Welcome to the Your Accompanist newsletter!

We're bringing you an update on some of the things that have been going on at Your Accompanist since our last newsletter: It's been a busy time. We've been responding to your requests for new accompaniments and we've added almost 300 new tracks and learning packs to the catalogue.

As you can imagine for the time of year, we've also been looking ahead to Christmas, and we've almost 40 new carols and Christmas songs, and there are plenty more to come. We've also been making music for school plays and Pantomimes.

There has also been a very lovely surge in Facebook fans! A huge thanks to all of you who have been spreading the word about our singers resources. In particular we're delighted to welcome so many Icelanders and hope to be finding out a bit more about the Icelandic singing scene in a future edition.

In this issue...

In this issue we bring you a very special audio profile of London-based lyric Soprano Naomi Scott de Moncloa. Our pianist, Michael, would like help with a little musical experiment in his article: Key Colour and me.

We take inspiration from the story of a Scottish soprano Linda Esther Grey, encourage you to take part in the greatest virtual choir project yet, bring you a round up of the Singing Ds and a short biography of one of Britain's long-lost musical heroes. Not forgetting our usual round up of singing related links and websites.

Best wishes from,

All the team at Your Accompanist

PS: If this is the first time you've received a newsletter from us, you might like to take a look at the Newsletter Archive. All our back issues available to view online. You can view them in the original format, or browse the article archive.


New to the catalogue

We've been so busy adding to the catalogue. Here's the full list of latest additions since our last newsletter...

New Advent Hymns

Bach J S Wachet Auf Ruft Uns Die Stimme (Chorale Prelude)
Den Swenska Psalmboken Bereden Vag For Herran (Prepare The Way, O Zion)
Harmonischer Liederschatz Franconia (The Advent Of Our King)(Blest Are The Pure In Heart)
Monk W H Merton (Hark, A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding)
Olivers T Helmsley (Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending)
Ravenscroft Thomas Bristol (Hark! The Glad Sound The Saviour Comes)

New Arias

attrib.Stradella (poss. Niedermeyer) Pietà, Signore
Bach J S Begluckte Herde (BWV104)
Bach J S Domine Deus from Mass in F (BWV233)
Bach J S Ich Habe Genug (BWV82)
Bach J S Sheep May Safely Graze (Schafe Können Sicher Weiden)
Bach J S Sheep May Safely Graze (Schafe Können Sicher)(period tuning)
Bach J S Sheep May Safely Graze (Schafe Können)(flutes version)
Bach J S Sheep May Safely Graze (Schafe Können)(flutes; period tuning)
Bellini Ah Non Credea - Ah Non Giunge (6:36)
Bellini Ah Non Credea - Ah Non Giunge (7:06)
Bizet A Cette Voix-Je Crois Entendre
Bizet Me Voilà - Comme Autrefois Dans La Nuit Sombre (5:49)
Bizet Me Voilà - Comme Autrefois Dans La Nuit Sombre (6:48)
Caccini Tu Ch'Hai Le Penne (2:29)
Caccini Tu Ch'Hai Le Penne (2:38)
Caldara Come Raggio Di Sol (high)
Caldara Come Raggio Di Sol (low)
Campra André Charmant Papillon
Cavalli Donzelle Fuggite (Oh Hasten, Ye Maidens)
Cesti Intorno All'Idol Mio
Flotow Ach! So Fromm, Ach! So Traut
Gounod Je Veux Vivre (orig.)
Gounod Quel Trouble Inconnu-Salut! Demeure Chaste Et Pure
Handel Ah Mio Cor
Handel But Who May Abide
Handel Cara Speme
Handel Dignare O Domine (Vouchsafe, O Lord)
Handel Mio Caro Bene (3:43)
Handel Mio Caro Bene (4:33)
Handel Ombra Mai Fù (Largo) (high)
Handel Ombra Mai Fù (Largo) (mezzo)
Handel Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Jerusalem
Handel Rendi'l Sereno Al Ciglio
Handel Tecum Principium In Die Virtutis
Handel Tecum Principium In Die Virtutis (period tuning)
Handel Thou In Thy Mercy Hast Led Forth Thy People
Handel Tu La Mia Stella Sei (4:18)-Bflat
Handel Tu La Mia Stella Sei(5:02)-Bflat
Handel V'Adoro Pupille
Handel Virgam Virtutis Tuae
Handel Virgam Virtutis Tuae (Baroque Pitch)
Handel Waft Her, Angels (Baroque Pitch)
Massenet Je Suis Seul-Ah! Fuyez, Douce Images
Mendelssohn Hear Ye, Israel
Mozart Ach Ich Fühl's
Mozart Deh Per Questo Istante Solo (5:34)
Mozart Parto, Ma Tu, Ben Mio
Mozart Ruhe Sanft, Mein Holdes Leben
Mozart Se l’Augelin Sen Fugge
Rossini Cruda Sorte
Rossini Se Il Mio Nome Saper Voi Bramate
Sarti Giuseppe Come Un Agnello (orignal)
Sarti Giuseppe Come Un Agnello (simplified accompaniment)
Scarlatti Allessandro Caldo Sangue (4:31)
Scarlatti Allessandro Caldo Sangue (5:15)
Thomas Ambroise Connais-Tu Le Pays?
Verdi Ingemisco
Verdi O Don Fatale
Verdi Saper Vorreste
Verdi Sul Fil D'Un Soffio Etesio (full version)
Verdi Sul Fil D'Un Soffio Etesio (solo version)
Vivaldi Vultus Tui Vago Splendori (2min28)
Vivaldi Vultus Tui Vago Splendori (2min52)
   

