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Dichterliebe Robert Schumann (1810-1856)

Im wunderschöenen Monat Mai

Aus meinen Tränen spriessen
Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube
Wenn ich in deine Augen seh’
Ich will meine Seele tauchen
Im Rhein, im heiligen Strome
Ich grolle nicht

L’Horizon Chimérique Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)

La me rest infinite…
Je me suis embaraque…
Diane, Séléné…
Vaisseaux, nous vous aurons aimés…

“Hai già vinta la Causa!... Vedrò mentr’io sospiro”

from Le Nozze di Figaro W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)

Songs of Travel Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)

The Vagabond
Let Beauty Awake
The Roadside Fire
Youth and Love
In Dreams
The Infinite Shining Heavens
Wither Must I Wander?
Bright is the Ring of Words
I Have Trod the Upward and the Downward Slope
Terry Lasut
Class voice
Dr. Miller
Friday, May 04, 2018
The Senior Voice Recital of Brett Cuddy

I attended the Senior Voice Recital of Mr. Brett Cuddy on Friday, May 4, at 7:00pm. The
first selection of songs performed was Dichterliche by Robert Schumann. Brett did a
phenomenal job with this, as well as the rest of his program. Personally, I really enjoyed Songs
of Travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams, particularly The Vagabond. Brett not only sings the songs,
but he plays the character as well. So many times, I see vocalists walk out on stage and just sit
there like a bump on a log and it is very boring and not engaging at all. This was the complete
opposite of that.
Brett sang several songs, some of which were a part of a collection of others. Being
accompanied by our own Dr. Curt Sheib, these two wonderful musicians had a story to tell, and
they definitely told it. Telling a story with music to an audience can be one of the most
challenging things to do as a musician.
Overall, his vocal technique was impeccable, just as expected. Everything was not
perfect, and will never be perfect 100% of the time. But his breathing was very low, slow and
timed with the music for. He made it sound so effortless, like anyone could sing like he did.
The quality of Brett’s tone was phenomenal. He had a rich and full voice that was very
enjoyable to listen to. And his projection, especially in the concert hall, was amazing. Even at
loud and soft volumes, slow and fast tempos, his tone and projection was the same. All
throughout his register, everything stayed the same. I would say that that is the second most
difficult thing that musicians must perfect.
Another thing I was very impressed with was his stage presence. First, he seemed so
comfortable up there. Personally, I was never one to get real nervous when I have to perform
on stage. But, Brett was very relaxed. As I was watching him, I kept thinking back to some of the
student recitals and comparing those people to him. Some of the students performing their
recitals were just not comfortable at all up on stage. You could hear it in their singing. You could
hear the nervousness and tension. With Brett, there was none of that. He breezed right though
his music like it was nothing. I think that is what defines true talent, making something that is
very difficult look and seem very simple.
All of these things have a huge impact on the quality of your performance. The way you
stand, what you do with your body, how you dress, all play a major part in your performance. I
have always been an advocate of dressing your very best for a performance. I firmly believe if I
were to show up to an audition in jeans and a t-shirt, I would do absolutely horrible. The way
you present yourself is a huge determinating factor for an audience of what to expect from you.
If you look bad, your performance will be bad. It is that simple. Brett, was dressed in a very nice
suit and it was appropriate for his performance.
Sometimes one of the hardest things for me while performing is what to do with my
hands and or body. Being an instrumentalist, my hands are always occupied, but it is the rest of
my body that does not know what to do. I especially hate when I have several measures of
rests, I have no idea what to do with my horn, or with my hands. That is one thing I noticed with
Brett, being a singer, his hands are free to do whatever they want. But there were times that
his hands were just down at his sides, but when he wanted to communicate a certain feeling or
emotion to the audience he used his hands and body.
As far as his diction goes, that was spot on. Obviously, I did not understand a single
word he sang, but even without looking at the translations, I could kind of figure out what he
was trying to convey. But, his clarity and projection of vowels was done very well. The way he
would sing some of the phrases with such vigor, it just added to the story that he was telling us.
Brett’s musicality was, in my opinion, the best part of his performance. For the most
part, I did not understand a single word of what he sang, but that does not mean that I did not
understand the emotion that he was portraying. I once had a teacher who would describe every
song as being a pirate song or a love song. When you think of a pirate song, what do you think
of? Maybe loud dynamics, a faster tempo, and heavy articulations. When you think of a love
song, what do you think of? Just the opposite. Softer and more expressive dynamics, maybe a
slower tempo, and definitely soft articulations. No matter what he was singing, I could decipher
if he was singing a pirate song, or a love song, and then as he would continue to tell his story, it
became easier to put some of the puzzle pieces together.
Overall, I thought that this was a tremendous performance by Brett. There were
definitely some things that I took away from this performance that I can use in my own studies,
be that vocal or instrumental.