NINE SONGS (LIEDER UND GESÄNGE), OP. 63
If one discounts the “Magelone” song cycle, Op. 33, the
highest number of solo songs Brahms grouped together was nine, which he
did three times. The only set between Op. 43 and Op. 121 that is
not in a consecutive grouping of three or four opus numbers (not
counting the special case of the Op. 91 viola songs), Op. 63 shares
more affinity with Opp. 57-59 than it does with Opp. 69-72. As in
those sets, Brahms used the title “Lieder und Gesänge,” combining
the two German words for “song,” which suggests a higher level of
diversity. In truth, the songs of Op. 63 all show a rather
similar character. They are all polished, satisfying pieces with
some highly creative forms. Moreover, Op. 63 shows a very strong
cyclic tendency with its consecutive groupings of three poets.
The first four songs to texts by Schenkendorf are extremely imaginative
and even experimental. The first, “Frühlingstrost,” takes up
an unusual number of score pages. It is not particularly long,
but it does move fast, and features what must be the most elaborate,
busy, and virtuosic piano part in the entire song output, along with an
exuberant vocal line that requires the singer to project over the very
active piano. “Erinnerung” has a remarkably drawn-out tempo
acceleration that creates a sense of fulfillment at its climax.
“An ein Bild” also uses this extended acceleration. “An die
Tauben” is another fast-moving song with a difficult piano part.
The song’s colorful harmonies highlight key moments of the text.
The next two songs are by the unpublished poet Felix Schumann, none
other than the youngest son of Robert and Clara Schumann (and Brahms’s
own godson). Brahms set two of Felix’s youthful poems under the
appropriate title “Junge Lieder” (“Young Songs”). The first of
them fits the exuberance and virtuosity of the Schenkendorf songs,
while the second is more quietly lyrical, forming a bridge to the last
three songs, all by Klaus Groth. Groth was a good friend of
Brahms, who held his poetry in very high regard. The
juxtaposition of Groth with Felix Schumann (who died at a young age)
was perhaps Brahms’s way of setting the youthful against the
mature. Indeed, the three Groth settings, which Brahms entitled
“Heimweh” (“Homesickness”), are rather somber, if not quite tragic
meditations, and they have quite the opposite emotional affect from the
Schenkendorf songs. The second of the three, the eighth of the
set, is by far the most familiar, and has become one of his most
beloved songs. Three of the nine songs are, remarkably, in the
relatively unusual 6/4 meter.
Recording: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Daniel Barenboim, piano
[DG 449 633-2]
Note: Links to English translations of the texts are from Emily Ezust’s
site at http://www.recmusic.org/lieder.
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 (First Edition from Brahms-Institut
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Edition Peters, edited
1: Frühlingstrost (original key)
2: Erinnerung (original key)
3: An ein Bild (original key)
4: An die Tauben (original key)
5: Junge Lieder I (original key)
5: Junge Lieder I (in low key, C major)
6: Junge Lieder II (original key)
7: Heimweh I
8: Heimweh II (original key)
8: Heimweh II (in low key, C major)
9: Heimweh III (original key)
1. Frühlingstrost (Spring Comfort). Text by Max
Gottfried von Schenkendorf. Lebhaft (Lively). Rondo form
(ABACA). A MAJOR, 6/4 time.
Es weht um mich Narzissenduft
Es spricht zu mir die Frühlingsluft:
Erwach im roten Morgenglanz,
Dein harrt ein blütenreicher Kranz,
Nur mußt du kämpfen drum und tun
Und länger nicht in Träumen ruhn;
Komm, Lieber, komm aufs Feld hinaus,
Du wirst im grünen Blätterhaus
Wir sind dir alle wohlgesinnt,
Du armes, liebebanges Kind,
Warst immer treu uns Spielgesell,
Drum dienen willig dir und schnell
Zur Liebsten tragen wir dein Ach
Und kränzen ihr das Schlafgemach
Wir wollen, wenn du von ihr gehst
Und einsam dann und traurig stehst,
Erwach im morgenroten Glanz,
Schon harret dein der Myrtenkranz,
Der Frühling kündet gute Mär’,
Und nun kein Ach, kein Weinen mehr,
In all five stanzas, Brahms repeats the short three-syllable rhyming
third and sixth lines (one or two words). The sixth line of each
stanza except the fourth is stated a total of three times.
0:00 [m. 1]--The piano
introduction sets the exceedingly lively mood. The use of triplet
rhythm within the context of the large 6/4 bars creates a rather broad
sweep, despite the fast tempo. The main right hand line,
featuring a distinctive opening leap of a sixth, creates mild
syncopation against the very active left hand, which plays undulating
arpeggios in triplets.
0:08 [m. 5]--Stanza 1 (A)--The singer enters and echoes the
piano’s broad, sweeping line, but at a much quieter level. The
piano’s hands reverse as the singer enters, the left hand now playing
the broad, syncopated line and the right hand taking the busy triplets,
many of them difficult double notes. They are also regrouped into
patterns suggesting 3/2 rather than 6/4 and clash somewhat with the
metric pattern of the voice, increasing the forward momentum. The
first two lines are set to similar parallel phrases.
0:15 [m. 9]--The vocal line
reaches higher, increasing greatly in volume after the repetition of
“Geliebter,” and briefly moves to E major. The stanza culminates
in two long melismas (several
notes per syllable) after a held note on the second syllable of the
word “Betrübter.” At that point, the piano breaks into
sweeping upward arpeggios after a strong emphasis of the 3/2 grouping
in both hands (in m. 14). The second “Betrübter” abandons
the 3/2 grouping before another set of sweeping arpeggios leads to a
strong cadence in the home key on a third statement of the word.
0:34 [m. 19]--The piano
introduction is repeated as a bridge between verses, entering at the
cadence, but it is altered at the end to modulate to the closely
related key of E major.
0:41 [m. 23]--Stanza 2 (B). The stanza is set in E
major and is somewhat more contemplative. Although the material
is new, it is closely related to the main A section. The busy
accompaniment breaks a bit for a less active, but forceful dotted
rhythm containing chords and leaps. It returns to the earlier
quick triplet motion (in the 3/2 grouping) at the repeated third
0:52 [m. 29]--The fourth and
fifth lines are similar to the first two, but the melody is shifted
forward by a half-bar. The dotted rhythm in the accompaniment is
replaced by a smoother variant that still abandons the triplets.
At the fifth line, the right hand, in the melody’s original metric
position, anticipates the vocal line, which seems to imitate it.
The left hand plays wide-ranging arpeggios underneath this. Some
abbreviation at the end of the vocal line brings it back to the right
metric orientation. Although the long melismas are gone, the last line is
still repeated three times, with a brief pause on the last one--a bit
of a relief in this extraordinarily active song. The
accompaniment with triplet rhythm and 3/2 grouping again returns
1:07 [m. 36]--A very brief
interlude moves back to A major. The right hand triplets are
wide-ranging, as is the leaping left hand. Both move upward and
increase in volume. The grouping is ambiguous, but leans more
toward the 6/4 of the vocal melody.
1:10 [m. 38]--Stanza 3 (A). The musical material is
identical to that of stanza 1. The return of the main material is
unusually satisfying (and is again for stanza 5). The melismas are on the first syllable
1:35 [m. 52]--The piano
introduction is again repeated as a bridge, but is again altered for
yet another new key (D major). The left hand triplets slow to
straight rhythm in the half-bar leading into the verse, which did not
happen before stanza 2, and this transition also quiets considerably
more than did that one.
1:42 [m. 56]--Stanza 4 (C). There are some
similarities to B (stanza 2),
especially in the vocal line, but the material is further removed from A than was that section. The
key, D major, is completely new. Again, the setting seems more
contemplative. The accompaniment is also new, consisting largely
of light, detached arpeggios in parallel motion and straight rhythm
with 6/4 grouping. There is a vocal break after the repeated
1:53 [m. 62]--The piano bridges
to the fourth line, the right hand anticipating the descending vocal
melody while the left hand continues the light arpeggios. When
the voice enters, the breathless A
material makes a subtle return, but only the broadly syncopated left
hand line is used, not the triplets. The right hand instead takes
the light arpeggios back over from the left. The left hand
rejoins the right in parallel motion halfway through the fifth
line. The last line is only repeated once. The transitional
interlude comes to a brief pause, as after stanza 2, but it does not
involve the vocal line and does not change the accompaniment pattern.
2:13 [m. 71]--Stanza 5 (A). Another welcome return to
the main material follows the harmonic shift of the preceding
pause. In addition to rounding off the song musically, the
repeated lines (three-syllable rhyming words) are also the same as in
stanza 1. Instead of returning to the introduction at the end as
before, the “sweeping arpeggios” under “Betrübter” continue their
sweep for a short postlude after the singer finishes, ending with three
2:50--END OF SONG [87 mm.]
2. Erinnerung (Remembrance). Text by Max
Gottfried von Schenkendorf. Innig (Intimately). Arch-like
rondo form (ABA’B’A”). C MAJOR, 3/4 time.
Ihr wunderschönen Augenblicke,
Die Lieblichste der ganzen Welt
Hat euch mit ihrem ew’gen Glücke,
Mit ihrem süßen Licht erhellt.
Ihr Stellen, ihr geweihten Plätze,
Ihr trugt ja das geliebte Bild,
Was Wunder habt ihr, was für Schätze
Vor meinen Augen dort enthüllt!
Ihr Gärten all, ihr grünen Haine,
Du Weinberg in der süßen Zier,
Es nahte sich die Hehre, Reine,
In Züchten gar zu freundlich mir.
