Indispensable Books for your Bookshelf

Yes, one of the goals of this site is to collect all the free resources you need to understand and sing the songs we host. However, there are several resources that still have no equal online. (And, perhaps some that never will.) I thought I’d list a few of them here.

First of all, if you are singing a French art song, it would be very wise to first consult The Interpretation of French Song by Pierre Bernac. No voice teacher should be without it in their bookshelf, and it should be one of the first purchases a singing student makes. This book provides full song texts in French, with line by line translations in English and notes on liaison. The most valuable aspect of the book, however, is Bernac’s suggestions for approaching each song. Consider it an inexpensive coaching by a master of the art.

Also worth its weight in gold for the student and teacher is the two volume set “Word-By-Word Translations of Songs and Arias.” Part I covers German and French works from the standard repertoire. Part II covers Italian. These volumes are somewhat expensive, but they are worth having on hand!

I have quite a few other books to which I regularly refer, but I truly regard these I just listed as indispensable!