"The Rainy Fragrance Musical”: Wintter Watts’ Song Cycle Vignettes Of Italy With Poetry By Sara Teasdale

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Wintter Watts (1884-1962) was one of the most admired composers of American art song in the early twentieth century. The history of great singers who performed his songs at that time attests to the reputation of Watts as a song composer. Unfortunately the songs of Watts have become largely neglected by singers from later generations. The song cycle Vignettes of Italy (1919) for high voice is regarded by many as Watts♠ best-known composition. Vignettes of Italy was frequently performed by many famous singers in America in his day, but is little known in the current repertoire of American art song ... continued below

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Kwon, Hye-Ryung December 2011.

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  • Kwon, Hye-Ryung

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Wintter Watts (1884-1962) was one of the most admired composers of American art song in the early twentieth century. The history of great singers who performed his songs at that time attests to the reputation of Watts as a song composer. Unfortunately the songs of Watts have become largely neglected by singers from later generations. The song cycle Vignettes of Italy (1919) for high voice is regarded by many as Watts♠ best-known composition. Vignettes of Italy was frequently performed by many famous singers in America in his day, but is little known in the current repertoire of American art song and rarely performed today. Vignettes of Italy is worthy of reintroduction to contemporary audiences and singers. This study explores the significant contributions Wintter Watts made to the body of American art song in the early twentieth century and presents a thorough investigation of Watts♠ compositional techniques of Sara Teasdale♠s texts in his song cycle Vignettes of Italy. These techniques include the use of carefully tailored rhythms, modulations, harmonic progressions, and accompaniment figures to give unique treatment to the musical setting of individual words, poetic ideas, and broader moods. I hope this research provides a foundation of understanding of this cycle, assists singers and pianists in presenting artistically coherent performances, and creates a fuller comprehension and appreciation of Watts songs.

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  • December 2011

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  • Oct. 2, 2012, 4:18 p.m.

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  • Nov. 16, 2016, 12:07 p.m.

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Kwon, Hye-Ryung. "The Rainy Fragrance Musical”: Wintter Watts’ Song Cycle Vignettes Of Italy With Poetry By Sara Teasdale, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103347/: accessed November 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .