J´ai perdu ta photo

J´ai perdu ta photo (I lost your picture) from Silent Night (2011)

Aria for Bass-Baritone with orchestral accompaniment or

piano reduction accompaniment

            After reading the title of  Silent Night´s Aria J´ai perdu ta photo, I was interested in listening to this piece. I should say that this was because of the language variation in the title (English and French). It was written for Bass-Baritone with an orchestral accompaniment but it offers a piano reduction accompaniment that is usually found in most of  Operas scores. I listened to the Aria with the piano accompaniment because of the lack of orchestral recordings. The first time I heard the first notes of the piano it evoked in me the sensation of nostalgia and suffering, the clear ostinato in the right hand involves the listener in the nostalgia enviroment, while the chords in the left hand gives the depth of the suffering that involved in the feeling of losing something important. The piano has no real movement in its melodies,  but the voice overflows in contrast between motions, which is possible because the melodic line was created based on the inflection of the text, which helps the vocal line to transmit what is happening during the Aria. 

            The principal characteristic is how different and connected are the accompaniment and the vocal line; they are different in how the composer established one part with a slow rhythmic motion and the other with a faster tempo. The first connection between piano an voice is with the meaning of the text. The piano involves the listener in the environment of the  text meaning (previously mentioned) while the voice communicates everything directly. Something interesting in the piece is the dynamics. The contrast is present and parallel in both parts in the way that you can identify every climax point of the melody. Is important to know how the composer builds the texture of the piece, the accompaniment offers a firm homophonic texture that when you combine it with the voice, the result is in a colorful polyphonic texture.

This Piece fits well in the Western tradition because how the sections are developed  in an A-B-A form. Moreover that the harmony is constructed in a similar way to the French composers used in their impressionist melodies and chansons, you can hear and feel in every musical moment the Anguish, the loss and the dignity, in the voice, in the orchestra, in everything you can imagine what happens during the scene of this Aria. As a Baritone, I found this Aria challenging because of the deep meaning involves the piece, the variation of melodies, the rhythm and how the is established the range means that only professional baritones can perform this masterpiece.

Alejandro Carrillo Pastrana

J´ai perdu ta photo youtube video

Lawson Anderson, Baritone

recorded 1.12.17 at Manhattan School of Music.

French Lieutenant Audebert’s aria from the 2011 Pulitzer-prize-winning opera, Silent Night, by American composer Kevin Puts.

Posted by Lawson Anderson.

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