August 27, 2010

The Traditions of Fine Singing

One of the last direct representatives of Pauline Viardot-Garcia and Manuel Garcia was Anna E. Schoen-René (1862-1942), a professor of singing at The Juilliard School from 1925 to 1942.  She taught many well-known singers including Putnam Griswold, Florencio Constantino, Sonia Essen, Mack Harrell, Florence Easton, Margaret Harshaw, Risë Stevens, Lillian Blauvelt, Karin Branzell, Charles Kullman, Thelma Votipka, George Meader, Paul Robeson, Eva Gauthier, Lanny Ross, and George Britton.

As far as I have been able to ascertain, the interview below with Schoen-René, which appeared in the November 1941 issue of The Etude, is the only one given during her life-time that includes anything remotely related to vocal technique. It was the same year that her memoir America's Musical Inheritance was published.  She died a year later.   

One of the more interesting things in the article is Schoen-René's assertion that the student must not only judge tones after they have been produced, but must “understand the anatomical principles underlying their production and the sensations they cause." Schoen-René also asserts that the voice must be resonated from the face, and vibrate freely there. This is the concept of voice placement. 

Click each jpeg and then drag it off onto your desktop. Then click it on again. You should then see each one at full resolution.


 

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