SIX SONGS (GESÄNGE), OP. 6
Recording: Jessye Norman, soprano (No. 1); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Daniel Barenboim, piano [DG 449 633-2]

Published 1853.  Dedicated to the Misses Luise and Minna Japha.

The first three song sets were contemporaneously composed, most in 1852-53, and arranged for publication in groups of six based on how Brahms felt they fit together as coherent groups.  The first four songs of this group date from April 1852, earlier than all songs in the Op. 3 set, while the last two settings of Hoffmann von Fallersleben are from July 1853.  Op. 6 shares some aspects with Op. 3, including the heading “for soprano or tenor,” which he would abandon with Op. 7 and beyond.  Throughout his song output the original keys are overwhelmingly for high voice, with some notable exceptions, so the distinction became meaningless, and he must have known that low-key transpositions were going to be published.  In this set, the published low keys have the same relationships throughout (a minor third lower), which is not always the case.  He also abandoned the practice of adding dedications to song groups when he started publishing “sets of sets” in the late 1860s.  Luise Japha was a student of Clara Schumann who became a noted interpreter of Robert Schumann’s piano works.  Her sister Minna was a painter studying in Düsseldorf.  Like Op. 3, he ends the set with a pair of texts by the same high German poet.  All six show the young composer’s sensitivity to the words and an adeptness at strophic form (with perhaps the small exception of an awkward partial repetition in the second stanza of No. 4, “Juchhe!”).  The “nature songs,” Nos. 2 and 4, are breathtakingly joyous and satisfying, and they are natural companions in the set, their similarities (including 6/8 meter and a final “plagal” cadence) magnifying their differences (such as the varied final strophe of No. 4).  No. 1 is an adaptation of an old Spanish text, with just the right amount of “exotic” flavor.  The contrasting sections are particularly striking.  As with the first song of Op. 3, it is the only one with a specifically feminine voice.  No. 3 is another strophic setting in a rarer 9/8 meter.  It shows Brahms coming to grips with a “difficult” text in which all the lines end with a weak syllable.  The two Hoffmann von Fallersleben settings are exquisite.  The first (No. 5) has an effectively contrasting third strophe, whose new accompaniment pattern is placed under the return of the music from the first two strophes, drawing the song together.  Unusually, it has neither a piano prelude nor postlude.  No. 6 is exceptionally beautiful and illustrative, its “twittering” triplet-rhythm accompaniment a masterstroke.  The left hand remains in the upper register except for the quieter, more subdued middle section in a distant key.  Brahms would return to the “nightingale” theme in Op. 46, No. 4 and Op. 97, No. 1.

Note: Links to English translations of the texts are from Emily Ezust’s site at http://www.lieder.net.  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):
Complete (original keys--higher resolution)
No. 1: Spanisches Lied (in original key, A minor)
No. 1: Spanisches Lied (in low key, F-sharp minor)
No. 2: Der Frühling (in original key, E major)
No. 2: Der Frühling (in low key, D-flat major)
No. 3: Nachwirkung (in original key, A-flat major)
No. 3: Nachwirkung (in low key, F major)
No. 4: Juchhe!
(in original key, E-flat major)
No. 4: Juchhe!
(in low key, C major)
No. 5: Wie die Wolke nach der Sonne (in original key, B major)
No. 5: Wie die Wolke nach der Sonne (in low key, A-flat major)
No. 6: Nachtigallen schwingen (in original key, A-flat major)
No. 6: Nachtigallen schwingen (in low key, F major)


1. Spanisches Lied (Spanish Song).  Text by Paul von Heyse, after a Spanish poem (possibly by Pedro Arias Pérez).  Allegretto.  Alternating varied strophic form (ABA’B’A).  A MINOR, 3/4 time.  (Low key F-sharp minor).


German Text:
In dem Schatten meiner Locken
Schlief mir mein Geliebter ein.
Weck’ ich ihn nun auf? -- Ach nein!

Sorglich strählt’ ich meine krausen
Locken täglich in der Frühe,
Doch umsonst ist meine Mühe,
Weil die Winde sie zerzausen.

Lockenschatten, Windessausen
Schläferten den Liebsten ein.
Weck’ ich ihn nun auf? -- Ach nein!

Hören muß ich, wie ihn gräme,
Daß er schmachtet schon so lange,
Daß ihm Leben gäb und nähme
Diese meine braune Wange,

Und er nennt mich seine Schlange,
Und doch schlief er bei mir ein.
Weck’ ich ihn nun auf? -- Ach nein!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  The two-measure introduction sets up the “Spanish” character, with “strumming” fifths and sixths in the left hand against sinuous winding figures in the right.  The sinuous lines conclude with a descending shape that is stated higher and off the beat (after a brief pause) to close the measure.
0:05 [m. 3]--Lines 1-2.  The singer enters with a long-short rhythm from the “strumming” left hand, then winds upward in a slower version of the piano figures before turning down on another long-short rhythm.  The second line starts on the upbeat and surges higher with a slight broadening.  The pattern set up in the introduction continues as an accompaniment, with the notes of the “higher” off-beat figures changed under the second line and chords added to the left-hand “strumming.”  In an interlude, the piano seems to begin the familiar pattern again, but the winding figures move to the left hand while the right echoes the voice.
0:22 [m. 9]--Line 3.  The piano plays the rhythm and shape of the voice’s melody, the sinuous winding figures continuing in the left hand.  The voice itself enters on the second beat with the question “weck ich ihn nun auf?” inflected chromatically and hinting at F major.  The answer surges in pitch and volume, with a held high note and a turn to A major on “nein!”  The sinuous figures now move back to the right hand.  The voice reiterates “Ach nein!” twice, working downward.  The first reiteration is sung over a pungent dissonance.  The second descends to the “dominant” note, greatly diminishing in volume but still in major.  The piano bass slows down.  A soaring A-major arpeggio in triplet rhythm leads to a held high chord.
0:41 [m. 15]--Stanza 2 (B), lines 1-2.  The original poem has two seven-line stanzas after the first three-line one.  Brahms deftly separates the seven-line stanzas into groups of four and three.  The four-line groups provide the contrasting material.  They are set in the “dominant” major key (E major).  The first two lines exuberantly arch down, up, and back down, still using long-short rhythm.  The hands of the piano are doubled in typical “horn fifth” harmonies, the top lines initially doubling the voice.  The musical lines overlap the poetic ones.  The second musical line begins with “täglich.”  It is stretched out, beginning with a longer note, reaches back up higher, and separates itself from the now higher piano harmonies.
0:49 [m. 19]--Lines 3-4.  These lines are a twice-stated higher major-key version of the opening vocal line from Stanza 1.  The “sinuous” figures are in the left-hand bass, and the right hand trails the voice in a harmonized near echo.  At the end of each line, the left hand has straight downward arpeggios.  Brahms penciled in a post-publication change in both lines, expanding the closing downward third (to C-sharp) to a leap of a sixth (to G-sharp).  This change was adopted in the Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke (reprinted by Dover), but not in the Peters Edition.  Most performances retain the original smaller downward third.
0:58 [m. 23]--In a brief, but colorful and mildly dissonant transition back to the home key (A minor), the piano plays the basic pattern twice, with the ever-present “sinuous” winding figures in the bass and the dotted near echo of the basic vocal line in the harmonized right hand.
1:03 [m. 25]--Stanza 3 (A’), lines 1-2.  The first line is played and sung as in Stanza 1 at 0:05 [m. 3].  The second is given a subtle but sophisticated alteration.  To better fit the poetic accentuation, it begins later, on the downbeat, necessitating subtle changes in note lengths.  The accompaniment is also altered so that its echo in the interlude also uses the changed version beginning on the downbeat.
1:20 [m. 31]--Line 3.  Textually and musically the same as in Stanza 1 at 0:22 [m. 9], with the question, reiterated answer, and turn to major, ending with the soaring triplet arpeggio in the piano.
1:40 [m. 37]--Stanza 4 (B’), lines 1-2.  The piano part here with the “horn fifth” harmonies is unchanged from Stanza 2 at 0:41 [m. 15], but the vocal lines are significantly adjusted, and they do not overlap the poetic lines.  The first line omits its final downward turn.  The second line, which had been stretched out and made a higher turn back up, now does not turn back up at all but instead descends to a full arrival cadence on E.
1:49 [m. 41]--Lines 3-4.  These do match the previous statement from Stanza 2 at 0:49 [m. 19] (including the post-publication expansion of the closing leap that is usually not observed).  Brahms changed the words “geb” and “nehme” (“give” and “take”) to the subjunctive or conditional forms “gäb” and “nähme,” subtly changing the meaning, but also creating a more exact rhyme with “gräme.”
1:57 [m. 45]--Mildly dissonant transition back to the home key, as at 0:58 [m. 23].
2:03 [m. 47]--Stanza 5 (A).  Both lines now musically match Stanza 1 at 0:05 [m. 3].
2:21 [m. 53]--Line 3.  Textually and musically the same as in Stanza 1 at 0:22 [m. 9] and Stanza 3 at 1:20 [m. 31], with the question, reiterated answer, and turn to major.  The song ends with the soaring triplet arpeggio and the held high chord, and thus closes in the major key.
2:44--END OF SONG [58 mm.]


2. Der Frühling (Springtime).  Text by Johann Baptist Rousseau.  Con moto.  Simple strophic form with postlude.  E MAJOR, 6/8 time.  (Low key D-flat major).

German Text:
Es lockt und säuselt um den Baum:
Wach auf aus deinem Schlaf und Traum,
Der Winter ist zerronnen.
Da schlägt er frisch den Blick empor,
Die Augen sehen hell hervor
Ans goldne Licht der Sonnen.

Es zieht ein Wehen sanft und lau,
Geschaukelt in dem Wolkenbau
Wie Himmelsduft hernieder.
Da werden alle Blumen wach,
Da tönt der Vögel schmelzend Ach,
Da kehrt der Frühling wieder.

[Here a stanza not set by Brahms]

Es weht der Wind den Blütenstaub
Von Kelch zu Kelch, von Laub zu Laub,
Durch Tage und durch Nächte.
Flieg auch, mein Herz, und flattre fort,
Such hier ein Herz und such es dort,
Du triffst vielleicht das Rechte.

English Translation
(includes Stanza 3, not set by Brahms)

0:00 [m. 1]
--Stanza (strophe) 1.  Introduction.  Beginning with a half-measure, a series of joyously expressive long-short descents (the long notes “leaning” into their resolution, the so-called “appoggiatura”) is played in four “waves.”  The melodic “appoggiaturas” are played over a lower right-hand voice with downward-arching leaps.  The left hand plays marching bass octaves.  The second “wave” begins higher and moves to the “dominant” harmony.  The third is characterized by “reverse” motion interrupting the downward line.  The fourth slows and quiets down, reaching the middle range in a mildly chromatic approach to the half-close.
0:11 [m. 9]--Lines 1-2.  The singer enters breathlessly, dolce ed espressivo, with pauses that express the expectant enthusiasm.  The mildly chromatic upward motion culminates in a leap and descent.  The piano continues the dancing downward-arching leaps, but the leaning “appoggiatura” figures make an entry at the end of the line.  The second line is similar and turns toward the “dominant” harmony at the end, again with an entry of the “appoggiatura” material.  The upward-marching bass octaves have some chromatic motion, and harmony is added at the end of each line.  A descending arpeggio functions as a bridge to the next line.
0:21 [m. 18]--Line 3.  It is sung twice to longer, more sustained notes.  The first statement moves from B minor to D major.  The second moves from D minor to F major, a colorful but natural progression of harmonies.  The piano has rising arpeggios over bass notes, but the “appoggiatura” figures sneak in at the end of each statement of the line.  The second statement builds quickly to forte.
0:30 [m. 26]--Lines 4-5.  These lines are both set to a rising two-measure chromatic gesture (motion by half-steps) and each has a crescendo from the piano level.  They are sung over chromatic harmonies in the piano, beginning with C major, the harmonies moving over a “pedal point” on C.  Line 5 concludes with a dissonant upward leap of a “tritone” while the rising piano harmonies move from a “diminished” chord to the long-delayed “dominant” on B.  The piano maintains the dancing downward-arching leaps throughout.  The last note and the “dominant” harmony are stretched out for two measures.
0:37 [m. 32]--Line 6.  It is sung twice.  The first time, at the climax, the voice finally gets to participate in the distinctively joyous introduction material, doubled by the piano in full harmony.  Unlike the other lines, it begins with a full half-measure instead of a short upbeat.  After a bridge continuing the introduction material, the second statement of the line is a new rising, partly chromatic motion in straight notes, with the first break in the continual eighth-note motion of the piano.  The cadence on “Sonnen” is stretched out even more, with the straight rising notes placed in the tenor range of the left hand.  The close on the ninth measure of the phrase is a half-measure [m. 40] leading into the half-measure opening of the introduction.
0:49 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 2.  Introduction, as at the beginning.
0:59 [m. 9]--Lines 1-2, as at 0:11.  The meter is constant in the stanzas of the poem, so there are no adjustments to the note values for the new text in the strophic repetition.
1:10 [m. 18]--Line 3 and its repetition, as at 0:21.
1:22 [m. 26]--Lines 4-5, as at 0:30.
1:28 [m. 32]--Line 6, its repetition and cadence on the half-measure [m. 40], as at 0:37.
1:38 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 3.  Introduction, as at the beginning and 0:49.  Brahms omitted the third stanza of the four-verse poem, perhaps because it would have lessened the impact of the human element and its appearance at the end of this final stanza.
1:49 [m. 9]--Lines 1-2, as at 0:11 and 0:59.
1:59 [m. 18]--Line 3 and its repetition, as at 0:21 and 1:10.
2:08 [m. 26]--Lines 4-5, as at 0:30 and 1:22.
2:14 [m. 32]--Line 6, its repetition and cadence on the half-measure [m. 40], as at 0:37 and 1:28.
2:24 [m. 41]--Postlude.  It begins like the introduction, but the left-hand octaves are harmonized, and the “waves” are replaced by shorter single-measure units.  These work up to the highest pitch of the song in either voice or piano.  After a descent on the continuing “appoggiatura” figures is cut off, the rising notes from the second statement of line 6 begin, but they are also cut off.  Another lower rising motion, dolce, begins tentatively, the volume having diminished to piano.  This is followed by the extended final cadence, which is of the benedictory “plagal” variety, with warm descending internal motion of harmonic thirds.
2:47--END OF SONG [52 mm. ([40x3] +12)]


3. Nachwirkung (Aftereffect).  Text by Alfred von Meissner.  Poco agitato.  Simple strophic form.  A-FLAT MAJOR, 9/8 time.  (Low key F major).

German Text:
Sie ist gegangen, die Wonnen versanken,
Nun glühen die Wangen, nun rinnen die Tränen;
Es schwanken die kranken,
Die heißen Gedanken,
Es pocht das Herz in Wünschen und Sehnen.

Und hab’ ich den Tag mit Andacht begonnen,
Tagüber gelebt in stillem Entzücken,
So leb’ ich jetzt träumend,
Die Arbeit versäumend
Von dem, was sie schenkte in Worten und Blicken.

So hängen noch lang nach dem Scheiden des Tages
In säuselnder Nachtluft, beim säuselnden Winde,
Die Bienlein wie trunken
Und wonneversunken
An zitternden Blüten der duftigen Linde.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]-Stanza (strophe) 1.  Introduction and Line 1.  Most of the song’s lines and phrases begin with an upbeat of four eighth notes, which is essentially 1-1/3 beats in the 9/8 meter.  This is even true of the introduction, which anticipates the opening descent of the first vocal line in both hands.  It halts on the downbeat, but then internal harmonies establish the swaying 9/8 rhythm.  The line is in two parallel segments.  The first echoes the introduction and pushes it forward in a sighing downward leap, with pulsing harmonies in the piano right hand doubling the voice, and actively rising upbeats in the left-hand bass.  The second segment creates a sequence, shifting the whole structure up a step, to harmony suggesting B-flat. 
0:11 [m. 5]--Line 2.  For this line, the voice and piano suddenly become hushed.  The suggestion of B-flat is continued without an actual arrival there, now revealed as B-flat minor, not major.  Here the two segments of the line are set to the same music rather than with a sequential shift.  The voice gently rises and falls, doubled by pulsing thirds in the right hand.  The left-hand figures are especially poignant, rising to an accented dissonance on the downbeat that then resolves down in the first segment, but not the second.
0:15 [m. 7]--Lines 3-4.  These two short lines are set like the previous line segments.  The key of B-flat minor continues.  Line 3 dips down on the upbeat, and then the piano begins new figuration, with three-note descents in the right hand.  Line 4 reverses the direction of the upbeat and finally reaches a cadence in B-flat minor, with the second syllable of “Gedanken” lengthened to a full measure, expanding the line to three measures instead of two.  The three-note descents continue, their lower notes sliding down by half-step, leading to the preparatory “dominant” in the home key, slowing under the held vocal note.  The line ends with a weak syllable on a strong beat, but this is offset by delaying the harmonic resolution by a beat.
0:23 [m. 10]--Line 5, first statement.  The upbeat is nearly simultaneous with the resolution toward the home key in the previous line, but then the first statement is nearly identical to the first line with its rising sequence, still naturally dividing into “segments” despite the lack of a comma.  The louder volume level returns, and it builds.  At the end, the harmony is subtly altered to facilitate a motion toward the “subdominant” D-flat instead of B-flat minor.  The “relative” relationship of these two keys (D-flat major and B-flat minor) makes this a natural shift.
0:29 [m. 12]--Line 5, second statement (first segment).  The climax arrives with the lengthened restatement of the final line.  It begins with only a one-note instead of a four-note upbeat, but then the notes are all lengthened to full beats, resulting in many tripled note values.  The full restatement is a measure longer than any three of the previous lines combined (1-3, 2-4, or 3-5, first statement).  After the initial upward slide, the voice swoops down in stepwise motion on these longer notes, the right hand doubling them in the first notes of its three-note descents.  The “tenor” voice in the left hand moves up in contrary motion.  The harmony emphasizes D-flat major and B-flat minor.  The volume quickly diminishes.
0:34 [m. 14]--Line 5, second statement (second segment).  The forward motion is arrested with the second segment.  The piano halts on a colorful “diminished seventh” harmony as the voice continues downward on its full-beat notes, slowing.  The final word is greatly expanded to a full three measures, at the same time stretching out the harmonic arrival.  The voice leaps up, holds on an expanded “suspension,” then resolves to the cadence.  Below the “suspension,” the piano’s arrival on the preparatory “dominant” is exquisitely delayed by internal motion with strong dissonances.  When the “dominant” arrives, it is short, moving directly to the final held A-flat chord.  The delay helps mitigate the last weak syllable on a strong beat.
0:44 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 2.  Introduction and line 1.  In the strophic repetition, Brahms changes the declamation of the first segment to better fit the different placement of iambic and anapestic poetic feet.  He has already planned for this, allowing for two possible two-note groups to accommodate one syllable.  In the first stanza, this was during the upbeat, and here it is on the sighing downward leap.  The second segment, with one extra syllable as in the first stanza, is set the same, with two syllables in both places.
0:54 [m. 5]--Line 2.  It is sung as at 0:11, with one fewer syllable in the first segment, accommodated by joining two previously repeated notes.
0:59 [m. 7]--Lines 3-4, sung and declaimed as at 0:15.
1:07 [m. 10]--Line 5, first statement, as at 0:23.  The first segment is two syllables longer than in the first stanza.  There, both two-note groups (the same ones as in line 1) had used a single syllable.  Here they both use two syllables.  The second segment, as in line 1, has the same number of syllables as before.
1:13 [m. 12]--Line 5, second statement (first segment), as at 0:29.  Brahms has planned for the different declamation here by using two notes (here the longer full-beat notes) for single syllables at two spots in stanza 1.  Here, with the two extra syllables, every syllable is assigned a single note.
1:18 [m. 14]--Line 5, second statement (second segment), sung and declaimed as at 0:34.
1:30 [m. 18]--Stanza (strophe) 3.  Introduction and line 1, as at the beginning and 0:44 [m. 1].  Brahms probably wrote this stanza out because the declamation of line 1 is significantly different from either previous verse.  Here, the second segment (and thus the whole line) is a syllable longer.  Brahms accommodates this by setting the first segment as in stanza 2, but then holding the high note before the “sighing” downward leap an eighth longer.  He then shortens the bottom note of the leap to use it for the extra unaccented syllable of the second segment (“nach”) instead of as a second note for the word “lang.”
1:40 [m. 22]--Line 2, as at 0:11 and 0:54 [m. 5].  It is declaimed as in stanza 1.  Brahms changed the original “schweigender” (“silent”) to “säuselnder” (“rustling”).  This does result in the adjective “säuselnd” being sung twice to the same notes, but there is no parallel to this in the other stanzas.
1:46 [m. 24]--Lines 3-4, sung and declaimed as at 0:15 and 0:59 [m. 7].
1:54 [m. 27]--Line 5, first statement, as at 0:23 and 1:07 [m. 10], declaimed as in stanza 2.
2:01 [m. 29]--Line 5, second statement (first segment), as at 0:29 and 1:13 [m. 12].
2:05 [m. 31]--Line 5, second statement (second segment), as at 0:34 and 1:18 [m. 14].
2:21--END OF SONG [34 mm. ([17x2] +17)]


4. Juchhe! (Hurrah!).  Text by Robert Reinick.  Con moto.  Strophic form (AAA’).  E-FLAT MAJOR, 6/8 time.  (Low key C major).

German Text:
Wie ist doch die Erde so schön, so schön!
Das wissen die Vögelein:
Sie heben ihr leicht’ Gefieder,
Und singen so fröhliche Lieder
In den blauen Himmel hinein.

Wie ist doch die Erde so schön, so schön!
Das wissen die Flüss’ und Seen:
Sie malen im klaren Spiegel
Die Gärten und Städt’ und Hügel,
Und die Wolken, die drüber geh’n!

Und Sänger und Maler wissen es,
Und es wissen’s viel and’re Leut’!
Und wer’s nicht malt, der singt es,
Und wer’s nicht singt, dem klingt es
Im Herzen vor lauter Freud’!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Introduction.  It is not included in the strophic repetitions.  Three “horn call” gestures are played in arpeggios of the “tonic” E-flat chord, rising in inversion each time, the hands doubled in octaves.  These “horn calls” are joyous, but restrained in volume.
0:03 [m. 4]--Stanza 1 (A).  Lines 1-2.  Beginning with a characteristic upbeat, the voice bounces up and back down in the swinging 6/8 meter.  The piano provides an active but light accompaniment in restless repeated high chords that follow the mildly chromatic implications of the vocal melody.  After the voice finishes the line, the left hand echoes the vocal line with faster notes (“diminution”).  Line 2 is then sung twice with a similar descending shape.  The first statement moves from E-flat to the “dominant” B-flat, and the second moves back home.  Under the sung line, the left hand plays a held drone, but each statement is given its own faster left-hand echo.  A call to attention on repeated B-flat prepares the next lines.
0:15 [m. 16]--Lines 3-4.  Line 3 is sung twice to the same music, a downward-arching line harmonized by the piano in doubled thirds and separated by the “call to attention.”  A second “call” shifts upward, and line 4, with the same shape, is sung a step higher in F minor.  Another upward shift on the “call” leads to two isolated interjections of “und singen” on G-flat major, the increase in activity generating excitement.  The piano then shifts up again and echoes these short interjections on “diminished seventh” harmony, wrenching the key back home in preparation for the climactic final line.
0:23 [m. 25]--Line 5.  The voice soars up to its highest pitch and works its way downward, repeating “in den Himmel hinein” and moving strongly to the “dominant” key B-flat.  The declamation here places a syllable on every note, which the shorter repetition in stanza 2 will not do.  Brahms indicates that there should be a significant slowing at this climax, followed by a quick return to the main tempo.  The piano doubles the vocal line with block harmonies.  After the voice’s closing leap, the piano interjects three of the short figures used for the “und singen” repetitions.  The full line is then repeated to a swooping downward arch with longer notes on the highest and lowest pitches, rising at the end to a full arrival on B-flat.
0:31 [m. 31]--Interlude.  Three sweeping and rapid upward scales in B-flat are played first in the right hand and then twice in the left hand against the “restless” repeated figures whose harmonies gradually expand downward.  After its second sweeping scale, the left hand descends in isolated notes, moving back home to E-flat as the volume diminishes.  The right-hand harmonies prepare for the strophic repetition.
0:38 [m. 4]--Stanza 2 (A).  Lines 1-2.  Sung as in stanza 1 at 0:03.  The first line is textually identical to stanza 1, and the second is parallel, with no change in syllabic declamation.  The stanza is written out without repeat sign in the Peters editions, beginning with m. 38.
0:50 [m. 16]--Lines 3-4, as at 0:15.  The stanza replaces the two clauses of stanza 1 with a continuous thought that is not easily separated.  This creates a problem in the strophic repetition.  Brahms now sets the continuous lines 3-4 to the repeated music that had been used for two statements of line 3.  He then sets a repetition of line 3 to the sequential music in F minor that had previously set line 4 of stanza 1.  Because he does not have obvious words like “und singen” to repeat on the isolated G-flat interjections, Brahms simply repeats most of line 4, omitting “und Städt’,” the second element from the series of three.  It is a clever but imperfect solution to the problem.
1:00 [m. 25]--Line 5, as at 0:23.  The number of syllables is the same as in stanza 1, but the accentuation requires a slight change in declamation, with an extra note added for the second syllable of “Wolken” and two notes assigned to the first syllable of “drüber.”  The repeated text, “die drüber gehn” is two syllables shorter, facilitated both by two notes on the first “gehn” and another two-note first syllable of “drüber.”  In the full repetition, “Wolken” is assigned to two notes previously used for the first syllable of “blauen,” and the first syllable of “drüber” is given two notes for the third time.
1:08 [m. 31]--Interlude, as at 0:31.
1:14 [m. 38 (m. 72 in Peters edition)]--Stanza (strophe) 3 (A’).  Lines 1-2, sung as in the first two stanzas at 0:03 and 0:38 [m. 4].  The only change is a two-note upbeat for both statements of line 2, which here has an anapestic foot instead of an iambic one.  In the first statement, there is even a new note and descent.
1:27 [m. 50]--Lines 3-4 and line 5 (first statement).  The strophic variation sneaks in here.  Line 3 is heard to the expected arching shape as at 0:15 and 0:50 [m. 16], but then, instead of a direct repetition of text or music, line 4 is sung to the same shape at the same level but shifted to minor.  The upward shift occurs, but it is a half-step instead of a whole step, and for the first time, the fifth line of the stanza is sung to the shape, harmonized in E major.  The second upward shift and the short vocal interjections are omitted.  The music instead shifts to the three piano interjections on “diminished seventh” harmony a step lower than before, building strongly.
1:34 [m. 57]--Line 5 (second statement).  While this is analogous to 0:23 and 1:00 [m. 25], it is changed to a joyously emphatic climax that strongly asserts the home key.  The line begins with a broad and forceful arrival from the preceding “diminished seventh” and works down in swinging long-short rhythm, with two notes for each syllable of “lauter Freud.”  The piano harmonizes the vocal line, offset from it by strong syncopation on the right-hand chords, the left hand playing solid bass octaves on the beat.  The words “vor lauter Freud” are repeated to continuing downward movement, the volume now steadily receding.  Finally, repeating the last notes and going back to line 4, interjections are sung on “dem klingt es” and “im Herzen.”
1:41 [m. 64]--At a quiet level but with a swell, the words “vor lauter Freud!” are given one last exclamatory statement with the voice leaping up and then moving down by half-step over four notes on “lauter.”  That word is given an extra repetition (sung five times in all, more than any other word) on a long note leading into the surprisingly quiet vocal cadence.  The piano harmonizes all of this, no longer with syncopation.
1:48 [m. 68]--Postlude.  At the vocal cadence, the piano bass enters on the perhaps-forgotten “horn call” gestures not heard since the introduction.  After the voice cuts off its note, the right hand joins the left an octave above in two more statements.  These are lower than in the introduction and the inversions are in different order, such that the last one is on the same level as the first from the introduction.  This swells in volume to forte leading into the three final chords, which close the song with a benedictory “plagal” cadence, the wide left-hand chords resonantly rolled.
2:02--END OF SONG [73 mm. (3+[34 x 2] +36); 107 mm. in Peters edition]


