Chamber Music for Soprano

During the 27 years I worked as a classical singer, I was incredibly lucky to sing a great deal of chamber music.

Chamber music fed my heart as a musician and collaborator. In addition to performing standard chamber music repertoire such as “The Shepherd on the Rock” of Franz Schubert at the Goethe Institute in DC, and Bach’s solo arias with obligato instruments with The Washington Bach Consort, I worked for many years for the former American Women Composers, premiering numerous American works in 8 languages throughout the Mid-Atlantic and on the West Coast of the US. Eventually AWC absorbed into The International Alliance of Women in Music.

If you are looking for chamber music repertoire, here’s a partial list from those performing years. Back in the day, I had to go into downtown Washington,DC and the Library of Congress to research this stuff. Some of it may be hard to find, but it is worth a little sleuthing.

G.F. Handel–“No se emendera jamais,” Spanish Cantata, soprano, continuo (keyboard and cello)

Albert Rouseel–“Deux Poems de Ronsard,” soprano and flute

Johann Christian Bach–“Semplicetto, an cor…” (from the opera Endimoione) soprano, flute and piano

Arnold Cooke–“Three Songs of Innocence,” soprano, clarinet and piano

Aaron Copland–“As it Fell Upon the Day,” soprano, flute and clarinet

Gustav Holst–“Four Songs for Voice and Violin”

Virgil Thompson–“Five Phrases from the Song of Solomon,” soprano and percussion

Lynn Steele–“Breviario,” soprano and harp

Clare Shore–“Four Vocalises” for soprano and mandolin

Nancy Carrol–“Songs from the Heart of a Child,” Soprano, mandolin and guitar

W.A. Mozart–“Komm, Liebe Zither, Komm,” K 351 soprano and mandolin
“Die Zufriedenheit,K 349 soprano and mandolin (this makes a nice mini-set)

Herman Berlinski–“Psalm 23” Soprano and Flute

Clara Lyle Boone–“Slumber Song” voice and mandolin

Winifred Hyson–“Love and Beyond” for soprano, flute and Japanese koto (I sang this with Lori Laitman, flute, before she became a well-known American composer!)

H. Villa-Lobos–“Suite for Voice and Violin” for voice and violin, and
“Bachianas Brasileiras no. 5,” for soprano and 8 celli

Franz Lachner–“Frauenlieben und Leben” soprano, french horn and piano. Franz Lachner had two brothers, Ignaz and Vinzenz, who also wrote chamber music for high voice.

Granados–“La Majo Doloroso” soprano, english horn and piano (I’ve also done this with a french horn playing the english horn part.)

Chamber Operas:

A Game of Chance by Seymour Barab

A Hand of Bridge by Samual Barber

Green Eggs and Ham, by Robert Kapilow (listen to an excerpt here, although this performance used a piano reduction of the chamber music score.)

Birthday of the Infanta by Ron Nelson

There’s so much out there! If you are planning a recital or program, explore some chamber music.


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