EIGHT SONGS AND ROMANCES (LIEDER UND ROMANZEN) OP. 14
Recording: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Daniel Barenboim,
piano [DG 449 633-2]
Composed in 1858,
this set is unique in Brahms’s early song output. In
contrast to the three early sets (Opp. 3,
6, and 7),
which he gave the more formal title “Gesänge,” and all but two
of which set German romantic poets, these eight “songs and
romances” all lean
heavily on the “folk” idiom. Indeed, all but one of them
are to genuine folk texts, most of which are associated with
their own folk melodies. Six of these are German folk
song texts, and one is a translation of a Scottish border
ballad. The one text with an identifiable original poet
(No. 4) is a translation of a thirteenth-century troubadour
song, which is in many ways another version of folksong.
Brahms composed his own melodies for these texts.
Without sacrificing his compositional sophistication, which is
especially evident in some of the harmonies, Brahms
successfully imitates the style of folksong. Years
later, he added a piano part to the original folk melodies of
Nos. 1 and 6 in the huge collection of folksong arrangements
assembled near the end of his life, and also arranged both
melodies for chorus. (There are several other occasions
where he both composed his own melody for and arranged the
original melody of a folk song.) There is a connection
to the earlier groups through the last of them, Op. 7. That group contains two
similar idiomatic settings of folk texts (Nos. 4 and 5).
The use of the term “songs and romances” consciously sets the
group apart. The word “Romanzen” can also be translated
as “ballads.” Half of the songs are in a strophic form
with an interesting variation used for one or more of the
verses or stanzas. The first three, as well as the
fifth, follow this pattern. Brahms, conscious of the
text’s courtly origins, sets No. 4 more like an “art song” in
three-part form. The sixth and seventh songs are in a
simple strophic form while No. 8 is a brief, eloquent
through-composed setting. (Op. 7,
which as noted has some kinship with both this group and with
Opp. 3 and 6,
also ends with a very short song.) In addition to
sharing a tone of chivalry and romance, the songs all deal
with the theme of separation, in all cases except No. 3 (which
deals with the murder of a beloved knight) a separation
between lovers. The saddest of all is No. 2, where that
separation comes through death. All eight are extremely
elegant, enjoyable, and ingratiating to perform.
Strangely, Nos. 5-8 all share titles (but not texts) with
songs from later groups (in the case of No. 6, the title of Op. 48, No. 1 [and Op. 31, No. 3] is not identical, but
Note: Links to English translations of the texts are from Emily
Ezust’s site at http://www.recmusic.org/lieder.
part, the translations are line-by-line, except where the
difference between German and English syntax requires slight
alterations to the contents of certain lines. The German
texts (included here) are also visible in the translation
links. A link to the original English (Scottish) ballad text
is included for No. 3, along with a literal English rendering of
Herder’s poetic translation.
SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut
SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke--original
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Edition Peters, edited by Max
Vor dem Fenster (in original key, G minor/major)
Vor dem Fenster (in low key, F minor/major)
Vom verwundeten Knaben (in original key, A minor)
Vom verwundeten Knaben (in low key, G minor)
Murrays Ermordung (in original key, E minor)
Murrays Ermordung (in low key, D minor)
Ein Sonett (in original key, A-flat major)
Ein Sonett (in low key, F major)
Trennung (in original key, F major)
Trennung (in low key, D major)
Gang zur Liebsten (in original key, E minor)
Gang zur Liebsten (in low key, C minor)
Ständchen (in original key, F major)
Ständchen (in low key, D major)
Sehnsucht (in original key, E minor)
Sehnsucht (in low key, D minor)
2-3, 5-6, 8 (original keys--higher resolution)
1. Vor dem Fenster (Before the Window).
Folksong from Karl Simrock’s Collection. Andante.
Varied strophic form (AAABAB). G MINOR/MAJOR, 3/8 time (Low
key F minor/major).
“Soll sich der Mond nicht heller scheinen,
Soll sich die Sonn’ nicht früh aufgehn,
So will ich diese Nacht gehn freien,
Wie ich zuvor auch hab’ getan.”
