In simple terms, an art song is a poem set to music, usually for trained voice and piano accompaniment. More than that, art song strives to be the perfect combination of music and literature, based on four elements: poet, composer, singer and accompanist. The composer uses the full resources of the art form to embellish the poet’s text, sometimes even realizing potential interpretations that were not explicit in the poet’s words. In well-realized Art Song, the composer creates a duet between the accompanist and the vocalist. That is, the art song paints for us a picture of what the poet might have envisioned.
Opera Idaho’s Emerging Artists and Resident Company singers are featured this series of recitals dedicated to art songs. These non-staged songs often incorporate well-known poems and seasonal themes with complex music and piano.