SIX SONGS (LIEDER) FOR LOW VOICE, OP. 86
Recording: Jessye Norman, soprano (Nos. 1, 6); Dietrich
Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Daniel Barenboim, piano [DG 449
This excellent set, containing some of Brahms’s greatest songs, is
the first of three
composed “for low voice.” This simply means that the
original keys are lower. Versions in higher keys exist, as
do low-key versions for most of the other sets. The three
“low voice” sets do have a certain “weight.” Unlike the
preceding Op. 85, this group contains
no folk or folk-like settings or translations. All are true
art song settings of contemporary German poets. The set
encapsulates many of the typical features seen in songs from the
“high mautrity,” Brahms’s third period, of which these songs are
among the last compositions. No. 1 is a masterful miniature
with much subtlety and a sensitive treatment of the obscure
text. No. 2, “Feldeinsamkeit,” is sometimes labeled as his
greatest song, or at least among the greatest. Its evocative
beauty may not have been appreciated by the poet Allmers (whom
Brahms sent a carefully prepared copy) but his friend Elisabeth
von Herzogenberg said of the final phrase in each verse that “it
tears at my very heartstrings.” The third song creates an
almost otherworldly combination of suspended anticipation and
inexorable motion. The terse, rather grim No. 4 is the
composer’s only setting of the great poet Theodor Storm.
Brahms returned once more to the lyrics of Felix Schumann, the
last son of Robert and Clara, in No. 5 (see also Op. 63, Nos. 5 and 6). It was
written about a year before the young poet, his godson, died at 24
of tuberculosis in 1879. While it is one of his most buoyant
songs, there are slight hints of tragedy in the many
dissonances. No. 6 is a large, wide-ranging, sectional
song. Brahms typically placed such extended settings at the
ends of sets (see also, for example, Op. 70).
The song changes meter for the last two stanzas, and moves from
minor to major. The diversity within the song, along with
its slow tempo, might invite diffuseness and disunity (a criticism
often leveled at Op. 70, No. 4), but
“Todessehnen” is an extremely moving and affecting song that makes
the words of the poet sound sincere and transfigured rather than
self-centered and indulgent. The climaxes are well-placed
and fulfilling. The prayer-like slow triple meter that ends
the song balances perfectly the tragic dirge with which it begins,
and the transition between the two is very smooth. All six
songs have rather nebulous forms that are not clear-cut.
Note: Links to English translations of the texts are from Emily
Ezust’s site at http://www.lieder.net.
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 Lübeck--original
SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Edition Peters,
edited by Max Friedländer):
Therese (in original key, D major)
Therese (in high key, F major)
1: Therese (in middle key, E major)
Feldeinsamkeit (in original key, F major)
Feldeinsamkeit (in high key, A-flat major)
2: Feldeinsamkeit (in middle key, G major)
3: Nachtwandler (in original [middle] key, C major)
Nachtwandler (in high key, D major)
Nachtwandler (in low key, B-flat major)
4: Über die Heide (in original key, G minor)
Über die Heide (in high key, A minor)
5: Versunken (in original key, F-sharp major)
Versunken (in high key, A major)
6: Todessehnen (in original key, F-sharp minor/major)
Todessehnen (in high key, A minor/major)
1. Therese (Therese). Text by
Gottfried Keller. Etwas bewegt (With some motion).
Strophic/Through-composed combination (AA’B). D MAJOR, 3/4
time (High key F major, middle key E major).
Du milchjunger Knabe, wie schaust du mich an?
Was haben deine Augen für eine Frage getan!
Alle Ratsherrn in der Stadt und alle Weisen der Welt
Bleiben stumm auf die Frage, die deine Augen gestellt!
Eine Meermuschel liegt auf dem Schrank meiner Bas’:
Da halte dein Ohr d’ran, dann hörst du etwas!