New in Art Song / Kunstlieder

Ayres Bestowal
Ayres In A Gondola
Ayres Spring Song
Bellini Tre Ariette - Vaga Luna (3:15)
Brahms Der Jaeger (Der Jäger)
Brahms Der Jaeger (Der Jäger) (low)
Chausson Le Temps de Lilas (4:10)
Chausson Le Temps de Lilas (4:30)
Chausson Le Temps de Lilas (4:50)
Chopin Pierscien (Das Ringlein) (high)
Chopin Pierscien (Das Ringlein) (low)
Chopin Piosnka Litewska (Lithauisches Lied)
Chopin Zyczenie (Mädchens Wunsch)
Cornelius Peter Die Könige (The Three Kings)(high)
Cornelius Peter Die Könige (The Three Kings)(mezzo)
Debussy La Chevelure (Trois Chansons de Bilitis No.2)
Debussy La Flûte de Pan (Trois Chansons de Bilitis No.1)
Debussy Le Tombeau de Naïades (Trois Chansons de Bilitis No.3)
Delibes Les Filles De Cadiz
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 01 - Um Ihn Her Ist Volken Und Dunkel
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 02 - Du Bist O Herr Mein Schirm Und Schild
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 03 - Gott Erhöre Mein Gebet
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 04 - Gott Ist Mein Hirt
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 05 - Herr Nun Sing Ich Dir Ein Neues Lied
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 06 - Höre Gott Mein Flehen
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 07 - An Den Wassern Zu Babylon
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 08 - Wende Dich Zu Mir
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 09 - Ich Hebe Meine Augen Auf Den Bergen
Dvorak Ten Biblical Songs - 10 - Singet Ein Neues Lied
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 01 - Mein Lied Ertönt
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 01 - Mein Lied Ertönt (mezzo)
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 02 - Ei Ei Wie Mein Triangel
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 02 - Ei Ei Wie Mein Triangel (mezzo)
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 03 - Rings Ist Die Wald
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 03 - Rings Ist Die Wald (mezzo)
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 04 - Als Die Alte Mutter (mezzo)
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 05 - Reingestimmt Die Saiten!
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 05 - Reingestimmt Die Saiten! (mezzo)
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 06 - In Dem Weiten
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 06 - In Dem Weiten (mezzo)
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 07 - Darf Es Falken Schwinge
Dvorak Zigeunermelodien - 07 - Darf Es Falken Schwinge (mezzo)
Fauré Gabriel Noel (low)
Gastaldon Musica Proibita (high)
Gastaldon Musica Proibita (mezzo)
Godard Benjamin Chanson De Juin
Goring Thomas Arthur The Viking's Daughter
Goring-Thomas Arthur A Summer Night
Grieg De Norske Fjelde (The Norwegian Mountains)
Grieg Faedrelands-Salme (Fatherland Hymn)
Grieg Fiskervise (Fisherman's Song)
Grieg Havet (The Ocean)
Grieg Kveld-sang for Blakken (Good-Night Song For Dobbin)
Grieg Lokk (Lok) (Farmyard Song)
Lehmann Amelia When Love Is Kind
Lehmann Liza If I Drink From Your Glass
Lehmann Liza The Falling Star
Lehmann Liza The New Moon
Leoncavallo Mattinata (Tis The Day)(high)
Leoncavallo Mattinata (Tis The Day)(high)
Loewe Carl Canzonetta
Mendelssohn Hexenlied (low)
Moszkowski Ich Frage Nicht (I Do Not Ask If Thou Art Mine)
Mozart Der Zauberer (K472) (full version)
Paladilhe Psyché
Parisotti Arietta
Parry Joseph Lullaby
Parry Joseph Myfanwy (high)
Parry Joseph Myfanwy (low)
Satie Erik Je Te Veux
Satie Erik Tendrement (4:15)
Satie Erik Tendrement (5:26)
Schubert Da Quel Sembiante Appresi (D.688/3)
Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin - 07 - Ungeduld (original key)
Schubert Guarda Che Bianca Luna (D.688/2)
Schubert Mio Ben Ricordati (D.688/4)
Schubert Mio Ben Ricordati (Low)
Schubert Non T'Accostar All'Urna (D.688/1)
Secchi Antonio Love Me Or Not (3:31)
Secchi Antonio Love Me Or Not (4:16)
Stanford Charles Villiers Boat Song
Tosti Beauty's Eyes
Vaccai E Vezzosa Si La Rosa

