SEVEN SONGS (LIEDER), OP. 48
Brahms published 21
songs together in 1868, separating them into four opus
numbers. The grouping of these sets within the single
publication followed the composer’s usual care and was far from
arbitrary. This is evidenced by the unequal
46 has four songs, while Op. 47 and Op. 49 have five apiece, in contrast to
the seven here. The first six are all in strophic form and
based on folk or folk-like texts. This is even true of the
Goethe setting of No. 5, a text adapted by the poet from a folk
source. The first four are all short, lasting under two
minutes apiece. The next two are longer due to multiple
repetitions of a slower and more extended strophe. The
closing song is the most significant one in the group, a large
and complex ternary form setting of a text by Schack. This
poet’s dark, introspective lyric appealed to Brahms at the time,
and he used three sophisticated settings of Schack texts as
capstones to song groups. The closing song of Op. 49 is even
more dominant in the group than this one (despite the presence
there of the ubiquitous “Wiegenlied”), and the last song of Op. 58 is also
richer in material than the others of that eight-song
group. The general bleakness of “Herbstgefühl” fits with
an overall sense of melancholy and tragedy throughout the
set. All seven songs are rather gloomy. The dialogue
in the Goethe setting ends with the subject of the “comfort”
refusing the offer. No. 1 is probably the most
positive. It is a text he had previously published in a
setting for vocal quartet in Op. 31, using the same warm major-key
melody as the fifth piano waltz from Op. 39. This solo setting is to a
new and faster minor-key melody, more melancholy in effect, but
the rhythm and declamation largely match the slower quartet
version. The straightforward strophic presentation of No.
2 almost harks back to the aesthetic of Op. 14,
particularly No. 2 of that set. Nos. 3 and 4 form a pair
of concise two-stanza love laments from a female
perspective. The bold piano harmony in No. 3 is
striking. The Goethe setting, No. 5, creates a clever
dichotomy between the music of the two characters, but the use
of the same slow music over eight stanzas and four strophes is
unusually repetitive for Brahms, and the song does wear out its
welcome. That is less true for No. 6, a consciously
archaic setting of an “Old German” text. Although
published earlier than the choral version that closes Op. 62, that
setting was likely written first, with the choral parts
essentially transferred wholesale to the piano accompaniment
here. All the chords are in root position, and it uses the
old Dorian church mode in its melody. Similar techniques
were used for the text “Ich schwing’ mein Horn ins Jammertal,”
set for male chorus in Op. 41 and transcribed as a solo song
with piano in Op.
43. In contrast to this song, the “Jammertal”
settings have a lush major-key melody and harmony. If
performed as a group, the hollow open fifth at the end
effectively leads into the sparse opening of “Herbstgefühl.”
Jessye Norman, soprano (Nos. 3-4); Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau,
baritone; Daniel Barenboim, piano [DG 449 633-2]
Note: Links to English translations of the texts are from Emily
Ezust’s site at http://www.lieder.net.
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; repeat signs
used for all stanzas in Nos. 1, 2, 4, 6)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (From
Breitkopf & Härtel Sämtliche Werke--original keys;
music and repeat signs printed as indicated by measure numbers
in guides below)
ONLINE SCORE FROM IMSLP (Edition Peters, edited by Max
No. 1: Der Gang zum Liebchen (in
original [middle] key, E minor)
1: Der Gang zum Liebchen (in high key, G minor)
1: Der Gang zum Liebchen (in low key, D minor)
No. 2: Der Überläufer (in original
key, F-sharp minor)
2: Der Überläufer (in high key, B-flat minor)
No. 3: Liebesklage des Mädchens (in
original key, B major; second stanza not written out, repeat
3: Liebesklage des Mädchens (in low key, A major; second
stanza not written out, repeat sign used)
No. 4: Gold überwiegt die Liebe (in
original key, E minor; second stanza not written out, repeat
4: Gold überwiegt die Liebe (in low key, D minor; second
stanza not written out, repeat sign used)
No. 5: Trost in Tränen (in original
key, E major/minor; repeat signs used for all four stanzas, no
new staves for stanzas 3 and 4)
5: Trost in Tränen (in low key, D major/minor; repeat
signs used for all four stanzas, no new staves for stanzas 3 and
No. 6: Vergangen ist mir Glück und
Heil (in original key, D minor [Dorian]; repeat signs used for
all three stanzas)
6: Vergangen ist mir Glück und Heil (in low key, C minor
[transposed Dorian]; repeat signs used for all three stanzas)
No. 7: Herbstgefühl (in original
key, F-sharp minor)
7: Herbstgefühl (in high key, G minor)
1. Der Gang zum Liebchen (The Path to His Sweetheart).
Text by Joseph Wenzig, after a Bohemian (Czech) folk poem.