0:00 [m. 1]--Introduction.
melody with an inner voice in triplet rhythm. The melody
moves downward. The last two notes are stated three times,
and the preceding note is higher each time. The first
statement has unstable harmony, the second has a clear half-close,
and the last lengthens out the half-close over a slowing, creating
more anticipation. The bass notes are in octaves.
0:11 [m. 6]--Lines 1-2 (A). The vocal melody is
simple, with many repeated notes. Brahms had considered a
more complex melody with leaps but decided against it. The
accompaniment is also in simple chords. At the mention of
the mysterious question at the end of line 2, the harmony makes a
surprising turn to the related B minor. The short minor-key
bridge has slower chords that obscure the main triple meter.
0:26 [m. 16]--Lines 3-4 (A’). The music is the
same as in the first two lines, but the inner voice of the chords
becomes more active, creating a flowing line. Also, the
greater number of syllables necessitates the splitting of some
longer notes into two repeated notes, giving the whole passage an
illusion of being “faster.” The turn to minor is retained,
and the flowing inner voice continues in the short bridge.
0:43 [m. 26]--Line 5 (B). Brahms makes a very
surprising turn. The B minor of the bridge turns not back to
D major, but to its major parallel (B major). The music
slows slightly. The melody is wider, with a prominent
downward octave leap at the beginning, and is similar to the
alternative Brahms considered for the first melody. The
gesture at the end of the line is repeated. The
accompaniment is a return of the introduction melody in
chords. The bass notes play on the weak half-beats at first,
then the melody itself shifts to syncopated after-beats.
0:52 [m. 30]--Line 6 (B continued). A sudden
and striking shift to the home key of D major. The
syncopated chords become static after the previous introduction
melody in the accompaniment is completed. The first half of
the line is sung to a repeated “D.” The static chords move
up in pitch before the second half. The last part of the
line echoes the beginning of line 5, with the downward octave
leap. Under this, the piano plays the introduction melody
again, completely in the established syncopation. The ending
of the vocal line is somewhat questioning, and finishes before the
introduction melody. After the melody is completed, more
static syncopated chords gradually descend, slow, and calm down at
1:27--END OF SONG [39 mm.]
2. Feldeinsamkeit (Field Solitude). Text
by Hermann Allmers. Langsam (Slowly). Modified
strophic form (the outer lines of each strophe are the same, the
middle ones varied). F MAJOR, 4/4 time (High key A-flat
major, middle key G major).
Ich ruhe still im hohen grünen Gras
Und sende lange meinen Blick nach oben,
Von Grillen rings umschwirrt ohn Unterlaß,
Von Himmelsbläue wundersam umwoben.
Die schönen weißen Wolken ziehn dahin
Durchs tiefe Blau, wie schöne stille Träume;
Mir ist, als ob ich längst gestorben bin
Und ziehe selig mit durch ew’ge Räume.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 1, line 1. An upbeat establishes a low, steady
bass that holds to the keynote, F. Against this, chords of F
major slowly rise. The voice enters with two simple but
beautiful rising broken-chord lines to which the first poetic line
is sung. The piano right hand begins to play high chords
over a steadily moving middle voice with two-note slurs. The
constant low bass F continues.
0:24 [m. 5]--Line 2.
The vocal line now moves in both directions and becomes slightly
more active. Under the high note on the word “Blick,” the
bass starts to slide up by half-step. The piano continues
its pattern of chords with a steady middle voice in two-note
slurs. The last words, “nach oben,” are sung twice.
Each statement of “oben” is set to a long, slow descending
leap. These descending leaps move decisively to C major,
reflected in the new location of the bass. There is a
one-bar bridge before the next line.
0:53 [m. 10]--Line
3. A very stark motion to the home minor key (F minor) for
two descending broken-chord lines (moving by third, or skip), the
second reaching lower, with the last jump widened to a
fourth. The active middle voice continues as it moves into
the lower register. The low repeated bass note is now C.
1:03 [m. 12]--Line
4. A magical and natural shift to major ushers in one of the
most beautiful melodic lines in Brahms’s art songs. It has
several chromatic (non-scale) notes and moves very slowly, but its
steady buildup of tension makes the cadence particularly
fulfilling. The poetic line is sung twice, the first over a
similar accompaniment pattern that twice passes the active middle
voice to the bass and back. Halfway through the second
statement, the piano abandons the pattern for slower bass notes
and short responses. The voice draws out the last word over
an exquisitely slow turn figure. At the cadence, the opening
bars with rising F-major chords are reprised as an interlude
1:42 [m. 19]--Stanza
(strophe) 2, line 1. It is sung to the same music as in
strophe 1 [beginning with m. 3] after the introductory bars (which
were just reprised at the cadence of strophe 1), with low pedal
1:52 [m. 21]--Line
2. A subtle alteration slides this line and its harmony up a
half-step, lingering on D-flat major. The bass line again
slides by half-step, but this time moves three notes higher than
in strophe 1. There is also more text repetition, as the
entire second half of the line (“wie schöne stille Träume”) is
repeated. This extends the line by a bar and allows Brahms
to move the harmony back to C major, analogous to the same point
in strophe 1, and using the same long descending leap (but only
one of them). The top voice moves with the middle voice in
the repetition. The bridge to line 3 is abbreviated a
2:24 [m. 26]--Line
3. It is very similar to the line in strophe 1, with four
important differences: (1) It begins a half-bar earlier, helping
to “make up” for the extra bar in line 2. (2) The second
descending broken-chord line begins a third lower, and the last
jump is narrowed to another third instead of a fourth, ending on a
dissonant note suggesting C minor instead of F minor. (3) The
accompaniment pattern is broken. Stark, bare octaves
staggered between the hands double the notes of the vocal line.
(4) The time before the entry of line 4 is doubled to allow the
harmony to adjust from the dissonance and to line the meter back
up. This line is the crux and turning point of the song.
2:41 [m. 29]--Line
4. It is sung to the same music as in strophe 1 at 1:03 [m.
12]. The opening bars with the rising F-major chords and the
low pedal F are again reprised at the cadence as a postlude.
The entire song is very quiet, with only the briefest swelling
before the extended cadence of each strophe.
3:42--END OF SONG [35 mm.]
3. Nachtwandler (Sleepwalker or Night Wanderer). Text
by Max Kalbeck. Langsam (Slowly). Modified strophic
form (AAB). C MAJOR, 3/4 time (High key D major, low key
Störe nicht den leisen Schlummer
Dess, den lind ein Traum umfangen!
Laß ihm seinen süßen Kummer!
Ihm sein schmerzliches Verlangen!
Sorgen und Gefahren drohen,
Aber keine wird ihm schrecken,
Kommst du nicht, den Schlafesfrohen
Durch ein hartes Wort zu wecken.
Still in seinen Traum versunken,
Geht er über Abgrundtiefen,
Wie vom Licht des Vollmonds trunken,
Weh’ den Lippen, die ihn riefen!
0:00 [m. 1]--Introduction.
harmonized introduction, with a free mixture of the major and
minor chords, establishes several elements of the song, such as a
rhythm of three short notes following a long one, the active,
meandering bass line, and the descending scale supported by chords
at the end.
0:17 [m. 7]--Stanza 1 (A), lines 1-2. The vocal
line begins rather high and largely remains there. There is
an element of secretiveness. The right hand plays syncopated
chords after the beats. The bass line is especially
noteworthy, moving freely between doubling the voice, harmonizing
it in parallel motion, or providing a solid foundation. The
main vocal rhythms are the one presented in the introduction as
well as one long note followed by another one half as long.
0:38 [m. 15]--Stanza 1,
lines 3-4. Line 3 is more urgent, beginning somewhat lower
and striving upward in the rhythm of the introduction. The
syncopated right hand chords are especially dynamic. Line 4
becomes quieter and slower. Its text and music, except for
the first note and word, are repeated, connected to the first
statement by a chromatic half-step slide. The strophe ends
with a pleading and gentle, yet imperative half-close. More
syncopated chords lead to the repeated introduction and strophe.
