaches to setting ...
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