FOUR DUETS FOR ALTO AND BARITONE, OP. 28
Brahms turned to a new voice combination for his
second set of vocal duets, which represent a significant advance
upon Op. 20. All four are
full-fledged male/female dialogues. Even the third duet,
which could easily function as a solo song, assigns the two
stanzas to clearly differentiated characters. Three of the
four use texts by great German romantic poets, while the second
duet uses a folk text. The first poem’s obscure meaning is
greatly clarified by Brahms’s setting. The haunting image of
the nun remembering her knight who did not return from the crusade
is amplified by the perfectly matched music. Brahms’s
restrained use of the piano in this piece is unusual. The
second duet is the only “wooing” dialogue before the much later Op. 75, No. 3, although many solo songs
are implied dialogues of a similar nature. The second of the
Op. 31 quartets, which are almost
exactly contemporary to this set, has a similar subject of wooing
and resistance, but there Brahms simply has two voices sing each
character. The third duet quite masterfully combines the two
singers’ individual strophes together in a third one, with the
baritone’s protestations of constancy seeming to win out.
The last duet is a quintessential dialogue. It is exciting
and delightful throughout. Rarely did he compress so much
material into so little time as he did into this piece’s 80
seconds. Interestingly, the baritone has the last word in
all but the first duet (where he is only a tragic memory).
Even in the second, where they end together, it is quite clear
that the character sung by the alto will give in and let him
inside. In the last duet, however, despite his final
protest, it seems that the hunter’s beloved may well lock him out
all night! In the later duets, Op. 61
and Op. 66, Brahms returned to the
soprano/alto pairing of Op. 20 and
largely abandoned dialogues. He would bring them back with a
vengeance, however, in the four mixed-voice settings of his final
set, Op. 75, which has interesting
parallels to this early group.
Recording: Brigitte Fassbaender, alto; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,
baritone; Karl Engel, piano [DG 449 641-2]
1864. Dedicated to Mrs. Amalie Joachim.
Note: Links to English translations of the
texts are from Emily Ezust’s site at http://www.lieder.net.
For the most part, the translations are line-by-line, except where
the difference between German and English syntax requires slight
alterations to the contents of certain lines. The German
texts (included here) are also visible in the translation links.
IMSLP WORK PAGE
FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck)
NOTE: The score of the first edition differs from the later 1927
Complete Edition (Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche
two places. In No. 2, mm. 33-34, the alto moves up in the Complete Edition (as had the baritone in the corresponding
passage in stanza 1) instead of down. In No. 3, the Complete Edition replaces mm. 37-39, all 3/4 bars in the first
edition, with one 4/4 bar and one 6/4 bar, reducing the number of
measures in the entire duet by one. Thus, the piano postlude
begins at m. 39 in the Complete Edition. The last beat of m.
37 is stretched into two, incorporating the previous alto
accompaniment pattern for those two beats, to create a 4/4
bar. The baritone comes in on the last beat, against one
alto note (G-sharp) instead of two shorter alto notes (A and
G-sharp), as seen in the first edition. Measures 38-39 are
essentially unchanged, but they are notated as one 6/4 bar instead
of two 3/4 bars. This recording uses the version from the
first edition (which is also seen in the Peters edition of these
duets) in both of the relevant passages.
SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche
1. Die Nonne und der Ritter
(The Nun and the Knight).
Text by Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff. Andante.
Varied double strophic form. G MINOR, 3/4 time.
Da die Welt zur Ruh’ gegangen,
Wacht mit Sternen mein Verlangen,
In der Kühle muß ich lauschen,
Wie die Wellen unten rauschen!
“Fernher mich die Wellen tragen,
Die ans Land so traurig schlagen,
Unter deines Fensters Gitter,
Fraue, kennst du noch den Ritter?”
Ist’s doch, als ob seltsam’ Stimmen
Durch die lauen Lüfte schwimmen;
Wieder hat’s der Wind genommen, -
Ach, mein Herz ist so beklommen!
