Two love songs this week…



Greig – Tø Brune Øin / Two Brown Eyes / Zwei Brune Augen
[ABRSM 3(B); NC 2]

This is a fairly simple song melodically, but still needs a good acting performance to ensure the meaning is clear to the listener. The opening section needs to be light, but not staccato – sing right through the notes. There is a shift in mood in the middle of the song which needs to be communicated by the singer as well as the accompaniment. At the end of the song, there is a quick dynamic change alongside chromatic movement which needs to be cleanly executed to be sure of a strong finish to the performance. [YouTube]

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Bernstein/Sondheim – One hand, one heart (West Side Story)
[ABRSM 4(C); TG 4(A1)]

This seems like a very simple song at first sight, with a straightforward slow melody and repeating verses. However, the key challenge with this song is to keep not only a sustained tone throughout the song, but to shape each note so that it is rounded. The high point of the song in the B section also requires strong vocal control as the singer is required to crescendo and decrescendo on a single note. It is the dynamic variation and tonal control required that make this song both challenging and rewarding to sing. [YouTube]


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