K, l, m, n, p, s, and r at the end of a word or syllable
must be made resonant by joining to the end of the word or syllable a
rather audible [)e] (eh); for instance, Wandel^e, Gretel^e,
A thing that no one teaches any longer, or knows or is able to do, a
thing that only Betz and I knew, and with me will probably disappear
entirely, is the dividing and ending of syllables that must be
ected under certain conditions. It may have originated with the
I was taught it especially upon double consonants. When two come
together, they must be divided; the first, as in Him-mel, being
sounded dull, and without resonance, the syllable and tone being kept
as nasal as possible, the lips closed, and a pause being made between
the two syllables; not till then is the second syllable pronounced,
with a new formation of the second consonant.
And this is done, not only in case of a doubling of one consonant, but
whenever two consonants come together to close the syllable; for
instance, win-ter, dring-en, kling-en, bind-en; in these the nasal
sound plays a specially important part.
The tediousness of singing without proper separation of the syllables
is not appreciated till it has been learned how to divide the
consonants. The nasal close of itself brings a new color into the
singing, which must be taken into account; and moreover, the word is
much more clearly intelligible, especially in large auditoriums, where
an appreciable length of time is needed for it to reach the listener.
By the nasal close, also, an uninterrupted connection is assured
between the consonant and the tone, even if the latter has to cease,
apparently, for an instant.
I teach all my pupils thus. But since most of them consider it
something unheard of to be forced to pronounce in this way, they very
rarely bring it to the artistic perfection which alone can make it
effective. Except from Betz, I have never heard it from any one. After
me no one will teach it any more. I shall probably be the last one. A