Con grazia. Simple strophic form (ABAB). E MINOR, 3/4
time (High key G minor, low key D minor).
(The same text and title, with different music, is used for the
vocal quartet, Op.
31, No. 3. The similar title Gang zur Liebsten is used
for the unrelated solo song, Op. 14, No. 6.)
Es glänzt der Mond nieder,
Ich sollte doch wieder
Zu meinem Liebchen,
Wie mag es ihr geh’n?
Ach weh’, sie verzaget
Und klaget, und klaget,
Daß sie mich nimmer
Im Leben wird seh’n!
Es ging der Mond unter,
Ich eilte doch munter,
Und eilte daß keiner
Mein Liebchen entführt.
Ihr Täubchen, o girret,
Ihr Lüftchen, o schwirret,
Daß keiner mein Liebchen,
Mein Liebchen entführt!
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A). The singer begins
with an upbeat, launching into the light but melancholy waltz
melody. The first line rises in an arpeggio, using a dotted
(long-short) rhythm, descending briefly at the end, and the second
line, after an upward leap, zigzags down. Both lines are
accompanied by a series of flowing upward arpeggios, one per
measure, divided between the hands. The third line moves up
by step, also using the dotted rhythm, with harmonic motion to the
region of the “relative” major key (G). The last line
descends to a full close in the home key. The piano under
the last line is changed so that the right hand has an up-down
pattern shadowing the vocal melody, still with the arpeggio
lead-in from the left hand.
0:15 [m. 9]--After the verse ends, the arpeggio pattern
continues in an interlude, with the right hand artfully echoing
the melody of the last two lines. This interlude is very
similar to the accompaniment heard under those lines, but with
slight alterations to more clearly emphasize the melody, such as
notes that had “shadowed” the melody under the last line now being
placed on the beats.
0:20 [m. 13]--Stanza 2 (B). A new idea begins in the
piano, seeming to continue the interlude, but it is in fact the
lead-in to the next verse. Marked animato, the right
hand begins a pattern of distinctive downward-arching
figures. The left hand, meanwhile, has low downbeat notes
leaping up to two-note harmonies on the second and third beats, a
sort of “oom-pah” pattern. The voice enters after two
measures. The first two lines have an up-down motion with
dotted rhythm. The accompaniment under the first line is
almost the same as the lead-in. The last two lines consist
of two descents, the first moving toward D major and the second
back home to a full close. The left-hand pattern now has low
notes on the first and third beats.
0:33 [m. 23]--The piano now has a long connecting interlude
leading to the second strophe, but the interlude is nothing more
than a repetition of the full accompaniment to the second stanza,
the only difference being the upbeat, which comes from the
0:45 [m. 31]--Stanza 3 (A). The setting is as
in stanza 1, the only difference being two notes previously used
for the first syllable of “meinem” in the third line now used for
the two syllables of “eilte.”
0:58 [m. 39]--Interlude, as at 0:15 [m. 9].
1:04 [m. 43]--Stanza 4 (B). Lead-in and
setting as in stanza 2 at 0:20 [m. 13]. The two notes used
for the single-syllable “sie” in line 3 are now used for the
two-syllable “keiner,” closely analogous to the same change of
syllables in line 3 of stanzas 1 and 3. Line 4 is textually
identical to that of stanza 3, and line 3 is also very similar,
shifting “daß keiner” to the front, deleting “und eilte,” and
adding another statement of the important words “mein Liebchen”
before they are heard in line 4. This fits syntactically
after line 2.
1:18 [m. 53]--Interlude, now a postlude, as at 0:33 [m.
1:35--END OF SONG [60 mm.]
2. Der Überläufer (The Betrayer). Text from
the German folk collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
Andante con moto. Simple strophic form. F-SHARP MINOR,
2/4 time (High key B-flat minor).