New Christmas hymns and songs

Anon Good Christian Men, Rejoice
Anon Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine (Song Of The Crib)
Anon Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes (Angels From The Realms)
Anon St Joseph Et L'Enfant Jesus
Cornelius Peter Christbaum (Christmas Tree)
Cornelius Peter Die Hirten (The Shepherds)
Corner David Gregor  He Smiles Within His Cradle (Ein Kindlein in der Wiegen)
Gade Niels Weinachtslied (Barn Jesus i en Krybbe laa)
Gounod Dans Cette Étable
Gounod Noel
Gounod Noel (low)
Grieg Sang Til Juletraeet (The Christmas Tree)
Hann Sidney Love Came Down At Christmas
Holst Personent Hodie
Nicolai Philipp How Brightly Shines The Morning Star (Wie Schon Leuchtet)
Pellegrin Venez, Divin Messie (O Come, Divine Messiah)
Piae Cantiones Gaudete
Sandys William Sandys (A Child This Day Is Born)
Schop Johann Ermuntre Dich (Break Forth, O Beauteous Heavenly Light)
Terry Sir R R Christ Was Born On Christmas Day
Terry Sir R R I Sing Of A Mayden
Terry Sir R R Joseph And The Angel
Terry Sir R R Lullay Lullay
Terry Sir R R Regina Caeli Letare
Terry Sir R R So Blyssid Be The Tyme
Terry Sir R R The Angel Gabriel
Terry Sir R R The Kings Birthday
Terry Sir R R The New Year
Terry Sir R R Tryste Noel
Terry Sir R R When Christ Was Born
Traditional Bring A Torch (Un Flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle)
Traditional Les Anges Dans Nos Campagnes (Angels From The Realms)
Traditional Sans Day Carol
Traditional The Boar's Head Christmas
Traditional Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
Willis R S It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

