FIFTEEN ROMANCES FROM L. TIECK’S “MAGELONE” (SONG CYCLE), OP. 33
Recording: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, baritone; Daniel Barenboim, piano [DG 449 633-2]

Numbers 1-6 published 1865.  Numbers 7-15 published 1868-69.  Dedicated to Julius Stockhausen.

The song cycle was one of the most quintessential products of early romanticism in music.  The great examples of Schubert and Schumann, and the later French cycles by composers such as Fauré, are among the most familiar of all art songs.  It is rather curious, then, that the spiritual follower of Schubert and Schumann in song composition should have only composed one real “song cycle.”  It is even more curious that, while including much great music, it is not entirely successful.  By definition, a “song cycle” consists of songs setting a single poet, and the settings are typically of poems that were grouped together by the poet himself.  The “Magelone” romances fit that definition.  The cycle is one of the major products of the “first maturity,” the second of the four periods of composition traditionally assigned to Brahms.  It is not only by far his largest group of songs, but it is one of his largest single works overall.  It takes nearly an hour to perform it.  Not only is the cycle long as a whole, but it consists of very long songs.  Brahms avoided strophic forms, opting for dramatic shifts in tempo, rhythm, and musical material.  Many of them are unusually sectional, beginning and ending with contrasting moods and content.  The piano parts are also quite elaborate, and several songs have extensive introductions and postludes.  Brahms never again wrote anything quite like these songs, and the cycle is a fine example of the temperament of the mature but still youthful composer at his most romantic phase, before growing the famous beard and coming to represent the preservation of tradition in “serious” music.

Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853) was a popular early romantic poet and dramatist.  The poems that Brahms set in his Op. 33 came not from a collection of verse.  They were lyrical “interludes” in Tieck’s short novel The Wondrous Love Story of the Beautiful Magelone and Count Peter of Provence.  The novel was a favorite of Brahms in his youth.  The poems comment somewhat on the action of the novel.  Most of the settings are in the voice of the protagonist, Count Peter, so the cycle is almost always performed by a man, but No. 13 is in the voice of the sultan’s daughter.  Brahms omitted two of Tieck’s seventeen poems (both coming between No. 14 and No. 15).  He clearly wanted to convey the drama of the novel in the course of his cycle.  This explains the many large and unusual forms employed.  Nos. 3, 6, and 9 reach a length and scope of material not otherwise seen in Brahms’s song output, and No. 1 is also an unusually large narrative structure.  There are shorter songs, however, such as No. 2.  Brahms enters a world of chivalry in this song and in others.  There are imitations of Peter’s lute, suggestive galloping rhythms, and even a sweet lullaby (but on a far grander scale than the extremely famous lullaby from Op. 49) in No. 9.  The guides below will provide a brief outline (in italics) of the story leading to each poem.  This outline comes from Stanley Appelbaum’s translations of the texts in the Dover edition of the songs.  In a later edition of the poems alone (excluding No. 2), Tieck gave them one-word titles (usually a noun expressing an emotional state).  The novel (which Brahms used) included titles for only Nos. 10 and 13.

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; matches the revisions of Nos. 3 and 4 in the complete edition described in the notes at the bottom of the guide, and also includes a similar discrepancy in mm. 63-65 of No. 4 that did not make it into the complete edition)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (From Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke--original keys; includes the revisions of Nos. 3 and 4, which Brahms apparently later rejected, as described at the bottom of the guide)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Edition Peters, edited by Max Friedländer):
No. 1: Keinen hat es noch gereut (original key)
No. 2: Traun!  Bogen und Pfeil sind gut für den Feind (original key)
No. 3: Sind es Schmerzen, sind es Freuden (original key--includes the original version of the passage described in the note at the bottom of the guide as a variant reading)
No. 4: Liebe kam aus fernen Landen (original key--contains the original version of the passage described in the note at the bottom of the guide, which is sung by Fischer-Dieskau in the recording)
No. 5: So willst du des Armen dich gnädig erbarmen? (original key)
No. 6: Wie soll ich die Freude, die Wonne denn tragen? (original key)
No. 7: War es dir, dem diese Lippen bebten? (original key)
No. 8: Wir müssen uns trennen, geliebtes Saitenspiel (original key)
No. 9: Ruhe, Süßliebchen, im Scatten (original key)
No. 10: Verzweiflung.  So tönet denn schäumende Wellen (original key)
No. 11: Wie schnell verschwindet so Licht als Glanz (original key)
No. 12: Muß es eine Trennung geben (original key)
No. 13: Sulima.  Geliebter, wo zaudert dein irrender Fuß? (original key)
No. 14: Wie froh und frisch mein Sinn sich hebt (original key)
No. 15: Treue Liebe dauert lange (original key)
Nos. 1-15 (Low key edition, complete--includes original versions of the passages from Nos. 3 and 4 as described in the notes at the bottom of the guide)


BOOK I:
1. “Keinen hat es noch gereut” (“No one has yet regretted”).  Allegro.  Through-composed form with rondo-like elements.  E-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4 time (Low key C major).  [Title in later edition: Ermunterung (Encouragement)].
The young knight Peter is full of unformulated dreams until a wandering minstrel sings this song.


German Text:
Keinen hat es noch gereut,
Der das Roß bestiegen,
Um in frischer Jugendzeit
Durch die Welt zu fliegen.

Berge und Auen,
Einsamer Wald,
Mädchen und Frauen
Prächtig im Kleide,
Golden Geschmeide,
Alles erfreut ihn mit schöner Gestalt.

Wunderlich fliehen
Gestalten dahin,
Schwärmerisch glühen
Wünsche in jugendlich trunkenem Sinn.

Ruhm streut ihm Rosen
Schnell in die Bahn,
Lieben und Kosen,
Lorbeer und Rosen
Führen ihn höher und höher hinan.

Rund um ihn Freuden,
Feinde beneiden,
Erliegend, den Held. -
Dann wählt er bescheiden
Das Fräulein, das ihm nur vor allen gefällt.

Und Berge und Felder
Und einsame Wälder
Mißt er zurück.
Die Eltern in Tränen,
Ach, alle ihr Sehnen -
Sie alle verreinigt das lieblichste Glück.

Sind Jahre verschwunden,
Erzählt er dem Sohn
In traulichen Stunden,
Und zeigt seine Wunden,
Der Tapferkeit Lohn.
So bleibt das Alter selbst noch jung,
Ein Lichtstrahl in der Dämmerung.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1.  The piano sets up a strong opening with ascending chords blatantly imitating a pair of hunting horns playing (the harmony is the so-called “horn fifths” progression of the natural horn).  The declamation of the first two lines of the introductory first stanza continues this emphatic character.  They begin with a decisive descending arpeggio whose importance will be revealed at the end of the last song.
0:10 [m. 14]--The piano tentatively begins the “galloping” rhythm that will characterize and unify much of the song.  It is typically a turning figure moving down to a note a half-step lower and back.  The remainder of stanza 1 is sung above the “galloping” rhythm, now in the bass.
0:18 [m. 26]--An interlude now has the “galloping” rhythm even lower in the bass while the “horn fifth” harmonies are heard in the right hand, briefly suggesting the minor key.  The entire first stanza and this interlude could be considered an “introduction” to the rest of the song, as the stage has been set, the “characters” introduced (especially the “galloping” rhythm), and the action seems to get moving with the second stanza.  The music begins to die down in preparation for the next vocal entrance, but the “galloping” remains constant in the bass.
0:30 [m. 41]--Stanza 2.  The vocal “hook” at the beginning of this stanza is heard frequently and also contributes to unifying a song with an irregular form.  The vocal line largely matches the prevailing rhythm with a jaunty, upbeat melody.  The piano incorporates the “galloping” rhythm into thicker chords.  There is some harmonic color introduced in the last two lines, which come to an incomplete close.  A brief bridge leads to the next stanza.
0:44 [m. 60]--Stanza 3.  The rhythm continues, but the musical material is new.  The stanza is also shorter (the poem is obviously irregular in the length and meter of its stanzas).  The vocal line is higher at the beginning.  The entire stanza is much more quiet.  The music turns to the minor at the end of the verse, and the last line (except for “Wünsche”) is repeated.
0:55 [m. 75]--A more substantial, but rather bare interlude leads to the next verse, continuing in minor.
1:01 [m. 82]--Stanza 4.  In the only large scale repetition in the song, the music matches that of stanza 2, although the opening vocal “hook” will again appear in stanzas 6 and 7, which veer in new directions.  Although stanza 4 is shorter than stanza 2 in the poem, Brahms tailors it to match the music by repeating the words “führen ihn höher.”  The same brief bridge follows, as in stanza 2.
1:15 [m. 101]--Stanza 5.  Although the contour of the melody is different, it is extremely similar to that of stanza 3, and the piano matches stanza 3 exactly at the beginning, although the voice is louder.  The first three lines correspond quite closely to that verse.  The point of divergence is the key change, which is now to G minor instead of the “home” minor key of E-flat.  The last line, together with “beneiden” from the second, are repeated to approximate the length of the third verse.  The word “Freuden” from line 1 is also stated twice in succession.  A brief interlude with chromatic motion leads to the last two lines of the stanza.
1:30 [m. 121]--The last two lines are set to completely new music.  The “galloping” rhythm finally takes a break for the line mentioning the feminine element, and the music takes an appropriately contemplative turn.  The line is set twice.  The first is in G major, matching the G minor of the preceding cadence.  The piano left hand has leaps down to wide broken octaves under right hand harmonies that follow the vocal line.  There are some chromatic notes.  It does not come to a complete close, and an altered version of the “chromatic” interlude before 1:30 modulates to E-flat, where the second statement begins. 
1:42 [m. 135]--The second statement corresponds to the first statement, but slight alterations to the melody place it in the home key of E-flat rather than A-flat, which would have been expected since the melody begins a half-step above the first statement.  A repetition of the words “vor allen” strongly asserts E-flat, and a full close coincides with a return to the “galloping” rhythm and a slightly longer version of the “brief bridge” heard after stanzas 2 and 4.
1:57 [m. 153]--Stanza 6.  The “galloping” rhythm having been reintroduced, it is quickly abandoned again in favor of arching right-hand arpeggios with the top note repeated and a slower left hand mostly in octaves.  The “hook” from stanzas 2 and 4 is heard, but the melody moves in new directions.  A brief motion to minor is heard in the second line.  The music seems to be building and striving higher.  In the last two lines, echo effects of the vocal line are joyously introduced in the right hand, the arching arpeggios moving to the left.  On its second entrance in the last line (which is a step higher than the vocal line it echoes), the “echo” pattern continues through a rather long, generally descending and receding interlude after the singer comes to a half-close.
2:28 [m. 191]--Stanza 7.  The final verse begins in a similar manner to stanza 6, with the same arching arpeggios in the right hand.  After the first line, however, there are divergences.  The second line does not move to minor, although there are colorful harmonic detours throughout the verse, notably to A-flat.  Three groups of two words are repeated to lengthen the stanza somewhat.  The first is “der Tapferkeit.”  It is at this point that the “echo effects” from stanza 6 are heard again before the last two lines. 
2:47 [m. 213]--The next repeated words are “das Alter,” also followed by the “echo effects.”  The left-hand arpeggios enter a last time before the final line, and continue through the first statement of that line (with the last group of two repeated words, “ein Lichtstrahl”).  To this point, although there are differences, the stanza is relatively close to the previous one.  This last line suddenly tapers off and the music seems to “put on the brakes” as the last syllable of “Dämmerung” makes an extremely colorful turn to C-flat.
3:04 [m. 230]--The music suddenly subdued, the final line of text is sung a second time (without the repetition of “ein Lichtstrahl”).  The galloping rhythm and the arching arpeggios are sacrificed for a slower-moving accompaniment and longer notes in the vocal part.  The line begins in the remote C-flat major, turning only at the last word to the home key.  The first syllable of “Dämmerung” is sustained for three measures before the last quiet vocal cadence.
3:17 [m. 241]--As the singer finishes, the piano resumes the galloping rhythm for a rather extended postlude.  The former pace returns, but not the volume, which remains quiet to the end.  At fist, we hear reminiscences of the now-familiar “hook” from stanzas 2, 4, 6, and 7, but then the right hand dissolves into high, light chords.  The pervasive galloping rhythm in the bass continues as the music dies away.
3:41--END OF SONG [257 mm.]


2. “Traun!  Bogen und Pfeil sind gut für den Feind” (“Verily!  Bow and arrow are useful against the enemy”).  Kräftig (Forcefully).  Alternating strophic form (ABAB’A’).  C MINOR, 3/4 time (Low key A minor).
Then Peter asks his parents to let him travel in search of adventure.  His mother gives him three rings for his future bride.  On leaving home, Peter sings what is described as an “old song”
:

German Text:
Traun! Bogen und Pfeil
Sind gut für den Feind,
Hülflos alleweil
Der Elende weint;
Dem Edlen blüht Heil,
Wo Sonne nur scheint,
Die Felsen sind steil,
Doch Glück ist sein Freund.

English Translation
 
The poem is not divided into stanzas, but Brahms logically separates it into two groups of four lines.
0:00 [m. 1]--Verse 1 (A).  No introduction.  The beginning is immediately forceful and rather heavy, with thumping low bass octaves and strong dotted rhythms.  There are distinctive upward striving flourishes that lend variety to the steady beat.  The modal-flavored minor key and the general archaic character are reminiscent of Brahms’s ballad settings (such as Op. 14, No. 3 and Op. 43, No. 4).  The last two lines are repeated.  The top voice of the piano doubles the singer until the first statement of the fourth line, after which the piano right hand gains more character entering on half-beats.  The key is changed to G minor at the last minute for the second statement of the fourth line, and the verse cadences there.
0:16 [m. 13]--An interlude continues the forceful, heavy character, with rich chords and sighing thirds in the right hand.  The music moves back to C minor.
0:22 [m. 17]--Verse 2 (B).  The first two lines (fifth and sixth of the poem) are set in E-flat major, a key relative to C minor.  The piano becomes less active, playing rising upbeat chord groups, and the voice, though now in major, seems even more emphatic than before, moving in strong arpeggios.  The last two lines (seventh and eighth) shift abruptly to the more remote D-flat major, but are set analogously.  The last line is repeated on longer descending notes, wrenching the music home to C minor.
0:37 [m. 28]--The piano again becomes more active, with three downward-moving bass octaves leading to an exact repetition of the text and music of verse 1 (A).
0:53 [m. 41]--The interlude from 0:16 [m. 13] is repeated exactly.
0:59 [m. 45]--A textual repetition of verse 2, but the music is first transposed and then changed (B’).  The first two lines are set in the “home” major key of C instead of the “relative” key of E-flat.  Correspondingly, the last two lines are set in B-flat (a whole step down, as D-flat was to E-flat), but now the actual musical line is changed, moving up instead of down.  The piano part is also completely different, matching the rhythm of the voice with some internal motion, and sounding almost bell-like.  The repetition of the last line again moves to C minor in a rather jarring manner, but from a different key.
1:14 [m. 56]--The downward-moving bass octaves lead to a final repetition of the first verse (A’).  The vocal line is mostly the same, but the piano is varied, entering on half-beats the entire time rather than doubling the voice at the beginning.  Groups of three notes and chords are followed by a rest and then a single off-beat chord.  The groups of three move upward at first, then downward under the last line.  The last line (line 4 of the poem) is changed on its repetition to strive higher, close more emphatically, and end in the home key of C minor.  The piano pattern breaks at the end, with three separate off-beat chords under the higher-striving close.
1:29 [m. 68]--With the entrance of the last word, the piano ends with a postlude that is a variation of the previous interludes from 0:16 [m. 13] and 0:53 [m. 41].  The final cadence introduces the “picardy third” (making the final chord major in a minor key), another archaic-sounding device.  The cadence is lengthened with an typical internal motion and a rising syncopated arpeggio in the bass.
1:45--END OF SONG [72 mm.]


3. “Sind es Schmerzen, sind es Freuden” (“Are they sorrows or are they joys”).  Andante--Vivace.  Large multi-sectional form (AABB’CDC’).  A-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4 and 6/8 time (Low key G-flat major).  [Later title: Zweifel (Doubt)].
In Naples, he and Magelone, the king’s daughter, fall in love at a distance as he wins tourneys incognito.  In his ardor he sings this song.

German Text:
Sind es Schmerzen, sind es Freuden,
Die durch meinen Busen ziehn?
Alle alten Wünsche scheiden,
Tausend neue Blumen blühn.

Durch die Dämmerung der Tränen
Seh’ ich ferne Sonnen stehn, -
Welches Schmachten? welches Sehnen!
Wag’ ich’s? soll ich näher gehn?

Ach, und fällt die Träne nieder,
Ist es dunkel um mich her;
Dennoch kömmt kein Wunsch mir wieder,
Zukunft ist von Hoffnung leer.

So schlage denn, strebendes Herz,
So fließet denn, Tränen, herab,
Ach, Lust ist nur tieferer Schmerz,
Leben ist dunkles Grab, -

Ohne Verschulden
Soll ich erdulden?
Wie ist’s, daß mir im Traum
Alle Gedanken
Auf und nieder schwanken!
Ich kenne mich noch kaum.

O, hört mich, ihr gütigen Sterne,
O höre mich, grünende Flur,
Du, Liebe, den heiligen Schwur:
Bleib’ ich ihr ferne,
Sterb’ ich gerne.
Ach, nur im Licht von ihrem Blick
Wohnt Leben und Hoffnung und Glück!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--An unusually long piano introduction gives an idea of the large scope of this song.  It is sweetly expressive, with gently rolled chords and broken octaves suggesting Peter’s lute.  The melody is mostly harmonized in euphonious double thirds or sixths, with thicker chords in the second half, where the volume also becomes louder.  The last two bars introduce a brief triplet rhythm with wide leaps.
0:43 [m. 10]--Stanza 1 (A).  The vocal line begins with the expressive melody heard at the beginning of the piano introduction.  It is characterized by turning figures on words such as the second “sind” and “Busen.”  The lute-like rolled chords continue in the piano between low octave leaps in the bass.  The harmony of the verse moves to a half-cadence.  The last three bars of the introduction (with the leaping triplets) begin at this half-cadence (triplets start a bar earlier) and lead to the repetition of the material for the second verse.
1:34 [m. 10]--Stanza 2 (A).  This verse is set to the same music as stanza 1, and Brahms even indicates this with a repeat sign rather than notating the music twice.  Again, the half-cadence arrives with a repetition of the end of the introduction, but the chords in the last measure are not rolled, since they now lead to new material that does not include the lute imitation.
2:23 [m. 21]--Stanza 3 (B).  This verse and the next are set in the home minor key (A-flat minor).  The vocal line is more detached and hesitant, as is the piano, which abandons the lute chords for more bare right and left hand alternations.  Before the third line, the piano states the main melody of the introduction and the previous verses in minor, and the singer then also presents it in minor.  The last line includes a very slow turn figure before the cadence, which remains in minor.  A brief bridge continues the new piano pattern, but again includes rolled chords.
3:11 [m. 33]--Stanza 4 (B’).  Essentially set to the same music as stanza 3 with several slight alterations (including added upbeats) due to text declamation.  The piano part is varied in the last two lines.  Line 3 has the piano harmonize a third above the voice, whereas in verse 3 it had doubled the vocal line (this is the minor-key version of the opening melody).  The last line includes a new descending four-note figure in the right hand.  The brief bridge at the end is the same as before.
3:58 [m. 45]--Stanza 5 (C).  This stanza of the poem has two more lines and a completely different meter than the preceding verses, not to mention a sudden contrast of mood.  Brahms responds by suddenly changing the meter and tempo.  Now in 6/8 time, the speed is the lively “Vivace” in contrast to the much slower preceding “Andante.”  Upper neighbor note figures become prominent in the piano.  The third, fourth, and fifth lines move strongly toward D-flat major.  At that point, the voice and piano become quite boisterous, their figures resembling hunting horn calls.  The last line moves to a half cadence.
4:11 [m. 57]--The text and music of stanza 5 (C) are repeated with a slightly varied piano part and vocal line.  The repetition is best considered part of the first C in the larger form since there is no new text, and since the later C’ also includes both statements of the material.  The first line in the voice part is set a third higher.  The words “auf and nieder” are repeated twice in the fifth line, adding an extra measure.  The last line is drawn out in longer notes than before and now moves to a full cadence in A-flat major.  Three bare piano octaves leap downward, leading to the next section.
4:26 [m. 71]--Stanza 6, lines 1-3 (D).  The tempo is still “Vivace,” but Brahms suddenly and unexpectedly moves back to 4/4 meter and yet more new material.  The right hand of the piano thumps out octave G’s on the half-beats as the left hand strides up and down in the low register, also in octaves.  The voice arches down and up in a disjunct line suggesting the key of C minor (as do the octave G’s in the piano).  Before line 3, the drumming octaves are abandoned in favor of more breathless figures.  The voice abandons the disjunct line in favor of a steadily upward stepwise striving.  Line 3 is stated twice, and the music moves back to A-flat.
4:44 [m. 82]--Lines 4 and 5 suddenly arrest the motion and move freely over long, sustained chords.  They come to an expectant half-cadence, not in A-flat, but in D-flat (a key associated with much of C).  The two lines could be considered a transition from D back to the C material, and indeed, they occur in the following C’ section.  They are also the emotional goal of the poem.
4:55 [m. 86]--Stanza 6, lines 6-7, incorporating lines 4-5 (C’).  A return to 6/8 meter, where the song will end.  The difference from the first C section is primarily at the beginning, which replaces the first four measures with two new ones reiterating the word “Ach!” (which is heard three times in succession) and including piano figures in the “hunting-horn” vein.  The music also begins in D-flat rather than moving there.  With the third “Ach!” the music closely follows that of stanza 5 (from line 3).  The words “nur im Licht” are repeated to compensate for the different amount of text leading to the last line.  Since line 7 of this verse is longer than line 6 of stanza 5, an extra measure is added to this line.
5:06 [m. 97]--This music matches that at 4:11 [m. 57].  A repetition of lines 4 and 5 of the poetic stanza (previously heard in the “transition” at 4:44 [m. 82]) replaces the reiterated “Ach!” (which had in turn replaced the first two lines of “poetry” as heard in stanza 5). “Sterb’ ich gerne” is set a third higher than “soll ich erdulden” in the corresponding spot of the first C.   On the repetition of lines 6-7, not only are the words “nur im Licht” stated twice, but also the words “von ihrem” (corresponding to the repeated “auf und nieder” in stanza 5).  The final statement of line 7 is an even more emphatic cadence than at the end of the first C section, including a new terminal turn figure and other new notes because of the longer line.  A short postlude in the mood of the C section, including an emphatic final rolled chord, brings this highly diverse song to a close in a completely different mood from the sweetly lyrical lute imitations of the beginning.
5:37--END OF SONG [115 mm.]


BOOK II:
4. “Liebe kam aus fernen Landen”  (“Love came from a far-off land”).  Andante--Poco vivace e sempre animato.  Large ternary form with abbreviated return (ABA’-CDC-A”).  D-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4 time (Low key C major).  [Later title: Hoffnung (Hope)].
He sends Magelone two of the rings, one with this song...

German Text:
Liebe kam aus fernen Landen
Und kein Wesen folgte ihr,
Und die Göttin winkte mir,
Schlang mich ein mit süßen Banden.

Da begann ich Schmerz zu fühlen,
Tränen dämmerten den Blick:
Ach! was ist der Liebe Glück,
Klagt’ ich, wozu dieses Spielen?

Keinen hab’ ich weit gefunden,
Sagte lieblich die Gestalt,
Fühle du nun die Gewalt,
Die die Herzen sonst gebunden.

Alle meine Wünsche flogen
In der Lüfte blauen Raum,
Ruhm schien mir ein Morgentraum,
Nur ein Klang der Meereswogen

Ach! wer löst nun meine Ketten?
Denn gefesselt ist der Arm,
Mich umfleucht der Sorgen Schwarm;
Keiner, keiner will mich retten?

Darf ich in den Spiegel schauen,
Den die Hoffnung vor mir hält?
Ach, wie trügend ist die Welt!
Nein, ich kann ihr nicht vertrauen.

O, und dennoch laß nicht wanken,
Was dir nur noch Stärke gibt,
Wenn die Einz’ge dich nicht liebt,
Bleib nur bittrer Tod dem Kranken.

English Translation

The larger ternary form is superimposed on two smaller ternary forms.  The first section comprises three stanzas that are in simple ABA form.  The same applies to the middle section in a faster tempo (whose parts will be labeled CDC).  The form is rounded with a return to one statement of A.  The seven stanzas all have the same meter, rhyme scheme, and length (unlike No. 1 and No. 3).
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  With no introduction, the singer begins the gentle, attractive melody opening with two downward leaps.  The first three lines are accompanied by a simple pattern with right-hand chords on half-beats.  The top part in the left hand doubles the voice under the first line, then dips to lower notes for the second.  In the third line, the left hand “anticipates” the opening vocal melody by two beats as the second line ends.
0:23 [m. 7]--The fourth line is stated twice, as in all stanzas using the A material.  The first statement oscillates between two notes, but includes an octave leap (and piano echoes with rolled octaves).  The second contains distinctive “sigh” figures in the vocal line (already introduced less overtly in line 2).  Under these, the middle voice in the left hand still has vestiges of the opening downward leaps.  The piano echoes the sigh figures in a two-bar bridge passage.  Despite a full cadence, the vocal and piano lines are questioning, ending a third above the tonic (home key) note.
0:44 [m. 13]--Stanza 2 (B).  In its only appearance, the music of B is presented in B-flat minor (relative to the home key of D-flat), and is somewhat darker in tone.  It begins with the “sigh” figures.  The piano part consists mostly of chords and low octaves on the half-beats, but in the third and fourth lines (which are somewhat warmer), the piano doubles and harmonizes the vocal line.  Most of the fourth line is repeated (without the words “klagt ich”).  The final cadence is again questioning, and includes a turn figure.  A simple piano arpeggio, still in the minor key, leads to the return of A.
1:30 [m. 25]--Stanza 3 (A’).  While the vocal line is identical to that of stanza 1, the accompaniment is “turned around,” with the left hand notes now on the half-beats.  The piano chords in line 3 move up instead of down, and the echoes in the first statement of line 4 are now higher as a result.  The piano bridge, echoing the sigh figures, is the same, but an extra measure is added to move the music to the new key of F major for the middle section of the song.  There is a brief buildup in this extra measure.
2:15 [m. 38]--Stanza 4 (C).  The tempo changes to “Poco vivace,” noticeably faster, and the key is the much brighter F major.  The melody is exuberant, with several leaps and sequential motion.  The accompaniment consists of descending arpeggios in triplet rhythm (three notes to a beat), and echoes the voice in the first two lines.  A top voice with a long-short rhythm is heard above the arpeggios.  No part of the fourth line is repeated, breaking the pattern of the first (slower) section.  A short one-measure bridge continues the descending arpeggios.
2:36 [m. 48]--Stanza 5 (D).  This is the most harmonically active stanza so far.  In the beginning it suggests F minor, but it moves as far afield as A major and F-sharp minor (two keys relative to each other).  The character is similar to C, and moves at the same speed, but it is more breathless and agitated, rapidly increasing, then decreasing in volume.  The right hand of the piano now plays punctuating upbeat chords, but the left hand figures retain the triplet rhythm of C off the beat.  The verse ends with a half-cadence in F minor, and another one-measure bridge continues the accompaniment pattern of the verse, moving back to major.  Again, the fourth line is not repeated.
2:58 [m. 59]--Stanza 6 (C).  The C material returns virtually unchanged, save that the accompaniment pattern of D persists for the first line.  The original accompaniment returns with the second line.
3:19 [m. 69]--Three measures are added to the original bridge, which slows the arpeggios down and, in the last measure, eliminates the triplets.  The music moves back home from F to D-flat major.
3:28 [m. 72]--Stanza 7 (A”).  The final return of the opening material restores the left hand to its “on-beat” position, and the vocal line is again unchanged.  The right hand, however, is much more decorative, and the triplet rhythm of the middle section enters at the second line, often going against the grain of the straight duple rhythm.  This is especially apparent in the “sigh” figures in the repeat of the last line.
4:04 [m. 82]--The familiar bridge echoing the “sigh” figures now incorporates the triplet rhythms into the sighs.  These are extended an extra measure before settling to the close in quiet chords.
4:40--END OF SONG [86 mm.]


5. “So willst du des Armen dich gnädig erbarmen?”  (“Will you then, on a poor man graciously take pity?”).  Allegro.  Expanded ternary form (ABB’A). F MAJOR, 2/4 time (Low key D major).  [Later title: Glück (Happiness)].
...and one [ring] with this song in the form of written poems.

German Text:
So willst du des Armen
Dich gnädig erbarmen?
So ist es kein Traum?
Wie rieseln die Quellen,
Wie tönen die Wellen,
Wie rauschet der Baum!

Tief lag ich in bangen
Gemäuern gefangen,
Nun grüßt mich das Licht!
Wie spielen die Strahlen!
Sie blenden und malen
Mein schüchtern Gesicht.

Und soll ich es glauben?
Wird keiner mir rauben
Den köstlichen Wahn?
Doch Träume entschweben,
Nur lieben heißt leben;
Willkommene Bahn!

Wie frei und wie heiter!
Nicht eile nun weiter,
Den Pilgerstab fort!
Du hast überwunden,
Du hast ihn gefunden,
Den seligsten Ort!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  A very brief two-measure lead-in consists of rapidly descending thirds and fourths.  The voice almost instantly enters, and at that point the piano right hand shifts to a breathless pattern of double notes and chords in a triplet rhythm, with many repetitions and reiterations.  The left hand plays mostly solid octaves at a slower pace, often echoing the “lead-in.”  The contour of the accompaniment loosely follows the vocal line, despite clashing with its straight rhythm.  The vocal line itself is exuberant and extroverted.  Lines four and five take a brief detour to “sharp keys” (A, D, G)  before being wrenched back to F in the soaring last line, whose words “wie rauschet” are repeated.  The bridging lead-in from the opening begins before the voice is finished, and is extended two measures to a brief half cadence.
0:22 [m. 23]--Stanza 2 (B).  This stanza is harmonically unstable and chromatic.  The singer is more hesitant as the verse at first suggests a motion to two minor keys (F and G) and then toward A-flat major/minor.  The accompaniment is simply alternating left and right hand chords and octaves.  The last line is repeated, first in E major and then in E-flat, where it comes to a cadence.  The accompaniment chords continue for three measures and move back to the point where B began.
0:42 [m. 46]--Stanza 3 (B’).  The first three lines are the same as in stanza 2 (B), but magically, the third line is repeated in a sudden move back home to F major.  The last three lines are very joyous.  The right hand responses are now in triplet rhythm, the left hand playing more solid low octaves on the beat.  The last line (“Willkommene Bahn!”) is repeated in longer notes, and the accompaniment moves to repeated triplet chords under both statements of the words.  The opening “lead-in” enters before the verse is finished and comes to a half cadence, as after stanza 1.
1:03 [m. 70]--Stanza 4 (A).  The last stanza is set to the same music as the first.  The word “seligsten” is repeated in the last line.  The descending “lead-in” does not begin until the vocal line is finished, however, shifting it forward a beat.  This is offset by eliminating the last harmonized third of the first two descending patterns.  Only a slight change of direction is needed to change the half-cadence to a solid full close to end the song.
1:30--END OF SONG [89 mm.]


6. “Wie soll ich die Freude, die Wonne denn tragen?”  (“How can I endure the joy, how can I then endure the bliss?”).  Allegro--Poco sostenuto--Poco animato--Vivace, ma non troppo.  Large multi-sectional through-composed form (AA’BCC’DEE’). A MAJOR, 4/4, 3/4, and 2/4 time (Low key G major).  Later title: Erwartung (Anticipation)].
Finally granted a personal meeting, he sings this song.

German Text:
Wie soll ich die Freude,
Die Wonne denn tragen?
Daß unter dem Schlagen
Des Herzens die Seele nicht scheide?

Und wenn nun die Stunden
Der Liebe verschwunden,
Wozu das Gelüste,
In trauriger Wüste
Noch weiter ein lustleeres Leben zu ziehn,
Wenn nirgend dem Ufer mehr Blumen erblühn?

Wie geht mit bleibehangnen Füßen
Die Zeit bedächtig Schritt vor Schritt!
Und wenn ich werde scheiden müssen,
Wie federleicht fliegt dann ihr Tritt!

Schlage, sehnsüchtige Gewalt,
In tiefer, treuer Brust!
Wie Lautenton vorüberhallt,
Entflieht des Lebens schönste Lust.
Ach, wie bald
Bin ich der Wonne mir kaum noch bewußt.

Rausche, rausche weiter fort,
Tiefer Strom der Zeit,
Wandelst bald aus Morgen Heut,
Gehst von Ort zu Ort;
Hast du mich bisher getragen,
Lustig bald, dann still,
Will es nun auch weiter wagen,
Wie es werden will.

Darf mich doch nicht elend achten,
Da die Einz’ge winkt,
Liebe läßt mich nicht verschmachten,
Bis dies Leben sinkt!
Nein, der Strom wird immer breiter,
Himmel bleibt mir immer heiter,
Fröhlichen Ruderschlags fahr’ ich hinab,
Bring’ Liebe und Leben zugleich an das Grab.