Als er wohl auf die Gasse trat,
Da fing er an ein Lied und sang,
Er sang aus schöner, aus heller Stimme,
Daß sein fein’s Lieb zum Bett aussprang.
“Steh still, steh still, mein feines Lieb,
Steh still, steh still und rühr dich nicht,
Sonst weckst du Vater, sonst weckst du Mutter,
Das ist uns beiden nicht wohlgetan.”
“Was frag’ ich nach Vater, was frag’ ich nach Mutter,
Vor deinem Schlaffenster muß ich stehn,
Ich will mein schönes Lieb anschauen,
Um das ich muß so ferne gehn.”
Da standen die zwei wohl bei einander
Mit ihren zarten Mündelein,
Der Wächter blies wohl in sein Hörnelein,
Ade, es muß geschieden sein.
Scheiden, Scheiden über Scheiden,
Scheiden tut meinem jungen Herzen weh,
Daß ich mein schön Herzlieb muß meiden,
Das vergeß’ ich nimmermehr.
0:00 [m. 1]--The mood and
pattern is established by a brief two-bar introduction. This
sets up the long-short rhythm in the left hand that will pervade
the entire song--a single low two-beat note followed by a higher
two-note, one beat chord.
0:02 [m. 3]--Stanza
1. The minor-key strophe that is used for four of the six
verses. The vocal line is leisurely paced, but two-bar
breaks between the first and second, then between the third and
fourth lines create a sense of anxiety or breathlessness.
The piano right hand doubles and harmonizes the vocal line except
for the last line. It continues with an echo in the first
two-bar break and an anticipation in the second. The left
hand continues its steady long-short, low-high, one note-two note
pattern. The second line takes a brief harmonic
detour. The third syllable from the end is extended to five
notes. The strophe ends with a cadence on an unexpected
0:30 [m. 23]--Five-bar
interlude that overlaps with the major chord cadence and quickly
reverts to minor for the next verse. The pattern of the left
and right hands continues from the previous music.
0:37 [m. 3]--Stanza
2. Except for being approached by the five-bar interlude
instead of the two-bar introduction, musically identical to stanza
1, and marked with repeat signs. One note, the last on the
word “trat” in line one, is sung through without the syllable it
received in stanza 1. Conversely, the two-syllable word
“schöner” in line three is given two notes that were used for a
single syllable in stanza 1.
1:04 [m. 23]--Five-bar
interlude, as at 0:30.
1:11 [m. 3]--Stanza 3, to
the same music with repeat signs. The declamation is as in
stanza 2, with the exception of one note being split into two
repeated notes on the word “Beiden” in line four.
1:40 [m. 23]--Five-bar
interlude, as at 0:30 and 1:04.
1:46 [m. 28]--Stanza
4. The major-key variation of the strophe, or “B”, is introduced. The
boy at the window breaks the tension by leaping up an octave and
singing a much brighter, much higher melody. The piano now
plays fragments of the original minor-key melody (shifted to
major, of course) underneath the vocal line. The left hand
continues its pattern. There is only one two-bar break, this
time between the second and third lines. There is also a
two-bar break after the last line in lieu of the longer
interlude. It overlaps both the ending of this strophe and
the beginning of stanza 5 and very quickly shifts to minor.
2:14 [m. 47]--Stanza
5. Musically identical to stanzas 1-3. The declamation
is much different from any of these, however. An extra vocal
note is added to the word “Hörnelein” in line three, and even the
five-note syllable extension at the end is omitted, Brahms
repeating the word “Ade” instead.
2:42 [m. 68]--Five-bar
interlude, as at 0:30, 1:04, and 1:40.
2:49 [m. 72]--Stanza
6. It is set to the major-key variation, or “B” from stanza 4. The
declamation of the first two lines is radically different from
that stanza. Brahms adds the exclamation “Ach” at the
beginning. A note that was held in stanza 4 at the end of
line two is now replaced by a third statement of the previous bar,
which was only stated twice in stanza 4. The held note is
then shifted to overlap with the previous two-bar break between
lines two and three. Emphasis is on the repeated word
“Scheiden” (“parting” or “separating”).
