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Understanding French Verse
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Table of Contents

1: Why This Guide? 2: The Basics of the French Line 3: Common French Meters 4: Stanzas 5: Sonnets, rondels, and other fixed forms 6: Rhyme 7: Free verse Appendix 1. Commentaries on four poems Adieux de l'hotesse arabe Le colibri En sourdine Montparnasse Appendix 2. Poems and songs discussed in the guide Appendix 3. A brief history of French versification Glossary of technical terms Notes Suggestions for further reading Index

About the Author

David Hunter is a graduate of Oxford University, where he specialized in 19th and 20th century French poetry. He is currently studying the verse of the melodie as part of a postgraduate degree. He is a keen amateur singer and collects rare recordings of French song.

Reviews

"The complexities of French verse may at times appear daunting to the non-native French singer who wishes to intelligently perform the magnificent melodies of Chausson, Duparc, Faure, Debussy, Leguerney, and Poulenc. In this short guide, David Hunter provides a key to a profounder understanding of the formal structure of the many forms of French verse, thereby clarifying the nature of line, metre, and rhyme schemes."--Richard Miller, Professor of Singing and Director of Vocal Arts Center, Oberlin Conservatory of Music "Without a doubt, the vocal world has been waiting for this volume. To us, what the author labels 'the apparent mysteries of French verse' are not apparent but real, and they are certainly mysterious. I myself have set out to fathom this complex body of knowledge at least four times and arrived nowhere. With the aid of this book I feel I could actually learn what those arcane rules really signify and what they can contribute to my interpretation of French melodie. It's stimulating also, an extra joy for the reader."--Shirlee Emmons, author of The Art of the Song Recital and Power Performance for Singers "Understanding French Verse is an excellent resource for anyone associated with art song in French. How common it is for students to sing these songs simply because they are assigned by their voice teachers, with at best only a superficial understanding of the poems they are presenting. How much more they would bring to their performances having read this book."--David Adams, Professor of Voice and Head of the Performance Studies Division, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati "Understanding French Verse is an excellent resource for anyone associated with art song in French. How common it is for students to sing these songs simply because they are assigned by their voice teachers, with at best only a superficial understanding of the poems they are presenting. How much more they would bring to their performances having read this book."--David Adams, Professor of Voice and Head of the Performance Studies Division, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati "The complexities of French verse may at times appear daunting to the non-native French singer who wishes to intelligently perform the magnificent melodies of Chausson, Duparc, Faure, Debussy, Leguerney, and Poulenc. In this short guide, David Hunter provides a key to a profounder understanding of the formal structure of the many forms of French verse, thereby clarifying the nature of line, metre, and rhyme schemes."--Richard Miller, Professor of Singing and Director of Vocal Arts Center, Oberlin Conservatory of Music "Without a doubt, the vocal world has been waiting for this volume. To us, what the author labels 'the apparent mysteries of French verse' are not apparent but real, and they are certainly mysterious. I myself have set out to fathom this complex body of knowledge at least four times and arrived nowhere. With the aid of this book I feel I could actually learn what those arcane rules really signify and what they can contribute to my interpretation of French melodie. It's stimulating also, an extra joy for the reader."--Shirlee Emmons, author of The Art of the Song Recital and Power Performance for Singers

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