Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Standards within Standard Repertoire

Somebody asked a group of pianists who have gathered together from all over the US, "Okay, what songs have you done to death?"  Their responses: all very, very different.  That's what inspired this post . . .

Within every school of music, there is a set of vocal studios, whose teachers tend to assign a certain set of music.  Eventually, - at that school - those songs becomes '"the standard repertoire" within what's considered to be "the standard repertoire"'.  For example: while I was in undergrad, I think I played Der Nussbaum and Loveliest of Trees about a billion times (give or take).  In grad school, Caro Mio Ben won the prize for most performed piece (three students in a row one day, for juries).  When I worked in CA, I played Amarilli Mia Bella constantly.  In PA, I cursed at JRB regularly, as well as Adam Guettal. 

Contemplating this made me curious - what do other schools have as their standard rep within 'standard repertoire'?  Which schools favor Wolf over Brahms, or Bolcom over Barber?  Or on the Musical Theatre side of things, which schools choose the Golden Age of MT over something written within the last 10 years?

I'd love to come up with an interactive map of the US, showing which composers/songs are 'in vogue' at which institution.  I admit I researched the idea, and found it to be more complex than I'd like to create such a thing - and I'm pretty patient (you've seen my CP poster, yes? Now that took a bit of time).  I'd still love to hear who has been doing what to death, however - in either the classical or musical theatre repertoire areas.  Please feel free to contribute via the comments section below. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In my experience, the songs that got beaten to death were the ones the voice teachers chose for their diction classes. Back in the day at NYU, that was Rorem's Early in the Morning and Faure's Le Secret. At Juilliard, "Lydia" was sung by every singer in the school, being that it's the prime example in Grubb's diction book.

-JA