3:15 [m. 91]--Postlude.
begins in overlap with the held last note of stanza 6. It is
a continued spinning out of the piano pattern for four more
bars The middle voice, which consists of longer held notes,
includes three chromatic notes (lowered leading tones) that add
some tension to the otherwise soothing harmony. It is
notable that this postlude remains in the major key of stanza 6
and does not shift back to the minor that dominates so much of the
song. The final two-bar chord is major.
3:33--END OF SONG [96 mm.]
2. Vom verwundeten Knaben
(Of a Wounded Boy).
Folksong from Gottfried Herder’s Collection.
Andantino. Varied strophic form (AAABB’A’A). A MINOR,
2/4 time (Low key G minor).
Es wollt’ ein Mädchen früh aufstehn
Und in den grünen Wald spazieren gehn.
Und als sie nun in den grünen Wald kam,
Da fand sie einen verwund’ten Knab’n.
Der Knab’, der war von Blut so rot,
Und als sie sich verwandt, war er schon tot.
Wo krieg’ ich nun zwei Leidfräulein,
Die mein fein’s Lieb zu Grabe wein’n?
Wo krieg’ ich nun sechs Reuterknab’n,
Die mein fein’s Lieb zu Grabe trag’n?
Wie lang soll ich denn trauern gehn?
Bis alle Wasser zusammengehn?
Ja, alle Wasser gehn nicht zusamm’n,
So wird mein Trauern kein Ende han.
0:00 [m. 1]--First
couplet. The voice enters on an upbeat before the
piano. The accompaniment consists of simple chords,
suggestive of the balladic text. The top line of the piano
chords essentially follows the also ballad-like minor-key vocal
line. Two harmonically active chords intervene between the
lines. The last word is set to a questioning rising gesture
that is one of the song’s most distinguishing features. The
piano echoes this gesture on more unstable harmony to lead into
the next strophe (couplet). The strophe is 13 bars long:
four for the first line, one for the two intervening chords, six
for the second line, and two for the echo.
0:15 [m. 1]--Second
couplet, set to the same music marked with repeat signs. The
declamation adds two syllables to the first line, splitting one
note (on “in den”) and using two notes (for “grünen”) that had
previously been set to a single syllable (früh). A syllable
is subtracted from the second line, and a note from the first
couplet is replaced by a rest (after “einen”). Piano echo,
0:31 [m. 1]--Third
couplet, also set to the same repeated music. Declamation is
as in the first couplet. The last chord of the piano echo is
extended a bar.
0:48 [m. 15]--Fourth
couplet, set to new music (B).
the maiden discovers her dead lover, she calls on help from others
in the fourth and fifth couplets, and the music changes
accordingly. It is more insistent and agitated, with no
chords between the lines and reduced to nine bars. It also
shifts down to the new (major) key of G.
0:59 [m. 24]--Fifth
couplet (B’). The
music is the same as the fourth couplet, but it is transposed yet
another step down, to F (major), and is somewhat intensified in
1:10 [m. 33]--Sixth
couplet (A’). It is
very similar to the first three strophes, but it begins on D minor
(related to the previous F major), and moves back to the home key
of A minor in the second line. The melody is also slightly
changed in the first line, with the voice moving down on the word
“denn” while the piano continues the original melody to the end of
the line. The second line includes the rest (after “Wasser”)
used in the second strophe (couplet).
1:25 [m. 46]--Seventh
couplet, set to the same music in the same key as the first three.
An extra note in a dotted (long-short) rhythm is added for the
first syllable of “zusamm’n.” The rest (replacing a note)
from strophes two and six is used after “Trauern.” The
chords of the piano echo are lengthened (to four bars total), and
the harmony changed so that the last chord is a final tonic (home
key) chord of A minor.
1:53--END OF SONG [60 mm.]
