NINE SONGS (LIEDER UND GESÄNGE) TO TEXTS BY PLATEN AND DAUMER, OP. 32
Recording: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Daniel Barenboim, piano [DG 449 633-2]

Published 1864.

This is the first of the large sets of eight or nine songs that would carry the heading “Lieder und Gesänge,” using both German words for “song.”  It is often compared with the contemporary “Magelone” songs, Op. 33, but a more apt comparison would be with the Op. 57 set, a group completely devoted to Daumer’s poetry and whose songs also do not have titles.  Op. 63, another group of nine that sets multiple songs by three (rather than two) poets is also somewhat similar.  At any rate, Op. 32, composed in Baden-Württemberg, Germany in 1864, is a large advance on the earlier songs, and represents the composer’s first mature group of works for solo voice.  The piano parts are full of character, the rhythms full of complexity.  It was the first time that a group was unified by the poets used and, very significantly, it contains his first settings of Georg Friedrich Daumer, the poet of the Liebeslieder waltzes, whose words Brahms would set more than any other poet (for more on Daumer, see Op. 57).  In this case, Daumer is paired with the excellent poet August von Platen (of whose homosexuality Brahms was probably not aware).  The first song is by Platen, the second by Daumer, then follow four more Platen settings and three more of Daumer.   The last three Daumer songs are all adaptations of the classical Persian poet Hafis and are the only three songs in the set that are in major keys. None of the songs has a title, and they are known by their first lines.  The first song, to a Platen text, is a great masterpiece of drama and concentration, one of his best songs to date.  The second, his first Daumer setting of all, is quiet, dark and brooding.  The four succeeding Platen songs are all excellent, intense, full of regret, and rather concise, especially the exceedingly melancholy and bitter No. 6.  No. 5, the only fast song in the set, is the most hopeful.  The three final Daumer songs in major keys, Nos. 7-9, have hints of melancholy, but are mostly optimistic. Of them, No. 9 is the most famous, and is one of the most familiar of all Brahms songs, despite the highly problematic declamation in its first lines.  It set a standard for similar intensely lyrical settings that would follow.  The texts all describe some sort of spiritual or emotional separation between lovers.  The set as a whole is as emotionally balanced and unified as a group can be without being an actual “cycle.”  The true cycle would come with the next opus number.

Note: Links to English translations of the texts are from Emily Ezust’s site at http://www.recmusic.org/lieder.  For the most part, the translations are line-by-line, except where the difference between German and English syntax requires slight alterations to the contents of certain lines.  The German texts (included here) are also visible in the translation links.

IMSLP WORK PAGE
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (First Edition from Brahms-Institut Lübeck--original keys)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke--original keys)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Edition Peters, edited by Max Friedländer):
No. 1: Wie rafft
ich mich auf in der Nacht (in original key, F minor)
No. 1: Wie rafft
ich mich auf in der Nacht (in low key, E-flat minor)
No. 2: Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen (in original key, D minor)
No. 2: Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen (in high key, F minor)
No. 3: Ich
schleich’ umher, betrübt und stumm (in original key, D minor)
No. 3: Ich schleich’ umher, betrübt und stumm (in high key, F-sharp minor)
No. 4: Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschte (in original key, C-sharp minor)
No. 4: Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschte (in high key, E minor)
No. 5: Wehe, so willst du mich wieder (in original key, B minor)
No. 5: Wehe, so willst du mich wieder (in low key, G minor)
No. 6: Du sprichst, daß ich mich täuschte (in original key, C minor)
No. 6: Du sprichst, daß ich mich täuschte (in low key, A minor)
No. 7: Bitteres zu sagen denkst du
(in original key, F major)
No. 7: Bitteres zu sagen denkst du (in low key, D major)
No. 8: So stehn wir, ich und meine Weide (in original key, A-flat major)
No. 8: So stehn wir, ich und meine Weide (in low key, G major)
No. 9: Wie bist du, meine Königin (in original key, E-flat major)
No. 9: Wie bist du, meine Königin (in low key,  D-flat major)
Nos. 1, 3-4, 6-8 (high keys [Nos. 1, 6-8 original keys]--higher resolution)


BOOK I:
1. “Wie rafft’ ich mich auf in der Nacht” (“How I roused myself in the night”).  Text by August von Platen.  Andante.  Highly varied ternary form with two-verse middle section (ABB’A’).  F MINOR, 4/4 time (Low key E-flat minor).

German Text:
Wie rafft’ ich mich auf in der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Und fühlte mich fürder gezogen,
Die Gassen verließ ich vom Wächter bewacht,
Durchwandelte sacht
In der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Das Tor mit dem gotischen Bogen.

Der Mühlbach rauschte durch felsigen Schacht,
Ich lehnte mich über die Brücke,
Tief unter mir nahm ich der Wogen in Acht,
Die wallten so sacht,
In der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Doch wallte nicht eine zurücke.

Es drehte sich oben, unzählig entfacht
Melodischer Wandel der Sterne,
Mit ihnen der Mond in beruhigter Pracht,
Sie funkelten sacht
In der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Durch täuschend entlegene Ferne.

Ich blickte hinauf in der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Und blickte hinunter aufs neue:
O wehe, wie hast du die Tage verbracht,
Nun stille du sacht
In der Nacht, in der Nacht,
Im pochenden Herzen die Reue!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  Two descending thirds in the piano bass octaves set the song in motion.  The voice enters, and the piano bass follows the vocal line, with its prominent dotted (long-short) rhythms.  The vocal line itself is quite ominous.  The right hand enters after the first “in der Nacht,” creating harmony with the bass octaves.  Brahms scrupulously observes the repetitions of “in der Nacht” included in the poem.  Here, the repetition introduces a slow buildup.  The dotted rhythms in the piano lead into the next line.
0:16 [m. 5]--The second line continues the buildup and introduces biting dissonances.  The piano continues its dotted rhythms, somewhat shadowing the voice.  Brahms introduces his own repetition of “mich fürder,” then repeats the entire line (without “und”) as the buildup reaches its climax.  The vocal descent on the repetition also brings back the volume so that the next line enters quietly.
0:28 [m. 9]--The rhythm of both the accompaniment and the voice changes notably at the third line, which briefly moves to C minor.  The piano plays in a triplet rhythm, with repeated chords alternating with thumping bass notes.  The vocal line is less angular, and arches smoothly up and down, its straight rhythm creating a two-against-three clash with the triplets in the piano.  The next two lines have bare repeated octaves in the piano, doubling the vocal notes but still retaining the clashing triplet rhythm.  The fifth line of all stanzas is a repeated “in der Nacht,” always given special notice by Brahms.  The last line restores the triplet chords in the right hand while the voice widely arches up and down.  The first syllable of “Bogen” is stretched out on a long held note before a cadence in F minor.
0:47 [m. 15]--The cadence introduces a dramatic interlude whose main melody is in the piano bass.  It winds up and down, first slowly, then somewhat more actively.  The right hand continues its clashing triplet chords against the bass melody, which is in straight rhythm.  The interlude heavily features a harmony on G-flat major, a half-step above the home key.  This striking harmony is known as the “Neapolitan” chord.
1:02 [m. 19]--Stanza 2 (B).  The voice moves to a higher pitch for this stanza.  The right hand continues to play triplet rhythms, but the repeated chords are replaced by a more flowing line with static, repeated patterns of mostly ascending arpeggios depicting the rushing stream.  The piano bass is directly imported from the vocal melody of stanza 1, its dotted rhythm in octaves continuously clashing with the right hand triplets.  It helps to retain the dark mood, as the vocal line is more gentle here, wistful rather than ominous.
1:14 [m. 23]--The third line introduces another slow buildup.  As in stanza 1, it moves toward C minor.  The piano bass retains the pattern of the stanza 1 melody.  At the fifth line, the repeated “in der Nacht” sounds full of desperation.  The last line has a similar arching pattern to the third line of stanza 1 and reaches the top of the buildup.  It is echoed by the top line of the piano.  The line is then repeated on a descent as the music settles back down.  The second syllable of “zurücke” is on a long held note.  The stanza finishes and cadences in C minor, and the triplet arpeggios continue that key in a brief rising bridge.
1:45 [m. 33]--Stanza 3 (B’).  Sliding easily back to F minor to begin, the vocal line in the entire stanza is identical to that of stanza 2.  The piano part is greatly altered.  The material from the stanza 1 melody moves to the right hand in the piano’s high register, depicting the shining stars and moon.  In the first line, the stanza 1 melody is harmonized in sixths.  The piano left hand, now in the middle range, has the triplet motion in an oscillating, undulating pattern.  In the second line, the right hand joins the triplet motion.
1:58 [m. 37]--The right hand goes back to the stanza 1 melody under the third line.  In the fourth line, and continuing through the repeated “in der Nacht,” it joins the left hand on the triplet rhythm.  The piano echo of the last line’s first statement is an octave higher than it was in stanza 2.  The descent on the line’s repetition retains a delicate character in the right hand.  The long held note is on the first syllable of “Ferne” before another cadence in C minor.  The bridge essentially reverses the rise after stanza 2 to a descent.
2:27 [m. 47]--Stanza 4 (A’).  The music makes a gradual transition back to the mood of stanza 1.  The triplet rhythm continues in both hands of the piano as the voice enters with the stanza 1 melody, albeit a fifth higher than at the beginning, remaining in C minor.  The dotted rhythm in octaves returns, only in the right hand, before the repetition of “in der Nacht.”  The undulating triplets continue in the left hand.
2:37 [m. 50]--In the stanza’s second line, the voice returns to the pitch level of stanza 1.  The only real difference is a more urgent statement of “hinunter,” a word that is repeated in an analogy to “mich fürder” in stanza 1.  The whole line is then repeated.  The right hand is similar here to its part in stanza 1, but it is an octave higher.  The left hand continues in the triplet motion.  The repetition does not diminish in volume, as it did in stanza 1, instead continuing the very slow, steady buildup.
2:46 [m. 54]--The third line is now the climax.  The voice begins in a similar manner to its pattern in stanza 1, but it continues to rise on “die Tage verbracht.”  The right hand now plays mostly in straight sixths and the left hand triplets now are thumping responses to low bass octaves.  Instead of moving to C minor, where the stanza already was at the beginning, the line moves to D-flat minor.  Then, unexpectedly, the line is repeated, which it was not in stanza 1.  The repetition is notated in G-flat minor (the minor-key version of the “Neapolitan” harmony heard earlier).  Strongly accented chords emphasize the striking harmony.
3:01 [m. 58]--At a suddenly quiet level (unlike the continuing quiet level in stanza 1), the bare octaves heard under the fourth and fifth lines in stanza 1 are here heard again, along with the dark vocal melody heard over these octaves (including the repeated “in der Nacht”).  They are, however, a half-step higher than they were in stanza 1, remaining on the G-flat minor harmony.  Even the last line stays at this level at first, only sliding back down to F minor at the very end.  The first syllable of the last word, “Reue,” is on the long held note.  The cadence matches that at the end of stanza 1.
3:18 [m. 62]--The piano postlude uses the same material as the interlude after stanza 1.  The melody has been transferred to the right hand, which plays in full harmony, including the pervasive sixths.  The left hand has the triplets, which again are thumping responses to low bass notes.  As in the previous interlude, the “Neapolitan” harmony of G-flat major, just heard in its minor version at the end of stanza 4, is prevalent.  The postlude is louder than the interlude, and reaches a rich final cadence in the home key, with three descending F-minor chords over the continuing triplets and a bare low fifth after the last chord.
3:55--END OF SONG [67 mm.]


2. “Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen” (“To visit you no longer”).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from a Czech folk poem.  Langsam (Slowly).  Ternary form (ABA).  D MINOR, 3/2 time (High key F minor).

German Text:
Nicht mehr zu dir zu gehen
Beschloß ich und beschwor ich,
Und gehe jeden Abend,
Denn jede Kraft und jeden Halt verlor ich.

Ich möchte nicht mehr leben,
Möcht’ augenblicks verderben,
Und möchte doch auch leben
Für dich, mit dir, und nimmer, nimmer sterben.

Ach, rede, sprich ein Wort nur,
Ein einziges, ein klares;
Gib Leben oder Tod mir,
Nur dein Gefühl enthülle mir, dein wahres!

English Translation
 
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  The piano begins playing in low octaves a beat before the voice haltingly enters on its rising line, moving with the bass octaves.  It leaps down to a two-note “sigh” figure on “gehen.”  There, the right hand enters in the middle range on a three-note turn figure as the voice pauses, illustrating the hesitancy described in the text.  The second line is set to this figure, alternating with the piano.  The word “und” is isolated, then the piano plays the figure again in the right hand’s lower harmony.  The words “beschwor ich” reach higher.  The piano’s low octaves very slowly descend under the second line.
0:16 [m. 4]--The third line is similar to the first, but is set a third higher and makes a narrower leap to the “sigh” figure, which moves to G minor.  The setting of the fourth line is more than twice the length of that of the second.  This is because the text is much longer and the words “denn jede Kraft” are repeated.  The vocal statements of the three-note figure alternate with the piano again, but are followed by two-note “sighs.”  Both statements of “denn jede Kraft” as well as “und jeden Halt” are isolated in this way in a long, slow descent moving back to D minor.  The last words, “verlor ich,” sink to a D-minor cadence.  A two-bar interlude based on lines 1 and 3 follows.
0:50 [m. 11]--Stanza 2 (B).  The second stanza is more animated and begins in the related major key of F.  The piano bass still mostly plays low, slow octaves, but the right hand becomes very excited, introducing a triplet rhythm passed between its low and high parts.  It also rises for the first time out of the middle range.  The voice, beginning with a descent that seems to turn the opening ascent of stanza 1 upside down, is less halting and hesitant.  Only the word “Augenblicks” is repeated.  Much of the piano right hand nearly doubles the vocal line, but the differing rhythms always offset them somewhat.
1:01 [m. 15]--The third and fourth lines rise even higher.  The third rapidly rises in volume to the first forte marking, the only one until the postlude.  It leads directly into the fourth line, the harmony becoming very unstable and agitated.  The repeated word “nimmer” suddenly arrests the motion on “sigh” figures and descends to “sterben,” which is dramatically lengthened.  The left hand abandons its octaves and introduces half-step “sigh” figures, but the right hand does continue the triplet rhythm, albeit more haltingly.
1:16 [m. 20]--This interlude is based on the music used to set “nimmer sterben.”  The right hand continues the halting triplets and gradually descends back to the middle range.  The speed and volume both decrease, the mood darkens considerably, and the return of the A material for stanza 3 is prepared with a pause on the “dominant” chord leading to D minor.
1:28 [m. 23]--Stanza 3 (A).  The music is essentially the same as stanza 1, but it is indicated to be sung and played more quietly.  The right hand provides another octave doubling and harmony under line 1 that had not been there before, but then the piano part is exactly reprised.  The word “einziges,” which alters the declamation of the isolated fragment, is given a varied setting with a dotted rhythm and a higher reach, and the isolated note used for “und” in stanza 1 is omitted in compensation.
1:44 [m. 26]--The third and fourth lines exactly reprise the music of 0:16 [m. 4].  The words “nur dein Gefühl” are repeated, and “dein wahres” descends to the cadence.  The two bars of the interlude following stanza 1 are heard.
2:19 [m. 33]--The interlude is extended as a postlude.  The right hand begins a similar statement of the opening line, but continues rising upward.  There is a dramatic rise in volume as well, and a loud high chord descends in a “sigh” motion.  This “sigh” is repeated an octave lower.  Under the “sighs,” the left hand leaps to the middle range and begins a descending arpeggio, mostly in octaves, that dramatically sinks down to the piano’s very low register.  The volume also descends to the final quiet chord.
2:47--END OF SONG [36 mm.]


3. “Ich schleich’ umher betrübt und stumm” (“I creep about, sad and mute”).  Text by August von Platen.  Mäßig (Moderately or Measured).  Simple strophic form.  D MINOR, 3/4 time (High key F-sharp minor).

German Text:
Ich schleich’ umher
Betrübt und stumm,
Du fragst, o frage
Mich nicht, warum?
Das Herz erschüttert
So manche Pein!
Und könnt’ ich je
Zu düster sein?

Der Baum verdorrt,
Der Duft vergeht,
Die Blätter liegen
So gelb im Beet,
Es stürmt ein Schauer
Mit Macht herein,
Und könnt’ ich je
Zu düster sein?

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 1.  There is no introduction, and the melody begins with an upbeat.  The first two lines very narrowly wind upward.  The right hand of the piano doubles and harmonizes the melody.  The left hand has descending figures, in scales with one internal skip, that illustrate the “creeping about” of the text.  The third and fourth lines descend, with a half-step motion on “frage mich.”  The left hand moves to wider, more halting descents.  The upward turn on the question word “warum” is echoed by the piano.
0:18 [m. 10]--The fifth line soars upward and rises in volume.  The left hand moves to a triplet rhythm, initially in broken octaves off the beat, then in a wider arpeggio.  This left hand pattern is given again under the sixth line, which rises to a poignant dissonance on “Pein” (“pain”).  The B-flat minor arpeggio under this word is foreign to both D minor and its related major key of F, where the music had briefly moved.
0:25 [m. 14]--The last two lines arch upward and back down, the left hand arpeggios now also arching with reiteration of the descents.  The end of the last line, “zu düster sein,” turns back upward, avoiding a cadence.  Then the piano, in a sharp syncopation, begins an abbreviated version of the phrase used to set the two lines.  The last line is repeated in the manner of a refrain, now resignedly descending to the cadence.
0:38 [m. 21, first ending]--The vocal descent has settled the music down, and the piano left hand slows to a straight rhythm in a last four-note descent.  This leads to the repetition for the second verse.
0:40 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 2.  The first four lines are set to the same music.  The text is not quite as perfectly matched to the music, but it does fit very well, with the fallen leaves set to the half-step descent before the upward turn and piano echo.
1:01 [m. 10]--The fifth and sixth lines are matched quite well to the music heard initially at 0:18, with the dramatic upward rise depicting the “storming shower,” but the dissonance on the second syllable of “herein” is not as apt as it was on “Pein.”
1:08 [m. 14]--The last two lines are an exact repetition of the music and text heard at 0:25, with the refrain on “zu düster sein.”
1:22 [m. 21, second ending]--As at 0:38, the left hand slows to a straight rhythm, but the last two notes are doubled in length to lead to the final chord that follows.  It is played in the middle range with a low octave.
1:37--END OF SONG [22 mm.]


4. “Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschte”  (“The stream that rushed past me”).  Text by August von Platen.  Moderato, ma agitato.  Through-composed form with partial return.  C-SHARP MINOR, 4/4 time, with four 3/2 measures (High key E minor).

German Text:
Der Strom, der neben mir verrauschte, wo ist er nun?
Der Vogel, dessen Lied ich lauschte, wo ist er nun?
Wo ist die Rose, die die Freundin am Herzen trug?
Und jener Kuß, der mich berauschte, wo ist er nun?
Und jener Mensch, der ich gewesen, und den ich längst
Mit einem andern Ich vertauschte, wo ist er nun?

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Line 1.  An octave and a bass response in the piano are like a call to attention before the extreme agitation of the song begins.  The piano plays triplet rhythms in both hands, beginning in the bass, but these triplets initially have breaks between them.  Against this, the singer presents the assertive vocal melody in straight dotted rhythm.  When the voice arrives at the refrain, “wo ist er nun?”, it shoots upward and holds the last note.  At that point, the piano triplets become continuous.  The piano bass roughly imitates and expands the vocal ascent in straight rhythm against the right hand’s undulating triplets.  The refrain is lengthened by a 3/2 bar.  The entire line builds to the high held note, then recedes in the 3/2 bar.
0:13 [m. 6]--Line 2.  The pattern of line 1 is presented again, this time beginning a fifth higher, in G-sharp minor.  It is varied, however, as the voice plunges downward on “Lied ich lauschte” instead of making another stepwise ascent, as the analogous “mir verrauschte” had done in line 1.  This allows the harmony to make a different shift, toward the related major key of E.  Again, a 3/2 bar follows the refrain.
0:23 [m. 10]--Lines 3 and 4.  These lines are run together, emphasizing the fact that line 3 does not have the refrain.  The piano triplets now leap upward and again have breaks between them.  The voice sings the familiar assertive dotted rhythm, but the lines are largely in the keys of E major and A major.  The piano triplets undulate again under line 4.  The lines begin gently, but rapidly build to the refrain.
0:34 [m. 15]--The refrain is expanded by adding two aggressive descending statements of “wo ist” before the line ascends to the held note as before.  These aggressive statements help to re-establish a minor key, temporarily on A, before the ascent moves back to the home key of C-sharp minor.  This ascent is passed to the piano, which plays it in thunderous bass octaves.  The piano bridge is expanded by a bar before the expected 3/2 bar, and the piano’s entire ascent is repeated an octave higher.
0:44 [m. 19]--Lines 5 and 6.  These lines are also run together in an even more direct manner, since line 5 not only lacks the refrain, but also breaks in mid-sentence.  Because the preceding piano bridge did not recede, the presentation begins strongly.  Brahms includes the marking “Più agitato.”  The bass in the piano triplets is heavier, and the patterns resemble those of lines 3 and 4.  The vocal line seems to begin with the music of line 1 and then move to that of line 4, so there is a sense of an aborted partial return.  Before the refrain, the music arrives at an A-major chord, and the piano breaks its triplets into groups of two in a huge ascent.  This creates an extremely unsettled effect and an even greater sense of buildup.
0:53 [m. 24]--As after line 4, the refrain is preceded by two aggressive statements of “wo ist.”  This time, they leap more strongly and widely downward, creating an even more desperate effect.  The music, including the vocal ascent, is temporarily in D minor.  It turns out that each of the four vocal ascents on the refrain has been a step higher than the last one.  As after line 4, the piano’s ascent is extended with an added bar before the 3/2 measure.  The piano brings the harmony home to C-sharp minor.  In the 3/2 bar itself, the voice sings a last statement of the refrain in longer notes as the music begins to settle down. 
1:04 [m. 28]--As the voice reaches its top note in the longer refrain, three 4/4 bars serve as postlude.  The piano purely imitates this last refrain in full right-hand harmony while the left hand descends in sonorous octaves.  The final vocal note is not the keynote, but the third above it, emphasizing the question of the refrain.  When the piano arrives at the top of its statement, the volume recedes again as the piano triplets undulate in the middle of the texture.  Further slowing and quieting lead to the last chord, played under the held final top note of the piano imitation and thus retaining the questioning uncertainty to the end.
1:25--END OF SONG [31 mm.]


BOOK II:
5. “Wehe, so willst du mich wieder”  (“Alas, so you would again [imprison] me”--German syntax here necessitates reaching to the second line for a sensible English translation of the first, which includes the German word for “me” but lacks the one for “imprison” ).  Text by August von Platen.  Allegro.  Simple strophic form with postlude.  B MINOR, 9/8 time (Low key G minor).

German Text:
Wehe, so willst du mich wieder,
Hemmende Fessel, umfangen?
Auf, und hinaus in die Luft!
Ströme der Seele Verlangen,
Ström’ es in brausende Lieder,
Saugend ätherischen Duft!

Strebe dem Wind nur entgegen
Daß er die Wange dir kühle,
Grüße den Himmel mit Lust!
Werden sich bange Gefühle
Im Unermeßlichen regen?
Atme den Feind aus der Brust!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Introduction.  The stormy 9/8 motion is established with repeated left hand notes.  A descending pattern is followed by a leap in the right hand.  The pattern is given twice, the second time an octave higher.
0:03 [m. 3]--Stanza (strophe) 1.  The repeated chords move to the right hand.  The singer enters with a melody derived from the introduction pattern.   After the first line, the piano bass is given the same melodic line.  The second line shoots upward and reaches a half-cadence.  The piano then continues in an interlude where the bass takes the prevalent downward arching pattern three times in succession, giving heavy emphasis to the “dominant” key (F-sharp) under right hand repeated chords and accented syncopations.
0:12 [m. 9]--The third line begins on an upbeat that is held into the next bar.  It dovetails with the last left-hand pattern on the main melodic line.  The line is joyously set twice in succession, first in the home major key (B major), and then in the “dominant” (F-sharp), where it reaches a cadence.  The grouping of beats here obscures the 9/8 meter and seems more like 6/8.  The heavy piano bass always moves under the held vocal notes.  Both the voice and the piano bass move to duple groupings right before the cadence after the second statement, clashing with the right hand chords and further obscuring the 9/8 meter.
0:19 [m. 13]--The cadence leads into a short interlude that moves to a new key center, notated as A-flat minor (a key closely related to B major when notated as G-sharp minor).  The volume diminishes, but the piano bass continues to play arpeggios in the clashing duple rhythm.
0:22 [m. 15]--The fourth and fifth lines use a winding melody in A-flat minor and A-flat major respectively, and are very similar except for the shift of mode.  The quiet intensity is maintained by the piano bass, which continues to play in the duple rhythm, this time on a strong descent.  The right hand, which maintains the triple 9/8 grouping, has moved to an oscillating instead of repeated-chord motion.  The fifth vocal line takes up the duple rhythm at the very end, right before another left hand descent in the rhythm.
0:28 [m. 19]--The last line begins on another upbeat that is held into the next bar.  It steadily builds, repeating the word “saugend” before continuing.  The left hand continues its duple rhythm lines until it reaches longer notes under “ätherischen Duft.”  The key center moves to D-flat major (which seems more closely related to the home key if notated as C-sharp).
0:34 [m. 23]--The last line is repeated in a very exuberant manner, again repeating “saugend,” leaping an octave on the second statement of the word.  At this point, the vocal line joins the duple grouping of the left hand, which already started again under the first “saugend.”  Also, the key center moves dramatically back home to B, but it is B major, and the voice reaches an ecstatic cadence, remaining in this major key and returning to the triple 9/8 motion after the long-held second syllable of “ätherischen.”
0:41 [m. 27]--While the voice remains in major, at the cadence, the piano violently shifts things back to minor, entering with the introduction music under the last vocal note on “Duft.”  The second bar of the introduction is the first of the notated repeat (m. 2).
0:44 [m. 3]--Stanza (strophe) 2.  Lines 1 and 2 are set as in strophe 1 at 0:03, followed by the interlude.
0:52 [m. 9]--Line 3 set twice, in B major and F-sharp major, obscuring the 9/8 meter as at 0:12.
0:59 [m. 13]--Interlude moving to A-flat minor with piano bass in duple rhythm, as at 0:19.
1:02 [m. 15]--Lines 4 and 5 in A-flat minor and A-flat major, as at 0:22.  Here, line 5 is given a somewhat different vocal line because the text in this strophe is declaimed and accented differently.  Instead of being highly similar to line 4, the new line begins with an upbeat and is in duple rhythm throughout.  From the last two syllables of “Unermeßlichen” (which were already in duple rhythm in strophe 1), the line is as in strophe 1.  The piano part is unchanged.
1:08 [m. 19]--The first statement of the last line, as at 0:28.  Note that the repeated word, “atme” (“exhale”) is a near opposite of the corresponding word in strophe 1 (“saugend”=“inhaling”).  Motion to D-flat major.
1:14 [m. 23]--Repetition of the last line with motion back to B major, as at 0:34.  “Atme” is again repeated.  The long-held note is on a single word, the highly appropriate “Feind” (“enemy”).
1:21 [m. 27]--As before, the piano moves violently back to minor with a repeat of the introduction music (m. 28 is identical to m. 2).  This time, the introduction leads into a rather dark postlude, which remains in minor until the very end.  The bass moves back to triple motion and introduces a sinister-sounding, winding descending line that reaches to the low bass and quiets dramatically under accented cross groupings.  Three last cadence gestures retain the 9/8 pulsations, which slow to duple rhythm again before the last grim chord.
1:43--END OF SONG [34 mm.]


6. “Du sprichst, daß ich mich täuschte”  (“You say that I deluded myself”).  Text by August von Platen.  Andante con moto.  Highly varied strophic form.  C MINOR, 4/4 time (Low key A minor).

German Text:
Du sprichst, daß ich mich täuschte,
Beschworst es hoch und hehr,
Ich weiß ja doch, du liebtest,
Allein du liebst nicht mehr!

Dein schönes Auge brannte,
Die Küsse brannten sehr,
Du liebtest mich, bekenn es,
Allein du liebst nicht mehr!

Ich zähle nicht auf neue,
Getreue Wiederkehr;
Gesteh nur, daß du liebtest,
Und liebe mich nicht mehr!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--The introduction sets up the melancholy mood.  The right hand melody in long-short rhythm, beautifully harmonized with thirds and sixths, is played over a persistent off-beat broken octave in the bass.  Halfway through, the bottom voice of the right hand becomes independent, moving in a memorable way that includes isolated triplet groups.
0:16 [m. 5]--Stanza (strophe) 1.  The first two lines continue the rhythm of the introduction.  The accompaniment, which continues the rhythm of the introduction’s broken octaves, is completely in the low and middle register and is richly harmonized, giving it an ominous effect.  The bass notes slowly descend by half-steps, reaching into the piano’s lowest register.
0:31 [m. 9]--The last two lines become more insistent.  The voice has three descending lines, each one beginning higher and increasing in intensity.  The piano bass alternates between upper harmonies (largely thirds and fourths) and lower bass notes.  The right hand harmonizes the voice.  After a rest, it enters as a bridge between the first and second descending lines and, after a shorter rest, speeds up under the last and highest descent, an impassioned climax.  There, it is played in powerful parallel sixths.  The last descent repeats the final line, without “allein” and with an added statement of “du liebest.”  The last notes are lengthened as they approach the cadence and recede in volume.  The left hand rises to an anguished dissonance on an arpeggio in triplet rhythm.
0:51 [m. 14]-At the cadence, the introduction is played again.
1:06 [m. 18]--Stanza (strophe) 2.  The first two lines have the same rhythm as in stanza 1, but the melody is changed.  It becomes suddenly brighter, moving gradually to E-flat, the “relative” major key to C minor.  It also incorporates larger leaps.  The piano, rather than using only the ominous rhythm from the bass of the introduction, continues with the independent inner voice heard at the end of the introduction, the memorable line including triplet rhythms.
1:21 [m. 22]--The last two lines emerge to their original melody as heard in stanza 1 at 0:31 [m. 9].  The piano, however, takes some time to catch up, indulging in major-key harmonies for a bit, but utilizing the same rhythm and texture as before.  It arrives at its original harmonies under the second descent.  The climax on the third descent is as before, culminating on the left hand triplet arpeggio and dissonance.  The text is the same here as in stanza 1, with the same repetition.
1:41 [m. 27]--The introduction is played for a third time, as after stanza 1.
1:56 [m. 31]--Stanza (strophe) 3.  As in stanza 2, the memorable internal line with triplet rhythms continues here.  It is played over a persistent bass pedal point on C and works its way downward to the low register.  The right hand plays slower chords that suggest F minor, and the ominous off-beat rhythm is completely absent.  The vocal line itself is narrower and more subdued than in stanza 2, but it has the same rhythm.
2:12 [m. 35]--The last two lines are greatly altered, reflecting the change of text from an assertion to a challenge directed at the former lover.  The right hand is harmonized mostly in sixths.  It retains the rest pattern of the other two stanzas, but doubles the vocal line more directly.  The left hand retains its pedal point on C  under the first descent (which begins lower than in the first two stanzas), but moves to F under the second descent, confirming a complete motion to F minor.  Instead of moving directly to the expected third descent and text repetition, the line breaks off, leaving the piano to play another brief bridge.
2:25 [m. 39]--The final descent is more assertive.  It repeats the whole line, giving emphasis through lengthening to two statements of the now imperative word “liebe.”  The piano plays thirds that resemble the sixths heard under the last descent in the first two stanzas.  The intensity increases and does not relent as the music moves back to the home key of C.  Somewhat strangely, it is C major, but the major key has an assertive rather than a comforting effect.  As the voice rises on the last three words, the memorable internal melody with triplets returns along with the ominous off-beat rhythm on octaves and fifths.  Neither the voice not the top line of the piano ends on the keynote (rather the “dominant” note a fifth above), but the internal melody and the final bass arpeggio (which reaches very low) do end there in a powerful manner.
3:01--END OF SONG [43 mm.]


7. “Bitteres zu sagen denkst du”  (“You are thinking of something bitter to say”).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from the Persian by Hafis.  Con moto, espressivo ma grazioso.  Highly varied strophic form.  F MAJOR, 4/4 time (Low key D major).

German Text:
Bitteres zu sagen denkst du;
Aber nun und nimmer kränkst du,
Ob du noch so böse bist.
Deine herben Redetaten
Scheitern an korall’ner Klippe,
Werden all zu reinen Gnaden,
Denn sie müssen, um zu schaden,
Schiffen über eine Lippe,
Die die Süße selber ist.

English Translation

Section 1--Lines 1-5.
0:00 [m. 1]--A two-bar introduction anticipates the vocal melody of the first line.  It also establishes the accompaniment pattern with flowing left hand notes in groups of seven beginning just off the beat.  The melody gently arches with mild long-short groups.  The left hand groups wind upward and leap back down.
0:07 [m. 3]--Lines 1-3.  The voice enters, exactly repeating the piano’s introductory melody.  The piano itself repeats the introduction, doubling the voice as it will for most of the song.  The second and third lines introduce some notes from the minor key with wide leaps up in the second line and down in the third.  The piano right hand plays chords supporting the melodic doubling (which briefly breaks under the word “nimmer” as the piano repeats the previous bar a third lower).  The left hand patterns remain similar until the end, where they are broken into rising three-note groups.  The piano echoes “böse bist” as a bridge.
0:26 [m. 10]--Lines 4-5.  These lines are set to two statements of the same arching line.  Line 5 is a third higher than line 4.  The piano left hand groups now wind upward, alternating between pairs of three-note groups and the longer seven-note groups.  Each line has one alternation.  Line 4 seems to move to A-flat major (related to F minor) and line 5 seems to move to C minor.
0:36 [m. 14]--Line 5 is repeated, continuing the sequence a third higher and re-establishing F major.  It begins off the downbeat, separating “scheitern” from the rest of the line with a rest.  The longer vocal notes break from the rhythm of the right hand, which retains the long-short rhythm, although the piano’s top voice still doubles the pitches of the vocal line.  There is a broad rise in volume as the highest note is reached, then a diminishing as the voice arches back down.  The piano moves faster than the voice here, anticipating the vocal descent.  In the left hand, four three-note groups are followed by a seven-note rising group, then two four-note descents under “Klippe.”  There, the right hand remains static as the voice “catches up” to it.
Section 2--Lines 6-9
0:47 [m. 18]--A piano interlude arches up and down in the dotted rhythm, introducing three-note leaping descents (still beginning off the beat) in the left hand.
0:53 [m. 20]--Lines 6-7.  Line 6 is set to the same music as line 1.  Line 7 is nearly the same as line 2, but the voice now joins the piano on the sequential repetition.  In line 2, the voice had briefly broken from the piano at that point under “nimmer,” leaping back upward before coming together with the piano again.
1:04 [m. 24]--Lines 8-9.  Line 8 begins as had line 3, but diverges strongly at the words “eine Lippe.”  Line 3 had come to a pause and a break at that point, but here, line 8 continues the sequential arching lines, flowing directly into line 9.  The end of line 8 and the beginning of line 9 essentially condense the music of lines 4 and 5 from 0:26 [m. 10] with new harmonies of G minor and B-flat major.  The left hand groups do break into three-note units at the same point where they did in line 3, here under “eine Lippe.”  These continue until line 9 rises to a long high note on “selber,” where the left hand moves back to a seven-note group (the long high note is similar to the one in the line 5 repetition).  The piano breaks its vocal doubling here, “filling in” a leaping descent from the top vocal note.
1:16 [m. 28]--Line 9 is repeated immediately after it is completed, beginning on a syncopated long note after the downbeat.  It makes a wide leap up and back down on longer notes.  Another upward leap on “selber” then jumps back down to the cadence.  This shape actually recalls the interlude from 0:47 [m. 18].  The right hand still doubles the voice here, but the voice delays the last syllable of “selber” before the cadence.  In the left hand, two seven-note groups are followed by a pair of three-note groups under “selber.”
1:23 [m. 31]--With the vocal cadence, the piano begins a postlude.  It begins with the two bars of the introduction.  The descent of the second bar is then stretched out in longer notes.  Under the last of these longer notes, the left-hand plays a rising arpeggio, still in a seven-note group.  This arpeggio slows and diminishes.  The right hand reiterates its final harmony (a third) in a wistful manner to close the song.
1:47--END OF SONG [35 mm.]


8. “So stehn wir, ich und meine Weide”  (“So we stand, I and my mistress”).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from the Persian by Hafis.  In gehender Bewegung (With steady motion).  Through-composed form with partial return.  A-FLAT MAJOR, Cut time [2/2] (Low key G major).

German Text:
So stehn wir, ich und meine Weide,
So leider miteinander beide.

Nie kann ich ihr was tun zu Liebe,
Nie kann sie mir was tun zu Leide.

Sie kränket es, wenn ich die Stirn ihr
Mit einem Diadem bekleide;

Ich danke selbst, wie für ein Lächeln
Der Huld, für ihre Zornbescheide.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Lines 1-2.  The voice begins with no introduction.  It outlines a descending chord in F minor on “So stehn wir.”  The right hand begins to play ascending groups of two notes in triplet rhythm with a rest on the first part of each triplet group.    After three of them, the second note of each group is harmonized with another note.  As the voice continues with the line, the bass imitates the descending broken chord, first a third lower, than a fifth.  The vocal line itself is in straight duple rhythm, clashing with the right hand off-beat triplets.  The continuing melody seems to want to confirm A-flat major despite the opening F-minor outline.  The word “Beide” is lengthened, and the right hand plays an arpeggio as a bridge.
0:15 [m. 8]--Line 3.  The long middle section begins here.  The musical phrases all begin with an ascending four-note group starting with a long-short-short rhythm.  In this line, the four-note ascent is followed by a downward arpeggio and an upward leap to a delayed downward resolution on “Liebe.”  The piano left hand continues to play repeated two-note harmonies in triplet rhythm, holding notes over the strong beats and clashing with the vocal rhythm.  The harmony turns toward E-flat on the resolving “Liebe.”
0:19 [m. 11]--Line 4.  In this line, the four-note ascent begins a fifth lower and is followed by a further ascent, at the top of which is the word “Leide.”  It is given a greatly extended descent on four longer notes, the second of which is syncopated.    The volume swells to the first note of “Leide,” then recedes.  The left hand triplets now play flowing arpeggios, arching descents at first, and then ascents under “Leide.”  They still avoid the downbeats until “Leide,” where the arpeggio actually begins with a low note on the downbeat, but this only occurs once.  The descent on “Leide” moves strongly toward C minor, but the cadence diverts the expectation to a C major chord.  At that cadence, the piano echoes the “Leide” descent a fourth lower.
0:29 [m. 17]--Lines 5-6.  Here two lines are combined into a longer phrase.  After the initial four-note ascent, the voice meanders down and back up, finally reaching a high note on “Diadem.”  The triplets now move to the right hand in repeated harmonies, still avoiding the downbeat of each bar.  The phrase vacillates between F minor and C minor/major.  The buildup to the top note here is particularly arduous, and is rewarded by another climax and a downbeat on the triplet group under the second syllable of “bekleide.”  This is also reflected in the piano’s following echo a third lower.
0:41 [m. 25]--Lines 7-8.  This phrase begins in a similar manner to the previous one, but with altered notes and intervals.  The triplets have now moved to an internal voice, and they now include the downbeats.  On the words “für ihre,” the voice sings a strong ascent, and uses the triplet rhythm for the only time before turning around on “Zornbescheide.”  Here, the harmony and key are clearly in F major, then F minor.  The piano echoes the triplet ascent and decorates the descent with a higher note and faster internal notes.  The descending broken chord that opened the song enters in the bass under both the vocal and piano statements.
0:53 [m. 32]--At the end of the piano descent, the triplets move to the piano bass under the delayed resolution.  They again omit the first beats.  They are played on octave C’s, moving up one octave after two of them, and then up a second octave in preparation for the return of the opening vocal melody.
0:58 [m. 35]--The first two lines are repeated in a partial return.  The first line is stated as at the opening.  The second line begins as before, but at “einander,” it makes an unexpected turnaround.  It seems to lose its way and haltingly repeats “so leider” before breaking off.  Meanwhile, the bass adds two more statements of the descending broken chord, one outlining C minor, and another outlining B-flat minor (a chord that played a large role in the middle section).
1:14 [m. 43]--The text of the line is completed with “mit einander Beide,” sliding up very secretively and quietly on half-steps and becoming steadily slower.  Under this, two of the descending broken chords are heard in the bass, one on C minor and another on A-flat major.  The music struggles to decide upon which one to settle.  The indecision reflects the state between the irreconcilable couple depicted in the ironic text.
1:23 [m. 47]--The same line is echoed by the piano in the postlude, with the same two broken chords in the bass.  The note that was used for “Beide” is lengthened by a bar, which allows the A-flat harmony to be prolonged and to finally win out, as confirmed by the final chord.  Only then do we really know the “home key” of this harmonically ambiguous song.  The entire postlude gradually fades away.
1:47--END OF SONG [51 mm.]


9. “Wie bist du, meine Königin”  (“How [blissful] you are, my queen”).  Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from the Persian by Hafis.  Adagio.  Varied strophic form.  E-FLAT MAJOR, 3/8 time (Low key D-flat major).

German Text:
Wie bist du, meine Königin,
Durch sanfte Güte wonnevoll!
Du lächle nur, Lenzdüfte wehn
Durch mein Gemüte wonnevoll!

Frisch aufgeblühter Rosen Glanz,
Vergleich ich ihn dem deinigen?
Ach, über alles, was da blüht,
Ist deine Blüte, wonnevoll!

Durch tote Wüsten wandle hin,
Und grüne Schatten breiten sich,
Ob fürchterliche Schwüle dort
Ohn Ende brüte, wonnevoll!

Laß mich vergehn in deinem Arm!
Es ist in ihm ja selbst der Tod,
Ob auch die herbste Todesqual
Die Brust durchwüte, wonnevoll!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Introduction.  The right hand spins out a melody in two lines of counterpoint, both beginning with a descending line.  The bottom voice begins, then the top voice enters over it in the second bar.  Both lines include isolated dotted rhythms.  The expressive counterpoint is gentle and melodious.  The left hand plays wide, rich arpeggios beginning off the beat.  In the fifth and last bar, the arpeggio begins on the beat.
0:16 [m. 6]--Stanza 1.  The first two lines are each set to three-bar phrases.  The melody is derived from the introduction’s opening descent.  The second line reverses the direction.  The left hand arpeggios are more flowing and undulating, and a second voice is added to the left hand.  The right hand loosely doubles the vocal line and bridges the phrases.  The accentuation of the text in these lines (emphasis on the last syllables of “Königin” and “wonnevoll”) is problematic and has resulted in some criticism of this famous song.  An ascending left hand arpeggio leads into the next line.
0:33 [m. 12]--The third line and most of the fourth line (excluding the last “wonnevoll,” which will function as a refrain) are combined in a gently winding four-bar phrase.  It begins with a very mild harmonic diversion that emphasizes the key of A-flat.  Here, some of the arpeggios in the left hand again begin off the beat, and the right hand is more independent of the voice.
0:45 [m. 16]--The piano leads in the refrain on “wonnevoll,” playing the gently leaping descent before it is taken by the voice.  The piano descends again as the word is completed, and the singer repeats the word in a very satisfying, wide cadence.
0:58 [m. 20]--Overlapping with the cadence, the piano begins a repetition of the introduction.
1:13 [m. 25]--Stanza 2.  The first two lines are largely the same as in stanza 1, including the piano part.  The declamation and rhythm are significantly changed at the end of the second line, placing a syncopation  and emphasis on the first syllable of “deinigen.”
1:29 [m. 31]--The third line and all of the fourth line except “wonnevoll” are set as in stanza 1.
1:40 [m. 35]--The refrain on “wonnevoll” is again given with the piano leading, as in stanza 1.
1:51 [m. 39]--The cadence overlaps with another full repetition of the introduction.
2:05 [m. 44]--Stanza 3.  This stanza is highly varied.  The first two lines are still set to three-bar phrases, but the first line begins with an ascent.  The melody begins in the home minor key (E-flat minor).  Under the first line, the hands are doubled in octaves on an undulation.  An arpeggio leads to the second line.  It has the same contour as in the other stanzas, but is shifted up a half-step to E major.  The accompaniment is at a lower pitch and more richly harmonized than in the first two stanzas.
2:22 [m. 50]--The third and fourth lines (as always, without “wonnevoll”) are again highly varied.  The piano has the first heavy accents in the song, with syncopated thirds above ominous two-note descents.  The vocal line begins in a similar manner to the other stanzas, but it is in a minor key (E minor).  It also reiterates lower notes instead of making a graceful leap at the end of the third line.  There is a leap to a syncopation at the fourth line, which is augmented to longer notes.  Here the music shifts back down a half-step to E-flat, but remains in minor.  The strong syncopations and accents continue in the piano and extend a bar beyond the vocal line.  The extension and lengthening create a six-bar phrase.
2:38 [m. 56]--The voice now leads the refrain on “wonnevoll.”  The piano plays inward-converging arpeggios as the word is sung in the striking key of C-flat major.  The piano arpeggios bridge to the expected repetition.  The singer here presents the first two syllables twice so that the voice can be shifted to its original position (having begun the refrain a bar earlier) for the cadence.  When the word is sung in full, an incredibly beautiful and dramatic harmonic shift leads to the home key and the original warm cadence.
2:52 [m. 60]--The introduction is repeated for a fourth statement, again in overlap with the cadence.
3:10 [m. 65]--Stanza 4.  The first two lines are set as in stanza 1 (except for a longer note on the downbeat at the beginning of the second line).  Here, the accentuation fits the music perfectly, so it is possible that it was composed for this stanza first.
3:28 [m. 71]--The third and fourth lines (without “wonnevoll”) are set in nearly the same way as in the first two stanzas, but Brahms introduces more chromatic notes (through lowering by half-step of F and C) to illustrate the severe words “Todesqual” and “durchwüte.”  Here, the music touches again on E major (notated as F-flat) as well as the A-flat (now minor) heard in the first two stanzas.
3:40 [m. 75]--This last “wonnevoll” refrain is a sort of hybrid between the two previous versions.  Like the version used for stanza 3, the voice leads the piano, then reiterates the first two syllables in the repetition to arrive at the original cadence.  Like the version used in the first two stanzas, it is in the home key throughout, and uses the accompaniment patterns heard in those stanzas.  Instead of leading back into the introduction, the cadence is followed by another E-flat chord with a left hand arpeggio, then a final chord.
4:22--END OF SONG [81 mm.]
END OF SET


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