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March 13 & 14, 1896

Soprano Villa Whitney White gave two lecture recitals. In her afternoon appearance she sang and spoke about German songs starting the 14th and 15th centuries, explaining and singing examples from the Minnesingers and the Meistersingers. “The early songs,” reported The Vassar Miscellany, “were were simple in melody and harmony, but the gradually acquired a more complex character until about 1600, when the Italian influence was introduced by Hasler…. This influence continued until about 1780, when the…poets, Goethe, Schiller, Lessing and other introduced the poetry of art.

On the following evening, the second lecture recital was “devoted to Schubert, the greatest of song writers…. Schubert above all others has united words and music to express the inner meaning of a poet. Miss White illustrated with a variety of songs. She has a mezzo-soprano voice, beautifully trained and under perfect control. Her simplicity was her greatest charm, showing her to be a thorough artist in that she concealed her art, and gave free and spontaneous expression to the meaning of the songs.”

Villa Whitney White appeared again at Vassar on December 11th, singing and lecturing on German ballads as reflected in Romantic songs and offering Advent and Christmas songs.

The Years