The idea for FIFTY-FIVE ART SONGS was conceived by Carl O. Thompson, head of The Division of Fine and Applied Arts at the State Teachers College, Bemidji, Minnesota. From his experience as a choral conductor, he knew how much choral groups enjoyed the chance to sing beautiful solos in unison instead of always being confined to their individual parts. But this collection isn't designed just for unison choral singing: It is equally valuable for class or individual vocal teaching, for amateurs and professionals. Sigmund Spaeth, well known for his writings, lectures, and radio talks on music, collaborated with Dr. Thompson in assembling this collection. He best describes its scope in the foreword: "This book is a cross section of the entire literature of Art Song. Every one of the 55 numbers is a classic of its kind and each is by a different composer, which in itself makes the collection unique." Also unique are Spaeth's new singable translations of the German, French, Italian, and Russian songs.