New in Duets

Bach J S Et Misericordia
Bach J S Et Misericordia (Baroque Pitch)
Handel Soll Mein Kind (Jesu & Maria)(2:09)
Handel Soll Mein Kind (Jesu & Maria)(2:18)
Handel Soll Mein Kind (Jesu & Maria)(2:34)
Mozart Spiegarti Non Poss'io, Oh Dio, Non Posso (K489)
Mozart Sull'Aria-Che Soave Zeffiretto (2:42)
Offenbach Barcarolle (Belle Nuit, Ô Nuit D'Amour)
Offenbach Duo De La Mouche (5:17)
Offenbach Duo De La Mouche (5:50)
Offenbach The Bold Gendarmes Duet (Couplets des Deux Hommes d'Armes)
Offenbach Tu La Connais
Sullivan Sir Arthur So Go To Him And Say To Him
Verdi Libiamo Ne Lieti Calici (Brindisi from La Traviata)

New Learning Packs

Cornelius Peter Die Könige (The Kings)(mezzo)(Song Learning Pack)
Handel But Who May Abide (Song Learning Pack)
Mendelssohn Hear Ye Israel (Song Learning Pack)
Schubert Ave Maria (low) (Song Learning Pack)
Tchaikovsky Nur Wer Die Sehnsucht Kennt (None But The) (Song Learning Pack)

New in Music Hall

Godwin Will The Miner's Dream of Home
Graham Charles Two Little Girls In Blue
Harris Charles K Break The News To Mother
Harris Charles K Somewhere The Sun Is Shining
Lee Alfred Champagne Charlie
Letters Will Flanagan
Levaine Gus Sister Mary Walked Like That
Mills & Castling Just Like the Ivy
Murphy C W My Girl's A Yorkshire Girl
Murphy C W She's A Lassie From Lancashire
Penn William H The Honeysuckle And The Bee

New songs by various composers

Bach J S Church Cantata BWV 82 (complete)
Bach J S O Gott, Du Frommer Gott
Bach J S Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme
Capel Love Could I Only Tell Thee (mezzo)
De Cutis Torna A Surriento (low)
Di Capua Ah Maria Mari
Dowland Fine Knacks For Ladies
Dowland Now, O Now I needs Must Part
Elgar The Snow (Cued)
Elgar The Snow (Piano)
Franck César Panis Angelicus (arr. for Theremin)
Handel Recit:Frondi Tenere (for Ombra Mai Fù) (high)
Handel Recit:Frondi Tenere (for Ombra Mai Fù) (low)
Handel Recit:Frondi Tenere (for Ombra Mai Fù) (mezzo)
Handel Recit:Vegli Pure Il Germano (for Tu La Mia Stella Sei)
Handel Reina, Sei Tradita
Haydn Joseph Antwort Auf Die Frage Eines Mädchens (Pensi a me si fido amante)
Haydn Joseph Der Erste Kuss
Haydn Joseph Der Gleichsinn
Haydn Joseph Minna
Haydn Joseph Pleasing Pain
Lady John Scott Think On Me
Leslie Henry Annabelle Lee
Mendelssohn O Come Everyone That Thirsteth
Puccini Humming Chorus (Coro A Bocca Chiusa)
Purcell If Music be The Food Of Love (original)
Schubert Der Hirt Auf Dem Felsen (The Shepherd on the rock)(11:43)
Schubert Kyrie from Mass No. 4 in C
Schubert The Shepherd On the Rock (D.965)(Rehearsal Pack)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 01 - Im wunderschönen Monat Mai (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 02 - Aus meinen Tränen spriessen (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 03 - Die Rose, Die Lilie (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 04 - Wenn ich in deine Augen seh' (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 05 - Ich will meine Seele tauchen (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 06 - Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 07 - Ich grolle nicht (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 08 - Und wüssten's die Blumen (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 09 - Das ist ein Flöten und Geigen (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 10 - Hör'ich das Liedchen klingen (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 11 - Ein Jüngling liebt ein Mädchen (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 12 - Am leuchtenden Sommermorgen (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 13 - Ich hab' im Traume geweinet (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 14 - Allnächtlich im Traume (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 15 - Aus alten Märchen (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe - 16 - Die alten bösen art-song/kunstlieder (Orig. Key)
Schumann Dichterliebe (Op. 48) - Collection (Original keys)
Sieber Ferdinand Thirty-Six Vocalises for Mezzo-Soprano (Opus 93)
Strauss Johann Chacun À Son Goût (Ich Lade Gern Mir Gäste Ein)
Sullivan Sir Arthur Poor Wand'ring One
Thomas Ambroise Me Voici Dans Son Boudoir (Gavotte from Mignon)
Thrupp J F Epiphany (Brightest And Best Are The Sons Of The Morning)
Traditional Vieni Sul Mar
Weelkes Thomas When David Heard That Absalom Was Slain
   