In den Garten wollen wir gehen,
Wo die schönen Rosen stehen,
Da stehn der Rosen gar zu viel,
Brech’ ich mir eine, wo ich will.
Wir haben gar öfters beisamm’n gesessen,
Wie ist mir mein Schatz so treu gewesen!
Das hätt’ ich mir nicht gebildet ein,
Daß mein Schatz so falsch könnt’ sein.
Hört ihr nicht den Jäger blasen
In dem Wald auf grünem Rasen,
Den Jäger mit dem grünen Hut,
Der meinen Schatz verführen tut.
[Here a stanza not set by Brahms]
English Translation (includes stanza
4, not set by Brahms)
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 1, lines 1-2. The voice
and piano begin together on line 1, with the piano’s right hand
providing simple harmonization of the march-like vocal line, the
left hand holding a low keynote through the line. The melody
itself is folk-like and mildly archaic. The first line turns
up, then moves steadily downward. The second does the same,
beginning a fourth lower, but it avoids the final skip down and
turns back up at the end to conclude on the same note as the first
line. The accompaniment to the second line is more
sophisticated. The left hand simply moves up a third and
holds the note, moving back down at the end, but the right hand
adds an upper note a sixth above the voice, creating a duet-like
0:11 [m. 9]--Stanza (strophe) 1, lines 3-4. The
active third line begins high, arching back up with a dotted
(long-short) rhythm before again moving down. The piano
continues to add the upper duet-like voice, now a third
above. The last line simply leaps down and back up to the
cadence, but here the formerly static left-hand bass becomes
active, twice echoing the contour of the third line with its
dotted rhythm, the second time a third lower. The upper
duet-like harmony ends against the second left hand echo.
The piano extends two bars as a connecting lead-in, holding one
chord past the voice and adding another.
0:24 [m. 19]--Stanza (strophe) 2, lines 1-2. In the
Breitkopf complete edition, stanzas 2 and 3 are placed in new
musical systems. The first two lines of this stanza are
notable for their extra syllables. It is the only one of the
three to begin with an upbeat, halfway through the second
connecting bar of the last verse. Two notes are split into
shorter repeated notes, and one repeated note is joined. The
second line also begins with an upbeat, splitting the last note of
the first line. One other note in that line is split into
0:36 [m. 27]--Stanza (strophe) 2, lines 3-4. The
third line has another extra syllable. It occurs at the end
of the upward turn with dotted rhythm, and splits a note using
that same rhythm. The last line, by contrast, has one
syllable less and joins two shorter repeated notes. The
second bar of the extending lead-in (m. 36a) is marked as a first
ending, and unlike the previous extension in stanza 1, it has no
0:51 [m. 19]--Stanza (strophe) 3, lines 1-2. The
declamation here is mostly as in stanza 1. The first line
has even one syllable less than that stanza. The same
“joined” note from stanza 2 conveniently accommodates this.
The second line has the same syllables as stanza 1.
1:01 [m. 27]--Stanza (strophe) 3, lines 3-4. These
lines are declaimed as in stanza 1. The second bar of the
extension is marked as a second ending, and Brahms adds a
surprise. The words “meinen Schatz” (the first contracted as
“mein’n Schatz”) are repeated on the keynote. The added
final measure would have been necessary even without the added
vocal to complete the “plagal” cadence that previously merged into
the next verse. The vocal addition is a wonderful final
confirmation of the narrator’s bitterness.
1:27--END OF SONG [37 mm. (18+[18x2] +1)]
3. Liebesklage des Mädchens (The Lovelorn Girl’s Lament).
Text from the German folk collection Des Knaben Wunderhorn.
Etwas langsam (Rather slowly). Strophic form. B MAJOR,
6/4 time (Low key A major).
Wer sehen will zween lebendige Brunnen,
Der soll mein’ zwei betrübte Augen seh’n,
Die mir vor Weinen schier sind ausgerunnen.
Wer sehen will viel groß’ und tiefe Wunden,
Der soll mein sehr verwund’tes Herz beseh’n,
So hat mich Liebe verwund’t im tiefsten Grunde.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 1, line 1. The piano
establishes its accompaniment pattern in a one-measure prelude
that is exactly like the second measure under the voice. The
opening harmony is a “diminished seventh,” whose dissonant
sonority is striking in a major key. The right hand plays
lower notes on the beat alternating with higher ones off the
beat. The higher descending after-beat notes anticipate the
melody. They shadow it after the voice enters on an
upbeat. The left hand has block chords. The voice
briefly pauses after the first three words. The
continuation, also descending, moves to the “dominant” key
(F-sharp major) via another “diminished” chord. The
following piano bridge is over yet another one.