3. Murrays Ermordung (Murray’s Murder). Text
by Johann Gottfried Herder, translated from a Scottish border
ballad (The Bonny Earl o’ Moray),
and included in his folksong collection. Con moto.
Varied strophic or ternary (ABA) form. E MINOR, 2/4 time
(Low key D minor).
O Hochland und o Südland!
Was ist auf euch geschehn!
Erschlagen der edle Murray,
Werd’ nie ihn wiedersehn.
O Weh dir! Weh dir, Huntley,
So untreu, falsch und kühn,
Sollst ihn zurück uns bringen,
Ermordet hast du ihn.
Ein schöner Ritter war er,
In Wett- und Ringelauf;
Allzeit war unsres Murray
Die Krone obendrauf.
Ein schöner Ritter war er
Bei Waffenspiel und Ball;
Es war der edle Murray
Die Blume überall.
Ein schöner Ritter war er
In Tanz und Saitenspiel;
Ach, daß der edle Murray
Der Königin gefiel.
O, Königin, wirst lange
Sehn über Schlosses Wall,
Eh’ du den schönen Murray
Siehst reiten in dem Tal.
English (Scottish) Text
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
1. The music is dramatic and forceful, with many dotted
(long-short) rhythms and a martial character. The voice
enters before the piano. The chords in the piano are full
and rich, with the bass in octaves. Triplet rhythm (groups
of three) is used for the third and fourth lines, echoed in the
heavy octave piano bass. The fourth line is emphatically
repeated to close the stanza.
0:13 [m. 11]--The
repetition of the last line leads to a very dramatic six-bar
interlude in dotted rhythm. The chords are thick, the bass
octaves low and heavy. The cadence of the interlude is
elided (merged) with the beginning of the next verse (from m. 16
to the repetition of m. 1).
0:20 [m. 1]--Stanza
2. Set to the same music as stanza 1, indicated with repeat
signs. The one-syllable word “ihn” in the third line is set
to two notes used for two syllables of the word “erschlagen” in
0:32 [m. 11]--The
interlude is heard, as before, but this time its cadence does not
merge with the next verse, and it is extended with quieter
transitional chords to nine bars.
0:44 [m. 20]--Stanza
3. The middle section, setting the next three stanzas, is
quieter. The dotted rhythms are replaced by straight notes
in the vocal line, and the piano plays slower chords, the bass
still in octaves. The strophe begins as if moving to G major
(related to the home key of E minor), but ends a step higher, in A
minor. The last line is not repeated. The same chords
heard at the end of the preceding interlude lead to the next
verse. Including the chords, the stanza is ten bars long.
0:57 [m. 20]--Stanza
4. Set to the same music as stanza 3, with identical
declamation and marked with repeat signs. Brahms does
indicate that is supposed to be sung somewhat louder.
1:09 [m. 30]--Stanza
5. Set to the same music as the last two stanzas, but
notated separately, as the ending vocal line and chords are
altered to move back to the home key of E minor. Brahms
indicates that it is to be sung slightly louder than stanza 4,
creating a gradual increase of intensity from stanza 3 to stanza
Abbreviated Reprise of A Section
1:23 [m. 40]--Stanza
6. It is set to the same music as the first two stanzas,
with declamation as in stanza 2.
1:36 [m. 50]--The
interlude now becomes a postlude. The music is the same as
after the first two stanzas, but since it is neither merged with
the next verse nor extended by chords, the length is now seven
1:49--END OF SONG [56 mm.]
4. Ein Sonett (A Sonnet). Text by
Johann Gottfried Herder, after a thirteenth-century French text by
Thibaut IV, Count of Champagne and King of Navarre. Langsam,
sehr innig (Slowly, very intimate). Ternary form
(ABA’). A-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4 time, with two bars of Cut Time
(2/2) at the end (Low key F major).
Ach, könnt’ ich, könnte vergessen sie,
Ihr schönes, liebes, liebliches Wesen,
Den Blick, die freundliche Lippe die!
Vielleicht ich möchte genesen!
Doch ach, mein Herz, mein Herz kann es nie!
Und doch ist’s Wahnsinn, zu hoffen sie!