Ihr Worte, die sie da gesprochen,
Du schönstes, halbverhauchtes Wort,
Dein Zauberbann wird nie gebrochen,
Du klingst und wirkest fort und fort.
Ihr wunderschönen Augenblicke,
Ihr lacht und lockt in ew’gem Reiz.
Ich schaue sehnsuchtsvoll zurücke
Voll Schmerz und Lust und Liebesgeiz.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A). There is no
introduction. The music is genuinely nostalgic in character, with
a rocking, gentle 3/4 motion and a simple piano accompaniment with
subtle off-beat bass octaves. The vocal melody is sweet and
tender. After a gentle extension of the word “Licht” before the
cadence, a brief bridge introduces the accompaniment pattern of stanza
2, with its wide four-note bass arpeggios.
0:41 [m. 20]--Stanza 2 (B). The gentle character
continues. The vocal line is set in a higher register and the
accompaniment is more flowing., with steady left hand arpeggios.
The first line has a contour derived from the second line of stanza 1
and is in G major, the “dominant” key . The second line makes a
striking harmonic digression to E-flat major. At the very
beginning of the verse, Brahms indicates that the music is to become
“gradually more lively” until the return of the opening tempo at stanza
0:53 [m. 28]--The third line
moves immediately back to C. At that point, the piano starts a
subtle undermining of the 3/4 meter with groups of four notes
overlapping between the hands, descending in the right and ascending in
the left. The extremely gradual quickening is still barely
noticeable at the end of this verse, where the words “dort” and
“enthüllt” are lengthened. The short bridge before stanza 3
introduces mild syncopation in the right hand anticipating the
syncopated accompaniment to stanza 3.
1:10 [m. 40]--Stanza 3 (A’). Although the vocal line
is identical to that of stanza 1, the accompaniment is very
different. It is extremely syncopated, the right hand never
playing on the beat. This makes the music slightly more agitated
and aids the gradual acceleration that began in the last verse.
Brahms marks the music animato sempre
here. The lowest bass notes are on the downbeat, in contrast to
stanza 1. The following short bridge establishes the
accompaniment pattern of stanza 4, with descents grouped in threes.
1:34 [m. 59]--Stanza 4 (B’). The vocal line is the
same as in stanza 2, but the music is now moving significantly
faster. The accompaniment is changed to reflect this, the simple
right-hand chords of stanza 2 replaced by faster-moving notes grouped
in two sets of three notes per measure, again undermining the 3/4 meter
(the piano sounds as if it is in 6/8). The first note of each
group is usually doubled with another note. The left hand
arpeggios also add a fifth note on the second beat of each bar.
1:43 [m. 67]--The overlapping
groups of four enter at the third line, as before. The end of
this stanza is the final goal of the acceleration, and contains the
song’s only forte volume
level. Brahms directs the following bridge passage to return to
the opening tempo. It is very similar to the bridge after stanza
2, but without the syncopation, helping to restore the slower
tempo. The volume also rapidly diminishes.
1:58 [m. 79]--Stanza 5 (A”). For the most part, this
return to the music and tempo of the opening is the same as the first
stanza, mirroring the textual parallel (same opening line) between the
verses. The only major variation is in the accompaniment, where
the low bass octaves are now more solidly on the downbeats. There
are a couple of added “color” notes in lines 3 and 4.
2:37 [m. 96]--The bridge
passage that had led to stanza 2 is expanded into a calm and
slow-moving postlude. Its lengthened chords add to the mood of
longing and mild regret. The added material that brings the song
to a close is in the warm middle register, with resonant low bass notes.
3:03--END OF SONG [101 mm.]
3. An ein Bild (To a Portrait). Text by Max
Gottfried von Schenkendorf. Etwas langsam (Somewhat
slowly). Ternary/strophic form (AABB’A). A-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4
Was schaust du mich so freundlich an,
O Bild aus weiter Ferne,
Und winkest dem verbannten Mann?
Er käme gar zu gerne.
Die ganze Jugend tut sich auf,
Wenn ich an dich gedenke,
Als ob ich noch den alten Lauf
Nach deinem Hause lenke.
Gleich einem, der ins tiefe Meer
Die Blicke läßt versinken,
Nicht sieht, nicht hört, ob um ihn her
Viel tausend Schätze winken.
Gleich einem, der am Firmament
Nach fernem Sterne blicket,
Nur diesen kennt, nur diesen nennt
Und sich an ihm entzücket:
Ist all mein Sehnen, all mein Mut
In dir, o Bild, gegründet,
Und immer noch von gleicher Glut,
Von gleicher Lust entzündet.
The last line in every stanza is repeated. All except stanza 3
have “extra” repeated words, and stanza 4 omits a second statement of
some words to accommodate “extra” repetition of others.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A). A simple rising piano
arpeggio (beginning on an incomplete measure) leads into the sweet,
upward-striving vocal line. The accompaniment is simple but
varied, with some initial vocal doubling, off-beat chords, and low
left-hand octaves. These low left hand notes outline the opening
of the main melody with a much slower motion. They begin in the
second line, where the vocal phrase also starts to droop
0:14 [m. 6]--The third line
becomes more agitated at the mention of the “exiled man,” introducing
borrowed “color” notes from the minor key, left hand arpeggios, and
three-note downward turning figures in the piano that are derived from
the opening melody. The piano bass echoes the actual melody that
is sung here. In the fourth line and its repetition, the
downward-turning figures persist in the right hand, then the bass, with
a descending line in dotted rhythm beneath, then above them. The
melody itself becomes gentle again. The repetition reaches higher
for a lilting downward motion before the last three words “gar zu
gerne,” are given an “extra” repetition at the incomplete cadence.
0:34 [m. 13]--Stanza 2 (A). The same piano arpeggio
leads into the next verse, entering right after the cadence. It
is musically identical to stanza 1, but the text repetition is handled
differently. In the repeated last line, the word “deinem” is
stretched out, placing two syllables where four (“käme gar zu”) had been placed in stanza 1.
As a result, only the word “deinem” is given an “extra”
repetition. The “agitated” third line again illustrates the
poet’s distance with the mention of the “old path.”
1:04 [m. 25]--Stanza 3 (B). The same arpeggio begins,
but breaks into syncopated left-hand repeated notes. The new
musical material of the vocal line is similar to that of A, but has less of the
upward-striving character. It is, however, more agitated thanks
to the continuing left hand syncopation and several breathless two-note
descents. Brahms initiates a gradual acceleration and crescendo similar to that in
“Erinnerung,” the previous song. The third line moves to the home
minor key and its related major key of C-flat, and the syncopation
moves to the right hand. The last line is repeated in full with
no extra repetitions of words. The accompaniment pattern leads
into the next verse and back to the major key.
1:29 [m. 36]--Stanza 4 (B’). It is similar to the last
stanza, but quite varied. The first two vocal lines are set a
third higher, a striking effect. The accompaniment also sets the
right hand much higher, and any syncopations or chords after the beat
are in that hand. The left hand and bass line are much more
active, shadowing the vocal melody. The vocal line comes back to
that of stanza 3 at the third line, which retains the motion to C-flat
major and A-flat minor. The last line is not repeated in full,
leaving out “Und sich,” but “an ihm” is repeated twice.
1:48 [m. 44]--The music is
still agitated as the verse ends, leading into a more extended
transition back to the A
material and the major mode, beginning with a similar opening arpeggio
against lingering after-beat chords. Two references to the main
melody, the first one inverted, become more quiet and subdued before
the entrance of the main melody.
1:55 [m. 47]--Stanza 5 (A). The music is virtually
identical to that of the first two stanzas. Brahms does not
explicitly indicate a return to the opening tempo, but it is implied,
and this recording does include a slowing as the verse begins.
The text repetition is handled as in stanza 2, with “gleicher”
stretched out and repeated in the full restatement of the last
line. The most important change is at the final cadence, which
was open in the first two stanzas and now comes to a full, wide close,
followed only by a rolled chord.
2:43--END OF SONG [58 mm.]
4. An die Tauben (To the Pigeons). Text by Max
Gottfried von Schenkendorf. Sehr lebhaft (Very lively).
Rondo form (ABACA’). C MAJOR, 4/4 time.
Fliegt nur aus, geliebte Tauben!
Euch als Boten send’ ich hin;
Sagt ihr, und sie wird euch glauben,
Daß ich krank vor Liebe bin.
Ihr könnt fliegen, ihr könnt eilen,
Tauben, froh bergab und -an;
Ich muß in der Fremde weilen,
Ewig ein gequälter Mann.
Auch mein Brieflein soll noch gehen
Heut zu ihr, mein Liebesgruß,
Soll sie suchen auf den Höhen,
An dem schönen, grünen Fluß.
Wird sie von den Bergen steigen
Endlich in das Niederland?
Wird sie mir die Sonne zeigen,
Die zu lange schon verschwand?
Vögel, Briefe, Liebesboten,
Lied und Seufzer, sagt ihr’s hell:
Suche ihn im Reich der Toten,
Liebchen, oder komme schnell!
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A). The brief two-bar
introduction sets up the constant triplet rhythm that will be in the
accompaniment throughout the song. It creates a rather breathless
character. The vocal line is sweeping and disjunct, with many
leaps across the main chords in the key. The right hand takes
over the triplets while the left hand plays a skipping pattern with
many rests and double notes in a rhythm supporting the vocal
line. The first statement of the last line moves briefly away
from the key, to G major, C minor, and finally E-flat major, but a very
affirmative repetition of that line, with broken octaves in the bass,
brings the music back home. The following two-bar interlude
includes chromatic notes used during the harmonic diversion.
0:20 [m. 15]--Stanza 2 (B). The music is now somewhat
more assertive, with more solid punctuation in the piano left
hand. The vocal line moves generally down in each phrase instead
of up, as in A. The last
line is repeated, as in A.
The stanza begins in the “dominant” key, G major, but moves away.
The last two lines first seem to move naturally to E minor, but then
there is a sudden reappearance of the home-key harmony of C major in
the last line, which includes suddenly powerful descending bass
octaves. The repetition of the line is wrenched through F major
back to E, this time E major,
for the cadence. This cadence is the only brief break from the
constant triplets. The following interlude is longer (5 bars),
and moves home to C.
0:41 [m. 30]--Stanza 3 (A). The end of the preceding
interlude has restored the quiet, secretive character after the
assertive E-major cadence highlighting the “tormented man.” The
vocal line is the same as in stanza 1, including the motion away from C
and the return with the sweeping repetition of the last line. The
accompaniment is somewhat richer, adding many double notes to the line
with the triplet rhythm, which is split between the hands. The
skipping pattern is replaced by downbeat bass notes, which only move
away from the keynote C at the harmonic diversion. The bass
octaves under the repetition are not broken. The interlude begins
as after stanza 1, but is expanded by two measures to move to the new
key for stanza 4.
1:02 [m. 44]--Stanza 4 (C). The vocal line and even
the piano have similarities to B
(stanza 2), but the notes are entirely different. The stanza
begins in F major, but it is highly chromatic. The piano twice
moves from ascending arpeggios to the pattern of stanza 2. The
last line is again adventurous in its unstable key, which moves to the
distant A-flat major/minor, already suggested in the third line.
It is repeated as in other stanzas, but the words “die” and “schon” are
omitted, and “zu lange” is given an extra repetition. The
repeated line builds and moves the music through B-flat minor back home
to C, whose “dominant” chord arrives rather abruptly with a low bass
arpeggio under a lengthening of the word “lange.” The interlude
(again only two bars), now has downward-moving chords in the right hand
echoing the preceding vocal line.
1:22 [m. 57]--Stanza 5 (A’). It is obviously similar
to stanzas 1 and 3, but the voice is now higher, usually at a distance
of a third or a sixth above the original melody. The piano
actually does play the first two lines of the original melody in a high
register, often in octaves above the triplets of the left hand, which
moved there in the preceding interlude. The third line arrives at
E-flat, as it did in stanzas 1 and 3, but this key now comes via a
fresh-sounding A major. The repetition of line 4 is, however, as
in stanza 1, with the sweeping, affirmative cadence (and at the
original pitch level). A piano postlude includes more “color”
notes (very frequent in this song) and accented, syncopated
chords. The triplets are finally cut off with a loud chord.
1:48--END OF SONG [70 mm.]
5. Junge Lieder I (Songs of Youth I). Text by
Felix Schumann. Lebhaft (Lively). Two-part simple strophic
form. F-SHARP MAJOR, 4/4 time.
Meine Liebe ist grün wie der Fliederbusch,
und mein Lieb ist schön wie die Sonne,
die glänzt wohl herab auf den Fliederbusch
und füllt ihn mit Duft und mit Wonne.
Meine Seele hat Schwingen der Nachtigall,
und wiegt sich in blühendem Flieder,
und jauchzet und singet vom Duft berauscht
viel liebestrunkene Lieder.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1.
There is no introduction. The vocal line is extremely extroverted
and thrusts constantly forward. The accompaniment is very busy,
with a steadily moving left hand and constant syncopated chords in the
inner voice of the right. Under the first line, the left hand
plays a distinctive downward-winding pattern. The singer surges
upward in the related minor key (D-sharp), lingering on “Liebe” and
“grün” before moving to major when turning back downward.
The second line is sung twice to two shorter phrases, reaching a
half-cadence on the “dominant” key of C-sharp.
0:16 [m. 9]--The third and
fourth lines, both set to shorter phrases, very slightly diminish in
volume and intensity before surging forward again. Then line 4 is
repeated with an affirmative character that is asserted in an
upward-striving chromatic line, with longer notes and a phrase
stretched to the length of the first line (twice as long as that for
the second and third phrases as well as the first statement of the
0:30 [m. 16]--At the cadence, a
piano interlude breaks from the constant pattern of the verse and
introduces off-beat triplet rhythms. The bass and melody move in
opposite directions. The harmonies become richer and the music
comes to a pause. A single measure reintroduces the accompaniment
pattern of the verse, including the downward-winding left hand motion,
before the second verse erupts at a louder volume.
0:39 [m. 21]--Stanza 2.
Musically identical to stanza 1. The “lingering notes” are now on
“Seele” and “Schwingen.” The second line is again sung twice.