Rolling updated list of most recent additions: www.youraccompanist.com/latest

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Collections: www.youraccompanist.com/collections

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Issue 12
November 2010


In this issue:

Singer profile: Naomi Scott de Moncloa
Catalogue update
Behind the scenes: Key colour & me
Music for your school play
History of Song: Arthur Goring Thomas
Inspiration: Linda Esther Gray
A-Z of Singing-related Terms: D is for...
Singing on the web
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Let's make beautiful music. Together.
Have it your way: custom recording service
Join our networks
About Your Accompanist


Singer Profile: Naomi Scott de Moncloa

For more pictures please view this article on the website

Listen: Naomi Scott de Moncloa Singer Profile by YourAccompanist

For more pictures, and continuous audio while you view the rest of the newsletter, please view this article on our website.

Find out more: interact with Naomi

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Would you like to be our featured singer? Contact us for more information.

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Behind the scenes: Key colour and me

For composers, keys are just like background colours to a painter. I think of it like the under-painting that an artist would start with when he or she is preparing a canvas. It sets the picture up for how it has to look in the end.

Composers do the same thing when they choose a key for a piece - it sets the mood. I also think of chords and intervals as the individual colours and brush strokes that are added as the work is built up and the finished composition is like the completed picture.

People have known about key colour for a long time, but now is identified by some psychologists as a kind of 'synesthesia' (having simultaneous sensory experiences) - hear a particular sound and instantly see it as a colour in your mind’s eye. Consequently, it’s likely to be highly subjective. It is certainly a matter of sensitivity - but when you talk to composers and musicians generally, there seems to be a remarkable consensus on the question of key colour.  

It's a touchy subject though, because there is a danger of suggestibility about it. Also, just as with colour vision, there are probably as many cases of key-colour blindness as there would be in any population. We know people even see different colour casts through each of their own individual eyes, so ears are not going to be that different. It's all a question of perception then, but in the end, I think most people would agree that the sky is often 'blue' and Van Gough's Sunflowers are a quite 'yellow'. Even if not everyone has experience of key colour in this way personally, we have to allow that it does exist for many musicians...

Read the full article and take part in Michael's Key Colour experiment

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Michael loves to hear from the people using the Your Accompanist products. If you would like his help with any of your particular accompaniment requirements, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

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Helping school plays to go with a swing!

It's that time of year again when your little ones are starting to get ready to take part in the annual Christmas play.

We've teamed up with Playstage Junior to help bring real piano accompaniments to their diverse catalogue of enchanting plays for primary children. It's a great way for schools to put on a good show.

The packs contain high quality piano accompaniments, printable sheet music and song books for the kids to learn from, as well as helpful teacher’s / leader’s notes which explain how to stage the plays, dress the actors and make the props.

Just some of the titles which come with music packs:

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D is for...

Da Capo Aria - (an early use of 'from the top') an aria in 3 sections. The middle section is usually contrasting in mood and thematic content and the last section is a repeat of the first up to the point marked. Much favoured by Baroque composers -second half of 17th cent to about 1750 particularly Handel. Good examples - well, lots but 'Where'er You Walk' is one of the best known.

Decani - the side of a double choir in English cathedrals or churches that sit on the south side of the chancel near the Dean's seat (stall). The Cantoris is on the opposite side.

Deceptive cadence - (or ‘Trugschluss’ in German) the American term for an 'interrupted cadence' - end of a phrase or section that doesn't finish where you might expect it to...

