Te Kanawa Preparation for Performance

Preparation for Performance

Those of you who have a background in music performance, know well about the extent of work that is required to prepare a piece for public performance. It seems to me that all of us may well take for granted the level of energy, time, passion, and frustration that artists must supply to get the music ready for our enjoyment.

Here are two great people: the Late Sir Georg Solti, a world – renowned conductor, and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano; they are working to prepare the Richard Strauss song “September”. This is one of Strauss’ Four Last Songs, and you’ll be able to see the degree of detail that goes into the preparation:

Solti coaches Te Kanawa on diction. How he’d like her to pronounce the German words, written by the poet Hermann Hesse. It’s not winter yet. And the poet writes of the garden, and how the flowers and the rain and the Acacia trees prepare for winter. Solti asks her to say “Akazienbaum” (with a hard “Z”, pronounced “ts” in the German). If you watch closely, you’ll see other fine preparation details of pitch and dynamics. Listen to the passion expressed with that Hungarian accent by Solti, who knew the composer personally…

Click below to see the preparation phase, probably taking place at Solti’s home with an accompanying pianist:

And… after all the hard work is done, here are Solti and Dame Kiri doing the performance; please feel free to send your comments, below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *