EIGHT SONGS (LIEDER UND GESÄNGE) TO TEXTS BY G. F. DAUMER OP. 57
Recording: Jessye Norman, soprano (No. 1); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Daniel Barenboim, piano [DG 449 633-2]
Published 1871.


Other than the “Magelone” cycle, this is the only set of solo songs to texts by a single poet.   Daumer was an eclectic writer whose value as a poet is debated among Brahms devotees to this day.  Certainly the composer was fond of the poet, whose texts are used for the famous “Liebeslieder” waltz-quartets.  Daumer specialized in erotic and sensual verse, both of his own creation and in free translations or adaptations of Persian, Spanish, or Indian sources.  The great Persian poet Hafiz was one of his favorite sources.  The texts of this set are all of an unusual sensuality for Brahms, and indeed, they seem to have been specifically chosen for their subtle eroticism.  All of the texts are essentially variations on the same basic subject: that of an ardent yearning that must somehow be suppressed without a certainty of fulfillment.  The set is not a formal “cycle,” as the poems themselves were not originally grouped together, but because of their common authorship, themes, and even musical style, they work very well when performed as a set.  Indeed, their first performance was as a complete group, which was unusual.  As in other sets of the period, the final song is the largest, most elaborate, and most varied.  The first song is exceptionally exuberant and bright.  Its source was one of Daumer’s “women’s songs,” but it is not gender-specific and can be sung by a man.  The second through fifth songs all have a greater sense of desperation and despair, but each approaches those feelings through contrasting musical means.  The masterful third song extracts an unusual amount of material from a very short poem.  The sixth and seventh songs are more gentle, but still filled with the same sense of unfulfilled yearning.  The final song, with its two highly contrasting sections, serves as both a unification and a culmination of the preceding seven, beginning in aching motionlessness and ending with a return to the exuberance of the first song.  The songs were published without titles, and are referred to by their first lines.  Op. 57 is the first of three sets of eight songs (continuing with Opp. 58 and 59) that, along with the nine of Op. 63, help form a bridge from the “first maturity” to the “high maturity.”

Note: Links to English translations of the texts are from Emily Ezust's site at http://www.recmusic.org/lieder.  For the most 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.

IMSLP WORK PAGE
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck--original keys)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke--original keys)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Edition Peters, edited by Max Friedländer):
No. 1: Von waldbekränzter Höhe (in original key, G major)
No. 1: Von waldbekränzter Höhe (in low key, E-flat major)
No. 2: Wenn du nur zuweilen lächelst (in original key, E-flat major)
No. 2: Wenn du nur zuweilen lächelst (in low key, D-flat major)
No. 3: Es träumte mir (in original key, B major)
No. 3: Es träumte mir (in low key, A-flat major)
No. 4: Ach, wende diesen Blick (in original key, F minor)
No. 4: Ach, wende diesen Blick (in low key, D minor)
No. 5: In meiner Nächte sehnen (in original key, E minor)
No. 5: In meiner Nächte sehnen (in low key, C-sharp minor)
No. 6: Strahlt zuweilen auch ein mildes Licht (in original key, E major)
No. 6: Strahlt zuweilen auch ein mildes Licht (in low key, D major)
No. 7: Die Schnur, die Perl
’ an Perle (in original key, B major)
No. 7: Die Schnur, die Perl’ an Perle (in low key, A-flat major)
No. 8: Unbewegte laue Luft (in original key, E major)
No. 8: Unbewegte laue Luft (in low key, C major)


BOOK I:
1.
Von waldbekränzter Höhe (From forest-crowned heights).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer.  Lebhaft (Lively).  Four part form (ABB’A’).  G MAJOR, 4/4 time (Low key E-flat major).

German Text:
Von waldbekränzter Höhe
Werf
ich den heißen Blick
Der liebefeuchten Sehe
Zur Flur, die dich umgrünt, zurück.

Ich senk
ihn auf die Quelle,
Vermöcht
ich, ach, mit ihr
Zu fließen eine Welle,
Zurück, o Freund, zu dir, zu dir!

Ich richt
ihn auf die Züge
Der Wolken über mir,
Ach, flög
ich ihre Flüge,
Zurück, o Freund, zu dir, zu dir!

Wie wollt
ich dich umstricken,
Mein Heil und meine Pein,
Mit Lippen und mit Blicken,
Mit Busen, Herz und Seele dein!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  The exuberant, virtuosic piano part is an essential element of this song’s breathless character.  The right hand sets up a perpetual motion in two bars before the vocal entry; its top notes form a countermelody to the vocal line when it enters.  The left hand plays galloping syncopations.  The vocal line itself joyously arches upward and then settles back down.  The end of the stanza makes a strong tonal shift to the dominant key (D major).  The last line is repeated.
0:30 [m. 15]--An interlude sets up a new rhythmic motion, with upward-arching broken chords in triplet rhythm instead of the faster groups of four.  D major.  It also anticipates the melody of the next stanza.
0:38 [m. 18]--Stanza 2 (B).  Marked “Ruhiger” (“More tranquilly”).  The vocal line is somewhat more subdued for this verse.  It begins by shifting to minor, then again making a strong key change to B-flat at the end of the first line.  The rest of the stanza remains in that key.  The piano continues its triplet rhythm, the left hand resuming its galloping syncopations for the last two lines.  The top notes of the right again play a countermelody, this time suggesting the melody of A.  The last line (“zurück, o Freund, zu dir, zu dir”) has a sense of yearning and is repeated.
1:10 [m. 33]--Interlude as at 0:30 [m. 15], now in B-flat major.
1:18 [m. 36]--Stanza 3 (B’).  The music is very similar to that of stanza 2, but the declamation of the lines is different, with the first two lines set to an expanded version of the first musical line of the earlier stanza.  In this line, the key very subtly shifts down a half-step to B major, where the rest of the stanza will remain.  Over the last two lines, Brahms marks “Allmählig lebhafter” (“Gradually more lively”).  The statement of “zurück, o Freund, zu dir, zu dir” and its repetition are even more yearning and excited than in stanza 2.
1:48 [m. 50]--The cadence of stanza 3 is unexpectedly over a B minor chord.  The following interlude is similar to the preceding two, but is more active and changes key, as the others did not.  It moves back to the home key of G.  It also stops the triplet rhythm and establishes the original exuberant accompaniment.
1:54 [m. 54]--Stanza 4 (A’).  Marked “Sehr lebhaft” (“Very lively”).  The first four musical lines are the same as in stanza 1, but are performed at a faster speed.  Also, the placement of the lines is different, with the second line repeated to the music used for the third line of stanza 1, and the third line sung to the music used for the first statement of the fourth line in stanza 1.
2:08 [m. 62]--For the last line of stanza 4, Brahms alters the music from stanza 1, avoiding the motion to D major heard in the repetition of that stanza’s last line.  Instead, the line ecstatically reaches to the song’s highest note.  It is repeated to a longer, broader musical line with joyful wide leaps.  The piano briefly concludes the song after the final vocal descent on the word “Seele” (“soul”).
2:29--END OF SONG [68 mm.]


2.
Wenn du nur zuweilen lächelst (If you would only smile now and then).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from the Persian by Hafis.  Poco Andante.  One-verse through-composed form.  E-FLAT MAJOR, 9/8 time (Low key D-flat major).

German Text:
Wenn du nur zuweilen lächelst,
Nur zuweilen Kühle fächelst
Dieser ungemeßnen Glut -
In Geduld will ich mich fassen
Und dich alles treiben lassen,
Was der Liebe wehe tut.

English Translation
 
0:00 [m. 1]--The 9/8 meter sets up a gentle flow in its three-beat groupings.  The voice and piano begin together with no introduction.  They establish the lilting motion in the first line of text, with warm chords and a solid, but comforting bass line.
0:08 [m. 3]--The piano suddenly breaks into groups of two chords that clash against the established three-beat grouping.  The second line of text then begins, with the vocal line coaxing the piano back to the flowing rhythm.  The end of this line brings the first minor-key inflections of notes.
0:15 [m. 5]--The third line makes a much darker turn.  It is repeated, moving to a cadence in the key of G minor.  The gently flowing 9/8 rhythm and rocking bass line persist, but are more agitated.
0:26 [m. 8]--The piano plays a three-note gesture similar to the opening notes of the song.  The music moves back to the home major for the fourth line, which enters tentatively after the piano gesture, stammering the words “in Geduld” (“with patience”) twice before completing the line.
0:37 [m. 12]--The fifth line enters as the three-note piano gesture continues to be repeated, but this line and the succeeding sixth line become rapidly intensify, introducing many chromatic notes and mixing major and minor.  The climax comes on the word “Liebe” (“love”), set to an inflected minor-key note and rich descending chords.
0:55 [m. 18]--The sixth and final line is repeated, entering on the last beat of a bar and tied over to the next one, intensifying the feelings of yearning desperation.  The repetition is stretched out over longer notes, including a biting minor inflection on the first note of “wehe” (“pain” or “injury”).  The vocal line ends in a very tentative and almost resigned manner.
1:07 [m. 21]--The piano postlude begins as the last word is sung.  It appears to reprise the opening of the song, but it skips the second bar, moving to the clashing two-note groups of the third.  These are then interrupted by a chord with the same minor-key inflection just heard on the word “wehe,” tied over the bar line and falling into a “sigh” figure.  The “sigh” is repeated without the inflection, but with continued chromatic notes in the bass.  Finally, a third, lower sigh is in pure major and gently ends the song.
1:37--END OF SONG [25 mm.]


3.
Es träumte mir (I dreamed).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from a Spanish folk poem.  Sehr langsam (Very slowly).  One-verse through-composed form.  B MAJOR, 6/8 time (Low key A-flat major).

German Text:
Es träumte mir,
Ich sei dir teuer;
Doch zu erwachen
Bedurft
ich kaum.
Denn schon [ach] im Traume
Bereits empfand ich,
Es sei ein Traum.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--A three-bar introduction introduces the slow rising arpeggios that will dominate the left hand for most of the song.   They accompany a series of  expressive, dissonant chords with many non-key (chromatic) notes.  For much of the song, the low note of the bass arpeggios remains the same (F-sharp, the expectant “dominant” note).  The whole song has a sense of suspended time.  No vocal phrase enters at the beginning of a bar.
0:14 [m. 4]--The first two lines are set to a single, melodious phrase, lingering on the word “teuer” (“dear”).  This phrase is one of only two in the song where the constant bass arpeggios  break.  They and the slow-moving chords temporarily give way to more flowing chords that follow the vocal line.
0:28 [m. 8]--The arpeggios and expressive chords of the opening return immediately for the next phrase, which sets the third and fourth lines.  The expressive chords follow and double the vocal line when it enters.  This phrase makes an immediately darker turn, moving to a minor key (C-sharp minor) and incorporating a dissonant leap in the word “erwachen” (“to awake”).
0:48 [m. 12]--Unlike the previous two phrases, which each set two lines without a pause between them, the next phrase, setting the fifth and sixth lines, adds some space between the lines, which are set to a similar rising, questioning gesture.  These gestures intensify and reach the climax of the song.  The last arpeggio under the sixth line finally moves away (down) from the constant F-sharp as the bottom note.  The key of B returns, mixing its major and minor versions.  In line five, Brahms replaced the original word “ach” (a simple interjection like “ah!”) with “schon” (“already”).  The last line follows without a break:
1:01 [m. 16]--For the “extra” seventh line, which clinches the heartbreaking message of the poem, Brahms allocates as much music as he did for his phrases setting two lines.  This is done by setting the line twice to a very slowly descending phrase.  The first of these includes striking notes borrowed from the minor key (mode), which are also included in the now-constant arpeggios.  The bottom notes of these are now free, wandering about after losing their F-sharp “anchor.”  The minor-mode notes almost wail in despair.  The arpeggios continue for two more bars, slowing, softening, and reaching a notated pause.
1:31 [m. 21]--The music of the introduction is repeated, but the first of the arpeggios is reduced from six notes to five to increase the sense of gradual motion from the preceding pause.  Also, the third and fifth of the expressive chords are now quickly rolled, which they were not before.
1:49 [m. 24]--The fifth and sixth lines are repeated, but now to the music originally used for the first two lines at 0:14 [m. 4].  As there, the arpeggios break in the piano.  The end of the phrase deviates from the original, though, reaching higher and becoming more intense.  The rocking chords continue darkly after the vocal line ends.  Brahms restores the original word “ach” to the fifth line to heighten the sense of despair.
2:05 [m. 28]--The arpeggios again return in the bass, but are not anchored to F-sharp.  The seventh line is set twice more (for a total of four times).  As before, both settings are to a slow descending phrase including minor-key borrowings.  The second phrase is now even more despairing, incorporating more dissonant chromatic notes, extended a bar, and actually ending in the minor, which the earlier second phrase did not.
2:28 [m. 32]--The extended postlude enters with the last vocal note on “Traum” (“dream”).  It continues the slow rising arpeggios, whose bottom notes now hold on the home note of B, and more expressive, bitingly dissonant chords.  Although the major mode is re-established with the beginning of the postlude, the dissonances undermine it.  After four arpeggios, the bottom note moves to a low F-sharp, and the notes are reduced to five, then four, and finally three (with B again in the bottom) under the last chords, assisting the gradual slowing to motionlessness.  This postlude is the first definite arrival on the home key, and even then, the tension between minor and major is not resolved until the very end.
3:22--END OF SONG [38 mm.]