5. Wie die Wolke nach der Sonne (As the Cloud for the Sun).  Text by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben.  Poco Andante.  Varied strophic form (AABA’).  B MAJOR, 4/4 time.  (Low key A-flat major).

German Text:
Wie die Wolke nach der Sonne
Voll Verlangen irrt und bangt,
Und durchglüht vom Himmelswonne
Sterbend ihr am Busen hangt;

Wie die Sonnenblume richtet
Auf die Sonn’ ihr Angesicht
Und nicht eh’r auf sie verzichtet
Bis ihr eig’nes Auge bricht;

Wie der Aar auf Wolkenpfade
Sehnend steigt in’s Himmelszelt
Und berauscht vom Sonnenbade
Blind zur Erde niederfällt:

So auch muß ich schmachten, bangen,
Späh’n und trachten, dich zu seh’n,
Will an deinen Blicken hangen
Und an ihrem Glanz vergeh’n.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  Lines 1-2.  There is no introduction.  Beginning with a long-short rhythm, the voice gently arches up and leaps down twice on the same gesture for the first line.  The piano’s left hand, harmonized in thirds and sixths, doubles the vocal melody, as does the right hand, echoing after the beat.  The second line reaches higher without the long-short rhythm.  The right hand continues to double the melody after the beat, adding fifths and thicker harmonies, but the left hand now has a more solid bass, with two upward leaps and then a descent.  The phrase closes on the keynote chord, the voice on its third.
0:13 [m. 5]--Lines 3-4.  The third line turns toward the “subdominant” key (E major), with a gentle upward leap and descent, again using the long-short rhythm.  The piano, however, plays the original melody from line 1 in both hands as a counterpoint, the right hand still after the beat and the left hand having a more “horn-like” character.  Line 4 is lengthened, beginning with a small climax on a held high note, then slowing and diminishing.  It descends with a striking motion through A major.  The piano also descends, no longer strictly doubling the voice but retaining the right-hand after-beat echoes.  The harmony turns back to E and then to the “dominant” in the home key, the melody ending inconclusively on the “leading tone.”
0:27 [m. 9]--In an interlude coinciding with the end of the vocal line, the piano twice restates the opening gesture, still with the same pattern.  In the first ending [mm. 11a-12a], both hands hover on the last notes of the gesture, rocking up and down on the dissonant “dominant ninth” harmony, then finally adding a longer pause between higher and lower notes, still with the “echo” effect leading into the strophic repeat.
0:42 [m. 1]--Stanza 2 (A).  Lines 1-2, sung as in stanza 1.
0:56 [m. 5]--Lines 3-4, sung as at 0:13.
1:11 [m. 9]--Interlude, as at 0:27.  The second ending [mm. 11b-12b] lowers the dissonant “ninth” above the “dominant” chord, suggesting the minor key, then changes to a sparse pure “dominant” in the measure with the longer pause, in preparation for the contrasting third stanza in minor.
1:25 [m. 13]--Stanza 3 (B).  Lines 1-2.  Line 1 begins with the same figure as the opening stanzas, transformed to minor and now at a strong forte, but already in the second measure it works higher to illustrate the eagle in the text.  The accompaniment is also changed.  The left hand retains similar patterns, but the right hand has off-beat triplets (missing their opening note), with repeated upper notes.  Both hands still double the voice, the right hand with harmonies under the top notes of the off-beat triplets.  At line 2, the voice soars to the song’s highest pitch, adding another upward leap in a descent to “dominant” harmony.  The vocal doubling in the piano breaks in the last measure of the second line.
1:37 [m. 17]--Lines 3-4.  In line 3, the voice again reaches up twice to the highest pitch, doubled by both hands of the piano, the right hand still using the off-beat incomplete triplets with repeated upper notes.  In line 4, the voice descends from that top note chromatically, in continuous half-steps the distance of a “tritone,” with longer notes on the first syllable of “nieder” and on the final note.  The piano doubles this striking chromatic descent in both hands, below the top repeated note B in the right hand.  The volume also diminishes at the end of this descent.  In a brief two-measure interlude the piano slows and thins on preparatory “dominant” harmony with one accented dissonance and resolution in the left hand.
1:59 [m. 23]--Stanza 4 (A’).  Lines 1-2.  The voice and the left hand are the same as in stanzas 1-2, but the right hand continues with the patterns of the previous stanza, the incomplete off-beat triplets with repeated upper notes, now leggiero, retaining the vocal doubling in its lower voices.  At the end of line 2, these off-beat triplets obtain a distinctively bell-like character, rising with and above the voice.
2:13 [m. 27]--Lines 3-4.  Again, the vocal line is the same as in stanzas 1-2, and the left hand has one minor adjustment in the first measure.  The right hand continues the pattern of off-beat incomplete triplets and, in its lower voices and together with the left hand, retains the melodic counterpoint from lines 1-2 under the new melody, as the piano had done in those first two stanzas.  The descent through A major and the conclusion on the “leading tone” follow the pattern of the earlier stanzas, the right hand retaining the triplets, but abandoning the pedal-like repeated upper notes.
2:27 [m. 31]--Line 4 is given an extended repetition as a gentle postlude, beginning with a long syncopated note held over a bar line.  The accompaniment resembles the interlude after the first two stanzas, including the reiterated “dominant ninth.”  Again, the variation is the off-beat triplets in the right hand, which now briefly break to emphasize the melodic motion under the long vocal notes.  The same pattern is reiterated for two measures, then changes harmony to the “subdominant” and back for another two.  The voice reiterates the same note (E) before descending on “Glanz” and then reaching back up to another held E. 
2:40 [m. 35]--Under the held high note at the end of the repeated line, the piano has another long descent, reaching the lower range.  The last word “vergeh’n” is given another repetition, tenderly ending on the fifth of the chord as the piano motion ceases on its cadence.  The right hand still follows the left on the last held chord, which is played in the low and middle range.  There is no piano-only postlude.
3:00--END OF SONG [37 mm.] 