0:15 [m. 5]--Stanza (strophe) 1, line 2. This line
begins with the same upbeat and vocal descent, but it leaps up to
another one halfway through the first measure. This first
measure is sung over two more “diminished seventh”
harmonies. The continuation in the second measure leaps down
and moves back up with the harmonies again moving to the
“dominant” key, but now its minor version (F-sharp minor).
The piano bridge continues the upward motion, moving to A major
(“relative” to F-sharp minor) and building.
0:28 [m. 8]--Stanza (strophe) 1, line 3. The measure
begins with the high point of the piano bridge. The voice
enters halfway through the measure. An upper piano line is
added above the low-high alternation, now aligning with the voice
instead of shadowing it. The first half of the line moves
back home to B major (though an arrival point after still another
“diminished seventh” harmony is avoided). After a pause,
with a slowing indicated, the line is completed with another
motion to the “dominant,” at first seeming to be the minor version
again, then, after a final “diminished seventh,” established as
F-sharp major. In the long vocal cadence, the piano
“shadows” again, then leads up into the opening music for the
0:43 [m. 11]--Stanza (strophe) 2, line 1. The piano
introduction emerges seamlessly from the preceding bridge.
The vocal line is slightly varied from that in stanza 1. The
pause that had happened after the first three words is dispensed
with, and the voice continues, turning back up with the piano
before descending again in the continuation. This
accommodates another upbeat. In the second descent, two of
the syllables are stretched over two notes each where previously
each note had its own syllable. This is like the setting of
line 2, which used two notes for four of its syllables.
Otherwise, everything is as at the beginning.
0:59 [m. 15]--Stanza (strophe) 2, line 2. The
setting, including declamation, is unchanged from that of stanza 1
at 0:15 [m. 5].
1:13 [m. 18]--Stanza (strophe) 2, line 3. Set as in
stanza 1 at 0:28 [m. 8]. One note (for an extra syllable) is
added before the second part of the line, making the pause
shorter. It is the same as the last note before the brief
pause (A-sharp), sliding up into the line’s completion. The
same bridge leads into the postlude.
1:28 [m. 21]--Postlude. It is three measures long,
like the vocal phrases. The first is almost the same as the
introductory measures to the two strophes. The second has a
bass motion to a solid low octave on the keynote B, but the full
right-hand harmony above it, still hesitant to firmly establish B
major, hovers on the pervasive “diminished seventh”
sonorities. The closing B-major chord finally arrives in the
last measure. The low-high alternation in the right hand,
which has not broken in the entire song, continues to the end.
1:53--END OF SONG [23 mm.]
4. Gold überwiegt die Liebe (Gold Prevails over Love).
Text by Joseph Wenzig, after a Bohemian (Czech) folk poem.
Poco andante. Simple strophic form. E MINOR, 2/4 time
(Low key D minor).
Sternchen mit dem trüben Schein,
Könntest du doch weinen!
Hättest du ein Herzelein,
O, du gold’nes Sternlein mein,
Möchtest Funken weinen.
Weintest mit mir, weintest laut
Nächte durch voll Leiden,
Daß sie mich vom Liebsten traut,
Um das Gold der reichen Braut
Mich vom Liebsten scheiden.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza
(strophe) 1, lines 1-2. There is no prelude, and the voice
enters with an expressively halting downward line. The piano
places wide leaps against it, the left hand leading the right, the
latter in sighing syncopation, both set high. At first,
these figures are in contrary motion, the left hand ascending and
the right hand leaping down. The voice in the second line
moves further down, then leaps up and down in a motion to the
“dominant” harmony. Here, the left hand changes to
descending stepwise patterns with upper harmonies, already
anticipated at the end of the first line, before again turning to
0:11 [m. 5]--Stanza (strophe) 1, lines 3-4. The vocal
melody in line 3 is as in line 1, but now the left hand has
downward motion from the beginning, with added lower harmonies,
moving steadily down to a lower range, and changing harmony at the
end. Line 4 is new and warmer material, still with halting
vocal descents, but now grouped in continuous two-note
slurs. These repeat the second note of one slur for the
first of the next except for one internal upward leap. The
key moves to C major and the “relative” G major. The piano
texture changes. The right hand still follows the left, but
both now play two-note harmonies instead of the wider two-note
figures. The right-hand responses to the left are detached.