0:54 [m. 29]--The third and
fourth lines are sung as in stanza 1, with the lengthened repetition of
line 4 on the rising chromatic line.
1:08 [m. 36]--The previous
piano interlude in triplets now serves as a postlude. The measure
that had “returned” to the verse pattern leads to a surprisingly quiet
1:28--END OF SONG [41 mm.]
6. Junge Lieder II (Songs of Youth II). Text by
Felix Schumann. Zart bewegt (With tender motion).
Three-part simple strophic form. D MAJOR, 6/4 time.
Wenn um den Holunder der Abendwind kost
Und der Falter um den Jasminenstrauch,
Dann kos’ ich mit meinem Liebchen auch
Auf der Steinbank schattig und weich bemoost.
Und wenn vom Dorfe die Glocke erschallt
Und der Lerche jubelndes Abendgebet,
Dann schweigen wir auch, und die Seele zergeht
Vor der Liebe heiliger Gottesgewalt.
Und blickt dann vom Himmel der Sterne Schar
Und das Glühwürmchen in der Lilie Schoß,
Dann lasse ich sie aus den Armen los
Und küsse ihr scheidend das Augenpaar.
0:00 [m. 1]--A gentle
introduction, beginning with an upbeat, sets up the rocking,
lullaby-like motion. The broad 6/4 meter also contributes to
this. In the first bar, the left hand crosses above the right for
two notes, contributing to the harmony above the rocking internal
voice. The lead-in to the vocal entry is extended.
0:10 [m. 4]--Stanza 1.
The tender melody is accompanied by very subtle and gentle syncopation
in the piano. In the first line, the bass swings gradually
downward, alternating between the pitches D and A through three
octaves. The voice moves downward in the first line, and swings
upward with lilting skips as the second line begins.
0:22 [m. 8]--The third line
introduces some colorful harmonies, turning to the somewhat distant key
of F major amid more gentle vocal leaps. The fourth line begins
to head back home, moving through A major with another wide leap.
It is repeated, reaching a low, resonant and full cadence in D
major. A simple arpeggio leads to the next verse, with no real
0:44 [m. 15]--Stanza 2.
The vocal line is largely the same as in stanza 1, but the rhythm is
altered significantly to fit the declamation of the text. More
important is the variation in the piano under the first line, where the
bass, rather than swinging downward, is now entirely in the low
octaves, still on the pitches D and A. Here, the alteration helps
illustrate the ringing bells in the text.
0:55 [m. 19]--The third and
fourth lines also have significant changes in declamation, most notably
at the end, where the lowest note of the cadence is stretched out to
two notes over three beats to accommodate an extra syllable. The
piano accompaniment, however, is now the same as in stanza 1.
1:18 [m. 26]--Unlike the point
after stanza 1, the piano introduction is played again before stanza 3
after the arpeggio is halted with a dissonant note.
1:28 [m. 29]--Stanza 3.
Again, it is essentially the same as the other stanzas, with the
necessary variations for declamation. The piano accompaniment is
as in stanza 1 in the first line.
1:40 [m. 33]--The third and
fourth lines also contain new variations in declamation, particularly
at “küsse ihr,” but the final cadence is as in the first stanza,
with the shorter low note on one beat. The simple arpeggio leads
right to the close, with no extended postlude.
2:17--END OF SONG [40 mm.]
7. Heimweh I (Homesickness I). Text by
Klaus Groth. Zart bewegt (With tender motion). Three-part
strophic form with variation in the third strophe. G MAJOR, 2/4
time with two 3/4 bars.
Wie traulich war das Fleckchen,
Wo meine Wiege ging,
Kein Bäumchen war, kein Heckchen,
Das nicht voll Träume hing.
Wo nur ein Blümchen blühte,
Da blühten gleich sie mit,
Und alles sang und glühte
Mir zu bei jedem Schritt.
Ich wäre nicht gegangen,
Nicht für die ganze Welt! -
Mein Sehnen, mein Verlangen,
Hier ruht’s in Wald und Feld.
0:00 [m. 1]--A somewhat wistful
piano introduction, with a meandering line in the left hand, sets the
mood for the song. The right hand plays upward-floating double
notes against the winding descent of the left. It ends with a
highly expectant half-cadence.
0:09 [m. 5]--Stanza 1.
The wistful, rather sweet mood continues in the first part of the
verse. The vocal line floats down, then back up, then down again
on the second line. The second line is repeated with some
intensification, creating a five-bar phrase that ends on a
half-cadence. The left hand leads the piano accompaniment, the
right hand playing single and double notes, as well as three-note
chords, after the beats.
0:21 [m. 10]--While the
rhythmic pattern is maintained, both hands of the piano become more
static and more full in harmony. After a slight break to
establish this, the third vocal line makes a rather dark turn to minor
that is immediately shifted more hopefully to B-flat major. The
fourth line starts to move back home. This line, like the second,
is also repeated. A single 3/4 bar intrudes for this repetition,
which includes an internal reiteration of “das nicht.” The piano
briefly breaks its constant rhythm inside of the 3/4 bar.