6. Nachtigallen schwingen (Nightingales Beat).  Text by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben.  Allegro non troppo.  Ternary form (ABA’).  A-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4 time.  (Low key F major).

German Text:
   Nachtigallen schwingen
   Lustig ihr Gefieder;
   Nachtigallen singen
   Ihre alten Lieder.
   Und die Blumen alle,
   Sie erwachen wieder
   Bei dem Klang und Schalle
   Aller dieser Lieder.

Und meine Sehnsucht wird zur Nachtigall
Und fliegt in die blühende Welt hinein,
Und fragt bei den Blumen überall:
Wo mag doch mein, mein Blümchen sein?

    Und die Nachtigallen
    Schwingen ihren Reigen
    Unter Laubeshallen
    Zwischen Blütenzweigen,
    Von den Blumen allen --
    Aber ich muß schweigen.
    Unter ihnen steh’ ich
    Traurig sinnend still;
    Eine Blume seh’ ich,
    Die nicht blühen will.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]
--Stanza 1 (A).  A two-measure forte introduction sets up the high “twittering” accompaniment, beginning with an upbeat using the last two notes of a triplet rhythm.  The harmony is very ambiguous despite using no notes outside the key.  It does not use the keynote at all, instead vacillating between thirds based on D-flat and G, which together create the unstable “half-diminished seventh.”  The first and third beats of each measure are held over into the second and fourth, which are completed with the two-note triplet upbeat.  The hands are doubled an octave apart, the left hand in the treble clef through the stanza.
0:04 [m. 3]--Lines 1-2.  The poem’s unusual structure, with a short stanza of longer lines between two stanzas of shorter lines, is exploited by Brahms.  In this opening stanza, two poetic lines are effectively combined into one musical line.  The piano moves from the introduction into patterns of continuous triplets, without the held notes, alternating upper and lower harmonies, the hands moving away from being doubled.  They are now molto staccato e leggiero.  The ambiguous harmony moves to the “dominant” and other stable harmonies after the voice enters.  The voice swoops down, then reaches high for the first two lines, using “straight” rhythm and ending in the “dominant” key, with suspended harmonies in the piano triplets.
0:10 [m. 6]--Lines 3-4.  The three-measure phrase is again used for this pair of lines.  With the presence of the “dominant” note E-flat, the ambiguous harmonies from the beginning are revealed to be the colorful “ninth chord,” which moves to the regular “dominant” and other familiar harmonies in the piano triplets.  The voice begins with the same gesture as the previous phrase, but instead of reaching high, it moves lower and back home toward A-flat without reaching a full cadence there. 
0:15 [m. 9]--Lines 5-6.  The harmony here shifts strikingly to D-flat major, the “subdominant.”  The vocal line gradually works its way up to a high pitch over the two lines, again set to a three-measure phrase.
0:22 [m. 12]--Lines 7-8.  These lines are expanded, line 7 to two measures and line 8 to three to create a five-measure phrase.  At the beginning of line 7, which is suddenly hushed, the “subdominant” harmony turns to minor, and then the key turns back home to A-flat.  The voice starts on a high minor-key dissonance, then moves down by half-step.  The harmonies become dissonant, moving to the “diminished seventh.”  At the final line, the piano suddenly halts its triplet patterns, wrenching back to the major key in long chords as the voice gently descends to a full cadence.  At a long vocal note on “Liebe,” the triplet patterns start again in the right hand only, continuing over the sustained left hand through the cadence.
0:33 [m. 17]--In a two-measure interlude, the left hand drops out, and the triplet patterns in the right hand stall, holding on the second and fourth beats of the measure, creating syncopation, in contrast to the strong downbeats in the introduction.  After the first measure, the third above A-flat dips to minor, the volume diminishing to pianissimo, preparing the striking change to E major for the shorter middle verse.
0:37 [m. 19]--Stanza 2 (B).  Line 1.  The mood is much calmer, marked “äußerst zart” (“extremely tender”).  For the first time, the piano left hand ventures to the bass range and bass clef.  The singer intones the line in two gentle sighing motions, beginning on an upbeat.  The left-hand bass has a mild chromatic motion.  The right hand has high harmonies off the beat, now in “straight” rhythm instead of triplets for this line only.  This is another three-measure phrase.