4.
Ach, wende diesen Blick  (Ah, turn away this gaze).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer.  Ziemlich langsam (Rather slowly).  Ternary form (ABA).  F MINOR, 3/4 time (Low key D minor).

German Text:
Ach, wende diesen Blick, wende dies Angesicht!
Das Inn
re mir mit ewig neuer Glut,
Mit ewig neuem Harm erfülle nicht!

Wenn einmal die gequälte Seele ruht,
Und mit so fieberischer Wilde nicht
In meinen Adern rollt das heiße Blut -

Ein Strahl, ein flüchtiger, von deinem Licht,
Er wecket auf des Wehs gesamte Wut,
Das schlangengleich mich in das Herze sticht.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  The voice and piano begin together in an expressive, lightly harmonized melody.  For the first line, the top of the piano part doubles the voice.  The character is that of a lament.
0:12 [m. 5]--For the second and third lines, the accompaniment changes to a steady, solid, and very wide-ranging triplet rhythm.  This accompaniment cascades downward for the second line.  At the arrival of the third, it arches up and down across a wide swath of the keyboard.  This is also the arrival of the climax in the vocal line, with strong accents and biting dissonances in the piano.  The third line is repeated and quickly subsides at the end.  A very brief transition leads to the second stanza.
0:38 [m. 15]--Stanza 2 (B).  The beginning of the stanza is expressive and warm.  The first line is set in a closely-related major key, D-flat.  The piano accompaniment doubles the voice, but also adds another, more active line in octaves as well as a separate bass line.  The vocal line is somewhat hesitant.
0:51 [m. 20]--As the second line of the stanza arrives, Brahms keeps the established accompaniment texture, but marks that the music should intensify and become more agitated.  The key also moves strongly back to the minor.  The words “in meinen Adern” (“in my veins”) are repeated, and this repetition yields the song’s largest climax, punctuated by a sudden rich chord, followed by an even richer one on “rollt das heisse Blut” (“courses [my] hot blood”).   The wide-ranging triplets return at the climax.  Under “Blut” (“blood”) a third, dissonant chord (a “diminished seventh”) helps to pivot back to the “A” music.
1:12 [m. 29]--Stanza 3 (A).  The expressive A melody returns, but only in the piano.  The voice enters on the last beat of the first bar, creating a dissonance.  The second bar begins with a dotted (long-short) rhythm to accommodate the text, but from that point, the music is identical to that of stanza 1.
1:25 [m. 33]--For the second and third lines, the wide-ranging triplets enter, as in stanza 1.  The accents and dissonances are especially appropriate as they fall under the words about the serpent’s sting to the heart.  The third line is repeated as in stanza 1.  The music remains identical until the moment of transition, which is replaced by a solid downward-plunging line and a loud F-minor chord to end the song.
2:00--END OF SONG [42 mm.]


BOOK II:
5.
In meiner Nächte Sehnen (In my night-time longing).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer.  Agitato.  Ternary form (ABA’).  E MINOR, 6/8 time (Low key C-sharp minor).

German Text:
In meiner Nächte Sehnen,
So tief allein,
Mit tausend, tausend Tränen,
Gedenk
ich dein.