0:37 [m. 16]--The vocal line
does not come to a complete cadence, but merges into a restatement of
the introduction with the meandering line moved to the right
hand. The left hand floats steadily upward with double notes, and
the anticipatory half-cadence is more rich and full, with a rolled
0:46 [m. 20]--Stanza 2. A
strophic repetition of the music of stanza 1, with repeated lines and
the intruding 3/4 measure. In the 3/4 bar, the internal
repetition is shifted forward, reiterating the word “jedem.”
1:14 [m. 31]--The introduction
is again stated after this verse with the moving line in the right
hand, as after stanza 1 at 0:37 [m. 16].
1:24 [m. 35]--Stanza 3.
While extremely similar to the preceding verses, there are subtle
differences from the beginning. The accompaniment is more halting
and less flowing, breaking the constant rhythmic pattern in the middle
of the first two bars. The declamation of the text takes on a
rather altered, more assertive rhythm in the first statement of line 2,
whose repetition now moves lower and to a stronger half-cadence.
1:37 [m. 40]--The approach to
line 3 is as in the first two stanzas. The line itself is
diverted to E-flat major instead of B-flat, a slightly more distant and
colorful harmonic motion. The result is a more emphatic
line. Line 4 does move back to G, but the line is somewhat
different. The repetition of this last line includes an expected
reiteration of “hier ruht’s,” but the 3/4 measure is omitted and the entire musical line
is the most altered in the verse, again through more
assertiveness. The bass line includes strong octaves, and breaks
the constant motion, playing only on every other beat. The right
hand follows suit in the last bar.
1:56 [m. 47]--The line now, of
course, comes to a complete close. A variation of the piano
introduction closes the song. The moving line is in the right
hand. The wistful mood is still there, but alterations in the
line and in the harmony add a slight tinge of melancholy to the final
bass octave and chord.
2:15--END OF SONG [49 mm.]
8. Heimweh II
(Homesickness II). Text
by Klaus Groth. Etwas langsam (Somewhat slowly).
Strophic/ternary form (ABB’A’). E MAJOR, 6/4 time with two 9/4
O wüßt ich doch den Weg zurück,
Den lieben Weg zum Kinderland!
O warum sucht’ ich nach dem Glück
Und ließ der Mutter Hand?
O wie mich sehnet auszuruhn,
Von keinem Streben aufgeweckt,
Die müden Augen zuzutun,
Von Liebe sanft bedeckt!
Und nichts zu forschen, nichts zu spähn,
Und nur zu träumen leicht und lind;
Der Zeiten Wandel nicht zu sehn,
Zum zweiten Mal ein Kind!
O zeig mir doch den Weg zurück,
Den lieben Weg zum Kinderland!
Vergebens such ich nach dem Glück,
Ringsum ist öder Strand!
0:00 [m. 1]--The first
“Heimweh” song is wistful, while this one is more deeply
introspective. The piano introduction sets up slow, sweeping
arches over the long 6/4 bars. The line is richly chromatic,
played over low bass octaves. The bass, then the arpeggios
introduce mild syncopation in the third and fourth bars
respectively. The piano pattern continues when the voice enters.
0:21 [m. 5]--Stanza 1 (A). The vocal line is also
slow and introspective, but not as chromatic as the underlying piano
arpeggios. Often, the voice moves in the opposite arch-like
trajectory from the piano, and always in slower note values. Line
2 introduces the same bass cross-rhythm heard in the introduction and
moves to the “dominant” key of B major.
0:40 [m. 9]--Line 3 moves
strikingly to the key of F major and introduces rests on the strong
beats before the right hand arpeggios. Line 4 restores the main
E-major key and the opening piano arpeggios. The words “der
Mutter Hand” are repeated over an inserted bar of 9/4, which creates a
moment of even more breadth. A variation of the first two bars of
the introduction leads to the next stanza.
1:14 [m. 15]--Stanza 2 (B). Brahms marks “Lebhafter
werdend” (“Becoming more lively”) at this point. The line is more
assertive. The piano abandons the long arpeggios in favor of a
flowing left hand under a right with rich chords after a few initial
syncopations. The verse is harmonically active. The first
line moves to G major, the second to E minor, the third and fourth to B
major, all quite natural progressions. The bass holds steady
under the fourth line. It is repeated to a new and rhythmically
shifted vocal contour, reaching a cadence in B major. The piano
chords lead smoothly to the next stanza.
1:52 [m. 25]--Stanza 3 (B’). Follows closely upon
stanza 3, and is extremely similar, with the only major difference
being a slightly more flowing second line (“Und nur zu träumen
leicht und lind”). The last line is repeated, as in stanza
2. A quick key change back to E, over a slowing of tempo to the
original pace on an isolated piano descent, leads to the final stanza.
