March 26, 2011

A lesson with Garcia

The singer recommences her task. Her whole form is reflected in a large mirror which hangs behind the Maestro, no movement of her features can escape her observation, every frown, every quiver of the eyelashes, every unpleasing position of the mouth is plainly revealed. Neither can anything escape the Meister's gaze; his piercing eyes are fixed with untiring attention upon the singer's features. Yet he does not criticise the position of the lips and chin, he does not confuse his pupil's mind by long and obscure dissertations on these important points, but simply repeats the instructions of the celebrated old Italian masters, Tosi and Mancini, Que tout chanteur doit placer sa bouche comme il a coutume de le faire lorsqu'il sourit naturellement, c'est a dire de maniere que les dents supérieures soient séparées perpendiculairement et médiocrement de celles d'en bas. He does not, like a drill-sergeant, give minute directions for the position of the body; his rules are few, but rigidly enforced. Ayez le corps droit, tranquille, d'aplomb sur les deux jambes, éloigné de tout point d'appui. The arms must be allowed to hang back,  Afin de ne pas gener le jeu de la poitrîne.

From Musical Tales, Phantasms and Sketches, from the German of Elise Polko, 1876

No comments:

Post a Comment

I welcome your comments.