MARIENLIEDER (MARIAN SONGS) FOR MIXED CHORUS, OP. 22
Recording: North German Radio Chorus, conducted by Günter Jena
[DG 449 646-2]
These choral songs
fall somewhere between the secular partsongs and the sacred
motets. They were actually published earlier than the
first a cappella
examples of either genre, and are thus the first published a cappella choral works
(they had been preceded by Opp. 12, 13, and 17, all
accompanied). Originally conceived for Brahms’s women’s
chorus, the alto parts proved to be impossibly low (something
that can be seen in women’s choruses like Op. 37), so he
changed the settings to mixed chorus. The religious
texts are folksongs from such sources as Des Knaben Wunderhorn,
Kretzschmer-Zuccalmaglio, and Uhland. The “cult” of the
virgin was an important topic in German folklore, and these
rather naïve texts use German, not Judean imagery. Two
of the songs (Nos. 1 and 4) deal with the annunciation.
Another two (Nos. 2 and 3) with fanciful journeys of
Mary. No 5 is a prayer, No. 7 a song of praise.
Finally, No. 6 deals with another “Mary” associated with
Easter, not Christmas. The settings are mostly strophic,
syllabic, and quite simple, but the first five contain
“surprises.” In No. 1, the final stanza is given a new,
imitative setting. No. 2 has an onomatopoeic “bell”
passage in the middle. No. 3 markedly sets off its stern
and aphoristic final stanza to utterly different music.
No. 4 has a “hunting horn” middle section, and No. 5 again
varies the beginning of its final stanza. Only Nos. 6
and 7 are in pure simple strophic form. All (except the
first stanza of No. 6) begin with upbeats, the first four with
strong ascents. The rather unadventurous bass parts
(with the exception of the bells in No. 2, where the basses
notably sit out in the outer sections) are perhaps indicative
of their earlier conception for women’s chorus. The
tenor parts, in contrast, are quite colorful. Brahms
made arrangements of the original folk melodies of Nos. 3 and
4, the former in his huge and very late collection for voice
and piano, the latter closing the published folksong
collection for chorus (roughly contemporary with this
set). Neither of these collections has an opus number.
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.
FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut
Lübeck--includes voice parts)
SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke)
ONLINE SCORES FROM THE CHORAL PUBLIC DOMAIN
LIBRARY (Choral Wiki):
1: Der englische Gruß
2: Marias Kirchgang
3: Marias Wallfahrt
4: Der Jäger
5: Ruf zur Maria
7: Marias Lob
1. Der englische Gruß (The Angelic Salutation).
text. Con moto. Simple strophic form with varied final
strophe. E-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4 time.
Gegrüßet, Maria, du Mutter der Gnaden!
So sangen die Engel der Jungfrau Maria
In ihrem Gebete, darinnen sie rang.
Maria, du sollst einen Sohn empfangen,
Darnach tun Himmel und Erde verlangen,
Daß du die Mutter des Herren sollst sein.
O Engel, wie mag ich das erleben,
Ich habe mich noch keinem Manne ergeben
In dieser weiten und breiten Welt.
Wie Tau kommt über die Blumenmatten,
So soll dich der heilige Geist überschatten;
So soll der Heiland geboren sein.
Maria die höret solches gerne,
Sie sprach: ich bin eine Magd des Herren,
Nach deinem Worte geschehe mir!
Die Engel (nun) sanken auf ihre Knie,
Sie sangen alle: Maria, Maria,
Sie sangen Maria den Lobgesang.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe)
1, line 1. The altos and tenors begin with an upbeat in
“horn fifth” harmony. After one bar, the sopranos enter in
near-contrary motion. The altos and tenors repeat
“Gegrüßet.” A bar later still, the basses enter with an
arching line, coming in with the other voices on the word
“Maria.” The voices all finish the five-bar phrase
together. It is then repeated in its entirety, with a pause
indicated at the end. The voices sing strongly from the
beginning, only diminishing a bit at the end of each statement.