“Drüben liegt dein Schloß verfallen,
Klagend in den öden Hallen,
Aus dem Grund der Wald mich grüßte,
’s war, als ob ich sterben müßte.”
Alte Klänge blühend schreiten;
Wie aus lang versunknen Zeiten
Will mich Wehmut noch bescheinen,
Und ich möcht’ von Herzen weinen.
“Überm Walde blitzt’s von weitem,
Wo um Christi Grab sie streiten;
Dorthin will mein Schiff ich wenden,
Da wird alles, alles enden!”
Geht ein Schiff, ein Mann stand drinnen,
Falsche Nacht, verwirrst die Sinne!
Welt Ade! Gott woll’ bewahren,
Die noch irr im Dunkeln fahren!
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
1. After a piano bass octave, the alto’s first verse is
presented in G minor. It is extremely quiet and
hushed. The rhythm is constant (long-short in triple meter),
as is the sparse accompaniment. In the first line, the bass
octave is held, with one right-hand chord per bar. The vocal
line arches gently up and back. The second vocal line winds
downward. while the piano bass octaves move for the first
time. The piano harmonies are very austere and veer toward C
0:22 [m. 10]--The third
line introduces even more colorful harmonies suggesting D minor,
then major. The vocal line arches like line 1. The piano
diverges from its octaves, but the low bass note is again
held. In the last line, the voice descends to the last word,
stretching it out to three bars and creating a six-bar
phrase. This extension is slightly syncopated. The
piano bass again moves to octaves, and the highly chromatic line
settles on a G-major chord.
0:43 [m. 20]--A piano
interlude takes the music back through G minor, arriving at its
“relative” major key of B-flat. This occurs in two rising
statements (still in the long-short rhythm) over held bass
0:57 [m. 27]--Stanza
2. A low bass B-flat signals the baritone’s first
response. His major key and more minimal chromatic harmony
contrast his verse from hers. The first line arches up and
back, as had the alto’s first line. The second line steadily
descends. The long-short rhythm persists. The
accompaniment is now slightly more active, with the left hand
joining the long-short rhythm in broken fourths and fifths in the
first line, broken octaves in the second line.
1:15 [m. 36]--The third
line also arches, but begins to mildly build. The harmony
briefly moves to E-flat major. The last line begins with a
mild high point, as the baritone descends from a higher pitch and
moves back to the key of G minor. The left hand motion is
changed to broken sixths and tenths under this last line instead
of octaves. The baritone’s last word (his identity,
“Ritter”) is a downward-leaping octave, punctuated by an accented
note in the piano.
1:29 [m. 44]--This piano
interlude begins with the upbeat of the accented note under the
second syllable of “Ritter.” It introduces a second voice in
the right hand. The two voices do not move together, so
there is now right hand motion on every beat. There is some
syncopation in the lower voice, and the top one mostly sticks to
the long-short rhythm, but twice plays short-long groups. In
the last two bars, the top voice slows down and the lower voice
becomes more active. The left hand holds an octave D
throughout the interlude.
1:45 [m. 53]--Stanza
3. The introductory bar continues the motion of the
interlude with a two-note upbeat. These two-note upbeats
continue after the alto enters. Her vocal line is as in
stanza 1, as are the harmonies. The slightly more active
accompaniment has the two-note upbeats flowing into the next bar,
then repeating the pattern a bar later. The left hand has
single bass notes, but they only move in the second and fourth
lines, being held through the first and third.
2:24 [m. 72]--This third
piano interlude, like the first, moves to B-flat major. It
introduces a more flowing line in broken chords. There are
two phrases of generally ascending broken chords, each introduced
by the familiar two-note upbeat. The bass line is as in the
2:37 [m. 79]--Stanza 4,
lines 1-3. For the first three lines, the baritone’s vocal
part in this stanza is the same as in stanza 2. The
accompaniment is even more active than in stanza 3, with the
flowing broken chords continuing through the first two phrases
after the two-note upbeat. In the third line, the left hand
begins to play faster broken chords. There, the volume
starts to build, but now it begins a more extended crescendo.
3:02 [m. 92]--Stanza 4,
line 4 and Stanza 5, line 1. In a highly dramatic stroke,
the alto enters with stanza 5 over the baritone’s last line.
This overlapping text reveals a crucial point of the poem: that it
is not a dialogue, but that the knight’s words are distant
memories. The key moves to an almost otherworldly A-flat
major as the volume swells. At “blühend” in the alto and
“sterben” in the baritone, there is a sharp dissonance between the
voices (m. 94). The piano now has full rising arpeggios
split between the hands.
3:09 [m. 96]--Stanza 5,
lines 2-4. The alto’s continuation is dynamic in comparison
to what has gone before. The second line moves from A-flat
toward E-flat major as the piano bass finally moves from what had
been eight bars of a “dominant” pedal point on the note
E-flat. The third line suddenly quiets down again, and the
long-short rhythm is strikingly abandoned for two “sighing”
phrases that are separated by a rest. The last line, after a
two-note upbeat, is lengthened to eight bars by placing single
syllables under each “long-short” pair. The harmony here
drifts to F minor and C major. The piano arpeggios continue
with some dovetailing and internal voicing.
3:36 [m. 111]--Stanza 6,
lines 1-3. The music is here marked animato, and a large buildup
begins. The piano begins the agitation with low octave
tremolos and isolated trumpet-like calls. The baritone sings
his opening phrase three times, each a step higher. The
first two of these are both sung to the first line. The
third is sung to the second line. The third line introduces
a new, narrowly leaping vocal phrase. The dynamic harmony of
the passage reaches a tentative A minor.
3:59 [m. 128]--Stanza 6,
line 4 and Stanza 7, lines 1-2. At the high point, the
baritone sings the last line of the stanza to nearly the same
music as the last line from his original strophe in stanza
2. Against this, the alto again makes a dramatic entrance
with the just-introduced narrowly leaping vocal phrase. To
this, she sings the first line of stanza 7, in imitation of the
baritone. She follows with further imitation (a ninth
higher) on the second line while the baritone repeats the third
line of stanza 6 to a new, more active phrase (including two
statements of the word “dorthin”). The harmony veers again
4:10 [m. 136]--The
baritone begins anew as the alto drops out. He repeats the
last line of stanza 6 with expanded leaps. The alto enters
two bars later with a repetition of stanza 7, line 2. She is
in closer near-imitation with the baritone, ending up an octave,
rather than a seventh above him. The baritone has now sung
his last, and from “wirst die Sinne,” the alto is alone.
Under the long-held first syllable of “Sinne,” the piano
accompaniment settles and slows, quieting to an unstable arrival
on A major.
4:29 [m. 147]--Stanza 7,
lines 3-4.The alto sings the last two lines to the same music used
for the last two lines of stanzas 1 and 3. The accompaniment
is a series of rising arpeggios with low bass notes and
octaves. These continue after the music settles on another
G-major chord at the vocal cadence. They become split
between the hands and lead to an extremely gentle closing in major
instead of minor, suggesting the nun’s transfigured penance.
5:14--END OF DUET [161 mm.]
2. Vor der Tür (At the Door). Old
German folk text, possibly from Hoffmann von Fallersleben’s
collection. Vivace. Five-part through-composed
form. B MAJOR, 3/4 time.
Tritt auf den Riegel von der Tür,
Wie gern käm ich herein,
Um dich zu küssen.
“Ich laß dich nicht herein.
Schleich immer heim ganz sacht
Auf deinen Füssen.”
Wohl kann ich schleichen sacht
Steh nur auf, laß mich ein:
Das will ich von dir haben.
O Mägdlein, dein’n Knaben
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1.