English Translation

One of the biggest and widest ranging of all Brahms’s songs, it has an unusual amount of text repetition.
0:00 [m. 1]--A full, richly harmonized 4-measure introduction sets up the generally joyous mood of the song.  The left hand plays triplet rhythms against the two-note figures in the right hand, in a typical Brahms clash of rhythms.
0:11 [m. 5]--Stanza 1 (A).  The singer continues the happy mood of the introduction.  Small pauses lend an air of excitement.  Of special note are the figures in the left hand of the piano with their distinctive trills.  The triplet rhythm plays against them (but the first part of each group of three is a rest, not a note), now in the right hand.  After the third line, the hands reverse, with the right hand playing trills and the left hand taking the triplet rhythm.  This alternation happens four times in quick succession.  The words “dem Schlagen” and “die Seele” are sung twice.  The verse closes on a half-cadence.
0:24 [m. 11]--The introduction is repeated (the triplets shifting to the left hand again).
0:33 [m. 15]--Stanza 2 (A’).  This begins as had stanza 1, but diverges quickly as the music changes to a minor key (F-sharp minor, relative to the home key of A major).  To deal with the longer stanza, the text repetitions are dispensed with and the verse is extended by three measures.  The alternation between the hands of triplets and trill figures still happens four times after the third line (now in the new minor key), the last time without the trill, anticipating the last line.  At this last line, the accompaniment changes to an ominous left-hand counter-melody in octaves while the right hand plays octaves and chords on the half-beats.  This changes the mood considerably.  The accompaniment pattern continues in a brief two-measure bridge to the next section after the singer comes to a full cadence in F-sharp minor.
0:59 [m. 25]--Stanza 3 (B).  The change in material reflects the text graphically.  The left hand melody in octaves continues from the end of the last verse.  It illustrates the “tarrying feet” (the word “bleibehangnen” literally means “laden with lead”).  The voice presents a tentative line in dotted rhythms, still in the key of F-sharp minor.
(Note: the translation of the first line should read “With what tarrying feet…” instead of “Which what.”)
1:12 [m. 29]--In the middle of the third line, the music suddenly changes back to the mood of A.  Rather abruptly, the mode shifts to F-sharp major (not modulating back to A).  The distinctive figure with the trills is heard first in the right hand with triplet rhythms in the left.  As in the other verses, the hands switch roles four times.  The trills in the right hand seem to suggest the “feather-light” step.  The last line is repeated and the music slows slightly as it comes to a half cadence in F-sharp major.
1:28 [m. 35]--The tempo changes to “Poco sostenuto,” the time signature to 3/4, and the key signature is formally changed to F-sharp major (the key of the last stretch of music).  A piano interlude introduces these changes with four measures of “sigh” figures and low bass broken octaves.
1:40 [m. 39]--Stanza 4 (C).  The mood has now completely changed.  The 3/4 meter is slow, but has a certain “swing.”  The vocal line continues the sigh figures of the interlude, as does the piano right hand.  The left hand plays very low notes in block and broken octaves.  Despite some chromatic inflections, the music remains rooted in F-sharp major.  The word “vorüberhallt” is “echoed,” which is in fact what the word means (though “echoes” is translated as a noun, the word is actually used as a verb in the original--the translation is quite accurate, however).  The fourth line comes to a satisfying and warm full cadence.
2:14 [m. 51]--As this cadence arrives, the music changes somewhat, the piano introducing a “swinging” triplet rhythm that alternates between the hands, the right hand largely harmonized in thirds and sixths.  The singer echoes the words “ach, wie bald” in a distinctive downward leap.  The words “der Wonne” are also repeated.  After another complete cadence, the last two lines are presented again (with “ach, wie bald” and “der Wonne” again stated twice in succession).  This time they come to a half cadence leading to a three-measure interlude that continues the alternation between hands of the slowly “swinging” triplet rhythm.
2:47 [m. 66]--Stanza 5 (C’).  The first four lines are presented to the same music as the previous stanza, at least in the vocal line.  The piano is changed, with the left hand now incorporating the “swinging” triplet rhythm introduced at the end of the last stanza in wide leaps.  The words “aus Morgen Heut” are repeated in the spot of the previous “echo,” but the text doesn’t match this gesture as nicely.  The words “von Ort” are repeated because the line is shorter than the corresponding line in stanza 4.
3:18 [m. 78]--The “swinging triplet” rhythm now alternates hands as before, but the voice is not heard immediately.  The entrance of the fifth line is somewhat “delayed” with no repetition of words.  Because there are four lines to set at this point instead of two (as at the analogous point of stanza 4), there is no wholesale repetition of text.  The varying length of the lines also means that the relatively unimportant words “wie es” are the only ones repeated at all (compare the twofold repetitions of “Ach, wie bald”  and “der Wonne” in the previous verse).  The “delayed” entry of the fifth line also contributes to the relative lack of text repetition here.  The vocal line is also changed somewhat at the seventh line, abandoning the downward leap associated with “ach, wie bald.”  The rhythm is suited to the new text, causing slight variations throughout the section.  The music comes to a complete cadence as a result of a slight change to the half cadence heard before 2:47 [m. 66].
3:42 [m. 90]--A long interlude continues the pattern of “swinging triplets” alternating between hands until a first weak cadence (after four measures).  Then the triplets in the right hand are changed to “straight” rhythms (two notes to a beat).  This gives the illusion of a slowing tempo where none really exists.  The key is still F-sharp major, with several inflections of chromatic, or “color” notes.  The arrival of the next section, aborting the expected cadence, is rather jarring.
3:59 [m. 98]--Stanza 6, lines 1-4 (D).  Suddenly, the meter changes back to 4/4 and the tempo is close to the original speed (marked “Poco animato”).  The mood of the A section returns, as do its gestures, particularly the distinctive left hand figure with the trills.  Here, the chords in triplet rhythm are in the right hand and remain there with no alternation.  The left hand states the “trill” gesture four times total (including the passage marked at 4:06), twice each under lines 1 and 3.  Broken octaves are heard under lines 2 and 4.  The passage is harmonically unstable, with each line moving to a new key area.  Line 1 continues in F-sharp minor, changing mode from the previous music.  Line 2 shifts suddenly to D major.
4:06 [m. 102]--Lines 3 and 4 continue to move away from the “sharp” key areas (F-sharp, A, D) toward “flat” ones.  Line 3 is analogous to line 1, but the vocal contour is different.  It is set in G minor, a half-step higher than line 1.  Similarly, line 4 is the same as line 2, but is a half-step higher, in E-flat major, quite distant from home.  Line 4 is repeated, and skillfully drawn back down the half-step to D, where line 2 was heard, coming quickly from a distant point back toward the home key.  This time, there is a subtle inflection toward minor on the word “Leben.”  The succeeding 2-measure interlude also shifts toward minor at the very end.
4:20 [m. 109]--Stanza 6, lines 5-8 (E).  A magical key change brings us finally back home to A major.  The tempo is now even faster (“Vivace, ma non troppo”), and the meter is cut in half to 2/4.  8 measures of interlude set up the new material, with breathless piano figures shifting between the hands.  These are generally four notes or double-notes long, with the first two repeated.
4:28 [m. 117]--The voice enters over this new piano material.  The melody is extroverted and jubilant, full of leaps and light embellishments.  The four-note groups continue in the piano through the climax at the end of the third (seventh) line, which is somewhat stretched out.  Then, for the last line, the accompaniment is again in triplets (and single notes), which creates an illusion of slowing down.  “Liebe und Leben” and then “zugleich” are repeated before the singer reaches a half cadence.  A four-measure interlude in the triplet rhythm leads to the repetition/expansion of this material (E’).
4:51 [m. 143]--Second full statement of stanza 6, lines 5-8 (E’).  The initial statement of the first three lines (5-7) is the same as at 4:28 [m. 117].
5:05 [m. 159]--The music now diverges from the first statement at 4:28 [m. 117], bringing back material from the first stanza.  The triplet rhythm enters as before at the last line, but the single notes are abandoned in favor of full chords.  And most importantly, the “trill” figure from the first part of the song returns yet again in the left hand, its natural home.  Brahms marks the music “animato” at this point.  Rather than moving straight to the last line, the third (seventh) is now excitedly repeated.  When the last line enters, its presentation is greatly expanded.  It is stated a total of four times, none of them set the same way.  On the first one, the familiar alternation of the trill and triplet figures between the hands is heard again, but this does not continue past the second statement. 
5:15 [m. 171]--The triplet figures move to the left hand before the third statement.  The first syllable of “Liebe” is sustained for two measures in this statement.  The clinching final statement rockets upward--while the piano bass shoots downward in octaves--and adds an extra repetition of the word “zugleich.”  The cadence is emphatic, temporarily arresting the motion, which resumes with a very brief postlude echoing the last musical phrase of this highly varied song.
5:40--END OF SONG [187 mm.]


BOOK III:
7. “War es dir, dem diese Lippen bebten?”  (“Was it you for whom these lips trembled?”).  Lebhaft (Lively)--Animato.  Expanded ternary form (AA’BA”). D MAJOR, 3/4 time (Low key B-flat major).  [Later title: Erinnerung (Recollection)].
At the tryst he presents the third ring and vows eternal fidelity; they kiss.  Back in his lodging, he sings this song.

German Text:
War es dir, dem diese Lippen bebten,
Dir der dargebotne süße Kuß?
Gibt ein irdisch Leben so Genuß?
Ha! wie Licht und Glanz vor meinen Augen schwebten,
Alle Sinne nach den Lippen strebten!

In den klaren Augen blickte
Sehnsucht, die mir zärtlich winkte,
Alles klang im Herzen wieder,
Meine Blicke sanken nieder,
Und die Lüfte tönten Liebeslieder.

Wie ein Sternenpaar
Glänzten die Augen, die Wangen
Wiegten das goldene Haar,
Blick und Lächeln schwangen
Flügel, und die süßen Worte gar
Weckten das tiefste Verlangen;
O Kuß, wie war dein Mund so brennend rot!
Da starb ich, fand ein Leben erst im schönsten Tod.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A).  No introduction.  After a single chord, the singer begins the restless, agitated melody, which freely mixes steps and leaps.  While the right hand plays chords doubling the voice, the faster-moving left hand is notable.  Its figures are mainly oscillating neighbor notes (with a few low bass notes thrown in), but the distinctive rests on the first part of the third beat in many of these figures increase the restless mood projected by the voice.
0:13 [m. 11]--The quieter third line takes a brief harmonic detour to F major.  In line 4, the words “wie Licht” are dramatically repeated over a rise in volume to help bring the rest of the verse home using a near repetition of the music of the first two lines.  The entire last line is also repeated to new music with new bass broken octaves, and comes to a broad cadence where the first syllable of “Lippen” is sustained for five beats.  This happens over a syncopation in the bass.  Most of the stanza consists of irregular five- and seven-bar phrases.
0:42 [m. 34]--Stanza 2 (A’).  A one-bar transition leads to the first two lines, which are rather static and subdued in comparison to what has gone before.  The restless left hand figures remain anchored to a low D, whereas in stanza 1 they mostly hovered around a high and more harmonically active A.  The second line tries to move to new harmonies, but the static left hand undermines this.  The word “zärtlich” is repeated.    The accompaniment pattern continues in a three-bar interlude.
0:59 [m. 47]--From this point, the last three lines of stanza 2 follow the last three lines of stanza 1 exactly, using the music from 0:13 [m. 11].  The strange “hybrid” construction means that the new material in the first two lines of stanza 2 could be called a small “b” section and the last three an abbreviated a’.  The words “alles” and “meine Blicke” are repeated to compensate for the different poetic meter, and the word “sanken” is stretched over six notes.  The last line is repeated in its entirety, as in stanza 1.  The first syllable of “Liebeslieder” is set to the long note.
1:29 [m. 70]--A quiet piano interlude similar to the beginning of stanza 2, with the left-hand figures on the low D.  Like many phrases in both stanzas, it is an irregular five-bar phrase.
1:35 [m. 75]--Stanza 3, lines 1-6 (B).  The change in poetic structure inspires a change in the music.  The section is set in the key of G major and marked “Animato.”  Although the motion is quick and light, the music is quiet and even subdued.  Similar to the first two lines of stanza 2, this quiet music sets a reference to the eyes.  The accompaniment is simpler, consisting of chords on beats 2 and 3 of each bar.  The phrases are more regular, all in four bars until the last phrase is stretched to five with the elongation of the word “Verlangen” using a turn figure.  The five phrases only approximately correspond to the six lines of text.  The third and fourth phrases hint at A minor and arrive at a dissonant “diminished seventh” on “gar.”  A three-bar interlude follows the last elongated phrase. 
2:02 [m. 99]--Unexpectedly, lines 4-6 of the stanza are repeated, to nearly the same three phrases. The only variation is on the three notes beginning with “tiefste,” which continue to move up by steps instead of skipping down to the long note in the word “Verlangen.”  As a result, this long note is approached by a single downward octave leap.  The three-bar interlude is reduced to two, which suddenly increase in volume and return home to D major, leading to the abbreviated return of A.
2:22 [m. 114 (113)]--Stanza 3, lines 7-8 (A”).  The words “O Kuß” establish the mood and material of A again, and from “wie war dein Mund” (with “dein Mund” repeated), the music is analogous to a point just after the beginning of line 4 of stanzas 1 and 2.  This is appropriate, as the music from that point also set two lines.  Instead of an entire line being repeated, the words “ein Leben” and “im schönsten Tod” are repeated in succession, including a third statement of the word “schönsten.”  Although the music follows the melody and harmony closely, the lengths and placements of certain notes are changed to fit the meter of the text.  The first syllable of the third “schönsten” is set to the long note.
NOTE: This guide describes what is sung in the recording.  Some editions repeat “o Kuß” rather than “dein Mund,” shifting the text so that a large descent is on “o Kuß, wie war” instead of “wie war dein Mund.”
2:46 [m. 132]--The piano postlude is very similar to the interlude at 1:29 [m. 70], extended by two measures.  Like that interlude, it is quiet.  It slows at the end, finally putting the brakes on the general exuberance and restlessness of the song.
 3:11--END OF SONG [138 mm.]


8. “Wir müssen uns trennen, geliebtes Saitenspiel”  (“We must part, beloved lute”).  Andante--Allegro--Andante.  Expanded ternary form (ABA’CDC’D’A”). G-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4 and cut time [2/2] (Low key E-flat major).  [Later title: Entschluss (Resolution)].
Threatened with an unwanted bridegroom, Magelone asks Peter to run off with her to his homeland.  Before meeting her he sings this song.

German Text:
Wir müssen uns trennen,
Geliebtes Saitenspiel,
Zeit ist es, zu rennen
Nach dem fernen, erwünschten Ziel.

Ich ziehe zum Streite,
Zum Raube hinaus,
Und hab’ ich die Beute,
Dann flieg’ ich nach Haus.

Im rötlichen Glanze
Entflieh’ ich mit ihr,
Es schützt uns die Lanze,
Der Stahlharnisch hier.

Kommt, liebe Waffenstücke,
Zum Scherz oft angetan,
Beschirmet jetzt mein Glücke
Auf dieser neuen Bahn!

Ich werfe mich rasch in die Wogen,
Ich grüße den herrlichen Lauf,
Schon mancher ward niedergezogen,
Der tapfere Schwimmer bleibt obenauf.

Ha! Lust zu vergeuden
Das edele Blut!
Zu schützen die Freude,
Mein köstliches Gut!
Nicht Hohn zu erleiden,
Wem fehlt es an Mut?