1:11 [m. 25 (1)]--Repetition
of the introduction, with a slight alteration to the first bar as
it emerges from the preceding strophe.
1:26 [m. 7]--Stanza 2 (A), lines 1-2. Music as
at 0:17, with no change of declamation for the new text.
1:47 [m. 15]--Stanza 2,
lines 3-4. Music as at 0:38, including the repetition of
line 4 without the first word.
2:19 [m. 25]--Stanza 3 (B), lines 1-2. The piano
begins the introduction again, but the voice enters against it,
almost as an echo. The music is very soft and quiet
here. As the piano’s introduction music reaches the closing
descending scale, the voice takes over, singing this gesture for
the first time on line 2. There are two repetitions of the
former piano gesture and two more a step higher. The piano
itself abandons the introduction, playing very low bass notes and
syncopations after the main beats, while the right hand plays slow
2:44 [m. 33]--Stanza 3,
line 3. This line is sung very broadly. It is repeated
to largely the same rhythm on a higher-striving melodic
line. The piano continues the low bass notes and
syncopations in the left hand, but the right hand plays
increasingly urgent low harmonies, arching slowly up and
down. There is a very gradual crescendo or swell in volume
over the two statements of the line.
3:05 [m. 41]--Stanza 3,
line 4. The piano suddenly returns to familiar material, the
accompaniment for the last line of the first two verses. The
vocal line, however, is different, reaching higher on the first
statement and beginning a beat later. Unlike the first two
verses, the repetition of the line is not set to the same vocal
line as the first. It moves downward, inserting a mild
syncopation on “Lippen” before coming to the same half-close
gesture as before. The piano part is the same as the first
two verses throughout both statements. Although the line
slows and becomes quieter (as before), it begins with an accented
3:29 [m. 47]--Repetition
of the introduction as postlude. The final bar is stretched
out, and a quiet final rolled chord is added. This firm
close on a C-major chord compensates somewhat for the last vocal
cadence, which was imperative and inconclusive in all three
4:07--END OF SONG [53 mm.]
4. Über die Heide (Over the Heath). Text
by Theodor Storm. Ziemlich langsam, gehend (Somewhat slowly,
but moving). Andante moderato. Modified strophic form
(AABA’). G MINOR, 6/8 time, with one bar of 9/8 near the end
(High key A minor).
Über die Heide hallet mein Schritt;
Dumpf aus der Erde wandert es mit.
Herbst ist gekommen, Frühling ist weit, -
Gab es denn einmal selige Zeit?
Brauende Nebel geisten umher,
Schwarz ist das Kraut und der Himmel so leer.
Wär’ ich nur hier nicht gegangen im Mai!
Leben und Liebe - wie flog es vorbei!
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A). The piano
establishes the basic motif. Three detached rising bass
octaves, then a leaping descent, all punctuated by low right hand
chords after the beat. The voice enters after the piano with
an arching, mostly scalar line, the only large leap being halfway
through the first line. The most active parts of the vocal
line alternate with the piano’s patterns. In line 2, the
piano breaks from the pattern briefly, and echoes a very plaintive
descending figure at the cadence that was first heard in the
voice. One more statement of the piano pattern leads to the
0:15 [m. 6]--Stanza 2 (A). The vocal line is
the same as in stanza 1, but the piano has a very subtle
alteration. The left hand is identical, but the after-beat
chords of the right hand are shifted by a half-bar so that they
sound with the active parts of the vocal line instead of
alternating with them. They include doubling, harmonization,
and inversion of the voice part. At the point where the
piano breaks from the patterns, it returns to as it was in stanza
1, with the plaintive echo of the descending figure.
0:30 [m. 11]--Stanza 3 (B). The left hand
retains its obsessive pattern of three detached rising octaves
with a leaping descent throughout. The right hand after-beat
syncopated chords become constant now, and are held out rather
than detached. The vocal line swells steadily on a very
gradual ascent with many repeated notes and the most active
harmonies of the song. A climax is reached, and the second
line of the stanza is repeated at the high point, quickly
diminishing as it reverses direction in an almost tragic descent
reflective of the metaphoric desolation described in this line of
0:53 [m. 19]--The piano
has a two-bar bridge to re-establish the mood of the first two
verses. There is a dramatic half-bar pause.
1:00 [m. 21]--Stanza 4 (A’). For the last
stanza, the right hand after-beat chords now play throughout the
bar with no interruption, effectively combining the patterns used
in stanza 1 and stanza 1. Line 1 is slightly more active,
inserting a dotted rhythm for the extra syllable. The left
hand is the same until the point where the patterns break.
Here, Brahms lengthens the last line on the word “Liebe,”
necessitating the insertion of a 9/8 bar (m. 24). The
plaintive descending figure is also lengthened and filled out,
continuing to echo the voice. Now one, instead of two
statements of the pattern close the stanza and the song, along
with a final syncopated after-beat chord.
1:33--END OF SONG [27 mm.]
5. Versunken (Drowned or Enraptured). Text by
Felix Schumann. Sehr leidenschaftlich, doch nicht zu rasch
(Very passionate, but not too hurried). Varied strophic form
(ABB’A). F-SHARP MAJOR, 6/8 time (High key A major).
Es brausen der Liebe Wogen
Und schäumen mir um das Herz;
Zwei tiefe Augen zogen
Mich mächtig niederwärts.
Mich lockte der Nixen Gemunkel,
Die wunderliebliche Mär,
Als ob die Erde dunkel
Und leuchtend die Tiefe wär’!
Als würde die seligste Ferne
Dort unten reizende Näh’,
Als könnt’ ich des Himmels Sterne
Dort greifen in blauer See.
Nun brausen und schäumen die Wogen
Und hüllen mich allwärts ein,
Es schimmert in Regenbogen
Die Welt von ferne herein.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A). Two
attention-grabbing, syncopated chords with anticipatory bass
octaves begin the song. The first verse is set to a
wide-ranging melody with an exuberant swing. The
accompaniment consists largely of sweeping arpeggios. The
vocal line itself does contain isolated minor-key tinges and
dissonant leaps that undermine its joyousness. The first two
lines are set to breathless two-bar phrases, the second of which
has a strong echo in the piano bass. The third and fourth
lines are combined in a longer five-bar phrase that contains hints
of cross-rhythms in the piano. Note the lengthening of the
word “tiefe” with its prominent dissonant upward leap and the word
painting with the descent on “niederwärts” (“downward“). A
small bridge with upward rolled chords leads to stanza 2.
0:21 [m. 13]--Stanza 2 (B), lines 1-2. The
stanza begins in the related key of D-sharp minor and at a much
softer level. The vocal line is much narrower, arching down
by steps and harmonized in thirds by the piano right hand.
The left hand takes the arpeggios by itself. Line 2 is a
more drawn out descent, but the piano echoes the rhythm of line 1
0:28 [m. 18]--Stanza 2,
lines 3-4. There are two statements of these lines that move
to other related keys. The piano now plays a series of
rising arpeggios beginning off the beat after a bass note.
In the first statement, line 3 is very quiet and secretive, and it
is doubled in the low bass. Line 4 is a suddenly boisterous
response with a strong brightening as it moves to C-sharp
major. The second statement retains the sudden
strength. Line 3 is similar to its first statement, but it
is a step higher and the low bass anticipates, rather than doubles
it. The second statement of line 4 is more hesitant and
makes an equally striking key change, this time to B major.
There is a brief piano bridge that again changes key.
0:48 [m. 30]--Stanza 3,
lines 1-2 (B’). The
first two lines are similar to those in stanza 2, but are in
D-sharp major (notated as E-flat major) rather than minor.