0:21 [m. 9]--Stanza (strophe) 1, line 5. Suddenly
rising in volume to forte, the voice leaps up to its
highest pitch and broadly descends over the striking harmony of F
major, a half-step above the home key (the so-called “Neapolitan”
harmony). The piano patterns continue from line 4, but the
first two right-hand chords (along with the last one leading into
the line) are three notes. The left hand outlines the
F-major chord. The line continues to descend and settle to a
full cadence in the home key. The phrase is completed by a
piano repetition, again over F major, but now approached from E
minor and intensified by a faster left-hand arpeggio. The
cadence measure reduces the motion and ends on a preparatory
0:33 [m. 13]--Stanza (strophe) 2, lines 1-2. Set as
in stanza 1 at the beginning.
0:44 [m. 17]--Stanza (strophe) 2, lines 3-4. Set as
in stanza 1 at 0:11 [m. 5].
0:55 [m. 21]--Stanza (strophe) 2, line 5. Set as in
stanza 1 at 0:21 [m. 9]. The ending of the piano repetition
is changed to lead to a conclusion. The “dominant” harmony
continues the descent and leads to an extra final bar to reiterate
and lengthen the final cadence.
1:17--END OF SONG [25 mm.]
5. Trost in Tränen (Consolation in Tears).
Text by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Andante. Simple
strophic form. E MAJOR/MINOR, 6/8 time (Low key D
Wie kommt’s, daß du so traurig bist,
Da alles froh erscheint?
Man sieht dir’s an den Augen an,
Gewiß du hast geweint.
“Und hab’ ich einsam auch geweint,
So ist’s mein eigner Schmerz,
Und Thränen fließen gar so süß,
Erleichtern mir das Herz.”
Die frohen Freunde laden dich,
O komm an unsre Brust!
Und was du auch verloren hast,
Vertraue den Verlust.
“Ihr lärmt und rauscht und ahnet nicht,
Was mich den Armen quält.
Ach nein, verloren hab’ ich’s nicht,
So sehr es mir auch fehlt.”
So raffe dich denn eilig auf,
Du bist ein junges Blut.
In deinen Jahren hat man Kraft
Und zum Erwerben Muth.
“Ach nein, erwerben kann ich’s nicht,
Es steht mir gar zu fern.
Es weilt so hoch, es blinkt so schön,
Wie droben jener Stern.”
Die Sterne, die begehrt man nicht,
Man freut sich ihrer Pracht,
Und mit Entzücken blickt man auf
In jeder heitern Nacht.
“Und mit Entzücken blick’ ich auf,
So manchen lieben Tag;
Verweinen laßt die Nächte mich,
So lang’ ich weinen mag.”
0:00 [m. 1]--Strophe
1. Stanza 1. A one-bar piano introduction sets up the
constant long-short rhythm. The odd-numbered stanzas are the
“positive” words of encouragement, and they are in major.
When the voice enters, it follows the long-short pattern of the
piano. For the first two lines, the top of the piano chords
follows the gently leaping vocal line. These lines end with
a brief turn toward the “relative” minor, but there is no full
arrival. In the third line the piano deviates from doubling
the voice after a measure and becomes more independent. The
chromatic motion in the voice leads to excited leaps and an
arrival, decorated with grace notes, on the “dominant”
harmony. A two-bar bridge deftly swings to the minor key.
0:26 [m. 11]--Stanza 2. The even-numbered stanzas are
the despondent replies of the person who refuses to be comforted,
and they are in minor. The accompaniment retains the
long-short pattern in the left hand, mostly in octaves. The
right hand plays continuously flowing patterns that dip down and
back up. The voice also retains the long-short rhythm,
adding one straight descent in the first line. The third
line reaches high, and the piano doubles the voice here in its
chromatic descent, the left hand stretching some reaches out to
tenths. The singer pauses after the third line, and the
piano continues the downward chromatic motion for a measure.
The last line is a straight descent in minor to the keynote,
doubled by the piano.