Senke die Zügel,
Glückliche Nacht!
Spanne die Flügel,
Daß über ferne Hügel
Uns schon der Morgen lacht!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--A short piano introduction sets up low, slow-moving, and slightly dissonant “sigh” figures in the right hand, with syncopated bass notes after the beats in the left.
0:11 [m. 3]--Stanza 1 (A).  The melody is smooth and subdued, but wide-ranging.  The right-hand accompaniment is very steady, consisting of rising four-note groups evoking the lute (the first and third notes of each are harmonized with a note below).  The left hand notes after the beats continue from the introduction, and the first two measures echo the harmonies of the introduction.
0:21 [m. 5]--The last two lines of the stanza move steadily downward, with some chromatic notes introducing a motion to the related key of D-flat (which is also the lowest note).  The last line (without the word “nach”) is repeated, with the vocal line reaching upward as the music subtly shifts to the dark G-flat and D-flat to the brighter and rather distant F and B-flat.
0:40 [m. 9]--Stanza 2 (B).  The second stanza begins in B-flat minor.  It is characterized by the continuing sigh figures in the left hand with fast “drum-roll” figures in the right.  The sighs and drum rolls switch hands every measure.  The vocal line is very rhythmic, and echoes the piano’s drum rolls with long-short figures.  The last two lines move the music back to the home key of G-flat.  There is a one-bar transition that echoes the last vocal measure.
1:00 [m. 14]--Stanza 3 (A’).  The vocal line follows that of stanza 1 closely, including the motion to D-Flat, F, and B-flat.  The difference is in the text repetition.  Because the fourth line is shorter than that of stanza 1, the words “die Lanze” from the third line are repeated before it is heard, both in its first and second statements.  There are also some small differences in declamation and rhythm.  The second statement begins as in stanza 1 (reaching upward), but changes direction and settles on an expectant pause.  The accompaniment for the stanza is not the same as that of stanza 1.  It continues the “drum roll” effects from stanza 2 in the right hand against more steady motion in the left.  The last “drum-roll” coincides with the pause (on F) in the vocal line and completes the smaller three-part form of the first part.
1:31 [m. 20]--Stanza 4 (C).  After the expectant pause, a change of tempo to Allegro and the reduction of the 4/4 meter to cut time [2/2] heralds the arrival of the middle section of the larger ternary form.  Like stanza 2, the key of B-flat follows naturally from the pause, but now it is B-flat major, complete with an official key signature change.  The piano right hand, in chords and octaves, introduces the basic short-long-short rhythm beginning on an upbeat.  The left hand typically enters during the longer right hand notes.  The pattern continues when the voice enters after two measures.  The melody is light and joyful, incorporating dotted (long-short) rhythms within the larger short-long-short pattern.  The voice breaks off suddenly after hinting at a move to G minor, but the piano gains strength and continues to a half-cadence in B-flat.
1:45 [m. 32]--Stanza 5 (D)--The vocal line now rises steadily and with ever more exuberance.  The last line, repeating the words “der tapfere Schwimmer,” reaches another half-cadence in B-flat, but this one is filled with tension, reaching an expectant pause on a high note.  The piano accompaniment for the stanza introduces full chords in a distinctive triplet rhythm (three notes to a beat), but with the first note of each triplet absent, replaced either with a rest or with a tie from the last group.  These are played against the continuing straight two-note rhythm in the left hand and the voice.  They continue until the pause.
2:05 [m. 49]--Stanza 6, lines 1-4 (C’)--The piano part follows the notes and harmony of stanza 4, but now incorporates the triplet rhythms of stanza 5 in both hands (but the first note of each group is now present).  After the piano plays its lead-in with the triplet rhythm using broken octaves, the vocal line follows that of stanza 4 quite closely, but does away with the dotted rhythms because of the shorter poetic lines.  It now follows the more straight “short-long-short” pattern throughout, contrasting with the triplets in the piano (which comes to the same half-cadence in B-flat after the voice breaks off).
2:18 [m. 61]--Stanza 6, lines 5-6 (D’)--Because of the shorter lines, a full statement of the two lines corresponds closely to the first line of stanza 5 (including the triplet rhythm with “absent” first notes in the piano), but adds two notes to the end.  The two lines are repeated, corresponding to the second line of stanza 5, but before that, Brahms shifts the harmony so that the line is sung a half-step lower than in stanza 5.  This causes the line to reach the key of F-sharp (the same as G-flat, notated differently--they are “enharmonic” keys).  This is a very clever way to return to the home key.  The last two musical lines of stanza 5 are cut, and the piano continues with a descending transition firmly establishing F-sharp.  The music slows and settles down as the triplet rhythm comes to an end.
2:35[m. 72]--Having reached the home key (now notated as G-flat), Brahms now restores the 4/4 meter and restates the two-bar introduction from the opening of the song for the abbreviated return (consisting only of A”) of the opening section.
2:46 [m. 74]--Stanza 7 (A”)--Up through the fourth line, the vocal line matches that of stanzas 1 and 3, moving to the low D-flat.  The accompaniment is similar to that of stanza 1, but the rising four-note groups are split between the hands.  Each hand plays a three-note figure, the right hand entering as the left hand plays its second note (and the left hand resting as the right hand plays its last note) so that the second and third notes of each group are played by both hands.  This pattern remains steady through the stanza, and the previous left hand after-beat notes are obviously now absent.
3:07 [m. 78]--Because the stanza has five lines instead of four, the fifth line takes the place of the repetitions in stanzas 1 and 3.  The music is quite different.  The line is set to a soaring, slowly moving vocal and now returns quickly to G-flat after a striking but short diversion to B.  It is stated twice.  The second statement begins on a syncopated dissonance and is stretched even further, repeating and lengthening the words “der Morgen” before a closing cadence.
3:30 [m. 82]--The piano postlude changes the preceding pattern slightly.  The right hand still plays three-note groups (resting on the first note of the pattern), but the left hand now plays with the first, third and fourth notes of the pattern instead of the first, second, and third, leaving the right hand alone on the second.   The left hand makes wide leaps after its initial (now longer) notes of the pattern.  The pattern continues for three measures, introducing several dissonances before the last questioning cadence.
4:05--END OF SONG [84 mm.]


9. “Ruhe, Süßliebchen, im Schatten”  (“Rest, my love, in the shade”).  Langsam--Animato.  Modified strophic form with refrain on the last three lines of each strope.  A-FLAT MAJOR, 6/8 time (Low key F-sharp major).  [Later title: Schlaflied (Lullaby)]. 
In the course of their escape, they rest in a forest and he sings this song.

German Text:
Ruhe, Süßliebchen, im Schatten
Der grünen, dämmernden Nacht:
Es säuselt das Gras auf den Matten,
Es fächelt und kühlt dich der Schatten
Und treue Liebe wacht.
Schlafe, schlaf ein,
Leiser rauscht der Hain,
Ewig bin ich dein.

Schweigt, ihr versteckten Gesänge,
Und stört nicht die süßeste Ruh’!
Es lauschet der Vögel Gedränge,
Es ruhen die lauten Gesänge,
Schließ, Liebchen, dein Auge zu.
Schlafe, schlaf ein,
Im dämmernden Schein,
Ich will dein Wächter sein.

Murmelt fort, ihr Melodien,
Rausche nur, du stiller Bach.
Schöne Liebesphantasien
Sprechen in den Melodien,
Zarte Träume schwimmen nach.
Durch den flüsternden Hain
Schwärmen goldne Bienelein
Und summen zum Schlummer dich ein.

English Translation

Outside of the cycle, this song is considered one of the three “Brahms Lullabies” (the others are Op. 49, No. 4 and Op. 91, No. 2).  There are superficial similarities with Op. 91, No. 2.
0:00 [m. 1]--The piano introduction anticipates the “refrain” that will be heard at the end of each verse, a gently rising figure whose fourth note is dissonant.  The left hand begins the song a beat before the first full bar and continues in a gentle syncopation (playing the same chord on beats three and six of each bar).  The chord is the highly anticipatory and unstable dominant seventh, which wants to pull to the home chord, but avoids doing so.
0:11 [m. 5]--Stanza (strophe) 1.  The vocal line is a gently rocking, generally descending melody.  While the right hand plays simple chords and notes on the main beats, the left hand continues its gentle syncopation on the dissonant chord.  After the verse begins, the chord finally changes and loses its dissonant character, but the low bass note remains the same.  The middle note of the chord moves down, then back up, then gradually down.
0:26 [m. 11]--From the third line, preceded by a two-measure bridge, the bass note begins to oscillate, at first only moving a half-step above the previously constant low note, but gradually incorporating a few other notes.  From this point, the bass is no longer in chords and consists of single notes and octaves, but the syncopated, constant reiterations on beats 3 and 6 remain.  Lines three and four are identically set and move to the remote key of C-flat major, but line five, in a slow descent, comes back to the territory of the home key, while avoiding a full close there.  The target key  is the same pitch (E-flat) as the pervasive bass notes of the opening.
0:55 [m. 23]--At the point of the cadence, the unstable dominant seventh chords from the beginning return, as does the music of the introduction.  It leads to the actual refrain (lines 6-8 of the stanza).  The voice echoes the piano’s rising line, after which the piano left hand again moves to other chords and the right hand rises higher.  The following line is a downward near inversion of the first line, again with a slightly dissonant fourth note suggesting the key of D-flat.  Rising still higher, the piano becomes somewhat excited.
1:17 [m. 33]--The last line again abandons chords in favor of octaves in the left hand.  It is a descending figure, set higher than the preceding line and moving down entirely by steps and toward G-flat.  The following bridge is quite static and begins to settle down.  The line is repeated a bit lower, starting on a long note held over a bar line and moving home to A-flat.  It includes an extra reiteration of the word “ewig” and an even longer note on the word “bin.”  This descending figure leads to the first full cadence in the home key.  Only at the point of that cadence is the constant syncopated rhythm in the left hand finally abandoned.
1:37 [m. 41]--An extremely tender, rocking interlude begins with the vocal cadence and firmly (and finally) establishes the home key while leading to the next strophe.  The bass, moving between higher chords or fifths and low octaves, is no longer syncopated.
1:59 [m. 49]--Stanza (Strophe) 2.  The syncopation in the bass is now replaced by oscillating chords and single notes in both hands (the right hand usually has a rest before each group until the third line, where it introduces chords and vocal line doubling).  The structure of the vocal line is similar to that of strophe 1 with some rhythmic variation, but the keys are different.  It begins in the key of F minor (relative to A-flat), moving to G-flat major in the second line and back to F minor in the third.  The fourth line reaches a half-cadence in E-flat minor (relative to G-flat major, just heard).  A shift to major in line 5 (which now moves upward before leaping downward), leads to the same cadence on the note E-flat and a return to the refrain.
2:40 [m. 67]--The refrain is virtually the same as at 0:55 [m. 23], with a nearly identical vocal line and right hand.  Even the left hand introduces the same harmonies as before (including the pervasive dominant seventh at the beginning), as well as the former syncopation.  The difference is that the chords of the left hand are now broken, in keeping with the oscillating motion of the preceding music.  Now the left hand plays on beats 2, 3, 5, and 6, holding one or two notes over the strong beats, 1 and 4.  This pattern continues throughout the refrain.  Obviously the words are different, and the rhythm is slightly altered to match the declamation. 
3:01 [m. 77]--The last line is one syllable longer than that of stanza 1 at 1:17 [m. 33], so on its second repetition, no word is reiterated.  Instead, the first word “ich” is stretched over two notes.  The first syllable of “Wächter” gets the long note.
3:20 [m. 85]--The tender interlude from 1:37 [m. 41] is repeated, but with flowing broken chords in the left hand.
3:39 [m. 93]--Stanza (Strophe) 3.  Very suddenly, the tempo speeds up (“Animato”) and the music is strikingly bumped up a half-step to A major (complete with a key signature change to three sharps).  The accompaniment is now upward-thrusting arpeggios, which give way to wave-like figures in the left hand under right hand chords playing with the first two lines and also bridging them.  These are quite different from their settings in the first two stanzas, and consist of forward-thrusting, leaping lines that finally settle at the end of line 2 with a repetition of “du stiller.”
3:51 [m. 100]--The thrusting arpeggios return for the last two lines and remain in force through the rest of the stanza and most of the refrain.  The top voice of the piano, after a one-bar anticipation, doubles the voice in line 3, then diverges.  The settings of lines 3-5 return to the familiar descending lines of the first two verses.  Line 3 shifts dramatically to the bright C major, leaving it to line 4 (where the key signature changes back to 4 flats) to return home to A-flat major.  Line 5 is more decorative and set higher than in the first two verses, but comes to the same cadence on the note E-flat as before.
4:07 [m. 111]--The final statement of the refrain continues the animated motion of the preceding verse.  The former syncopated block chords (including the dissonant dominant seventh) are now rolled upward in the pattern of the preceding music.  The piano line, imitated by the voice, retains the same outline and shape.  The rhythm is more animated to accommodate the wordier text of these lines.  Before the repetition of the last line, the thrusting arpeggios become slower and more stretched out, and the music becomes softer.  That repetition (which reiterates the words “zum Schlummer”) returns to the quiet character of the first two verses as it reaches its cadence.
4:40 [m. 129]--In a sort of “coming around full circle,” the tender interlude, now a postlude, returns to the left hand syncopation of the opening (2 notes, often octaves, played on beats 3 and 6).  In its first two statements, the left hand rhythm had not been syncopated.  Since strophe 3 had mostly straight rhythm, even in the refrain, this postlude seems to be a bit of a role reversal and helps to close and unify the song.  It is only briefly extended and stretched for the final chords, the left hand remaining syncopated until the end.  Brahms indicated that it should gradually and steadily slow down, since the animated tempo of strophe 3 is still in force as it begins.
5:25--END OF SONG [138 mm.]


BOOK IV:
10. Verzweiflung--“So tönet denn, schäumende Wellen”  (Despair--“Resound, then, foaming waves”).  Allegro.  Expanded ternary form (AA’BA).  C MINOR, 3/4 time (Low key A minor).
A raven flies off with the three rings while Magelone sleeps and, trying to recover them when they fall into the sea, Peter is blown far from shore in a small boat; he sings this song.

German Text:
So tönet denn, schäumende Wellen,
Und windet euch rund um mich her!
Mag Unglück doch laut um mich bellen,
Erbost sein das grausame Meer!

Ich lache den stürmenden Wettern,
Verachte den Zorngrimm der Flut;
O, mögen mich Felsen zerschmettern!
Denn nimmer wird es gut.
 
Nicht klag’ ich, und mag ich nun scheitern,
Im wäßrigen Tiefen vergehn!
Mein Blick wird sich nie mehr erheitern,
Den Stern meiner Liebe zu sehn.

So wälzt euch bergab mit Gewittern,
Und raset, ihr Stürme, mich an,
Daß Felsen an Felsen zersplittern!
Ich bin ein verlorener Mann.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--The piano introduction sets up the character of the song.  The fast, turbulent arpeggio and scale figures of the right hand are played against starkly syncopated octaves in the left.
0:06 [m. 5]--Stanza 1 (A).  While remaining agitated and intense, the piano arpeggios become quieter and basically only move upward now, while the left hand usually plays after the beats.  The first line of the stanza is a rather broad, arching phrase.  After another measure echoing the end of the phrase, the second line is sung to a similar, but less arching phrase that ventures harmonically toward B minor.  The second line is repeated to another similar, downward moving phrase, without the one-measure break and moving back home harmonically.
0:20 [m. 15]--The third line introduces a new rhythmic figure in triplets, heard in full chord harmony and bass octaves in the piano, and then taken up by the voice.  The line is set twice to a pair of two-measure phrases (shorter than those of the first two lines), the second higher than the first.  The triplet rhythm continues in the piano under the last line, which is stretched to five measures by a longer-breathed descending line and the punctuating repetition at the cadence of the words “das grausame Meer.” (under which the triplets slow down to “straight” rhythm).
0:34 [m. 23]--At the vocal cadence, the piano introduction is repeated with the left hand syncopation placed in a higher octave and sounding somewhat more mild.
0:38 [m. 27]--Stanza 2 (A’)--The stanza is an abbreviated version of stanza 1.  The first two lines are set to two-measure phrases similar to the third line of stanza 1, with the triplet figures in the voice.  The piano, however, continues with the faster figures in regular rhythm rather than introducing the full chord harmony heard at 0:20.  The stanza suggests the key of F minor for these two lines.
0:44 [m. 31]--The third line is set in a very similar manner to that of stanza 1, and with similar harmony, but it is not repeated at the higher level.  The setting of the fourth line begins like the third-line repetition in stanza 1, but quickly turns to the music of that stanza’s fourth line and is the same length.  The stanza effortlessly moves to the same ending and cadence as stanza 1.  Because line four is shorter in this verse, the words “denn nimmer” are repeated at first, and then the entire line is stated again.
0:55[m. 37]--The music of the introduction is heard again, this time with the hands reversed, the running arpeggios and scales in the left and the syncopated octaves in the right.  It begins as an exact reversal, but as the original ending approaches, it is changed and extended for a modulation to a new key, with the running figures remaining in the left hand.  The music becomes quiet as the key changes.
1:04 [m. 43]--Stanza 3 (B)--This verse is quieter and more restrained.  The piano left hand moves in smooth triplet-rhythm arpeggios while the right remains in the regular straight (duple) rhythm.  The vocal line, entering after two measures, is slower moving and is characterized by “sigh” figures.  The stanza opens in the dark key of A-flat minor (but with the four-flat key signature of A-flat major).
1:18 [m. 51]--From the third line, the stanza moves to major, initially suggesting D-flat, but then approaching a cadence back in A-flat.  The third line is very expressive and more hopeful, including a sustained, rising vocal line.  The fourth line transfers the triplets to the right hand, harmonizing above the voice.   The “straight” rhythm moves to the left hand with distinct climbing figures  The singer descends and settles before the piano slows down and moves to the implied (and aborted) cadence.
1:37 [m. 58]--The agitated music and tempo of the introduction suddenly return.  It is similar to the previous statements, but it begins in A-flat and must move back home to C minor.  It is extended by a measure, maximizing the tension before the return of the A music.
1:44 [m. 64]--Stanza 4 (A)--The music is virtually identical to that of stanza 1 with minor adjustments for textual declamation. 
1:57 [m. 73]--The third line introduces the rhythmic triplet figure, as at 0:20 [m. 15].  The pattern of text repetition is the same, with the words “ein verlorener Mann” repeated at the end.
2:13 [m. 81]--At the final vocal cadence, the introduction music is heard a last time, with the arpeggios now extended higher and then reaching to the lowest register of the keyboard, slowing as a final, emphatic chord is approached.
2:31--END OF SONG [84 mm.]


11. “Wie schnell verschwindet so Licht als Glanz”  (“How quickly disappear light and radiance”).  Etwas langsam (Rather slowly).  Modified strophic form with bridge (AA’[B]A”A’).  F MINOR, 3/8 time (Also F minor in low key edition).  [Later title: Trauer (Grief)]. 
Magelone rides on sadly and goes to live in the hut of an old shepherd and his wife; she sings this song.

German Text:
Wie schnell verschwindet
So Licht als Glanz,
Der Morgen findet
Verwelkt den Kranz,

Der gestern glühte
In aller Pracht,
Denn er verblühte
In dunkler Nacht.

Es schwimmt die Welle
Des Lebens hin,
Und färbt sich helle,
Hat’s nicht Gewinn;

Die Sonne neiget,
Die Röte flieht,
Der Schatten steiget
Und Dunkel zieht.

So schwimmt die Liebe
Zu Wüsten ab,
Ach, daß sie bliebe
Bis an das Grab!

Doch wir erwachen
Zu tiefer Qual:
Es bricht der Nachen,
Es löscht der Strahl.

Vom schönen Lande
Weit weggebracht
Zum öden Strande,
Wo um uns Nacht.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--A particularly wonderful piano introduction establishes the musical material and even the phrase structure of the song.  A melancholy two-bar descending line is repeated with the first note inflected upward.  These are answered by a consequent four-bar phrase with rich, chromatic harmonies ending on a half-close.
0:19 [m. 9]--Strophe 1 (A).  The strophe sets two stanzas of the poem.  The setting of the first stanza matches the piano introduction closely (without the upward inflection on the second line), coming to the same half-close.  One line is set to each two-bar phrase, and two to the four-bar phrase.  The piano left hand moves mostly in octaves, the right hand in slow chords.
0:38 [m. 17]--The setting of the poem’s second stanza also follows the 2+2+4 measure phrase structure, but the voice is less active, the piano taking the more flowing line in beautiful double notes (thirds).  The first two phrases are similar, but the second is set a third higher.  The four-measure phrase features sets of three-note figures that leap down, then up.  There are three of these figures, moving sequentially downward.  The entire stanza moves away from the home key, ending with on a very warm D-flat major.
0:57 [m. 25]--A two-bar interlude reestablishes F minor and the opening gesture.
1:01 [m. 27]--Strophe 2 (A’).  This strophe only sets one stanza (the third), but cleverly reaches the same length of the first strophe.  The first two lines are set to the same two-bar phrases, but the second includes the upward inflection of the piano introduction.  The third line matches the opening two measures of the four-bar phrase from the introduction and first stanza.  The fourth line, however, rather than approaching the half-close, imitates the third line a half-step lower, resulting in two additional two-bar phrases instead of a four-bar phrase.  The third and fourth lines are then repeated completely to a new four-bar phrase, incorporating the “down-up” motion from the end of the second stanza and coming to a full cadence in the home key.
1:29 [m. 39]--The piano repeats this last new four-bar phrase.  If this interlude is considered part of strophe 2, then strophe 2 is the same length as strophe 1, despite only setting one stanza and only repeating half of it.
1:38 [m. 43]--Bridge (B).  Shifting to the major mode of the home key (F), the music reaches a very tender and quiet bridge passage.  The first two lines of the poem’s fourth stanza are set to a sweetly descending four-bar phrase, extended by the piano (which reaches a very low bass) to six bars.  The last two lines make a dramatic harmonic shift to D-flat (the key heard at the end of strophe 1).  After their two-bar piano extension, the piano plays an additional four bars (a total of ten measures, six in the piano), returning to the home key and the melancholy mood.  The piano measures and the vocal measures each total eight, making the entire bridge the same length as the other strophes, though setting only one stanza with no repetition.
2:15 [m. 59]--Strophe 3 (A”).  Like strophe 1, it sets two poetic stanzas (the fifth and sixth).  While generally following strophe 1 closely, it does incorporate the upward inflection on the second line as heard in the piano introduction and strophe 2.  The setting of the fifth stanza comes to the familiar half-close, but the vocal line reaches lower.  The accompaniment is new and more active, with descending figures passed between the right and left hands, sometimes in double notes (mostly thirds).
2:31 [m. 67]--The setting of the sixth stanza is close to that of the second, but now the singer participates in the flowing line and thirds previously heard only in the piano for the first two lines.  This is the emotional climax of the song, indicated by an increase in volume.  The last two lines gradually return to the previous vocal phrase, but the piano left hand continues the more active motion in broken octaves.  As before, the stanza moves to D-flat major.  The piano extends the verse an extra bar as the music settles down.
2:50 [m. 76]--The two-bar interlude from 0:57 [m. 25] is played, reestablishing F minor.
2:55 [m. 78]--Strophe 4 (A’).  The strophe, setting the seventh and final stanza of the poem, matches strophe 2 exactly, with the last two lines repeated as before.  The full cadence in the home key is again reached.
3:26 [m. 90]--The piano repeats the last four-bar phrase, as at 1:29 [m. 39], and it serves as a postlude, with fuller harmonies in the last two chords.  While the structure of this song is complex, the emotional affect is that of a straightforward and poignant lament.
3:44--END OF SONG [93 mm.]


12. “Muß es eine Trennung geben”  (“Must there be a parting”).  Poco Andante.  Modified strophic form.  G MINOR, 6/8 time (Low key E minor).  [Later title: Trennung (Parting)]. 
Peter is found by Moors, who sell him to the Sultan; he sings this song

German Text:
Muß es eine Trennung geben,
Die das treue Herz zerbricht?
Nein, dies nenne ich nicht leben,
Sterben ist so bitter nicht.

Hör’ ich eines Schäfers Flöte,
Härme ich mich inniglich,
Seh’ ich in die Abendröte,
Denk’ ich brünstiglich an dich.

Gibt es denn kein wahres Lieben?
Muß denn Schmerz und Trennung sein?
Wär’ ich ungeliebt geblieben,
Hätt’ ich doch noch Hoffnungsschein.

Aber so muß ich nun klagen:
Wo ist Hoffnung, als das Grab?
Fern muß ich mein Elend tragen,
Heimlich bricht das Herz mir ab.

English Translation.

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1.  A one-measure prelude establishes the sadly flowing downward arpeggios passed between hands that characterize the piano accompaniment for most of the song.  They are quiet, but agitated.  Each is introduced with a low bass note.  The vocal line is characterized by a long note followed by a rising figure in each of the four lines, all of which are set to three-measure phrases.  A characteristic embellishment is the anticipation of the note before the second syllable of “geben,” and another is the turn figure on “Herz.”  The second line comes to a half cadence.
0:20 [m. 8]--The third line of the strophe is the same as the first, but set a step higher, in A minor, subtly approached from the half cadence of line 2.  The fourth line returns to G in an equally subtle manner, reaching higher than before, but the music is now in major.  The harmony comes to a close on a G major chord, but the voice finishes on the note B, a third above, lending the phrase a questioning character.
0:35 [m. 13]--At the vocal cadence, the piano echoes the last six notes of the fourth line in harmony, the arpeggios being transferred entirely to the left hand.  These echoes are in longer note values, some of them syncopated.  This allows the three-measure phrase to be retained (the first overlapping with the last bar of the vocal phrase).  The echoes remain in major, with minor-key inflections in the chords.
0:44 [m. 2]--Stanza 2.  This is set to the same music as stanza 1, and Brahms indicates this with repeat signs.  The closing interlude after stanza 1 replaces the one-measure prelude.  Everything, including that closing interlude, is included in the repeat signs except for the first, preparatory measure.
1:25 [m. 16]--Stanza 3.  Although it contrasts with the preceding verses, it uses the same basic material and even retains the three-measure phrases.  The first line begins as before, but the harmonies quickly move toward the key of E-flat major.  The second line begins “early,” not allowing the first to complete its third measure.  This allows the words “muß denn Schmerz” to be repeated.  The word “Schmerz” therefore takes the long note where the line “should” have begun.  This line varies significantly from the preceding verses, and leads over a crescendo to the song’s climax.
1:39 [m. 22]--The last two lines of the verse are quite surprising.  Both of them begin “early,” as had the second, and introduce new material, with long notes being held across bar lines.  The “surprise” is in the piano, which suddenly abandons the pervasive downward arpeggios and plays the main opening melody, harmonized in thirds while the left hand reiterates the note D in the third phrase and G in the fourth.  The phrases are harmonically active, the third sounding as if it is moving back home to G minor, but the fourth taking a diversion instead to the related C minor.  In both cases, the piano completes the three-bar phrase.  The third line is the climax of the song, while the fourth is a sort of echo, completing the bleak thought.
1:58 [m. 28]--Stanza 4.  It follows stanza 3 with no interlude other than the piano’s completion of the last three-bar phrase.  It is essentially the same as the first and second stanzas (strophes), with a subtle difference at the beginning.  Although the vocal line is exactly the same from the outset, the piano arpeggios, re-entering after their only interruption, retain the harmony of the preceding C minor from the foregoing music at first, only matching the previous strophes in the third measure.  The motion from C minor back to G minor is thus smoothly handled under the beginning of the verse, and the vocal line easily matches this new harmony.
2:30 [m. 39]--As at 0:35 [m. 13], the vocal cadence introduces the “echo” in the piano of the last six notes in harmony.  However, at the third of these (the second measure), the voice overlaps it with a repetition of the entire last line.  The first three notes are a half-step lower, suggesting a return to minor.  But the last six are now stated in the longer note values, as they had been in the piano.  The first of these arrives with the last note of the piano phrase.  The piano continues the pattern, though, with the chords now more directly harmonizing with the voice.  The second of these last notes (fifth of the entire phrase) makes another hint at minor before the last four notes again establish the major mode.  The voice includes a “hemiola,” or implied 3/4 measure.  The final vocal phrase retains its strangely questioning character.  The longer notes stretch it to four measures, for a total of five with the first piano measure before the “overlap.”
2:44 [m. 43]--The piano postlude, arriving with and overlapping the vocal cadence, continues the pervasive arpeggios, moving steadily downward and continuing to waver between major and minor before major is finally settled upon at the end.  It is essentially another three-measure phrase, with a final chord added in a last extra measure.
3:10--END OF SONG [46 mm.]


BOOK V:
13. Sulima--“Geliebter, wo zaudert dein irrender Fuß?”  (Sulima--“My love, where tarries your wandering [wrongly-treading] foot [feet]?”).  Zart, heimlich (Tenderly, secretively).  Vivace.  Large two-part strophic form (AAB form in each strophe).  E MAJOR, 2/4 time (Low key C major).  [Later title: Lockung (Allurement)]. 
After nearly two years, Sulima, the Sultan’s daughter, asks him to run away with her and he agrees, merely on the chance of reaching home again.  Repenting, he sets out alone in a small boat as Sulima sings this song in the distance.

German Text:
Geliebter, wo zaudert
Dein irrender Fuß?
Die Nachtigall plaudert
Von Sehnsucht und Kuß.

Es flüstern die Bäume
Im goldenen Schein,
Es schlüpfen mir Träume
Zum Fenster hinein.

Ach! kennst du das Schmachten
Der klopfenden Brust?
Dies Sinnen und Trachten
Voll Qual und voll Lust?

Beflügle die Eile
Und rette mich dir,
Bei nächtlicher Weile
Entfliehn wir von hier.

Die Segel, sie schwellen,
Die Furcht ist nur Tand:
Dort, jenseit den Wellen
Ist väterlich Land.

Die Heimat entfliehet,
So fahre sie hin!
Die Liebe, sie ziehet
Gewaltig den Sinn.

Horch! wollüstig klingen
Die Wellen im Meer,
Sie hüpfen und springen
Mutwillig einher,

Und sollten sie klagen?
Sie rufen nach dir!
Sie wissen, sie tragen
Die Liebe von hier.

English Translation

Note:  The first word of the song (a direct translation would be “beloved man”) and the character of Sulima suggest that the song should be sung by a woman; however, the entire cycle is usually taken by one singer, usually a man, reflecting Peter’s voice in most of the poems.
0:00 [m. 1]--The piano introduction is rather long.  It consists of three phrases, the first two shorter and identical, and the third more varied and longer than the first two combined.  This reflects the structure of each large strophe.  The first two phrases introduce the playful, skipping dotted rhythm present in the accompaniment (and the voice) for much of the song.  The third, longer phrase introduces the many “color” notes (usually flattened a half-step from where they are in the home key--an inflection toward the minor) that appear throughout the song, graphically suggesting the exoticism associated with Peter’s captivity and the character of Sulima.  The music finally settles on a repeated note (B), preparing the entry of the voice.
0:09 [m. 12]--Stanza 1 (A).  The vocal line continues the playful, skipping dotted rhythm of the introduction, which also continues in the piano.  The persistence of this rhythm also conveys a sense of restlessness or impatience.  The “color” notes are noticeable, particularly when the last line is repeated in a more slowly drawn concluding phrase.  A short, vamp-like interlude follows.
0:20 [m. 12]--Stanza 2 (A).  A repetition of the music of stanza 1, indicated with a repeat sign.  The last line is of course repeated to the slower phrase, and the “vamp” is heard again at the end.
0:31 [m. 26]--Stanza 3 (B).  The longer section rounding out the strophe begins.  Stanza 3 is set to a breathless rising line, still in the persistent skipping dotted rhythm.  The top notes of the phrases are flattened “color” notes.  The last line is NOT repeated.
0:37 [m. 34]--Stanza 4 (B continued).  This stanza rounds out the strophe.  It moves generally downward, coming the opposite direction from stanza 3.  “Color” notes are heard at the end of lines 1 and 2.  Lines 3 and 4 leap gradually downward (chromatically, by half-step).  Lines 3 and 4 are repeated as a clinching, climactic phrase that rises again and is more drawn out at the end.  Under this repetition, the left hand finally departs from the persistent “skipping” rhythm for a strong descent in “straight” rhythm.
0:47 [m. 47]--The long piano introduction from the beginning is repeated.
0:56 [m. 58]--Stanza 5 (A).  Repetition of the music of stanzas 1 and 2, with the last line repeated and the vamp-like interlude.
1:07 [m. 58]--Stanza 6 (A).  Repetition of the music of stanzas 1, 2, and 5 (indicated with a repeat sign from the end of stanza 5), with the last line repeated and the vamp-like interlude.
1:17 [m. 72]--Stanza 7 (B’).  Varied statement of the music of stanza 3.  Lines 1 and 2 are the same, but the harmony of lines 3 and 4 (not the rhythm or general direction) is subtly changed to lend more of a “minor” flavor.
1:24 [m. 80]--Stanza 8 (B’ continued).  A mostly unchanged repetition of the music from stanza 4, with the repetition of lines 3 and 4 over a strong “straight” rhythm descent in the left hand.  There is a very slight alteration under the first syllable of the word “Liebe,” (analogous to the second syllable of “entfliehn” in stanza 4) where the “color” note enters a beat later in the right hand.
1:33 [m. 93]--The long introduction begins as in the interlude between the large strophes (at 0:47 [m. 47]), but changes direction halfway through to settle down to a quiet, but still playful ending.  The pervasive dotted rhythm remains in force to the end.  A remarkable aspect of this song is its complete lack of any departure from the home key (the bright E major) other than the isolated “color” notes.  There is no large-scale modulation.
1:49--END OF SONG [104 mm.]


14. “Wie froh und frisch mein Sinn sich hebt”  (“How happy and fresh my thoughts soar”).  Lebhaft (Lively).  Rondo form (ABACA).  G MAJOR, 3/4 (9/8) time (Low key E major).  [Later title: Neuer Sinn (Fresh Thoughts)]. 
As his voyage gets underway, he sings this song

German Text:
Wie froh und frisch mein Sinn sich hebt,
Zurück bleibt alles Bangen,
Die Brust mit neuem Mute strebt,
Erwacht ein neu Verlangen.

Die Sterne spiegeln sich im Meer,
Und golden glänzt die Flut.
Ich rannte taumelnd hin und her,
Und war nicht schlimm, nicht gut.

Doch niedergezogen
Sind Zweifel und wankender Sinn;
O tragt mich, ihr schaukelnden Wogen,
Zur längst ersehnten Heimat hin.

In lieber, dämmernder Ferne,
Dort rufen heimische Lieder,
Aus jeglichem Sterne
Blickt sie mit sanftem Auge nieder.

Ebne dich, du treue Welle,
Führe mich auf fernen Wegen
Zu der vielgeliebten Schwelle,
Endlich meinem Glück entgegen!