Und um sie schweben,
Gibt Mut und Leben,
Zu weichen nie.
Und denn, wie kann ich vergessen sie,
Ihr schönes, liebes, liebliches Wesen,
Den Blick, die freundliche Lippe die?
Viel lieber nimmer genesen!
(the original French text is unavailable on the site)
The poem is a medieval troubadour song, in the form of a 13-line
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A). The voice and piano
begin together. The vocal line is both gentle and
sophisticated, like a courtly triple-meter dance. The first
two lines are sung against a very long descending scale line in
the piano that reaches from the level of the melody (which is
doubled in the top piano line) all the way down to the low bass,
which “accepts” the scale from the higher register. Each
line is set to a four-bar phrase. The “feminine”
(stressed--unstressed) ending of the second line coincides with a
directional change in the piano, leading to a one-bar “breath”
before the next line.
0:17 [m. 10]--The third
line is set to the same music as the first, but the descending
scale line in the piano is now warmly harmonized in thirds.
The fourth line takes a different turn, becoming more insistent
and reaching higher. Also, the phrase for the line is only
three bars, since the line only has three poetic feet.
Therefore, the descending piano line does not reach down quite as
far. It does change direction with the “feminine” ending,
then arches back down in a two-bar bridge to the next stanza.
0:32 [m. 19]--Stanza 2 (B). The second stanza is
marked “Poco più animato.” It is both dynamically and
harmonically more active, the music having already changed keys in
the previous interlude. The first two lines are mainly in
the “dominant” key of E-flat, both minor and major. The
vocal line becomes breathless and excited, rising to the song’s
highest pitch. The piano plays a line first in rising thirds
and then in full chords at the end of the second line, which is
the song’s climax. The two lines are set to four-bar
0:43 [m. 26]--At the
cadence of the second line, where the rising chords reach their
highest point and then turn around, a long bass pedal begins on
the dominant note E-flat, preparing for the return. This
continues through the following two bar interlude and then through
the last three lines. The first two are combined for another
four-bar phrase, and the last is extended through a long note and
a downward slide to three bars, making the musical structure
parallel to the first stanza despite the extra short line.
This is possible because the last three lines are so short.
Through this passage, the music builds again, the top line of the
full chords doubling the wide-leaping vocal line over the
continuing acceleration and low bass E-flat pedal.
0:57 [m. 36]--The full
chords and bass pedal on E-flat continue through a three-bar
interlude, the music suddenly becoming softer and slower for the
reprise of the opening music in the last stanza.
1:02 [m. 39]--Stanza 3 (A’). The opening tempo
returns. The first two lines are identical to those of
stanza 1, and the text is also similar. The one-bar “breath”
before the third line is retained.
1:19 [m. 48]--The third
line is again as in stanza 1, with the same text. The fourth
line, however, is completely changed, as the sentiment expressed
in the text is the opposite. The voice leaps dramatically
upward, again to the song’s highest pitch. The piano moves
continuously, following and harmonizing the voice. A
beautiful vocal cadence is reached as longer notes on “genesen”
stretch the phrase to five bars.
1:35 [m. 56]--A postlude
begins with the last note of the cadence. The piano plays
the same harmonized downward line three times. This line
includes a foreign note, the lowered leading tone. The
solemn final cadence is of the “plagal” variety, which this
foreign note helps facilitate. The last repetition of the
line is stretched out (significantly lengthening and stressing the
“foreign“ lowered leading tone), broadening the final two bars,
which break the persistent triple meter and are notated in
1:53--END OF SONG [59 mm.]
5. Trennung (Separation). Folksong
from the “Westphalia” section of the Kretzschmer-Zuccalmaglio
collection. Sehr schnell (Very fast). Varied strophic
form (AAAA’A). F MAJOR, 6/8 time (Low key D
(The title Trennung is
also used for Op. 97, No. 6.)
Wach auf, wach auf, du junger Gesell,
Du hast so lang geschlafen.
Da draußen singen die Vögel hell,
Der Fuhrmann lärmt auf der Gassen!
