Eight cabaret songs : soprano voice with piano
by Keith Humble (1989)
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Instrumentation: Soprano or mezzo-soprano voice, piano.
Duration: 14 min.
Contents note: The lady's first song (words by W.B. Yeats) -- Sword and rose (words by Robert Graves) -- Girl's song (words by W.B. Yeats) -- The bed (words by A.D. Hope) -- Drinking song (words by W.B. Yeats) -- The world is too much with us (words by William Wordsworth) -- Her anxiety (words by W.B.Yeats) -- O tell me the truth about love (words by W.H.Auden).
Songs composed 1985-1989.
Performances of this work
3 Sep 2017: at BIFEM: Humble | Piano (The Capital, Capital Theatre).
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My favourite Australian art song repertoire
Posted by Australian Music Centre on 22 July, 2013
The AMC asked leading practitioners to select their favourite Australian art song repertoire, to provide delegates to the 2013 International Conference of Vocal Teachers (Brisbane 2013) with an introduction to this rich and diverse landscape.
Most of Keith Humble’s cabaret songs were written in Queenscliff, Victoria but they are clearly influenced by Humble’s time in Europe and America. The songs evoke the boite de nuit of mid 20th century Paris and were composed for American soprano Carol Plantamura. Each of the eight songs has a distinct character, allowing the singer to experiment with different colours, characters and modes of delivery. The notation gives plenty of information, but also leaves space for creative decision-making in the moment, allowing the singer to push the cabaret element. The songs range from hilarious to heartbreakingly sad; performing the whole cycle is an emotional tour-de-force. That said, there are songs within the cycle that are technically simple enough to be sung by young performers. The pieces are sonically and textually accessible and they provide a great entry point to Humble’s musical language, even for very young performers.
These songs are fun, mostly very short and apart from ‘Drinking Song’, not difficult for the pianist and even with ‘Drinking Song’, remember you are meant to sound like bottles and glasses clinking on the bar! Audiences enjoy them too!