The piano bass establishes its skittish, almost giggling sotto voce pattern. The
baritone presents his suit with a hesitant beginning on an upbeat,
repeating the words “Tritt auf.” The entire first line (with
both statements of “tritt auf”) is repeated, establishing the
halting, lilting melody and doubled by the piano right hand in
chords. The piano bass alternates between high and low
0:11 [m. 11]--The second
line is smoother, more expressive and ardent, reaching the high
pitch on a repetition of “wie gern herein.” Those words are
repeated a second time on a descent, leading to the third
line. It introduces expressive chromatic pitches in both
piano and voice, lengthening the word “küssen.” The
repetition of that line and a piano punctuation swell and recede
quickly, questioning and unresolved. The piano plays full
chords and octaves throughout the passage, abandoning the
0:26 [m. 25]--Part
2. The last three lines of the first stanza are the only
words the alto will sing in the duet. She presents the first
of these to the same melody the baritone had used, but in the
minor key (B minor). She prefaces the line with a hesitant
“ich laß dich nicht.” The notes used for the opening of the
baritone’s line repetition are omitted. She then picks up
the melody again with a full (and straight) repetition of her own
line. The piano accompaniment is now secretive, passing
winding four-note groups between the hands.
0:33 [m. 33]--The alto’s
second line departs from the baritone’s melody, turning it in the
opposite direction, but maintaining the switch to a smoother
expression. The accompaniment changes, with the right hand
playing wide high-low oscillations. The left hand support
includes some octave doubling. With some hesitancy, the
words “ganz sacht” are repeated. The third line (the last of
the stanza) again changes direction. It is briefer than the
baritone’s corresponding passage. The repetition of “deinen
Füßen” arrives on F-sharp. The ensuing piano bridge
re-establishes the skittish left hand under right hand arpeggios.
0:45 [m. 45]--Part
3. The F-sharp cadence and the bridge have avoided
committing to major or minor. The arrival back on B major is
thus quite smooth. The baritone sings the first two lines of
the second stanza to nearly the same melody used in his opening
entreaty. A repetition of the two lines adds some new leaps
to the melody. Against this, the alto again presents her
first line (the fourth of stanza 1). She sings in exact
imitation (canon) two bars behind the baritone an octave higher,
stating the line twice, both times with the anticipatory “ich laß
dich nicht.” The piano now passes the “skittish” figures
between the hands.
0:55 [m. 55]--The alto now
leads the canon with her second line (stanza 1, line 5). It
begins as had the baritone melody from 0:11 [m. 11]. She
diverges after two bars to reach her highest pitch (as does the
baritone). The baritone’s imitation sets the third line of
the second stanza. The alto repeats her line three times
with two extra statements of “ganz sacht.” The baritone’s
line is also given three times, but the second repetition omits
“nur” and adds “und.” It is preceded by an extra “steh
auf.” His third repetition also omits “mich,” again
reiterating “steh auf.” The canon is brought a bar closer
together after the alto’s first reiteration of “ganz sacht,” which
the baritone does not imitate. His imitation is also no
longer exact. In the third statements of both singers’
lines, upward leaps take over. The alto has one “extra”
leap. These leaps swell in volume. The piano
accompaniment passes four-note rising arpeggios between the hands.
1:10 [m. 69]--Part
4. The previous passage had set up an expected motion to E
major. Instead, the climax of the buildup resolves with a
“deceptive” motion to C major. Here, the baritone presents
the last three lines of the poem. Brahms marks the passage con anima. His largely
descending melody, beginning from his highest pitch, is presented
ardently, with a strong piano accompaniment containing chords in
the right hand and descending arpeggios in the left, all with much
motion from upbeats. He repeats “o Mägdlein.”
1:18 [m. 77]--Over the
words “dein’n Knaben laß ein,” which repeat the previous
music exactly, the alto enters weakly with her first line.
Two extra halting reiterations of “dich nicht” seem to indicate
further erosion of her resolve. The baritone repeats “dein’n
Knaben” three more times, the last time adding again the final
“laß ein!” This last repetition diverges from the previous
phrase. The alto completes her line, and the music arrives
on the expectant “dominant” chord of B major. This is the
climax of the duet, and Brahms marks it animato. A bridge brings back the
“giggling” left hand figures, and the music quickly subsides.