Wach auf, wach auf, mit heller Stimm’
Hub an der Wächter zu rufen,
Wo zwei Herzlieben beisammen sind,
Da müssen sie sein gar kluge.
Der Knabe war verschlafen gar,
Er schlief so lang, so süße,
Die Jungfrau aber weise war,
Weckt’ ihn durch ihre Küsse!
Das Scheiden, Scheiden tuet not,
Wie Tod ist es so harte,
Der scheid’t auch manches Mündlein rot
Und manche Buhlen zarte.
Der Knabe auf sein Rößlein sprang
Und trabte schnell von dannen,
Die Jungfrau sah ihm lange nach,
Groß Leid tat sie umfangen!
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
1. The piano begins its breathless, galloping accompaniment,
where right hand chords rapidly follow the steady left-hand bass
beats. This pattern continues throughout the song. The
vocal line is exuberant, with joyous upward leaps for “Wach
auf.” There is a chromatic tinge with a lowered leading tone
in the descending third line. The piano continues in a
two-bar bridge to the next strophe.
0:13 [m. 2 (12)]--Stanza
2. Except for the piano lead-in, the music is the same as
stanza 1, with repeat signs. There are three declamation
differences: the first syllable of “heller” in the first line is
set to two notes that each had a syllable in stanza 1, the word
“Wächter” in the second line splits up the note that had been used
for “lang,” and the last line splits one note and joins two for
the correct accentuation.
0:24 [m. 2 (12)]--Stanza
3, again to the same music. The declamation of line 1 is as
in stanza 2, that of line 2 is as in stanza 1, the third line
joins two notes for the first syllable of “aber,” and the fourth
joins both pairs of repeated notes, each of which was used for one
0:36 [m. 12]--Stanza 4 (A’). The only stanza with varied music, but it is
essentially the same material. It takes on a more subdued
character as the theme of separation enters the song. The
first line eliminates the second upward leap. The second
line descends instead of remaining static, while the piano bass
and right hand chords both slide down a chromatic scale
fragment. The third line is set a step lower, and the fourth
unexpectedly makes a dramatic key change to D major. The
entire stanza is quieter, and the bass line is smoother, including
more stepwise motion and fewer repeated notes. Declamation
most similar to stanza 3.
0:49 [m. 22]--Stanza 5. The preceding bridge having
moved back to F major and back to the louder volume, the fifth
stanza is again set to the same music as the first three.
The declamation is as in stanza 3.
1:01 [m. 31]--The second
bar of the bridge passage moves the right hand down to the tenor
register for a two-bar postlude. This descent, and a marked
slowing, are the only indication of the girl’s ‘great sorrow.”
The last bar emphasizes the slowing by leaving out a single
off-beat right hand chord for the only time in the song.
1:10--END OF SONG [32 mm.]
6. Gang zur Liebsten (Visiting His Sweetheart).
from the “Lower Rhine” section of the Kretzschmer-Zuccalmaglio
collection. Andante, con espressione. Simple strophic
form. E MINOR, 6/8 time (Low key C minor).
(The similar title Der Gang zum
Liebchen is used for Op. 48,
No. 1 and the quartet Op. 31, No. 3.)
Des Abends kann ich nicht schlafen gehn,
Zu meiner Herzliebsten muß ich gehn,
Zu meiner Herzliebsten muß ich gehn,
Und sollt’ ich an der Tür bleiben stehn,
»Wer ist denn da? Wer klopfet an,
Der mich so leis aufwecken kann?«
Das ist der Herzallerliebste dein,
mein Schatz, und laß mich ein,
Wenn alle Sterne Schreiber gut,
Und alle Wolken Papier dazu,
So sollten sie schreiben der Lieben mein,
Sie brächten die Lieb’ in den Brief nicht
Ach, hätt’ ich Federn wie ein Hahn
Und könnt’ ich schwimmen wie ein Schwan,
So wollt’ ich schwimmen wohl über den
Hin zu der Herzallerliebsten mein,
Each of the five phrases is two bars, as is the piano postlude,
for a total of 12 bars in each verse. Each is sung to the
same music with repeat signs.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1,
lines 1-2. The setting seems simple and straightforward, but
there is an ambiguous wavering between related major and minor
keys. Voice and piano begin together on an upbeat. The
right hand doubles the voice in its expressive melody, while the
left begins with a descending line harmonized in thirds. The
second line begins to establish the “rocking” motion that starts
in earnest with the third line.