Line 1 arches upward instead of downward, still harmonized in
thirds by the piano. Line 2 is also similar, but it begins
higher and has a wider descent. The piano echoes the rhythm
of line 1, as in stanza 2. The small bridge to line 3 is the
same as in stanza 2.
0:58 [m. 35]--Stanza 3,
lines 3-4. These lines are set as in stanza 2, including
their repetition. The extra syllable in line 3 requires
Brahms to insert a new dotted rhythm on a repeated note.
There is one small difference in the repetition of line 4, where
the piano arpeggios now begin on the beat instead of off of
it. The last vocal notes are also slightly different, ending
with an upward leap instead of a stepwise descent. That leap
is to the note F-sharp, the keynote of the song. The piano
bridge, which introduces cross-rhythms, moves to that key from B
major, as if anticipated by the vocal note.
1:17 [m. 47]--Stanza 4 (A). Musically the same
as stanza 1, with slight declamation differences to account for
extra syllables in lines 1, 3, and 4.
1:30 [m. 55]--At the
cadence of stanza 4, the piano plays a very long arching arpeggio
in octaves with the right hand echoing the left after the
beats. This arpeggio swells in volume, then quiets rapidly
on the descent, along with slowing down to an unexpectedly subdued
ending. This ending has slower notes and ambiguous
borrowings of a pitch (D-natural) from the minor key.
1:48--END OF SONG [59 mm.]
6. Todessehnen (Yearning for Death).
Text by Max Gottfried von Schenkendorf. Langsam
(Slowly). Large multi-sectional through-composed form, with
some correspondences between the first two and the last two
stanzas (AA’BCC’). F-SHARP MINOR/MAJOR, 4/4--3/4 time, with
an insertion of one 2/4 bar in the 4/4 section (High key A
Ach, wer nimmt von meiner Seele
Die geheime, schwere Last,
Die, je mehr ich sie verhehle,
Immer mächtiger mich faßt?
Möchtest du nur endlich brechen,
Mein gequältes, banges Herz!
Findest hier mit deinen Schwächen,
Deiner Liebe, nichts als Schmerz.
Dort nur wirst du ganz genesen,
Wo der Sehnsucht nichts mehr fehlt,
Wo das schwesterliche Wesen
Deinem Wesen sich vermählt.
Hör’ es, Vater in der Höhe,
Aus der Fremde fleht dein Kind:
Gib’, daß er mich bald umwehe,
Deines Todes Lebenswind.
Daß er zu dem Stern mich hebe,
Wo man keine Trennung kennt,
Wo die Geistersprache Leben
Mit der Liebe Namen nennt.
FIRST SECTION--Langsam, F-sharp
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A), lines 1-2. With no
introduction, the voice and piano enter together. The music
has the character of a tragic lament. The vocal line moves
slowly and narrowly, dipping down to a dissonance before the
cadence, which makes a hopeful turn to major. This is
undermined by the piano, which has many dissonant harmonies.
The bass line, which consists of groups of three octaves entering
off the beat and moving mostly stepwise, also creates dissonance
0:18 [m. 5]--Lines
3-4. The music swells and becomes more urgent. The
vocal part moves steadily upward and the piano bass is more fully
harmonized and less hesitant. Upward-leaping syncopations in
the voice propel things forward. The beginning of line 4 is
a minor climax. The line is repeated on another prominent
syncopation in an inserted 2/4 bar that disrupts the metric
flow. The repetition settles and slows as the voice descends
in a brief motion to and pause on the “dominant” chord of
C-sharp. An immediate motion to a sustained dissonance in
the bass is highly unsettling, although it does resolve.
0:48 [m. 11]--Stanza 2 (A’), lines 1-2.
Musically identical to the first two lines of stanza 1.