1:29 [m. 89]--Part
5. The last part again begins in canon, now at a distance of
one bar. The vocal line of the baritone reaches higher much
earlier than before. He uses the first line of the first
stanza and the third line of the second. “Tritt auf” is
stated twice, then the rest of the line is also stated
twice. The alto uses all of her text except “auf deinen
Füßen,” words not heard since their first presentation. The
first line has the usual anticipatory “ich laß dich nicht.”
It is repeated. The second line has the customary repetition
of “ganz sacht.” The alto’s pitch falls dramatically after
the first “ich laß dich nicht,” and her imitations become more
weak, introducing narrow winding motion under the colorful word
1:39 [m. 99]--After
another buildup, the baritone sings the music and the text of Part
4, and the piano accompaniment follows suit. He is now in
the key originally expected at that point, E major. This
arrives with the alto’s previous “sacht.” He again
reiterates “o Mägdlein,” moving back to the home key of B.
The alto’s responses continue. She reiterates “ich laß dich
nicht herein” for what is now the eighth (!) time, proving that
her rejection is quite ineffectual. The last three words are
echoed on the familiar rapidly falling figure. Her second
line falls even more in pitch over the baritone’s rising “ dein’n
Knaben laß ein,” showing the characters coming closer, literally
1:46 [m. 107]--The final
passage returns to the smoother motion heard at 0:55 [m.
55]. The piano plays the four-note arpeggios passed between
the hands, also as heard at 0:55. The alto only sings her
first line, the baritone only the third line of stanza 2.
The alto leads on the rising arpeggios. The baritone
imitations reach a half-step higher than she does. The text
repetition becomes more fragmented.
1:53 [m. 114]--As the alto
turns to longer notes lasting a full bar for a last futile
statement of “ich laß dich nicht ein,” the baritone actually
matches her pitch rather than reaching higher. He continues
to sing one more arching arpeggio under her longer notes, and they
come together on the same word, “ein!” They hold this pitch
(on a harmonious tenth) as the piano arpeggios become more
joyous. These arpeggios reach even higher after the voices
drop out before three bright final chords end this wonderful,
2:08--END OF DUET [124 mm.]
3. Es rauschet das Wasser
(The Water Rushes).
Text by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In sanfter Bewegung (In
gentle motion). Three part form, with two contrasting
strophes combined in the third part. F MAJOR, 4/4 time with
six 6/4 bars and seven 3/4 bars.
Es rauschet das Wasser und bleibet nicht steh’n;
Gar lustig die Sterne am Himmel hingeh’n;
Gar lustig die Wolken am Himmel hinzieh’n
So rauschet die Liebe und fähret dahin.
Es rauschen die Wasser, die Wolken zergeh’n;
Doch bleiben die Sterne, sie wandeln und gehn.
So auch mit der Liebe, der treuen, geschicht,
Sie wegt sich, sie regt sich und ändert sich nicht.
0:00 [m. 1]--The piano
introduction is richly harmonized, with evocative rolled
chords. It begins with an upbeat and gives a first
presentation of the melody that will be presented by the
alto. Mild syncopation is introduced as it builds and
0:14 [m. 4]--The
introduction now takes up the melody that will be sung by the
baritone, including the distinctive turn figure. The
harmonies are somewhat smoother, abandoning the rolled chords and
introducing a descending middle voice that includes some chromatic
0:22 [m. 6]--Stanza
1. It is completely presented by the alto, who in Goethe’s
characterization is skeptical of the constancy of love. The
first three lines are sung in regular two-bar phrases. The
accompaniment is quite simple, the left hand playing on the beats
and the right hand after them in detached harmonies. The
third line introduces a prominent chromatic note (F-sharp) on the
second syllable of “lustig.”