0:12 [m. 5]--Stanza 1,
lines 3-5. The left hand now establishes a hypnotic rocking
pattern. These lines are more quiet than the first
two. The voice part is identical in the third and fourth
lines, but the piano harmonizes the third line in major and the
fourth in minor. Only the refrain-like fifth line finally
confirms the minor key unambiguously. It stretches out the
first syllable of “heimelig” to three notes, with the voice
reaching its highest notes and finally breaking free of the piano
right-hand doubling. A piano postlude follows that echoes
the melody of the refrain, first in the middle register and then
in the bass.
0:36 [m. 1]--Stanza 2,
lines 1-2. No two of the stanzas have identical declamation,
as all of them have differing numbers of syllables in various
lines. Here, the first two lines have fewer syllables than
in stanza 1, so a pair of repeated notes is joined in the first
line, and another pair of notes sung to two syllables is now sung
to one in the second line (“mich”).
0:48 [m. 5]--Stanza 2,
lines 3-5. Again, the accentuation of the text requires some
joining of repeated notes from stanza 1 in both lines. One
note is actually added on the second syllable of
“Herzallerliebste,” and this note is also retained in stanzas 3
and 4. The fifth line refrain and piano postlude are as
1:11 [m. 1]--Stanza 3,
lines 1-2. The declamation is similar to that of stanza 2,
but a the second syllable of “Wolken” in the second line is sung
to a note that only has its own syllable in this verse.
1:23 [m. 5]--Stanza 3,
lines 3-5. This stanza has the most syllables of any in
these lines, so more longer notes are “broken” into two repeated
ones, especially in the fourth line. Refrain and postlude as
1:47 [m. 1]--Stanza 4,
lines 1-2. The declamation is as in stanza 2.
2:00 [m. 5]--Stanza 4,
lines 3-5. These lines only have one less syllable than in
stanza 3. Two “broken” notes are re-joined, but on the
second syllable of “über” in the third line, a note is split for
the only time. Refrain and postlude as before.
2:28--END OF SONG [12 mm. (x4)]
7. Ständchen (Serenade). Folksong
from the “Lower Rhine” section of the Kretzschmer-Zuccalmaglio
collection. Allegretto. Simple strophic form. F
MAJOR, 3/4 time (Low key D major).
(The title Ständchen is
also used for Op. 106, No. 1.)
Gut Nacht, gut Nacht, mein liebster Schatz,
Gut Nacht, schlaf wohl, mein Kind!
Daß dich die Engel hüten all,
Die in dem Himmel sind!
Gut Nacht, gut Nacht, mein lieber Schatz,
Schlaf du, von nachten lind.
Schlaf wohl, schlaf wohl und träume von mir,
Träum von mir heute nacht!
Daß, wenn ich auch da schlafen tu,
Mein Herz um dich doch wacht;
Daß es in lauter Liebesglut
An dich derzeit gedacht.
Es singt im Busch die Nachtigall
Im klaren Mondenschein,
Der Mond scheint in das Fenster dir,
Guckt in dein Kämmerlein;
Der Mond schaut dich im Schlummer da,
Doch ich muß ziehn allein!
All three stanzas have the same music and, with one exception, the
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1,
lines 1-2. Voice and piano begin together on an
upbeat. The strumming accompaniment establishes a very
repetitive rhythm. The vocal melody is rather static by
comparison and follows a large upward arch pattern. The two
lines are sung twice to the same vocal melody, but the harmony in
the piano is more colorful and chromatic in the second statement,
and is played more smoothly. The first statement leads to C
major, the second to the closely related A minor.