0:54 [m. 19]--Postlude. The vocal arrival is marked
by a turn to major in the piano, and this poignant interlude is
mostly in major. The right hand rises continually in
harmonies, and in the first measure, a mild dissonance sweetly
resolves to major. The left hand has widely spaced
three-note figures that reach up and down, all anchored to the low
keynote E on the first note of each group. The left hand
adds a minor-key tinge in the second measure. The harmonies
continue to rise, reaching a full cadence in major with the third
of the chord on top. With the cadence (in m. 22), the left
hand begins the long-short pattern, matching its notes in the
introductory measure to lead into the next strophe with a repeat
back to the second measure.
1:06 [m. 2]--Strophe 2. Stanza 3. The music is
as in stanza 1.
1:28 [m. 11]--Stanza 4. Music as in stanza 2.
1:56 [m. 19]--Postlude as at 0:54.
2:08 [m. 23]--Strophe 3. Stanza 5. In the
Breitkopf & Härtel complete edition, the third and fourth
strophes are separately printed with new music staves, but the
music is unvaried. As in stanzas 1 and 3.
2:29 [m. 32]--Stanza 6. Music as in stanzas 2 and 4.
2:55 [m. 40]--Postlude as at 0:54 and 1:56 [m. 19].
3:06 [m. 23]--Strophe 4. Stanza 7. Music as in
stanzas 1, 3, and 5.
3:29 [m. 32]--Stanza 8. Music as in stanzas 2, 4, and
3:56 [m. 40]--Postlude as at 0:54, 1:56, and 2:55. A
new closing measure is added as a second ending with the right
hand reiterating the cadence and the left playing one more widely
spaced three-note figure and a final low keynote instead of
returning to the long-short introductory notes.
4:17--END OF SONG [43 mm. (1+[22x2]+[22x2])]
6. Vergangen ist mir Glück und Heil (Gone Is My
Happiness and Well-Being). Anonymous Old German
text. Andante. Simple strophic form. D MINOR
(Dorian mode), Cut time or Alla breve [4/2] (Low key C minor
[Dorian, two flats]).
(Note: Op. 62,
No. 7 is a version of this song for unaccompanied mixed chorus.)
Vergangen ist mir Glück und Heil
Und alle Freud’ auf Erden;
Elend bin ich verloren gar,
Mir mag nit besser werden.
Bis in den Tod
Leid’ ich groß Not,
So ich dich, Lieb, muß meiden,
Geschieht mir, ach,
O weh der Sach’!
Muß ich mich dein verjehen,
Groß Leid wird mir geschehen.
Erbarmen tu ich mich so hart,
Das kommt aus Buhlers Hulde,
Die mich in Angst und Not hat bracht,
Und williglich das dulde.
Um dich allein,
Ist mir kein Bürd’ zu schwere,
Wär’s noch so viel,
Ich dennoch will
In deinem Dienst ersterben,
Nach fremder Lieb’ nit werben.
Um Hülf’ ich ruf’, mein höchster Hort,
Erhör mein sehnlich Klagen!
Schaff mir, Herzlieb, dein’ Botschaft schier,
Ich muß sonst vor Leid verzagen!
Mein traurig’s Herz,
Leid’t großen Schmerz,
Wie soll ich’s überwinden?
Ich sorg’, daß schier
Der Tod mit mir
Will ringen um das Leben,
Tu mir dein Troste geben.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1, lines 1-4. The sound is
deliberately archaic, colored by the minor-like Dorian mode.
The melody largely adheres to this mode, avoiding the notes B-flat
and (mostly) C-sharp, which define the tonal minor. The
harmony, however, does include C-sharps in regular cadences from
the “dominant.” All the harmonies are root-position triads,
with the chord’s foundation in the bass. Lines 1-2 and 3-4
are set to two identical five-measure phrases. These begin
on a half-measure (whole note). The piano enters a beat
(half note) after the voice at the beginning and halfway through
each phrase. In each, the first half arches up and back
down, and the second actively descends to a cadence on a hollow,
austere open fifth.
0:40 [m. 11]--Stanza 1, lines 5-10. These lines are
in two groups of three, with two shorter lines followed by a
longer one. The groups are again set to two identical
phrases, this time of five and a half measures. Thus, the
first phrase begins on the half-measure while the second begins on
the downbeat. In each phrase, the two short lines move
steadily upward, swelling toward a climax in pitch and
volume. The longer third line then recedes and descends to
another full cadence (unlike the choral version, this includes the
third of the chord). As with the first four lines, the piano
follows a half-note beat after the voice in each line.