0:43 [m. 12]--For the last
line, the alto lengthens the phrase to three bars with an
elongation of “fähret.” The colorful F-sharp remains
prominent. The line is then repeated in nearly the same
rhythm, again in three bars. This time, the notes from “die
Liebe” are shifted upward and effect a brief motion to and cadence
in a poignant A minor. The piano echoes this cadence.
The accompaniment becomes slightly less detached and regular
here. The basic outline remains, but right hand chords are
held longer and neither hand sticks to the previous rhythmic
1:06 [m. 18]--Stanza
2. The baritone takes this stanza, and argues that love is
constant and unchanging. His melody is similar to that of
the alto in the first line (as the text is also similar), but he
embellishes it with the turn figure heard in the
introduction. The accompaniment is now much smother, with
active inner voices. It contains elements of the previous
alto melody. The second line introduces the first two 6/4
bars. These metrical extensions give emphasis to the
constancy of the stars. The word “bleiben” (“remain”) is
noticeably lengthened. The left hand begins to play solid
bass octaves here. A small climax is created.
1:27 [m. 22]--The third
line is again in the old meter and resembles the alto’s third line
in both melody and rhythm, including an introduction of the
“colorful” F-sharp in the piano. The fourth line brings back
the 6/4 meter for two more bars. Although the F-sharp and
other chromatic elements are retained from the corresponding alto
line, the baritone’s line is not repeated, and it remains in F
major for a full cadence.
1:49 [m. 26]--Combination
of stanzas 1 and 2. The alto still sings stanza 1 and the
baritone sings stanza 2, but they now alternate and overlap
melodies and words. The accompaniment used for the alto,
with the detached hand alternation, returns. The alto begins
with her first line. It is broken up by the baritone after
the first bar. He sings his first line in its entirety,
including the turn figure. The alto only completes her line
as she comes in against the second bar of the baritone phrase.
2:00 [m. 29]--The baritone
now sings his original second line, and his accompaniment returns,
along with the 6/4 bars and the small climax. Since his
music is now dominant, the alto must alter her second line.
It is now stretched out to match the 6/4 bars, and it reaches much
higher. Her last syllable soars upward.
2:13 [m. 31]--The
baritone’s accompaniment is retained for the third line, again in
the 4/4 meter. His vocal line is only altered by the
addition of yet another turn figure at the end. The alto
sings her third line against him, but this time it is much closer
to her original melody. The only major difference is the
introduction of a lilting triplet-rhythm figure at the very
2:21 [m. 33]--For the last
line, 3/4 instead of 6/4 and 4/4 bars are used. This is to
accommodate text repetition from both singers. The baritone
begins as he had before, but suddenly he repeats “sie wegt sich,
sie regt sich” on new pitches to accommodate the alto’s motion to
A minor. This she does on music that is very similar to her
initial three-bar last line. Instead of repeating the entire
line, she, like the baritone, only repeats the first half, “so
rauschet die Liebe.” Neither have sung the second halves of
their lines yet.
2:33 [m. 37]--The alto
finally breaks from the baritone. She sings the last half of
her line in a single 3/4 bar and ends with an A-minor cadence, as
she had before. The baritone, however, overlaps her cadence
and sings his last words in two final 3/4 bars. He begins by
somewhat imitating the alto, but then moves to his initial melody
and shifts the music quickly back to the home key of F major
for a very warm and beautiful cadence. He tellingly
reiterates the words “und ändert” (“and changes”) before the final
“sich nicht!” (“itself NOT!”).
2:46 [m. 40]--With the
baritone’s final cadence, the piano introduction returns in
full. The original five 4/4 bars are followed by two new
ones that bring the piece to a transfigured and luminous, yet
somehow still questioning close with a “prayerful” plagal cadence.
3:27--END OF DUET [46 mm.]
4. Der Jäger und sein Liebchen
(The Hunter and his Love).
Text by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben.
Allegro. Varied strophic form. F MAJOR, 2/4 time.
Ist nicht der Himmel so blau?
Steh am Fenster und schau!
Erst in der Nacht,
Spät in der Nacht
Komm’ ich heim von der Jagd.