0:20 [m. 17]--Stanza 1,
lines 3-4. These two lines are sung and played to highly
colorful harmonies suggesting a move back to F minor rather than F
major. The vocal line gradually descends downward and is
0:30 [m. 25]--Stanza 1,
lines 5-6. These two lines add even more colorful harmonic
motion, as F minor leads to its related major key, A-flat, for
line 5, line 6 making a last-second shift back to the home key of
F major. The first two words of line 6 are reiterated.
0:41 [m. 33]--Following
the abrupt motion back to F major, the entire last line is
repeated without the reiteration of the first two words, instead
holding a longer high note on the second word, under which another
key change back to A-flat is threatened, but does not
succeed. The long held note results in an irregular phrase
length of five bars.
0:47 [m. 38]--An eight-bar
piano postlude adds even more “strumming” effects in the left
hand. It leads seamlessly to the next stanza.
0:57 [m. 1]--Stanza 2,
lines 1-2. The hypnotic, regular, and repetitive rhythm of
the accompaniment--along with the same music and declamation in
all three stanzas and the heavy repetition of text--threatens to
become monotonous. The colorful harmonies and key changes
are probably meant to add variety within the stanza to help avoid this. The
word “träume” is the only slight deviation in the entire song,
placing two syllables on two notes that only set one syllable in
the other two stanzas.
1:16 [m. 17]--Stanza 2,
1:26 [m. 25]--Stanza 2,
1:36 [m. 33]--Repetition
of line 6.
1:42 [m. 38]--Piano
1:52 [m. 1]--Stanza 3,
2:12 [m. 17]--Stanza 3,
2:21 [m. 25]--Stanza 3,
2:33 [m. 33]--Repetition
of line 6.
2:38 [m. 38]--Piano
postlude. Not leading to another stanza, and simply ending
with the last strummed chord, it sounds rather inconclusive, since
the keynote is not on the top of the chord. The
inconclusiveness of this very repetitive song underscores the
continuing theme of separation and longing in the set.
2:54--END OF SONG [45 mm. (x3)]
from the “Tyrol” section of the Kretzschmer-Zuccalmaglio
collection, text somewhat altered by Brahms. Andante.
Through composed form, with the second stanza sung twice to nearly
identical music. E MINOR, 3/4 time, with one bar of 4/4 (Low
key D minor).
(The title Sehnsucht is
also used for Op. 49, No. 3 and the
quartet Op. 112, No. 1.)
Mein Schatz ist nicht da,
Ist weit überm See,
Und sooft ich dran denk’,
Tut mir’s Herz so weh!
Schön blau ist der See,
Und mein Herz tut mir weh,
Und mein Herz wird nicht g’sund,
Bis mein Schatz wiederkommt.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
1. The piano plays the chord of the home key as a simple,
plaintive introduction. After this opening chord, the piano
takes a definite subordinate role, simply doubling and harmonizing
the melody. Despite traversing the length of the scale
twice, Brahms avoids the leading tone in the voice, which is only
heard in the accompaniment at the cadence. This lends the
melody a somewhat archaic character. The emotional
expression is direct and stark.
0:18 [m. 11]--Stanza
2. For this stanza, the melody builds, both in volume and
pitch, reaching the song’s highest notes at the top of the
crescendo, where Brahms writes forte
for the only time. While continuing to double the voice, the
piano line begins earlier in longer notes before the last three
lines. The volume diminishes quickly as the music for the
last line rapidly descends. Brahms also directs a slowing
0:33 [m. 19]--Stanza 2,
repeated. The melody is essentially the same, but on both
statements of the word “Herz,” the pitch is shifted upward to add
intensity. Only a couple of isolated pitches are
raised. After the top of the intensification at the high
notes, Brahms emphasizes the slowing at the descent even more by
lengthening the actual notes on “bis mein,” making the third
measure from the end (m. 24) a 4/4 bar, which rather
disconcertingly breaks the triple time. The song ends with
the vocal cadence. There is no postlude.
0:53--END OF SONG [26 mm.]
END OF SET
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