English Translation

Note: Brahms indicated the meter of the song as 3/4 (9/8).  Both of these are triple meters, but 3/4 has a “straight” division of the beat into two parts, while 9/8 has a “triplet” division of the beat into three.  While there are exceptions (notably at the very beginning), the vocal line is generally in the 3/4 “straight” meter against the piano’s 9/8 “triplet” rhythm.
0:00 [m. 1]--Four bright, strong chords, beginning on an upbeat (partial measure), prepare the joyous mood.
0:05 [m. 3]--Stanza 1 (A).  The vocal line soars with happiness.  The first two lines are set to two-measure phrases, the last two to three-measure phrases.  The rapid arpeggios of the accompaniment are in a “divided” triplet rhythm (9/8).  They are brilliant and virtuosic, featuring many rapidly repeated notes (often double notes) at the tops of lines.  The vocal line is in a mostly “straight” rhythm, but the subtle “triplet” feel appears at the beginning on “froh und” and “Sinn sich.”  The verse begins on an upbeat, which is absent for stanzas 3 and 5.  Note the colorful harmonies under “hebt,” “Bangen,” and “erwacht.”  The words “ein neu” are repeated as the line reaches its highest pitch.
0:23 [m. 13]--A piano interlude continues the brilliant arpeggios, highlighting the rapid repeated notes at the top.  It also modulates to the key of D major.
0:30 [m. 17]--Stanza 2 (B).  This stanza is more gentle.  The brilliant arpeggios give way to more subdued, undivided triplets in the piano with smooth left hand harmonies.  The voice retains the “straight” rhythm.  The first two lines are set in the closely related D major in two-measure phrases.  The second line (without the word “und“) is repeated in longer note values, stretching it to a three-measure phrase, followed by a measure of the piano alone.
0:45 [m. 25]--The last two lines of the stanza move back to G and are set in the minor version of that key.  It is a very slight melancholy turn in this exuberant song.  Line 3 is set to a two-measure phrase.  Line 4 echoes it somewhat, but lengthens the last notes, stretching it to three measures.  A short interlude introduces rising triplet figures and a strong descent in slower notes, preparing the return of the passionate, joyous A music.
0:59 [m. 33]--Stanza 3 (A).  A repetition of the music from stanza 1, but with significant rhythm adjustments to fit the text.  The opening upbeat is gone, and in fact the verse starts slightly after, rather than before the downbeat.  The “triplet” feel at the opening is straightened out.  Conversely, the word “schaukelnden” is set to a triplet where there was not one before.  There are other slight shifts.  Most notably, the final cadence is slightly stretched out, ending on the downbeat of the next measure, since the poetic line ends on a strong, rather than a weak syllable.  There is no text repetition at the highest point (as there was before), but the word “ersehnten” is stretched over seven notes.
1:15 [m. 43]--An interlude enters at the final downbeat of the extended vocal cadence.  The piano arpeggios are now all rising and decrease in volume, settling down to the tender music of stanza 4.  As the key changes to C, several colorful harmonies are introduced.
1:22 [m. 47]--Stanza 4 (C).  Set in the “open” key of C major, this stanza is more gentle and tender than stanza 2 was.  The piano makes its most significant departures from the 9/8 meter, playing several decorative phrases in the straight 3/4 as it harmonizes with and echoes the voice.  The first two lines are set to a beautiful four-bar phrase with a single “color” note borrowed from the minor on “rufen.”
1:30 [m. 51]--This phrase is echoed almost exactly in the last two lines, but line four stretches a couple of notes.  The word “Sie” is set to a longer note (significantly the one with the minor “color” inflection), as is the first syllable of “sanftem.”  This stretches the four-bar phrase to five measures.  This fourth line is repeated with even more lengthening and stretching, creating its own new four-bar phrase over more of the decorative 3/4 motion in the piano.  This happens as more “color” notes move the music back to G and the music increases in volume for the final return of the exuberant A music.  There is a one-bar interlude continuing the piano figuration from the repetition of the last line.
1:48 [m. 61]--Stanza 5 (A).  Again, this is a close repetition with rhythmic adjustments for the text.  This is the only statement of the material that begins right on the downbeat (stanza 1 began before it, stanza 3 after it).  A triplet feel is heard on “Ebne,” but not on “treue.”  An “extra” statement of the word “endlich” at the beginning of line 4 fills in a space where rests existed before.  There is no stretched out word on several notes at the high point, as there was in stanza 3.
2:04 [m. 71]--The last line is repeated in an extended cadence phrase.  The word “endlich” is again stated twice in longer note values, the second with a color note on the last syllable.  The final word “entgegen” is lengthened as the high point is again reached with very colorful harmony (Brahms indicated a possible simplified version of this difficult last word--Fischer-Dieskau sings the more difficult version).  The lengthening expands the phrase to five measures.  The final vocal downbeat introduces a last measure of upward-striving piano arpeggios that conclude the song with a flourish.
2:23--END OF SONG [76 mm.]


15. “Treue Liebe dauert lange”  (“True love lingers long”).  Ziemlich langsam (Rather slowly)--Lebhaft (Lively)--Tempo I.  Ziemlich langsam.  Rondo form (ABA’CA”).  E-FLAT MAJOR, 4/4, 3/4, and cut [2/2] time (Low key C major).  [Later title: Treue (Fidelity)]. 
Eventually fishermen lead him to the shepherd
s hut, where he discovers Magelone.  Back in Provence, the three rings have been found by the royal cook in a fishs stomach.  On every anniversary of their reunion, Peter and Magelone sing this song.

[Note: Brahms omitted two of Tieck’s poems between Nos. 14 and 15.]

German Text:
Treue Liebe dauert lange,
Überlebet manche Stund‘,
Und kein Zweifel macht sie bange,
Immer bleibt ihr Mut gesund.

Dräuen gleich in dichten Scharen,
Fordern gleich zum Wankelmut
Sturm und Tod, setzt den Gefahren
Lieb’ entgegen, treues Blut.

Und wie Nebel stürzt zurücke,
Was den Sinn gefangen hält,
Und dem heitern Frühlingsblicke
Öffnet sich die weite Welt.

Errungen,
Bezwungen
Von Lieb’ ist das Glück,
Verschwunden
Die Stunden,
Sie fliehen zurück;
Und selige Lust,
Sie stillet,
Erfüllet
Die trunkene, wonneklopfende Brust;
Sie scheide
Von Leide
Auf immer,
Und nimmer
Entschwinde die liebliche, selige, himmlische Lust!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--A four-bar piano introduction with an upbeat introduces a three-note figure that skips up and steps down.  It will become prominent throughout the song.  The mood is fervent and hymn-like, with a chromatic color-note twinge on the top note of the third figure.  The last figure moves straight down in longer notes.  The initial meter is 4/4.  The key of E-flat was also that of the first song, one of several elements that will here bring closure and unity to the entire cycle.
0:14 [m. 5]--Stanza 1 (A).  The first line is set to a slowly upward and downward leaping line.  The music of the introduction is repeated underneath the vocal line in the piano.  The second line has shorter note values, and the piano accompaniment becomes more active and syncopated after the restatement of the introduction under the first line.  The word “manche” is repeated.
0:40 [m. 13]--At the last word of the second line, the meter subtly changes to 3/4.  A descending three-note arpeggio in dotted rhythm is heard in octaves from the piano bass while the right hand plays repeated triplet chords.  The voice echoes the bass arpeggio as it begins the third line.  The bass arpeggio is heard one more time at a lower level after the vocal line begins.  The fourth line is set to a forward-striving rising line, with the piano adding an echoing melody over its constant triplet chords.  The line is repeated (including an “extra” repetition of “immer bleibt”) as the music descends to a warm cadence.  At the cadence, the bass repeats the three-note arpeggio as the right hand states the opening three-note figure again leading into the next section.
1:03 [m. 23]--Stanza 2 (B).  The piano figuration from the end of stanza 1 continues, with the three-note leaping bass arpeggios in the left hand and the triplet chords in the right.  The stanza begins with a dramatic and striking modulation over a series of minor-key harmonies.  The vocal line steadily rises toward a dissonant climax in the rather remote B minor at the third line, which speaks of “storm and death.”  Beginning with a syncopation, the fourth line suddenly becomes quiet and is set to a very sweet and tender line in a rich B major.  The triplets in the right hand shift from repeated block chords to more gentle arpeggios.  At the cadence, an interlude utilizing the bass arpeggios modulates back home to E-flat major.
1:37 [m. 36]--Stanza 3 (A’).  The music of stanza 1 is repeated.  The first two lines are now in the prevailing 3/4 rather than the opening 4/4.  Surprisingly, this change does not affect the music as much as expected.  The piano introduction, with a shorter first note on each three-note group, is still heard under the first line, and the syncopated music is still heard under the second.  The vocal line simply shortens the length of some notes (usually the last ones in the measures).  Line 3 and most of line 4 are set to the same music as in stanza 1.  The repetition of line 4 also begins the same, stating the words “öffnet sich” twice.  From that point, as “weite” is repeated, the line expands and reaches higher to a loud, dramatic half cadence instead of down to the soft and warm full cadence of stanza 1.  The tension-filled last chord of the piano is marked with a fermata (hold).
2:28 [m. 54]--Stanza 4 (C).  The tension is resolved by the arrival of the new “Lebhaft” tempo and the quick 2/2 (cut time) meter.  The short lines of the stanza lend themselves well to a breathless setting.  The first three lines are an ingenious transformation of the piano introduction with its three-note figures.  The piano plays in a swinging triplet rhythm.  It interjects a dramatic outburst after these lines, coming to another tension-filled fermata.  The music remains in the home key of E-flat.
2:38 [m. 61]--Lines 4-10 are set to even more breathless music.  The vocal line sweeps generally downward in each measure, usually turning up on the last note.  The piano accompaniment also uses similar figures, but they are twice as fast as the vocal ones.  Line 10 finally strives upward to another held chord on A-flat major, the voice reaching its highest note of the song (A-flat) as it resolves upward.
2:54 [m. 74]--Lines 11-15 resume the quick motion, but the vocal line moves in longer notes beginning with the chromatic descending line 13 (“auf immer”) .  The direction of the fast piano figures is reversed.  The notes become even longer at line 14 (“und nimmer”).  The piano begins to play long upward arpeggios at the first “nimmer.”  The line “und nimmer” is stated twice in long notes before a third statement introduces the first word of line 15 (“entschwinde”) in faster notes.  The piano introduces a fast syncopated rhythm under this line, the right hand playing mostly in double notes (usually sixths).  “Und nimmer entschwinde” is repeated again (the fourth statement of line 14) before line 15 is finally completed, all over the new syncopated piano figures.  Two piano-only measures lead to an expanded restatement of “die himmlische Lust.”  There are many “color” notes throughout this passage.
3:18 [m. 96]--Lines 11-15 are stated again in their entirety with no internal repetition, the syncopated figures in the piano being replaced by the pattern heard in lines 4-10, with the left hand playing in a slower triplet rhythm.  The rhythm of the vocal line matches that of the first statement of lines 11-12 (which is the same as that of lines 1-3).  Under the longer line 15, the hands reverse material, and the fast figures that are now in the left hand reverse direction.  The voice again reaches its highest note (A-flat) on the word “Lust,” but it leaps down and the music comes to one last tense fermata on a half cadence.
3:35 [m. 105]--A”.  The final section sets the first line of stanza 1 followed by lines 11-12 and 14-15 of stanza 4.  It resolves the tension of the last fermata by returning to the long-absent opening 4/4 meter and the slower tempo.  The setting matches the first two lines of stanza 1 (the 4/4 section) up until the last measure of that passage.  To this music is set line 1 of stanza 1 (after which there is a pause) and lines 11, 12, and 14 of stanza 4.
4:02 [m. 112]--The final statement of the last line is to new music that continues the character of the first part of stanza 1.  The cadence of the last measure from that section is avoided.  The word “entschwinde” moves the pattern of “und nimmer” (which matched the first “manche” in stanza 1) up a step.  The words “liebliche selige” introduce downward-sweeping arpeggios over the continuing piano syncopation.  “Selige” once more reaches the highest A-flat, and is the final climax of the song.  There is a pause after this word.  “Himmlische Lust” is finally set to another slowly downward-sweeping arpeggio.  As it is heard, the descending three-note bass arpeggio from the beginning of the 3/4 section at 0:40 [m. 13] is heard, again over the triplet chords.  The notes happen to match the last vocal arpeggio  This reminiscence only lasts a measure and Brahms instructs a very fast quieting for the final sighing cadence.

It turns out that this last descending arpeggio setting “himmlische Lust” nearly exactly matches the opening vocal gesture of the first song of the cycle, “Keinen hat es noch gereut.”  By extension, the three-note dotted-rhythm bass arpeggio first heard at 0:40 [m. 13] is also derived from that gesture.  Thus by a very simple reference Brahms brings the long, diverse cycle full circle.  The gesture is a sort of “heroic” motto.
4:37--END OF SONG [116 mm.]
END OF CYCLE

Notes:
There is confusion over a certain passage of No. 3.  In the passage at 4:26 [m. 71], the first two lines of stanza 6 (here marked D), Brahms originally created a different setting (line 3 was the same).  He had a rising scale line that echoed the piano bass.  He later changed it to the down-up C-minor arpeggio described in the guide.  Late in his life, he asked the publisher to change the passage back to the original rising scale, calling the revision “a great idiocy.”  Many editions retained the revision (including the first complete edition reprinted by Dover) and that is what Fischer-Dieskau recorded, so that is what is described in the guide.

There is similar confusion in a passage of No. 4.  It involves the third line of stanza 4 (which begins at 2:15 [m. 38]), here marked C.   Fischer-Dieskau sings the original setting, which consists of an upward leap beginning on the second beat of the measure, matching the analogous passage of stanza 6 at 2:58 [m. 59].  The first complete edition has a different setting for this line that leaps down and begins on the first beat of the measure.  This is apparently another revision that was rejected by Brahms in favor of the original setting, which in this case is what this recording presents.


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