“Anders hab’ ich gedacht,
Tanzen will ich die Nacht!
Bleib vor der Tür,
Spät vor der Tür
Willst du nicht tanzen mit mir!”
Mädchen, der Himmel ist blau,
Bleib am Fenster und schau.
Bis in der Nacht,
Spät in der Nacht,
Heim ich kehr’ von der Jagd.
“Ist auch der Himmel so blau,
Steh’ ich doch nimmer und schau’
Ob in der Nacht,
Spät in der Nacht
Heim du kehrst von der Jagd.”
0:00 [m. 1]--The extremely
brief and loud introduction is simply a cadence figure with the
right hand moving up in chords and the left hand moving down in
single notes. The left hand plays on the beats and
half-beats, the right hand after them, a pattern that will
continue with the vocal entry.
0:04 [m. 3]--Stanza
1. The baritone breathlessly presents his verse protesting
that he will come late from the hunt. The first two lines
are set to the same three-bar phrase that arches up and
down. The short third and fourth lines use two-bar phrases,
the first descending from a high note and the second again
arching. The rhythm pattern from the introduction continues
in the piano, but the left hand is now harmonized with two notes,
and roughly doubles the voice. The right hand now plays only
octaves after the left hand notes.
0:12 [m. 13]--The last
line of the verse is a large arching five-bar phrase. The
line is stated twice, once ascending and once descending.
Under the ascending line, the piano left hand stops doubling the
voice and moves parallel to the right hand octaves in
sixths. As the voice descends the piano left hand imitates
the arching phrase, playing the ascending portion. The right
hand here abandons the octaves and gradually plays its two-note
harmonies at smaller distances. The volume suddenly
0:15 [m. 17]--As the voice
finishes with a cadence, the left hand of the piano continues its
imitation, moving from the ascent to the descent. At this
point, the right hand begins yet another imitation, playing the
ascent. When both hands finish their motion, they continue
moving in the same directions, apart from each other. The
left hand plays the entire descent again an octave lower, and the
right hand the entire ascent an octave higher. This gives
the verse an emphatic full close.
0:19 [m. 21]--The two
introductory bars are now played in the higher, related key of
0:21 [m. 23]--Stanza
2. The alto now presents her rejecting response in
B-flat. The accompaniment is similar, but much
lighter. The right hand now plays on the beats, resting on
the half-beats, but playing after both. This results in a
dance-like motion, with quickly slurred downward leaps on the main
beats. Like the baritone, the alto also sings her first two
lines to identical three-bar phrases, with the piano left hand
roughly doubling her vocal line. The phrase arches, but is
narrower in range than was the baritone’s.
0:25 [m. 29]--The short
third and fourth lines are now identical four-note descents.
Somewhat unexpectedly, the baritone enters, dovetailing with his previous third and fourth
lines. He imitates her at a seventh (not quite an octave)
below, creating mild dissonance and suggesting the related G-minor
0:29 [m. 33]--The
accompaniment from stanza 1 returns, abandoning the quick downward
leaps. The fifth line for the alto is in D minor. It
essentially turns the baritone’s previous line upside down,
descending before it ascends. She does this faster, however,
turning before finishing the line. She then repeats the
whole line, shooting powerfully upward toward a cadence in D minor
and creating a five-bar phrase. Under her repetition, the
baritone enters with the fifth line of stanza 1, imitating her
first arching statement exactly. The piano left hand doubles
him in octaves.
0:32 [m. 37]--As both
voices reach the D-minor cadence, the piano begins three
successive rising statements of the two introductory bars, moving
up by fifths to G major, C major, and finally the home key of F
major. The last of these is played with widely distant
hands, the right hand an octave higher than at the beginning.
0:37 [m. 43]--Stanzas 3
and 4. The verses are sung by the two voices simultaneously,
the baritone on stanza 3 and the alto on stanza 4. She
actually begins with the repeated three-bar phrase heard by the
baritone in stanza 1, and the text is indeed similar. The
first statement omits the opening leap. The baritone comes
in a bar behind her with new, but related three-measure phrases
(also with similar text). Their lines thus dovetail with
each other. The accompaniment is as in stanza 1.