1:07 [m. 15]--Lines
3-4. The passage diverges from stanza 1. The rising
vocal line is more chromatic, moving by half-steps in line
3. The piano bass octaves arch downward. Line 4 makes
a strong motion to the “relative” major key, A. A descending
syncopated leap on “Liebe” and the subsequent chromatic descent
are prominent. That descent continues in a repetition of the
words “nichts als Schmerz.” Again, there is a swelling and
receding over the two lines. Another dissonant off-beat bass
note disrupts the half-close, which slows strongly and introduces
more syncopations in the low bass.
1:37 [m. 21]--A brief
interlude has descending thirds in the left hand and syncopated
repeated notes (D’s) in the right. The first three-beat
descent is more dissonant than the second, which settles into the
SECOND SECTION--Etwas bewegter
(with somewhat more motion), A major, 4/4
1:44 [m. 23]--Stanza 3 (B). This stanza has the
character of a transition. In the most animated section of
the song, the first glimpse of the hope for transfiguration is
offered. It begins on the second half of m. 22 as an
extended upbeat. The vocal line flows steadily throughout
the verse, but there are some slightly dissonant chromatic
notes. The piano plays a consistent pattern of syncopated
right hand chords against a more steady bass. The last two
lines move back toward F-sharp, with slower notes and a slight
THIRD SECTION--Langsam, F-sharp
2:12 [m. 31]--The cadence
of the last stanza coincides with an arrival on F-sharp major, not
minor and a change of meter, to a very slow triple time. An
interlude introduces a figure that will be prominent through most
of the last section, a rising arpeggio with a syncopated note held
over the third beat. The harmonies move very slowly in this
quiet preparation for the following prayer.
2:26 [m. 36]--Stanza 4 (C), lines 1-2. The voice
begins the prayerful words unaccompanied. The melody moves
very slowly and deliberately. After the vocal entrance, the
piano again begins the rising arpeggio heard in the
interlude. This continues throughout the stanza, changing
with the harmonies. In the second line, the voice has two
very gentle but wide leaps down and back up in dotted (long-short)
2:45 [m. 44]--Lines
3-4. Line 3 is set to a widely descending line that suddenly
moves to an unexpected D major. Line 4, however, rises
dramatically over a gradual crescendo. The line has a very
bright and striking motion to C-sharp, back toward the home
key. The arrival on the chord of C-sharp at the end of the
stanza is almost ecstatic. The piano figures continue from
3:02 [m. 52]--An piano
interlude echoes the preceding bright arrival, still retaining the
rhythm of the accompaniment figure (with notes held over into the
third beat of each bar). The accompaniment figure itself
leads back into the next verse, as the interlude from 2:12 [m. 31]
had done. It also settles back down into prayerful devotion.
3:12 [m. 56]--Stanza 5 (C’), lines 1-2.
Musically identical to the first two lines of stanza 4.
3:30 [m. 64]--Lines
3-4. The vocal part on line 3 is the same as in stanza 4,
but the piano part is altered. The held notes into the third
beats are eliminated, and the notes, in groups of 3, are
continuous throughout. Line 4 is different, remaining in D
major and eliminating the striking harmonic motion, delaying the
arrival point and increasing the tension. The new
accompaniment propels the music forward.
3:49 [m. 73]--Line 4 is
repeated and stretched out, incorporating the previous striking
motion from stanza 4, but now it is to F-sharp instead of
C-sharp. The word “Liebe” is stretched out over three notes,
creating a “hemiola” as the second note is held across the bar
line, implying a longer 3/2 bar on top of two 3/4 bars. The
accompaniment figures are briefly grouped in sets of four notes
under the word to emphasize this cross-rhythm. They return
to groups of three under the word “Namen,” which is very drawn
out. There is a continuous crescendo through the repetition.
4:01 [m. 79]--The final
vocal cadence is the high point. It does not recede before
leading into a piano postlude that retains the groups of three in
piano right hand. Now the music finally diminishes. An
inner melody in the tenor range is in slower notes. It is
echoed an octave lower. There are three final chords, the
first two with bass anticipations and the last one rolled slowly
over a wide range.
4:34--END OF SONG [85 mm.]
END OF SET
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