Ach, wer dein Antlitz schaute,
Wem dein Gemüt
Die schöne Glut vertraute,
Die es durchglüt,

Wem deine Küsse brannten,
Wem je vor Lust
All seine Sinne schwanden
An deiner Brust -

Wie rasteten in Frieden
Ihm Seel
und Leib,
Wenn er von dir geschieden,
Du göttlich Weib!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--A brief introduction sets up the rhythm and the mood.  Two short fragments and one longer one, all with a typical 6/8 swing.
0:06 [m. 5]--Stanza 1 (A).  The voice takes up the line whose rhythm and direction were anticipated in the bass of the introduction.  The accompaniment that enters with the voice breaks into a trembling rhythm that persists through the rest of the song.  The bass line freely imitates the voice.  After two parallel phrases for each pair of lines, the last line is repeated as a tag, with the word “gedenk” receiving an extra repetition.  The stanza moves to a cadence on the related “dominant” key (B minor).  A very brief bridge.
0:22 [m. 17]--Stanzas 2 and 3 (B).  The two middle stanzas are combined into one section.  The second stanza is very active, with four rising figures.  The second line makes a hopeful and warm move to major.  The last two lines restore the minor-key passion, wrenching upward to A minor.  Punctuating chords join the accompaniment texture for the last line.
0:32 [m. 25]--The beginning of the third stanza marks the climax of the song.  The second and fourth lines are set to shorter figures half-the length of those previously used for these short lines in the first two stanzas.  The bass line intermittently doubles the voice.  The last two lines are repeated as the music subsides, with an extra repetition for the words “an deiner.”  A cadence on B minor/major precedes another brief bridge.
0:50 [m. 37]--Stanza 4 (A’). The first two lines are as in stanza 1 (A).  The third line adds an extra sliding note to the word “geschieden.”  The fourth line reaches higher than in stanza 1 in order both to close the song on a more emphatic note and to end in the home key of E minor.  The line is repeated, with the “extra” repetition of the word “göttlich” reaching even higher for the cadence.
1:03 [m. 47]--A postlude begins with the last vocal cadence on the word “Weib.”  The “trembling” accompaniment persists until the end.  Some biting, accented dissonances are heard.  The passion does subside, but the ending is not completely subdued, despite ending in major.
1:21--END OF SONG [53 mm.]


6.
Strahlt zuweilen auch ein mildes Licht  (Although occasionally a gentle light shines).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer.  Sanft bewegt (Gently moving).  Ternary form (ABA’).  E MAJOR, 6/8 time (Low key D major).

German Text:
Strahlt zuweilen auch ein mildes Licht
Auf mich hin aus diesem Angesicht -
Ach, es können auch wohl Huldgebärden
Machen, daß uns fast das Herze bricht.
Was die Liebe sucht, um froh zu werden,
Das verraten diese Blicke nicht.

English Translation

The shared meter and key center, as well as the quiet, major-key ending of the fifth song, make for a very smooth transition between the fifth and sixth songs.
0:00 [m. 1]--A.  A very brief introduction with gently rising arpeggios anticipates the rising vocal line.  The first couplet is set to a leisurely rising and falling line that quickly moves to a cadence on B major.  The accompaniment is a mostly continuous flow, with much doubling of the vocal line.  Many non-key, chromatic notes are included.
0:18 [m. 8]--B.  The second couplet is more agitated and chromatic, beginning with an upward sliding vocal line.  The left hand of the piano plays mostly doubled notes in thirds.  A cadence on the home minor key (E minor) and the agitated mood convey the message of these lines, that the kind glances are not those of love.
0:32 [m. 14]--A’.  The introductory measures enter with the preceding minor-key cadence, gradually moving back to major.  The fifth line is set as the first was, but the sixth line, the second of the last couplet, is altered, moving toward G major instead of B major, with a more incomplete close.  A one-bar interlude includes light syncopations.
0:50 [m. 21]--The last line is repeated, re-establishing the home major key.  This final vocal line still ends rather inconclusively after a brief swell.  There is a short postlude that includes somewhat disconcerting syncopated chords that intrude on the continuous texture.  The closing is, however, very gentle and mild.  Despite its rich harmony, this song is a bit of a respite from the darker mood of the last two songs.
1:13--END OF SONG [26 mm.]