0:42 [m. 49]--The third
and fourth lines are also sung by the alto to the same lines the
baritone had in stanza 1. He now imitates her exactly at a
distance of an octave plus a fourth lower. The accompaniment
diverges from stanza 1, both hands becoming more wide-ranging,
though the right hand still plays in octaves. The
quasi-doubling of the alto’s vocal line in the left hand is
abandoned. The harmony of the accompaniment moves to the
“dominant” key of C.
0:45 [m. 53]--The voices
now have a long developmental passage that interrupts the basic
verse. They both sing to their respective last lines,
alternating with each other on rising half-lines with similar
texts. Under them, two versions of the introductory bars
slide upward first to D-flat, then to D.
0:49 [m. 57]--The previous
passage having increased in volume, the voices now return to their
respective second lines. They begin together, but the
baritone’s first notes are lengthened so that the voices end up in
alternation again. The alto inserts a new variant of the
first words, replacing “nimmer” (“never”) with “nicht”
(“not”). Her second alternation restores the original
word. The baritone repeats “und schau,” but the alto does
not. Her statement of those words is isolated. The
whole passage moves to G major, beginning with another variant of
the introduction in the piano. After this, the accompaniment
becomes more static, both hands hovering around the same range for
0:54 [m. 63]--In a very
exciting passage, both voices become hushed again. They sing
on their short third and fourth lines, followed by the last
lines. The baritone sings longer notes in four rising,
building waves. The alto responds with shorter notes.
These are harmonically very active, moving through E-flat major, F
major, and G minor before arriving again at home in F.
Against the baritone’s third and fourth “waves,” the alto actually
comes together with him on the words “von der Jagd,” the only time
in the duet that this happens. Before the arrival on F
major, both voices sing the shorter notes together in pleasing
1:01 [m. 71]--The voices
now become hushed again and reverse roles, the alto taking the
four rising, building “waves” in long notes and the baritone
providing the short responses. The alto’s first three
“waves” move through G-flat major, A-flat major, and B-flat minor.
1:06 [m. 77]--At the
arrival on B-flat minor, the music diverges from the previous
passage, and the alto holds a note over a bar line. The
baritone enters not with his last line, but with his third
(shorter) line against the alto’s final line. They avoid the
previous “coming together.” The alto then returns to her short lines. The
baritone ends up singing the third line twice (where he also holds
a note over a bar). Both repeat the word “spät” in their
successive fourth lines. Under all this, a four-chord
progression (B-flat minor, G-flat major, C major, and F major) is
heard three times in succession.
1:11 [m. 83]--Finally, the
five-bar arching phrase that closed stanza 1 returns. It
almost sneaks in, as the baritone has already sung the first word
of his last line (“heim”) while the alto finished her last
alternation. The alto sings the original baritone version
heard at 0:12 [m. 13]. Under her ascent, the baritone sings
an “anticipation” of the descent on his last line. When she
then descends with the repetition, the piano left hand imitates
with the ascent, as it had before, but now it is joined by the
baritone, who returns briefly to his third line (“bis in der
Nacht”) as he turns around.
1:14 [m. 87]--The alto
reaches her final cadence. As at 0:15 [m. 17], the piano
left hand continues its imitation with the descent. This
time, however, it is doubled by the baritone, who returns to his
final line. Note that here he changes the word “kehr’”
(“return”) to “komm” (“come”). He had also done this as
early as right before 1:01 [m. 71], when the voices briefly came
together. As in the previous passage, the piano right hand
plays the ascent against this. After the baritone concludes,
the piano’s hands diverge apart as they had before, the right hand
ascending another octave and the left hand descending another
octave, ending the duet with the same emphatic full close.
1:26--END OF DUET [91 mm.]
(runoff after 1:19)
END OF SET
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