Descant - originally a melody added above an existing melody (so in this sense 'counterpoint). Now it’s mostly a higher line that a composer adds to a well known tune - a good example is David Willcocks' one for "Sing , Choirs of Angels in the carol "O Come All Ye Faithful’. (like the 'Fauxbourdon' in organ music).

More...

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Singing on the web

Virtual Choir - don't delay, get your video camera out NOW!

We were lucky enough to be able to attend Eric Whitacre's recent concert at the Barbican Hall in London, and experience Sleep and Lux Aurumque firsthand along with a number of his other compositions with the marvellous London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Eric Whitacre at the Barbican

It's prompted us to remind you that, if you've been toying with the idea of taking part in Eric's latest Virtual Choir project, don't delay a moment longer! The December 31st deadline is looming!

Eric hopes to outstrip his previous records by involving hundreds of singers worldwide to come together in song. You can find out everything you need to know here:
ericwhitacre.com/the-virtual-choir

Sibley Digital Scores Project

Check out this great project happening in the States. Sibley Music Library is the largest academic music library in North America, with total holdings of some 750,000 items. Four years ago they received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitise 10,000 to 12,000 musical scores which are in the public domain, reside in the Library’s general collections, and are held by not more than two other libraries in the world.

If you love beautiful sheet music, this is a must visit link! digitalscores.wordpress.com/about/

French Wikipedia Opera Portal

We recently found a great opera-related resource on Wikipedia. Great links for opera with a really well-organised opera chronology, and an opportunity to practice your French.

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History of song: Arthur Goring Thomas

Since his tragically early death in 1892, English composer Arthur Goring Thomas has been sadly neglected. We’ve recently uploaded two of his beautiful atmospheric songs A Summer Night and The Viking’s Daughter and hope that these might stand as a small tribute to his skills as a composer.

He studied in Paris with Emile Durand – whose pupils included Debussy and Pierné - and it is easy to see the influence of Goring Thomas’ French contemporaries.

A Summer Night is very much a through-composed ‘mélodie’ rather than the characteristic English art-song or parlour-song of his day. As in Fauré’s work, the melody is an evident part of the harmonic scheme, consisting of short and exquisitely shaped phrases. The initial optimism of the song’s opening question is transformed into understated desolation in the impassioned and rhetorical coda – ‘have you forgotten, Love, so soon?...’

Goring Thomas appeared to prefer to set songs in French and this originally French lyric,’ Une Nuit de Mai’ is by Theo Marzials (the English-born son of a French Protestant minister in London).  The English version is a free translation of this poem and possibly also by Marzials (who was rather harshly judged to be Britain’s worst poet as recently as 2007 but was much favoured by his contemporaries). In English, it differs in that the month of May is not mentioned at all.

Goring Thomas also collaborated with Marzials and Randegger when they were co-librettists for his opera Esmeralda (based on the novel by Victor Hugo). This was a great success at the time and ran to performances in German in Cologne and Hamburg as well as being translated into French.

Why then was he almost ‘air-brushed’ out of the musical picture in Britain some twenty years after his death? It’s tempting to speculate that perhaps the stigma associated with his suicide may have had something to do with it. Fortunately now his condition is now better understood. Perhaps it was just the changing tastes of post WW1 Britain - strange too, because creatively, he was actually much ahead of his time.

A Summer Night in D Flat – has a range of just under two octaves and would be suitable for mezzo or baritone. We hope be adding more of his songs to the catalogue soon.

Read more on Wikipedia

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Inspiration: Linda Esther Gray

Within a very short space of time in the late 1960s and early 1970s, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama had some of Britain’s most talented young sopranos under its roof. One of these was the Kathleen Ferrier prize-winner, Linda Esther Gray who made her debut as Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème at the age of 23 at Glyndebourne.

She was proclaimed as the New Callas and internationally acclaimed for her effortless production and sublime tone.

Sadly, her career stopped abruptly in the early 1980s when she became seriously ill. She needed a life-saving operation - one which cost her her voice. She vanished from the stage, and from public view.

It was with great joy that we discovered recently that she is active again as an opera coach and voice teacher. She has written an autobiography ‘A Life Behind Curtains’ describing her experiences and also a handbook for singers called ‘Can We All Sing?’.

