Popular at the turn of the 20th Century, Balthazar Lutgen was a composer and pianist who like many composers of the time (Concone, Lamperti, Marchesi Panofka, Vaccai,), wrote a series of piano pieces which would help develop the singing voice.   

Based on the techniques of Bel Canto (Beautiful Singing), which originated in Italy and denotes the style of Italian Opera of the early 19th Century, Bel Canto is associated with beautiful melodies that can glide effortless up and down the scale in a flurry of rapid notes.   As opera singing is not amplified, emphasis is on developing sufficient breath control along with projection to enable the singers voice to be heard 

“The aim of these vocal exercises is to render the voice sufficiently flexible and mellow to execute easily and elegantly the colorature and embellishments found in the works of our great composers. They are intended to be, for the singer, what Czerny’s School of Velocity is for the pianist.   

Proceeding from the principle, that it is unpractical to practice a variety of difficult passages at the same time, I begin with exercises on two, three and four tones, then advancing progressively to more difficult exercises; leaving it to the teacher to transpose them a semitone higher or lower.

However, in order to avoid the monotony and lassitude which are almost inseparable from a strictly methodic course of study, I have endeavored to clothe my exercises in a musical and agreeable form; and have made them very short, to prevent overexertion of the voice.

Following its avowed purpose, this work contains no exercises for sustained tones; and it will suffice to sing daily a few long-sustained tones, before taking up these exercises.

The results obtained with this method, and its approbation by several of the highest musical authorities, justify my hope, that it will find a favorable reception.

B. Lütgen”

Lutgen Vocalises Backing Tracks Available:

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