Perspectives on Amy Beach's Three Browning songs

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Spodek, Rachel
Zhong, Mei
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Thesis (M.M.)
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Amy Beach’s Three Browning Songs are among her most well-known and popular pieces performed by singers today. Beach herself is perhaps the most prominent female composer of the United States in the early 20th century. Beach’s highly romantic and emotional compositional style, with its strong connection to the poetry, prominent dynamic contrasts, and harmonic color, all allow the singer many options for expression in their performance. The driving tempo and rhythmic emphasis of “The Year’s at the Spring,” the ambiguity of form and harmonic structure in “Ah, Love, but a Day,” and the text painting, contrast in dynamics, and shifting tempo in “I send my heart up to thee” are all examples of Beach’s style in these particular songs. This Creative Project discusses the technical, stylistic and interpretive challenges of Beach’s Three Browning Songs for singers.