0:45 [m. 22]--Line 2.  The melodic contour is the same as in line 1, but it is now sung in quarter-note triplet rhythm.  The piano also changes to this triplet rhythm, with three off-beat harmonies in the right hand for each triplet rhythmic unit.  Because of the compression into triplets, the phrase is only two measures.
0:51 [m. 24]--Line 3.  For this line, the harmony ventures to the “relative minor” (C-sharp minor) and the “subdominant” (A major) and back to E.  The voice descends in swaying motion, with long notes moving to shorter notes, still in the triplet subdivision.  The off-beat harmonies in the right hand also continue their triplet patterns.  The chords include dissonant repeated “suspensions.”  The left-hand bass takes on a drone-like character.  The phrase is again two measures.
0:58 [m. 26]--Line 4.  This line uses the same descent, now in more direct triplet motion, with a pause between the two clauses and the repeated word “mein.”  The “subdominant” on A is inflected to minor, alternating with the central E major.  The line is then given an abbreviated repetition to just the words “wo mein Blümchen sein?”  The first two of these words are isolated, and “Blümchen sein” is stretched out, but the melodic and harmonic motion is simply a skeleton version of the first statement.
1:11 [m. 30]--Interlude/transition.  Abruptly, the familiar “twittering” triplets from the first stanza return, with the left hand back in the treble clef.  There are two bars like the introduction, with the held strong beats and two-note upbeats.  The harmony is a “dominant” chord suggesting a motion to A major, not A-flat major.  The hands are doubled on the upper harmonies, but not the lower ones.  In the third measure, the continuous triplet rhythm begins, still on the same harmony.  The volume has built steadily toward the return.  Finally, a fourth measure converts the harmony to a “diminished seventh” that also seems like it is headed to A, but when the voice comes in, a simple shift will move it down toward the main key of A-flat.
1:19 [m. 34]--Stanza 3 (A’).  Lines 1-2.  The voice part is as at 0:04 [m. 3].  The piano is almost the same, especially in the right hand, but the extremely subtle shift back to “dominant” harmonies in A-flat makes the harmonies in the triplets clearer at the outset, and the left hand is thinned out to single notes in the second and third measures.
1:24 [m. 37]--Lines 3-4.  Here, both the voice and piano are essentially as in stanza 1 at 0:10 [m. 6].
1:30 [m. 40]--Lines 5-6.  The setting is like that at 0:15 [m. 9], with the shift to the “subdominant” key.  The voice and the right hand begin as they did before.  The left hand, however, adds an entirely new element, abandoning the triplets and dipping down to the tenor/alto register, where it plays a long rising arpeggio in straight quarter notes, following the harmony of the right-hand triplets.  The sudden hush to piano now happens here instead of at the next phrase.  Another small but significant change adds a pungent minor-key inflection to both the voice and piano in the second measure.
1:36 [m. 43]--Lines 7-8.  The stanza is two lines longer than stanza 1.  Line 7 is set essentially as 0:22 [m. 12], with the minor-key shifts and the vocal descent by half-step, but the left hand again has a broad line in quarter notes, this time leaping up and plunging down in each of the two measures.  Brahms accommodates the extra lines by setting line 8 to a new upward sequence of the two-bar line 7 pattern, the voice reaching the song’s highest pitch and the harmony emphasizing the minor version of the “dominant” E-flat key.
1:45 [m. 47]--Lines 9-10.  The poet imagines himself as the flower that will not bloom.  After the inserted line 8, line 9 here is like the original line 8 from stanza 1, with the descent that previously led to a cadence.  As it did there, the piano halts its triplet patterns, but the harmonies here have poignant chromatic inflections.  Instead of leaping to a long note, line 10 continues down in a new extension.  The harmonies in the piano are still chromatic and tinged with minor.  Finally, the voice reaches up and resolves down, closing gently on the wistful, open-ended third of the home chord while the piano lengthens its chords.
1:54 [m. 50]--The voice reiterates its resolution as the piano reaches its cadence, merging it into a tender postlude.  The left hand moves down to the bass clef again, and its “tenor” voice slides up and back down by half-step over a pedal bass A-flat.  The right hand plays the A-flat chord after the beats in syncopation.  After two measures, a third closes this beautiful song with open fifths in the left hand, leaping again to the higher register, and two more chords after the downbeat in the right, now also with the wistful third on top.
2:13--END OF SONG [52 mm.]
END OF SET


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