1:18 [m. 22]--Stanza 1, line 11. For this final line,
a three-measure closing phrase is added to the two phrase pairs
that make up the bulk of the musical stanza. As with all the
other lines, the voice begins a half-note beat ahead of the
piano. The line again begins on the half-measure. It
descends to a lower cadence like the first two two-line phrases
rather than the higher arrival point of the two three-line
phrases. Notably, the piano harmony on the second word
includes the note B-flat for the only time in the stanza,
undermining the modal character. The final cadence is again
on an open fifth. The stanza closes with a half-measure of
rest, which is completed by the half-measure opening of the next
1:29 [m. 25]--Stanza 2, lines 1-4. In the Breitkopf
& Härtel complete edition, the second and third stanzas are
separately printed on new music staves, with a repeat sign for the
third verse (unlike the choral version, where all stanzas are
printed under the same music). Two identical phrases for
each pair of lines, as at the beginning.
2;03 [m. 35]--Stanza 2, lines 5-10. Two identical
phrases, each rising to a climax and setting three lines apiece,
as at 0:40 [m. 11].
2:38 [m. 46]--Stanza 2, line 11. Closing phrase, as
at 1:18 [m. 22].
2:49 [m. 25]--Stanza 3, lines 1-4, music as at 0:00 and
1:29. Line 4 has an extra syllable, which is accommodated by
splitting a half note into two quarter notes.
3:19 [m. 35]--Stanza 3, lines 5-10, music as at 0:40 and
3:52 [m. 46]--Stanza 3, line 11, as at 1:18 and 2:38.
4:07--END OF SONG [48 mm. (24 +[24x2])]
7. Herbstgefühl (Autumnal Mood). Text by
Adolf Friedrich von Schack. Ziemlich langsam (Rather
slowly). Ternary form (ABA’). F-SHARP MINOR, 3/4 time
with ending in 6/4 (High key G minor).
Wie wenn im frost’gen Luftzug tödlich
Des Sommers letzte Blüte krankt,
Und hier und da nur, gelb und rötlich,
Ein einzles Blatt im Windhauch schwankt:
So schauert über mein Leben
Ein nächtig trüber, kalter Tag,
Warum noch vor dem Tode beben,
O Herz, mit deinem ew’gen Schlag!
Sieh rings entblättert das Gestäude!
Was spielst du, wie der Wind am Strauch,
Noch mit der letzten, welken Freude?
Gib dich zur Ruh! Bald stirbt sie auch.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A), lines 1-2. The
piano begins with a bare chain of descending harmonic thirds in
the right hand, using constant long-short rhythm, pianissimo.
When the voice enters with the first line, it has a static,
somewhat numb quality, also using the long-short (half-quarter)
rhythm. The piano harmonies, still only in the right hand,
become static, but include other intervals besides thirds.
After the voice falls at the end of the line, it breaks, and in
the brief transition, the left hand enters for the first time with
a single sighing bass interjection in the long-short rhythm.
The second line retains the numb, static quality, working up and
falling. Now the bass interjection comes with the last vocal
note before a very short break.
0:28 [m. 16]--Line 3. The voice remains relatively
static melodically and adds a sobbing pause between “gelb” and
“und rötlich.” The half-quarter long-short rhythm is still
pervasive, usually with sighing descents to the shorter
note. The piano becomes more active, at least harmonically,
touching on the keys of C-sharp minor and D major, dragging the
vocal melody with it. The first of two held low bass notes
comes with the word “gelb” and the first harmonic motion.
After the vocal break, the bass moves up a half-step, and the
harmony with it. The right hand does move slightly downward,
continuing its two-note harmonies.
0:40 [m. 22]--Line 4. The first words, “ein einzles
Blatt,” include the first longer vocal note against richer
descending D-major harmony. After a vocal break, during
which the piano harmonies are heard a fourth higher (shifting
toward G major), those words are repeated with a higher long note
and a trailing descent. Under this descent, the
piano harmony shifts back toward the home key. The word
“Blatt” is held for a full measure, with a single piano
interjection. The line then continues with another long note
and isolated piano chord on “im.” Finally, the line and
stanza conclude with an active, but narrow melody on
“Windhauch.” The piano moves to an arrival with active bass,
continuing under the suspended note on “schwankt.”