7.
Die Schnur, die Perl an Perle  (The string, on which pearl after pearl).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from a Sanskrit poem.  Etwas langsam (Somewhat slowly).  Two-part form (AA’).  B MAJOR, 3/4 time (Low key A-flat major).

German Text:
Die Schnur, die Perl
an Perle
Um deinen Hals gereihte,
Wie wiegt sie sich so fröhlich
Auf deiner schönen Brust!
Mit Seel
und Sinn begabet,
Mit Seligkeit berauschet
Sie, diese Götterlust.

Was müssen wir erst fühlen,
In welchen Herzen schlagen,
So heiße Menschenherzen,
Wofern es uns gestattet,
Uns traulich anzuschmiegen
An eine solche Brust?

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--A brief two-bar introduction sets up the underlying inner motion of the accompaniment.  The top voice, beginning on an upbeat, leaps down and then mirrors the leap up.
0:06 [m. 3]--Stanza 1 (A).  The first two lines are set to a lovely and leisurely melody over the undulating accompaniment with the top line doubling the voice.  The last four notes are echoed in a one-bar interlude.
0:20 [m. 9]--The third line is set to two gestures that leap down to a distinctive chromatic note and then slide upward to propel an opposite ascent.  The fourth line is stated twice, both times after extremely artful changes of key, the first sliding down a half-step to B-flat and the second regrouping on F-sharp, which is more close to home.  The first statement reaches upward, the second settles back down toward a two-bar interlude.
0:50 [m. 21]--The last three lines (5-7) of the stanza re-establish the home key and move toward a gentle cadence.  Nonetheless, there are several distinctive chromatic notes.  The sixth line reaches the song’s highest pitch.
1:06 [m. 27]--The cadence of stanza 1 merges with a four-bar interlude.  The first two bars have rich chords, while the second anticipate the return of the opening melody.
1:16 [m. 31]--Stanza 2 (A
).  The first two lines are set as at 0:06 [m. 3], except for a slight alteration of the melody on the word “wir” in the first line, which moves up instead of down.  The echoing one-bar interlude is also omitted.
1:28 [m. 36]--In contrast to stanza 1 at 0:20 [m. 9], the third line follows immediately without the intervening echo.  It also begins with the leap to a chromatic note and subsequent upward slide, but the second gesture reaches farther upward.  The second gesture adds even more “sliding” chromatic notes and hints at a move to D-sharp minor.  The key changes and the music that accompanied the fourth line and its repetition are completely omitted, accommodating the fact that stanza 2 is one line shorter.
1:38 [m. 40]--The changes to the second gesture of line 3 allow for a quick return to the home key after the brief minor-mode suggestion.  Lines 4-6 are set to similar music as lines 5-7 of stanza 1, but the last two lines are sung at a lower pitch level, still reaching the gentle cadence in the home key.  The first two bars of the interlude from 1:06 [m. 27] follow this cadence.
1:58 [m. 48]--As a postlude, the last line is sung again to a low repeated note, under which the piano, also in a low register, plays the opening melody.  On the last word (“Brust”), the voice leaps up to a note right above the final keynote.  It is suspended there for a full bar, with the delayed downward resolution bringing a great sense of fulfillment.  The steady piano accompaniment slows to triplet groups for the only time under this suspension and delayed resolution.  The voice and piano end together.
 2:17--END OF SONG [51 mm.]


8. Unbewegte laue Luft  (Motionless, tepid air).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer.  Langsam--Lebhaft (Slow--Lively).  Through composed form in two large sections with contrasting tempo and meter.  E MAJOR, 9/8 and 4/4 time (Low key C major).

German Text:
Unbewegte laue Luft,
Tiefe Ruhe der Natur;
Durch die stille Gartennacht
Plätschert die Fontäne nur.
Aber im Gemüte schwillt
Heißere Begierde mir,
Aber in der Ader quillt
Leben und verlangt nach Leben.
Sollten nicht auch deine Brust
Sehnlichere Wünsche heben?
Sollte meiner Seele Ruf
Nicht dir deine tief durchbeben?
Leise mit dem Ätherfuß
Säume nicht, daherzuschweben!
Komm, o komm, damit wir uns
Himmlische Genüge geben!