0:22 [m. 11]--Stanza 1,
lines 2-3. The voices sing line 2 to a more tension-filled
four-bar phrase that moves to B-flat major and F major through the
circle of fifths. The basses, then the tenors, have
prominent long-short rhythms. The last line shifts
immediately back to E-flat and begins at a sudden quiet
level. It is another five-bar phrase. It swells
rapidly about halfway through as the basses have a prominent
descending motion and the word “darinnen” is repeated. The
verse closes joyously with the sopranos soaring upward.
0:44 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 2, line 1. In this verse, the altos and tenors
repeat “Maria” at the outset and the basses enter on “Du
sollst.” The single syllable “Sohn” is sung where the
two-syllable “Mutter” had been before. In fact, the first
stanza is the only one where these notes set two syllables.
1:04 [m. 11]--Stanza 2,
lines 2-3. Here, the two-syllable “darnach” is sung on the
notes used in strophe 1 for the three-syllable “so sangen.”
In the third line, the one-syllable “du” is sung where the
two-syllable “ihrem” was placed before. The repeated
syllables are “die Mutter,” which take place on earlier notes than
did the strophe 1 “darinnen.”
1:26 [m. 20]--Stanza
(strophe) 3, line 1. In most editions, new notes are printed
for stanzas 3-5. The repeated alto and tenor words are “O
Engel.” The basses enter on “wie mag.” The line is two
syllables shorter than in stanza 1, so the word “mag” is set to
notes previously used for two syllables. The word “das” is
set as was “Sohn” in stanza 2. The music for these stanzas
has more slurs, suggesting a smoother presentation than in stanzas
1 and 2. In this performance, it begins more quietly,
perhaps to distinguish the words of Mary.
1:46 [m. 30]--Stanza 3,
lines 2-3. In stanzas 3-5, the basses omit their long-short
rhythm and replace it with straight notes, here heard on
“habe.” The repeated syllables in the third line are “in
dieser.” The second statement of these words sets the first
syllable of “dieser” to two notes, the only time in all the
stanzas where these particular notes are given to only one
syllable. Also in stanzas 3-5, the penultimate measure has
only one syllable on the first two beats (in contrast to stanzas
1-2). Here it is the first syllable of “breiten.”
2:09 [m. 20]--Stanza
(strophe) 4, line 1. The repeated alto and tenor words are
“Wie Tau.” This is a syllable short from the previous
verses. In the first statement, the word “Tau” is sung to
two notes. In the second, the following word, “kommt,” is
the one that is stretched to more notes. The basses enter
with that word, this time a beat behind the altos and tenors
(since they lengthen that word), but still with the
sopranos. The setting of “Blumen-” follows the lead of the
previous two stanzas.
2:28 [m. 30]--Stanza 4,
lines 2-3. The second line follows the pattern of stanza 3,
with the basses singing straight notes on “soll dich.” The
repeated syllables in the third line are “der Heiland.” The
word “soll” is set to two notes, matching the corresponding
pattern of stanza 2 rather than 1 or 3. The penultimate
measure again has one syllable on the first two beats, in this
case the middle syllable of “geboren.”
2:51 [m. 20]--Stanza
(strophe) 5, line 1. As in stanza 2, the repeated alto/tenor
word is “Maria.” The basses enter on “die höret.” As
in stanza 3, the next syllable after that is stretched to two
beats. It is the first syllable of “höret.” The
setting of “solches” follows stanzas 2-4.
3:12 [m. 30]--Stanza 5,
lines 2-3. The singers normally make a brief pause after
“sie sprach” in order to set off the “she said”
quotation. This makes the straight notes in the
basses particularly effective in this verse. Here, the
second line is two syllables shorter than in stanzas 3 or 4.
This results in “eine” and “Magd” being stretched to more
notes. Because the basses normally repeat a note where
“eine” lies, they simply hold it for two beats. The repeated
syllables in the third line are the word “geschehe.” This
essentially matches stanza 1, except that in the second statement,
the middle syllable is held for two beats in the penultimate
measure (because only one syllable follows). The setting of
“deinem” follows stanzas 2 and 4.
3:36 [m. 39]--Stanza 6,
line 1. Surprisingly, Brahms varies the last stanza.
He marks it “Poco meno Allegro.” The sopranos lead in a
short imitation from top to bottom that only remains strict for
one bar but sounds like a canon. Only the sopranos sing all
the words of line 1, adding the word “nun.” The altos sing
“Die Engel sangen alle.” The tenors sing “Die Engel
sangen.” The basses sing “Die Engel.” The music is
marked pianissimo, and
only the opening gesture of each entry resembles the other
verses. The sopranos lead into the next line with the word
3:45 [m. 43]--Stanza 6,
line 2. After the entries, all parts come together on
“sangen alle Maria,” but altos and tenors sing “sie,” giving the
first syllable of “sangen” only one note, while the sopranos and
basses sing two notes on that syllable, having led into it with
“sie” and “Engel” in the previous bar. With the voices
together, there is an unexpected, brilliant, and dramatic shift to
C major and a rapid swell in volume. On the lengthened
second statement of “Maria, the sopranos and tenors soar.
The tenors actually only sing “Maria” once, holding a long note
while the other voices continue. There is then a radiant
3:58 [m. 48]--Stanza 6,
line 3. After this joyous and unexpected climax, the last
line is given as in the other stanzas, with another repetition of
“Maria” and an abrupt return to the home key of E-flat. The
latter is accomplished by a new minor-key harmony on the upbeat,
after which the music is identical to the last lines of the other
strophes. The declamation is as in stanza 1, with a syllable
on each beat until the penultimate bar, which is set as in stanzas
3-5, with the first syllable of “Lobgesang” held for two beats.
4:16--END OF SONG [52 mm.]
2. Marias Kirchgang (Mary on her Way to Church).
text. Andante con moto. Simple strophic form with
contrasting passage. E-FLAT MINOR, 4/4 time.
Maria wollt zur Kirche gehn,
da kam sie an den tiefen See.
Als sie wohl an den See hinkam,
der Schiffmann jung stand fertig da.
“Ach, Schiffmann, schiff mich über das Meer,
ich geb’ dir was dein Herz begehrt.”
“Ich schiffe dich wohl über das Meer,
wenn du willst meine Hausfrau sein.”
“Soll ich erst deine Hausfrau sein,
viel lieber schwimm’ich über das Meer.”
Als sie wohl in die Mitte kam,
fingen alle Glöcklein zu läuten an.
Sie läuten gross, sie läuten klein,
sie läuteten wohl alle zugleich.
Maria kniet auf einem Stein,
dem Schiffmann sprang sein Herz entzwei.
0:00 [m. 1]--Lines 1-2
(strophe 1). The sopranos are divided for the main strophic
portion. The basses do not sing in this song except for the
contrasting passage. In the main musical strophe, the altos
and tenors lead on an upbeat, again on horn fifth harmony, as in
the first song. The divided sopranos enter two beats
later. They lag behind the lower two parts until the end of
the short strophe, when they catch up by singing four shorter
notes. The beginning of the melody has the flavor of the
Dorian mode, but the true minor is restored at the end. The
final cadence arrives on a jarring and hollow open fifth.
The dynamic level is very soft, with a small swell and receding at
0:17 [m. 1]--Lines 3-4
(strophe 2). Music and declamation are as in strophe 1.
0:32 [m. 5]--Lines 5-6
(strophe 3). Strophes 3-5 are notated with new music,
probably for ease in notating the extra syllable required by “über
das Meer” in all three. Here, an extra repeated note is
added midway through the strophe.
0:48 [m. 5]--Lines 7-8
(strophe 4). Music and declamation are as in strophe
3. In this performance, the choir begins the strophe at a
stronger level than in the previous three to differentiate the
1:03 [m. 5]--Lines 9-10
(strophe 5). Here, the extra syllable and repeated note for
“über das Meer” are placed at the end of the strophe instead of in
1:19 [m. 9]--Contrasting
passage. Lines 11-12. In a dramatic departure from the
static motion of the five strophes, the contrasting passage is in
the bright home major key. The basses make their entrance,
and their leaping line between the home keynote and the “dominant”
(and later the “subdominant”) graphically depicts the ringing
bells. The tenors also use the same notes, leaping at
different times and in different directions. The sopranos
(now undivided) and altos provide a joyous harmonized melody over
the men’s “bells.” The sopranos have a colorful chromatic
note (D-flat) in the middle.
1:32 [m. 13]--Lines
13-14. The music of the contrasting passage is repeated for
these lines, but the soprano and tenor parts are reversed so that
the sopranos are now singing “bell” notes and the tenors carry the
melody, harmonized by the altos. There is some difference in
declamation to accommodate the missing syllable in line 14
(compared to line 12). At the end, the “bells” are
extended. The altos and basses hold their last notes while
the tenors and sopranos alternate three times on the last “bell”
leaps, which also bring the music back down to a quiet level.
1:57 [m. 19]--Lines 15-16
(strophe 6 ). The minor/Dorian music of the main strophic
portion returns, with divided sopranos and absent basses. It
is declaimed the same way as strophes 1 and 2. Brahms
directs that it should slow gradually to the end, and the song
ends with the hollow open fifth, in great contrast to the joyous
2:17--END OF SONG [22 mm.]
3. Marias Wallfahrt (Mary’s Pilgrimage).
Folksong text. Con moto. Simple strophic form with new
music for the final stanza. C MINOR, 4/4 time, with three
9/4 bars and five 6/4 bars in the final stanza.
Maria ging aus wandern,
so fern ins fremde Land,
bis sie Gott den Herren fand.
Sie hat ihn schon gefunden
wohl vor des Herodes Haus,
er sah so betrüblich aus.
Das Kreuz, das musst’ er tragen
nach Jerusalem vor die Stadt,
wo er gemartet ward.
Was trug er auf seinem Haupte?
Ein’ scharfe Dornenkron’;
das Kreuz, das trägt er schon.
Daran soll man bedenken,
ein jeder jung or alt,
daß das Himmelreich
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 1. The music, like the first two songs, begins on
an rising upbeat. It flows gently, but not without a sense
of pathos. The first two lines vacillate between C minor and
E-flat major. The first line arches in block harmony with
internal motion, and the second line descends. The second
line is then repeated with a longer upbeat on a rising, swelling
line that seems to move to B-flat major. Finally, after a
strong emphasis on the second word, the last line descends again
and diminishes, making a clear motion to a fourth key center, G
minor, where it reaches a cadence (albeit on a G-major chord).
0:26 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 2. The music is repeated. The two syllables
“vor des” are sung to two notes (or split repeated notes)
previously used for the single syllable “fern” in both statements
of the second line.
0:51 [m. 9]--Stanza
(strophe) 3. Stanzas 3 and 4 are given new notation in the
score, primarily because their last lines are a syllable shorter,
allowing for even greater emphasis on the second words of those
lines. In stanza 3, the second line is two syllables longer
than in stanza 1 and one syllable longer than in stanza 2.
In addition to the previous declamation in stanza 2 (for the
second and third syllables of “Jerusalem”), another “split” is
necessary for “nach” and the first syllable of “Jerusalem.”
Only in the alto and tenor parts of the second statement were
there previously two different notes for the corresponding single
syllable. In the third line, the emphasized second word is
stretched to two notes in all parts, crossing the bar line.
In this verse and the next, the last line does not diminish,
emphasizing the torture and the cross.
1:17 [m. 9]--Stanza
(strophe) 4. In this stanza, the first line has an extra
syllable for the only time. A note is split for the words
“er auf.” In contrast, the second line has the same
declamation as in stanza 1 in both statements, contrasting greatly
with the longer line in stanza 3. As in stanza 3, the last
line has two notes and a bar line crossing on the second word
(significantly “Kreuz”--“cross”), and does not diminish.
1:45 [m. 17]--Stanza 5,
lines 1-2. The final stanza, one line longer, is given
completely new and contrasting music, emphasizing its stern and
aphoristic nature. It shifts to a mixed compound
meter. In the first two lines, a 9/4 bar is followed by a
6/4 bar. The soprano part is the same in both lines, but
there is some variation in the lower parts, both through exchange
of notes in the middle parts and a higher octave in the
basses. The word “alt” in the second line is given to the
two notes heard for the last two syllables of “bedenken” in the
first line. There is a clear, strong return to C minor,
confirming it as the home key.
2:04 [m. 21]--Stanza 5,
lines 3-4 (one line in original folk poem). The shorter
third line is sung to a rising melody in a single 9/4 bar.
This line makes a strong move to the home major key (C major)
which as yet has been unheard. Then the last four-syllable
line is sung to three 6/4 bars. Here, the major key
continues, but on the last syllable, the middle voices (alto and
tenor) trail on a moving line that mixes major- and minor-key
notes. The last chord is a major chord with the basses
splitting into two notes an octave apart.
2:26--END OF SONG [24 mm.]
4. Der Jäger (The Hunter). Folksong
text. Allegro, ma non troppo. Combination of strophic
and ternary forms. G MAJOR, 4/4 time.
(The title Der Jäger is
also used for the solo song Op. 95, No. 4)
Es wollt’ gut Jäger jagen,
wollt’ jagen von Himmelshöhn;
was begegn’t ihm auf der Heiden?
Maria, die Jungfrau schön.
Der Jäger, den ich meine,
der ist uns wohlbekannt,
er jagt mit einem Engel,
Gabriel ist er genannt.
Der Engel blies sein Hörnlein,
das laut’ sich also wohl:
“Gegrüßt seist du, Maria,
du bist aller Gnaden voll!
Gegrüßt seist du, Maria,
du edle Jungfrau fein!
Dein Schoß soll hegen und tragen
ein Kindlein zart und klein.
Dein Schoß soll hegen und tragen
Ein Kindlein zart und klein,
das Himmel und auch Erden
einsmals wird nehmen ein.”
Maria, die vielreine,
fiel nieder auf ihre Knie,
dann sie bat Gott vom Himmel,
sein Will’ geschehen soll.
Dein Will’, der soll geschehen
ohn sonder Pein und Schmerz.
Da empfing sie Jesum Christum
in ihr jungfräulich Herz.
A Section--Stanzas 1-2, G
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 1. Like the previous three songs, it begins with
an upbeat on a rising gesture. The purely harmonized first
line pair establishes the joyous, almost lusty mood. The
second line pair is more hesitant and adds some chromatic
notes. The repeated word “Maria” has a strong emphasis on
its second syllable and creates a five-bar phrase. After the
repeated name, the melody descends to a cadence.
0:22 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 2. It is set to the same music as stanza 1.
The word “ist” in line 2 is set to the notes heard for “jagen”
before, with the appropriate slurs and held (instead of repeated)
notes. Similarly, the word “er” at the beginning of line 3
is set to notes previously used for two syllables. The
emphasis on the second syllable of the repeated word “Gabriel” is
an unusual declamation compared to “Maria.”
B Section--Stanzas 3-5, C
0:42 [m. 10]--Stanza
(strophe) 3. The central section in C major is highly
evocative of the hunting horn. The women quietly sing to the
“horn fifth” harmony heard at the beginning of the first two
songs. The arching third line briefly moves to F major and
slightly builds. Anticipating this third line, the tenors
and basses enter with alternating calls of “gegrüßt.” After
leading the basses twice, the tenors complete line 3 with “seist
du, Maria,” and the basses follow suit, but unlike the tenors they
do note repeat “gegrüßt” a third time. This completion
happens as the women sing line 4 and move back to C major for the
cadence, in which the men participate.
1:01 [m. 18]--Stanza
(strophe) 4. Now the women’s and men’s parts are
reversed. The men take over the “horn fifth” melody for the
first two lines and continue with the arching third line, tenors
matching sopranos and basses matching altos. The women take
the alternating calls of “gegrüßt” against this (sopranos matching
tenors and altos matching basses). Since this line is now
the first rather than the third line of the stanza, there is more
conflicting text between the parts than there was in stanza
3. As the men had before, the women complete the line as the
men move to the C-major cadence on line 4. At the very end,
there is some voice exchange as the sopranos move to the trailing
former alto part, and the altos to the former tenor part.
The tenors stay on the melody and the basses return to their
original final note.
1:18 [m. 26]--Stanza
(strophe) 5. The sopranos and altos sing their original
parts from stanza 3. Note the text repetition from the end
of stanza 4. Now, without the line featuring “gegrüßt,” the
tenors and basses are given new parts and sing in block harmonies
with the women throughout the verse. The opening of the
verse is much louder than the previous two, but the arching third
line is suddenly quiet before building slightly. The
trailing parts at the end heard from altos and tenors in stanza 3
and sopranos and altos in stanza 4 are omitted, creating a solid
cadence in C major.
A Section--Stanzas 6-7, G
1:37 [m. 34]--Stanza
(strophe) 6. In an abrupt motion back to G major, the
original strophe returns for stanza 6. The declamation of
the first two lines is as in stanza 1. The third and fourth
lines are similar to stanza 2 in declamation until the end.
The repeated words are “sein Wille,” with an appropriate emphasis
on “Wille.” The repetition dispenses with the second
syllable of that word and gives the first syllable of “geschehen”
notes that were used for two syllables in stanzas 1 and 2.
2:00 [m. 34]--Stanza
(strophe) 7. The declamation of the first line pair is as in
stanza 2. Line 3 is as in stanza 1. In the last line,
only the two syllables “in ihr” are repeated, giving even more
emphasis to the syllable “ihr.” The remainder of the line is
declaimed as in stanza 6. This performance slows at the end.
2:29--END OF SONG [42 mm.]
5. Ruf zur Maria (Cry to Mary). Folksong
text. Poco Adagio. Strophic form with varied last
strophe. B-FLAT MAJOR, 6/4 time.
Dich, Mutter Gottes, ruf’ wir an,
bitt’ für uns, Maria!
Tu’ uns in Ängsten nicht verlan,
Jesum, dein Sohn, der Not ermahn,
die er um menschlich Geschlecht wollt’ han,
bitt’ für uns, Maria!
Daß wir vollkommen werden gar,
bitt’ für uns, Maria!
Leib, Ehr’ und Gut auf Erd’ bewahr’,
daß wir in Zeit viel guter Jahr’
dort leben mit der Engel Schar,
bitt’ für uns, Maria!
Du bist der Brunn, der nicht verseicht,
bitt’ für uns, Maria!
Daß uns der heilig Geist erleucht
zu wahrer Reu und ganzer Beicht!
Jesus, dein Sohn, dir nicht verzeicht,
bitt’ für uns, Maria!
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1,
lines 1-2. This song begins with an upbeat, as all the
previous four songs had done. Other than that, the opening
gesture is somewhat different, abandoning the long upward movement
and moving directly into the flowing 6/4 lines. All four
parts are expressive, with much internal motion, but the tenor
line is the most florid, imitating the altos with a yearning leap
on “an.” The first supplication, “bitt’ für uns, Maria,”
takes a poignant turn.