1:04 [m. 35]--Stanza 2 (B), lines 1-2. The
voice and piano both erupt with sudden force in the key of D minor
for this despairing stanza. The right hand has wide leaps in
fast triplets. After the upbeat, the second note of each
triplet remains fixed to the high D. The voice descends, and
the top notes of full left-hand chords double its line. In a
brief interlude, the right hand remains fixed on an octave D and
the left moves to independent octaves. The voice leaps up
again for line 2. Here, the middle note of each right-hand
triplet doubles the voice. The vocal line works down again
with some backward motion, and the word “kalter” (“cold”) is
extended on a chromatic descent, which is echoed by the right hand
in an interlude.
1:18 [m. 45]--Line 3. Still in D minor, the right
hand continues the fast triplets, but becomes more static and
quiets down, the top note now on A. The left hand takes a
brief break. The voice is also more static here, moving back
to the half-quarter long-short motion. It drops to a long
note on “Tode” (death), at which point the left hand enters with
an octave interjection, also in the long-short motion from Stanza
1. The top notes of the right hand now move with the
voice. The line is completed with another long note on
“beben,” and the left hand has another interjection with the
1:26 [m. 51]--Line 4. The singer continues with “O
Herz” as the left hand moves back to the continuous quarter notes
from the beginning of the stanza, working up. The right-hand
triplets are again more static, with the top note now fixed on
E. After a breath, the voice repeats “O Herz” at a higher
level and continues the line. At this point, D minor begins
to turn toward D major, and the left hand has a short break.
The vocal line, in the long-short motion, moves chromatically
down, then back up. With another longer note on “ew’gen,”
the right-hand notes move up and the left hand has another
1:35 [m. 57]--The cadence on “Schlag” moves fully to
major. In a longer interlude, the right-hand motion changes
from triplets to “straight” rhythm and gently oscillates on a
third. The left-hand motion echoes back to the melody from
line 3 of the stanza. The volume steadily diminishes.
The right-hand oscillation shifts down, and the left hand now has
octave leaps in the long-short rhythm. More downward motion
in the right hand signals a shift from D major to B minor, which
will lead back home for the final stanza.
1:44 [m. 63]--Stanza 3 (A’), lines 1-2. The
first three measures of the introduction are omitted. The
piano shifts back to the home key, moving out of the interlude
with the downbeat of what corresponds to the last measure of the
introduction, with the voice entering on the upbeat. The
setting of the first two lines matches that in the first stanza.
2:04 [m. 75]--Line 3. This setting also matches
stanza 1, but most interestingly, the sobbing pause that had come
between two words (after “gelb”) is now in the middle of the word
“welken” (“wilted”), adding poignancy to a particularly vivid
word. There is no vocal upbeat to the last line.
2:17 [m. 81]--Line 4. The meter changes to 6/4.
The speed of the notes does not change, but the longer measures
and much longer notes (most vocal notes are now three-beat dotted
half notes) give a sense of arrested motion. As in the first
stanza, the harmony changes here to D major. After a low
bass octave, the voice and right hand enter on “Gib dich zur Ruh,”
and the descending harmony, imported from the first stanza, has a
prayer-like quality. The words “bald stirbt” are sung as the
piano harmonies break. Under “stirbt,” the piano has an
interjection, and upon inspection, this matches the one from
stanza 1. The only thing missing here is the trailing
descent and piano harmony that had been heard there before
2:34 [m. 86]--The word “bald” is repeated, and the vocal
setting of the remaining words is mostly the same as “im Windhauch
schwankt” from the first stanza, but with a long six-beat note on
“bald” and the first note of the active motion on “stirbt”
(matching “Windhauch”) stretched to four beats. The motion
itself adds a two-note “duplet” over three beats before another
long note on “sie.” The piano harmonies are stretched to
three beats, re-establishing the home key. The arrival on
“auch” is now a final keynote instead of the suspended third
previously heard on “schwankt.” The piano bass motion is
extended to a full cadence, adding a descent in the long-short
rhythm before the bleak closing minor chords. The last of
these is held.
3:16--END OF SONG [92 mm.]
END OF SET