Her website, www.singbelcanto.com, is fascinating as well as inspirational and the opportunity to listen to her audio clips is a rare privilege.

You'll aslo find a Woman's Hour programme to download and listen to (in Real Player).

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Tribute to Joan Sutherland

There's very little that we can add to the superlatives in many of the published articles that mark the passing of Dame Joan Sutherland.

She was as Pavarotti said, 'the voice of the century'. Modest and self-effacing, Joan Sutherland said of herself that she was not a great beauty or the world's best at stage-craft  but she'd just been given this gift of a voice. (We'd be inclined to disagree with her first two observations but certainly not the last!)  She also said that to be an opera singer, you needed to have the 'constitution of a horse'.

Down-to-earth statements like these show her as the very antithesis of our image of the operatic 'diva' - no fussiness, no hysterics - some have even said 'anti-diva.

A biography of her life, written when she was only in her thirties, by fellow Australian, Russell Braddon also told graphically of her stoicism in an early struggle with sinus and dental problems. Her brightness and generousity of spirit in her latter years - when not in the best of health - again demonstrated what remarkable strength of character she had.

Add this to perhaps the most glorious female voice the world has known in our lifetime and any one of us, singer or non singer, is humbled.

A collection of videos...

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Have it your way: our custom recording service

Your Accompanist welcomes requests for additions to our standard catalogue, but we also offer a bespoke recording service.

Use the custom recording service if you need the recording by a certain date, in a particular key or with specially tailored dynamics.

To talk to us any time about your requirements, simply contact us and one of the team will be in touch.

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Let's make beautiful music. Together.

Find YourAccompanist on YouTubeWe love to see how people all over the world are singing along to our rehearsal tracks. While we cannot give permission for use of our tracks in commercial recording projects, if you'd like to make a recording and post it on YouTube, all we ask is that you make friends with us, and refer to the full web address of our website in the description of the video.

Then, drop us a line to let us know it's there, and we'll add you to the playlist. If you don't have a YouTube account, we'll upload it for you.

Whatever kind of singing you enjoy, alone or with others, you'll find your favourite public domain songs in our catalogue. We cover a wide range of singing styles: classical to traditional; lullabies to lieder; operetta to art song; nursery rhymes to shanties and sea songs; oratorio to music hall. We've got over 1300 titles to choose from. So, get rehearsing and recording, and get in touch!

http://www.youtube.com/YourAccompanist

Here are a few hints for getting great results from your video: Tips on making a YouTube Video

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Feedback please

If you've enjoyed this issue of the newsletter, if there's something you'd like us to talk about in the future, if you've got a question you think we could answer or a singing tip you'd like to share with others, please let us know.

Use our online contact form:
www.youraccompanist.com/
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About Your Accompanist

We make real piano rehearsal tracks for singers.

All tracks are recorded by a real pianist on a real piano in a single take. You download them directly to your PC in MP3 format. They can then be transferred directly to any portable MP3 player (such as an iPod or, Sony MP3 walkman, Archos box or iRiver), or burned to CD.

They are ideal for soloists, ensembles, choirs and classrooms, for those who sing professionally, recreationally or secretly.

The quality of the musicianship and sensitivity of the performances means that the accompaniments make great listening, even for those who don't sing along.

Our catalogue covers a large part of the standard repertoire and is growing all the time. We bring you a wide variety of genres and composers, and aim to cater for all vocal ranges and levels of proficiency. Each track can be sampled on the site so you can be sure you've got the piece you want.

We believe very strongly in the importance of music in education, and have a great deal of experience in the field. We hope to support music teachers, promote singing in the classroom and provide an effective low cost solution for singing teaching situations where good quality live accompaniment is not readily available.

All of our tracks are available for instant download, so if we've already got the piece you want, there's no need to wait for a CD via post. If you'd like something we don't already have, or you need it in a different key, let us know. If it's in the public domain and we can get hold of the music, we could have it online for you quite quickly.

Read more in our User Guide: www.youraccompanist.com/userguide.

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