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Here is an excellent introduction to part of the contemporary solo vocal repertoire from one of the outstanding vocalist of our time. Jane Manning has chosen over 70 English language songs, written by a wide range of composers -predominantly British and American- and draws on her considerable experience as a performer and lecturer to introduce them to recitalists and young singers. For each she gives a brief description, capturing the essence of the piece, and also gives advice on its performance, showing where potential problems lie and how best to approach them. Some 100 musical exemples illustrate the text. The songs are carefully graded into 6 parts, moving from the straightforward to the complex, and all voice-types are represented. Jane Manning also makes suggestions on how to programme each piece in a recital and gives full details on obtaining scores. Her book is thus indispensable to singers of all levels of ability, who will find a repertoire they perhaps considered difficult to illuminated by this enthusiastic and refreshingly clear guide.