The Encyclopedia of French Art Song: Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc is ideal for student and professional singers, pianists, voice teachers, and anyone interested in French art song and culture. This multi-disciplinary work is a unique single source, fusing encyclopedic entries on songs, poems, poets, historical and cultural figures and movements with a dictionary of pertinent nouns and adjectives. It provides both facts and context in an authoritative yet engaging style. The book is cross-referenced for greater ease in finding information relevant to each song discussed.
July 1, 2013
Did you know that Cinderella’s slipper was once described as fur, and do you know how it changed from fur to glass? Frank Daykin does. Look at page 168 of his copious Encyclopedia of French Art Song under the entry “la chaussure” and you’ll find the answer.
This tidbit as well as hundreds if not thousands of others are found in this remarkable, thoroughly researched and detailed volume that should be required in every conservatory and music department library. Daykin has dissected every song written by the four major French composers of French mélodie—Fauré, Debussy, Ravel and Poulenc—and addressed the meaning and derivation of every word in the texts of their songs, making this volume a formidable aid to a singer’s understanding of the piece. Interpretation becomes clearer with a knowledge of the text and how the composer might respond to it.
I highly recommend this book to both student and professional performers.
David Eddleman, DMA
June 1, 2013
From cover to cover Frank Daykin’s Encyclopedia of French Art Song: Fauré, Debussy, Ravel and Poulenc is filled with vital material that makes a close reading of the French texts that these important composers utilized much more accessible for singers and performers. Music teaching professionals will also find an abundance of useful information. I referred to Daykin’s book as I prepared several singers for a Poulenc Vocal competition and found it to be a masterful resource for the private vocal coach and voice studio. It is an indispensable manual to any music library. I will continue to refer to it often and couldn’t recommend this book more highly. I await with great hope and anticipation a follow-up manual perhaps covering Berlioz, Chausson, Duparc and Hahn. We can only hope that Daykin is not done laying out such wonderfully detailed research. It makes our jobs so much easier!
Voice Teacher & French Vocal Repertoire Coach
The Art Song Preservation Society (ASPS), NYC
A pianist, musicologist, writer, and teacher. Decades of experience in vocal accompanying, with a specialty in French art song, have included the master classes of such legendary figures as Gérard Souzay, Elly Ameling, Pierre Bernac, and Thomas Grubb, to name only a few, and teaching the “Singer and Accompanist” class in the Juilliard Evening Division.
Daykin’s bi-weekly blog, containing mini-essays on music and arts topics, “Before and After Silence,” has become an internet destination.
He is also sought after as a program note writer for classical labels Connoisseur Society, Albany, Quattro Corde, and various chamber music and symphony organizations.
His lecture/demonstrations on subjects are far-ranging as Schoenberg, Schubert, Ravel, Beethoven, Shostakovich, Elgar, Messiaen, and Schumann are the most popular events at the Chamber Music Conference/Composers’ Forum of the East, of which he is a faculty member.
Daykin’s two volumes of poetry “Islands” and “Words Without Songs” were published by Silver Hill Press. Numerous extracts from them have been set to music by contemporary American composers.
Alexander and Daykin, a piano duo now in its thirty-second year, was named “surely one of the finest piano duos in the world today” by the Toronto Citizen, on the occasion of their release of Bach’s Die Kunst der Fuge, which was also an American Record Guide “Top Ten” release. Daykin is also a member of the Ambrosia Trio. He was one of the first pianists to play the complete piano music of Ravel on the newly-restored Erard piano in Ravel’s home, a French national museum.
A member of the American Musicological Society, Daykin also maintains a private vocal studio in New York City.