0:20 [m. 5]--Stanza 1,
lines 3-6. The third line is similar to the first, but at
the beginning the alto and bass parts are exchanged. This
makes the altos’ leap on “nicht” wider and more expressive,
especially since it includes a dissonant note. The fourth
line begins a buildup, with a long-short rhythm in the sopranos
and an exciting climb in the tenors. The fifth line settles
down and moves to the key of E-flat major. After a dramatic
pause, the final line, the repeated supplication, has half-step
motion in the soprano, alto, and bass parts, then moves back to
B-flat with a soaring tenor line. Tenors and altos trail
longingly at the cadence.
1:02 [m. 1]--Stanza 2,
lines 1-2. Set to the same music as stanza 1. The
“yearning” leap is on “gar.”
1:21 [m. 5]--Stanza 2,
lines 3-6. The alto leap is on “Erd.” The
only difference in declamation to stanza 1 is that the word “mit”
in the fifth line is set to the notes used for the two-syllable
word “menschlich” before.
2:05 [m. 14]--Stanza 3,
lines 1-2. The music is different for these lines. The
text is sung more secretively and quietly. The sopranos give
up their soaring line. In compensation, the altos now have
an extremely expressive moving line, as do the tenors, and there
are several chromatic notes and half-steps in those two
parts. The “supplication” moves quite warmly to the new key
of F major.
2:26 [m. 18]--Stanza 3,
lines 3-4. These lines are quite similar to the first two,
but at a higher pitch level. The fourth line soothingly
moves back to the home key of B-flat.
2:47 [m. 22]--Stanza 3,
lines 5-6. Line 5 returns to the music of the first two
stanzas, complete with the corresponding motion to E-flat.
The declamation is very different, beginning on a downbeat to
emphasize “Jesus, dein Sohn.” The final pause and
supplication are as in the first two stanzas.
3:21--END OF SONG [26 mm.]
6. Magdalena (Magdalene). Folksong
text. Poco lento. Simple strophic form. G MINOR,
An dem österlichen Tag
Maria Magdalena ging zu dem Grab;
was fand sie in dem Grabe stehn?
Einen Engel wohlgetan.
Der Engel grüßt sie in der Zeit:
“Den da suchet das vielselige Weib,
er ist erstanden von dem Tod,
den du salben wolltest.”
“Maria!” ruft er ihr zu hant,
da erkennt sie ihren Heiland,
sie sah in aller der Gebärde,
sam er ein Gärtner wäre.
translation uses an alternate word “Wärter” (“guardian”) instead of “Gärtner” (“gardner”) in the last line.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 1. This is the only song in the set not to begin
on an upbeat. The first two lines are sung to a simple,
arching minor-key melody that ends on a bare fifth. The
basses lag a bit behind in the second line. In the third and
fourth lines, the melody speeds up, and the men sing a beat behind
the women until the end of the word “Engel,” where the sopranos
and especially the altos have a longer melisma (group of notes on a single
syllable). The melisma swells and recedes, and the cadence
remains firmly in minor. The unusual declamation is notable,
especially the stress on the last syllable of “Maria.”
0:30 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 2. The downbeat beginning was unique to stanza 1,
as the other two stanzas do begin with an upbeat. The two
syllables “Den da” are sung to the notes used for the
three-syllable “Maria.” The “following” tenors and basses in
lines three and four shift the text forward a bit by lengthening
“von.” This is in consideration of the accentuation of “den
du,” where the text catches up. The word “wolltest” is set
to the same notes as the three-syllable “wohlgetan” in stanza 1.
1:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 3. The address “Maria!” is set off in this
performance. “Da erkennt sie” is set as was “Den da suchet”
in stanza 2. The word “Heiland” is notably stretched out,
being sung to notes previously used for four syllables of
text. In lines 3 and 4, the sopranos and altos sing “er ein
Gärtner” to notes previously used only for “Engel” and
“salben.” The tenors and basses compensate by singing new
syllables (in “Gebärde” and “er ein”--which matches stanza 2’s
“den du”) on previously slurred notes so that “Gärtner” is set in
the same way as were “Engel“ and “salben.” The final word
“wäre” is set as was “wolltest” in stanza 2.
1:38--END OF SONG [8 mm. (x3)]
7. Marias Lob (Mary’s Praise).
Folksong text. Allegro. Simple strophic form.
E-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4 and 3/4 time.
Maria, wahre Himmelsfreud’,
der Welt Ergötzlichkeit!
Wer wollt’ dich nicht lieben?
Du stehst mir geschrieben,
ja bist mir gegraben
mit tiefen Buchstaben
in meinem Herzelein!
Wie schmelzet ein Karfunkelstein
so geht es mir eben,
mein’ Seel’ und mein Leben
vor Lieb’ sich zertrennen
und in sich verbrennen
bei deinem Nennen!
Der ganzen Schöpfung reiche Zier
vergleicht sich nicht mit dir.
Es dürfen die Blumen
ihr’ Schönheit nicht rühmen,
sie müssen sich schämen,
du tuest benehmen
all’ ihre Zierlichkeit.
Des Himmels Sternenangesicht
und aller Sonnen Licht,
sie dürfen nicht scheinen,
die Perlen, Korallen,
Gold, Silber, sie fallen
vor dir in Finsternis.
Maria, o mein’ höchste Freud’,
die Welt ist mir verleidt,
ich suche zu sterben;
du woll’st mir erwerben
nur Gottes Gnaden,
auf höheren Pfaden
so scheid’ ich fröhlich hin.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 1, lines 1-2. The first two lines of all five
stanzas are sung in 4/4 time. The last note of line 2
becomes the beginning of a 3/4 bar, where the rest of the stanza
will be set. The purely harmonized melody is strong and
assertive. The sopranos leap down on the fifth syllable of
line 1 and the second syllable of line 2.
0:12 [m. 5]--Stanza 1,
lines 3-7. The remaining lines are set in 3/4 meter.
The sopranos gradually rise to the high point at line 5, where
they descend. The basses are absent for lines 3 and 4.
Lines 5 and 6 move briefly to A-flat major and F minor. All
parts soar on “meinem.” The altos and tenors sing
“Herzelein” faster than the sopranos and basses, and trail with a
repetition of “meinem Herzelein” as the sopranos and basses hold
their final notes. The sopranos drop out before the other
0:36 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 2. The declamation is as in stanza 1 until the
very end, where the last line is a syllable shorter. The
sopranos and basses merely stretch out the last word, while the
altos and tenors repeat the same number of syllables (the entire
line, beginning a beat earlier), also stretching out “Nennen.”
1:07 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 3. The declamation is as in stanza 1. “Ihre
Zierlichkeit” is treated as was “meinem Herzelein” in stanza 1.
1:39 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 4. The declamation is as before except for the
trailing alto/tenor repetition at the end. There, they
repeat an extra syllable (the entire line, but not a beat
earlier), placing a new syllable on the soaring note, the only
stanza in which this happens.
2:11 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 5. Brahms indicates that (only) this stanza is to
begin very quietly, gradually building in volume to the high point
at line 5. At line 5, which has one fewer syllable than the
other stanzas, the first syllable of “Gottes” is stretched
out. The alto/tenor repetition is treated differently.
For the only time, the entire line is not stated before the
repetition begins. In the first statement, “hin” is cut off,
and then the entire line is stated in the repetition (beginning a
beat earlier, as in stanza 2). Because “hin” was cut off
before, the remainder of the repetition can be declaimed as in
stanzas 1 and 3 rather than as in stanza 4.
2:57--END OF SONG [18 mm. (x5)]
END OF SET
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