2:32 [m. 36]--Stanza 4 (A’). The first two lines are
exactly as in stanza 1, as the parallel text would suggest. 2:53
[m. 40]--The last two lines make an extremely subtle, but dramatic
change. The slowly flowing accompaniment is suddenly aborted as
the key changes to F again. It is replaced by rather stark
off-beat octaves in the right hand descending by thirds. The
fourth line, including a similar text repetition (“öder Strand”),
and a 9/4 bar as before, retains the same contour, but is now set in E
minor, creating a seemingly pessimistic close. The accompaniment
to the line retains vestiges of the third line, with syncopation,
strong-beat rests, and abandonment of the arpeggios.
3:21 [m. 44]--Coinciding with
the last note of stanza 4, the long arpeggios of the piano introduction
return and restore the major mode. This creates a beautiful close
that almost negates the pessimistic ending of the last stanza, but the
many chromatic notes underscore the pervading melancholy mood to the
end. The third bar alters the original introduction material to
continue to climb upward to a “Phrygian” cadence (with a prominent
chromatic C-natural) onto a rolled and held E-major chord.
4:00--END OF SONG [47 mm.]
9. Heimweh III
(Homesickness III). Text
by Klaus Groth. Etwas langsam (Somewhat slowly).
Alternating strophic form (ABA’B’). A MAJOR, 2/4 time.
Ich sah als Knabe Blumen blühn -
Ich weiß nicht mehr, was war es doch?
Ich sah die Sonne drüber glühn -
Mich dünkt, ich seh’ es noch.
Es war ein Duft, es war ein Glanz,
Die Seele sog ihn durstend ein.
Ich pflückte sie zu einem Kranz -
Wo mag er blieben sein?
Ich such’ an jedem Blümchen nach
Um jenen Schmelz, um jenes Licht,
Ich forsche jeden Sommertag -
Doch solche find’ ich nicht.
Ihr wußtet nimmer, was ich trieb?
Ich suchte meinen alten Kranz.
Er war so frisch, so licht, so lieb -
Es war der Jugendglanz.
0:00 [m. 1]--A brief, mildly
syncopated piano introduction establishes the moderate walking speed
and the distinctive “upward-skipping” left hand figure that will
characterize the song.
0:04 [m. 3]--Stanza 1 (A). The music is somewhat
reminiscent of No. 7, “Heimweh I,” in its mood, but the protagonist
here seems rather more detached. The music maintains a steady,
walking pace. The left hand of the piano usually plays the
“upward-skipping” figure from the introduction, while the right
harmonizes with the voice in thirds and sixths, with expressive
chromatic notes. Line 3 makes a brief harmonic diversion to B
minor. The last line is repeated in a sweetly curving line that
serves as a kind of “refrain” in the song, closing off both the A and B verses. The piano plays
gentle syncopations in thirds under the “refrain.”
0:26 [m. 13]--The piano
introduction is repeated as the singer reaches the cadence.
0:30 [m. 15]--Stanza 2 (B). The music is now more
animated and the accompaniment is noticeably more sparse, especially in
the beginning, but the overall structure and character is actually
quite similar to that of the first stanza (A). From the third line,
triplet arpeggios are introduced. The harmonic diversions are to
different key areas (E major and C major), but remarkably, the music
settles seamlessly into the repetition of the fourth line (the
“refrain”) after a descending chromatic scale in the piano. The
vocal line of this repetition is exactly the same as in A, but the piano has a new
counter-melody that anticipates the vocal line.
0:53 [m. 26]--The piano
introduction is again heard unchanged at the cadence.
0:57 [m. 28]--Stanza 3 (A’). It is largely the same as
the first stanza, but Brahms makes a subtle and effective change to
line 2, extending it by a measure, inserting some chromatic notes, and
repeating the word “jenes.” From line 3, including the repetition
(“refrain”) of line 4, the music follows the pattern of stanza 1 again,
but the left hand becomes somewhat more active approaching and
including the refrain.
1:21 [m. 39]--Again, the
introduction is repeated unchanged at the cadence.
1:24 [m. 41]--Stanza 4 (B’). As with A’, this stanza only has a subtle,
but remarkable change from its model in stanza 2. Here it is in
line 3, where the singer takes a higher and more melodic line. In
stanza 2, the voice was more static here. It turns out that the
vocal line and the top voice of the piano are reversed from stanza
2. With line 4 and its repetition (“refrain”), the music again
follows the pattern of stanza 2.
1:48 [m. 52]--As in the other
stanzas, the original piano introduction enters on the final cadence.
It is now extended for another statement at a lower pitch level and
with richer harmonies, leading to the quiet close. The
“upward-skipping” figure in the left hand continues to the end.
2:10--END OF SONG [57 mm.]
END OF SET
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