English Translation

SECTION 1 (Langsam--9/8).  Lines 1-4
0:00 [m. 1]--Two-bar introduction establishing the pattern of rising arpeggios and the prominent dissonance (lowering of the second scale degree) in the bass.  It is in the piano’s bass and tenor register.
0:12 [m. 3]--The voice enters in the languid tempo established by the piano.  While not quite “motionless,” there is a static effect.  The characteristic chromatic note on “laue” (“tepid”), which lowers the sixth scale degree, becomes a prominent “marker” for this opening melody on its recurrences in the fast section.  The second line gradually moves downward after an initial leap.  The line is repeated with a turn to E minor and B minor.  The slow rising arpeggios, one per bar, continue in the piano, along with a solid bass in octaves.
1:03 [m. 13]--As the repetition of the second line ends, the piano abandons its pattern of languid arpeggios for a more flowing motion with trills, signifying the splashing in the fountain.  The third line enters against this motion, which is still slow, in warm B major.  The trills continue in the pattern as the fourth line is sung.  The fourth line is repeated, turning back home to E, but also back to the minor mode.
1:33 [m. 20]--At the word “nur” in the repetition of the fourth line, the slow, low arpeggios begin again for an interlude that serves as a transition to the faster second section.  Despite this function, the interlude actually becomes steadily slower and quieter, ending in a bar marked “Adagio.”  It is highly chromatic.
SECTION 2 (Lebhaft--4/4).  Lines 5-16
2:08 [m. 25]--The tempo change is sudden, but not jarring.  Half of one 4/4 bar should equal a third of one 9/8 bar.  The piano begins its rippling accompaniment one bar before the voice enters.  To transition out of the interlude, it begins quietly, but quickly builds as the voice enters.  The fifth and sixth lines are joyous and in major, but still retain chromatic tinges, especially as loud piano chords enter.
2:19 [m. 31]--The seventh line begins with the same sweeping gesture as the fifth, but going into the eighth line, the music is even more joyous and fulfilling, and less chromatic.  Some “color” notes remain in the accompaniment at the high point of line eight.  There is a one-bar transition to the next passage.
2:31 [m. 37]--The accompaniment becomes less active, using a triplet rhythm (groups of six instead of groups of eight in the rippling pattern).  The music is also more subdued than the preceding passage.  While still in the “Lebhaft” tempo, the ninth line is sung to the same music as the first line from the “Langsam” tempo, complete with the characteristic chromatic note and even rhythmic correspondence.  Line ten is very chromatic, with the piano bass sliding up in octaves.  A loud one-bar outburst leads to the next couplet.
2:42 [m. 43]--The eleventh and twelfth lines are set in a similar manner to the preceding two.  Line eleven also echoes the first line from the slow section.  Line twelve begins as did line ten, but it then erupts into even more chromatic notes, making a surprising key change to F major, a half-step above the home key.
2:53 [m. 49]--The thirteenth and fourteenth lines are completely set in the key of F major.  The preceding key change creates a rather “remote” sound that is heightened by the quiet, delicate setting of the lines.  A two-bar interlude over a large crescendo slides back to the home key and sets up the climax of the song.
3:04 [m. 55]--The climax arrives with the penultimate fifteenth line and the return of E major.  The faster rippling accompaniment in groups of eight notes returns.  The voice soars in longer, higher notes.  The words “Komm, o komm” are stated twice before the line continues.  The last line arrives with the song’s highest pitch (to music previously heard in line eight, at a smaller climax).  There are sharply accented off-beat chords under the last word, “geben.”  A one-bar bridge suddenly quiets the music down.
3:19 [m. 63]--The last two lines are repeated to quiet music.  The fifteenth line is now set to the music of the opening line from the slow section, which has now made three appearances in the fast section, all with its characteristic chromatic note.  That note is retained for the beginning of the last line, which finally slides up to a gentle, if somewhat inconclusive ending.  Under this, the rippling piano reaches ever higher in the right hand and ever lower in the low octaves of the left.  This pattern continues for two bars after the singer ends before a quiet chord, spaced very widely between the hands, concludes the diverse, satisfying song.  The three recurrences of the opening melody in the fast portion are an effective device to unify the two sections.
3:49--END OF SONG [70 mm.]
END OF SET


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