Anna Stolte

Anna Stolte
(North Saint Paul, MN)

from North High School Concert Chorale and Partners in Praise, performing Green Finch and Linnet Bird composed by Stephen Sondheim.

Featured Audio

Artistic Statement

I chose Green Finch and Linnet Bird by world renown composer Stephen Sondheim mostly because I was fascinated by its two most common stylistic interpretations. Within the realm of the musical, you can interpret the song assuming Johanna has already lost her mind, leading to a much stronger, more manic illustration, or you can interpret the piece assuming that Johanna is still sane. The second interpretation leads to a more somber, almost melancholy sound, adding an underlying sense of longing to the end of each phrase. Whereas in contrast, the first interpretation is more literal as she legitimately asks the birds, "How can you sing and fly? Why can't I?" She gets more frustrated as the piece goes on, begging the bird to tell her how it sings, even asking, "Are you screaming?" as if to attempt to make some further connection between her and the bird. Since I was fascinated by those two different interpretations and also because I felt this piece needed to be accessible to all listeners, not just those that had seen the musical, my ultimate decision was to do a combination of both interpretations combined with my own experience. I believed it was vital, as with any art, that I put myself in to it. And honestly, who hasn't felt caged as some point in their life? Whether you are unable to get out of a bad situation, or stuck in a bad relationship, no one likes to be in a cage.

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