LIEBESLIEDER WALTZES FOR VOCAL QUARTET AND PIANO DUET,
Brahms was effusive in his admiration of the “Waltz
King,” Johann Strauss, Jr. When he turned to composing waltzes,
however, he favored the simple binary structures of Schubert’s keyboard
waltzes over the large sectional forms of Strauss’s orchestral
showpieces. The sixteen waltzes of Op. 39 were hugely popular,
and a few years later, he again turned to the composition of waltzes
for piano duet. In this case, however, they were inspired by and
set to words from “Polydora,” a collection of alleged translations of
small international love poems by Georg Friedrich Damuer. The
diversity of these verses is given unity by the waltz forms. The
setting for vocal quartet with piano duet accompaniment was unusual,
but had a precedent in a late Robert Schumann work. It is a
particularly felicitous combination, and the merging of two ensembles
typically associated with domestic music making, or Hausmusik, brings the intent of the
waltzes into relief. While Brahms had already set Daumer in some
songs (particularly Op. 32), and devoted an entire contemporary song
group (Op. 57) to his verses, it was as the poet of the “Liebeslieder”
Waltzes that Daumer became most known, despite a rich and interesting
background in religion, world cultures, and science as well as
poetry. It is comical that when Brahms visited him in the poet’s
old age, Daumer had never heard of the man who had made him famous
through the “love-song” waltzes. The pieces were composed
quickly, but Brahms did fret a bit about the ordering and publication
presentation. As it stands, the cycle falls neatly into four
groups of six, three, three, and six numbers. Eighteen is,
incidentally, the largest count of individual numbers or movements in
any Brahms opus number (edging out the 16 waltzes of Op. 39, the 15
“Liebeslieder” of the Op. 65 companion set, and the 15 “Magelone”
Romances). There are only two solos (Nos. 7 and 17), in contrast
to the seven of Op. 65, but there are four duets grouped in two
pairs--Nos. 3 and 14 for men and Nos. 4 and 13 for women. In No.
1, the women enter more than halfway through the song, and in No. 9,
the soprano only enters for the (rather brief) middle section.
The first part of the cycle culminates in the large-scale (and utterly
brilliant) No. 6, the only one not in some sort of binary form
(although one of its episodes is an “enclosed” binary). No. 9,
which seems like a Strauss “Danube” tribute, is another extended form
marking the halfway point. Nos. 11 and 12 are a clear pair
with their more defiant character, and they are more loosely connected
to the gentle No. 10 through shared rhythms. Nos. 13-15 (with the
second duet pair) flow directly into each other. No. 16 returns
to the more defiant character. The final waltz, No. 18, makes
deft use of key relationships and “spellings” to provide a
sophisticated conclusion. Hemiola,
is a common device (such as in Nos. 2 and 8), and so is
the figure of one long note followed by three short ones (which is even
more pervasive in Op. 65). Sometimes, new text is sung to
repeated music (as in No. 5). The cycle should ideally be
performed complete. The version without voices for piano duet
alone was published with some reluctance from Brahms as Op. 52a (to
help the publisher increase sales), and is vastly inferior. In
the guides below, the source nationality indicated by Daumer is given
for each text. If a tempo indication is not given in the score,
the indication for the first waltz, “Im Ländler-Tempo” (speed of
the “Ländler,” or German dance) is assumed and given in
brackets. Primo is used
for the top piano duet part, secondo
for the lower part.
Recording: Edith Mathis, soprano; Brigitte Fassbaender, alto; Peter
Schreier, tenor; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, bass; Peter Engel and
Wolfgang Sawallisch, piano [DG 449 641-2]
Note: Links to English translations of the texts are from Emily Ezust's
site at http://www.recmusic.org/lieder.
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 (First Edition from Brahms-Institut
Lübeck--also includes autograph score)
FROM THE CHORAL PUBLIC DOMAIN LIBRARY (Choral Wiki)--Note
that measure numbers are incorrect, as they count upbeats and first
1. “Rede, Mädchen, allzu liebes” (“Speak, maiden, whom I love all
too much”). Russian source. Im Ländler-Tempo.
Rounded binary form (AA’BA”B’A”’) with short coda. E MAJOR, 3/4
Rede, Mädchen, allzu liebes,
das mir in die Brust, die kühle,
hat geschleudert mit dem Blicke
diese wilden Glutgefühle!
Willst du nicht dein Herz erweichen,
willst du, eine Überfromme,
rasten ohne traute Wonne,
oder willst du, daß ich komme?
Rasten ohne traute Wonne,
nicht so bitter will ich büßen.
Komme nur, du schwarzes Auge.
Komme, wenn die Sterne grüßen.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1, lines
1-2 (A). The piano secondo establishes the waltz
rhythm with low bass notes and chord responses. The two men sing
alone until the last stanza. At the outset, they are in harmony,
singing short phrases. The tenor line includes a prominent leap
followed by a beguiling upward slide. The primo right hand doubles the tenor
in octaves, while its left hand includes a turning figure of a long
note followed by three short ones, a rhythm that will pervade both sets
waltzes. The primo
right hand doubles both voices at the half-cadence on the second line,
where they also include the turning figures.
0:15 [m. 10]--Stanza 1, lines
3-4 (A’). The third line
is musically the same as the first. The fourth line begins in the
same way as the second, but where the second line’s turning figures
turned back and forth, this line’s figures move steadily downward,
shifting the harmony to a darker arrival on G-sharp minor.
0:24 [m. 18]--Stanza 2, lines
1-2 (B). Here, the voices
are in a more swinging rhythm. The bass sings in straight rhythm
for the first two bars. Beginning back on E major, the harmony
takes a striking detour through the distant G major in the second line,
which suggests a “pious” resistance. While the piano parts are
more fully scored, the primo
generally follows the tenor, the secondo
0:35 [m. 26]--Stanza 2, lines
3-4 (A”). The musical
lines are highly varied, but the contour and character is similar to
that of the first stanza. There are chromatic inflections to the
melody, which provide added color to the harmony. The “turning”
rhythm is now in the secondo
right hand, and is turned upside down, the notes moving in the opposite
directions as before. The leap and “beguiling” slide are also
turned in the opposite directions. The last line finally comes to
a cadence on E major, with the primo
following the voices more freely. The repetition of “willst du”
extends the phrase by a bar. The cadence, however, overlaps with
the entry of the women on the last stanza.
0:46 [m. 34]--Stanza 3, lines
1-2 (B’). Overlapping
with the cadence of stanza 2, the two women make their first entry in
response to the men’s entreaties. Other than the initial upbeats,
their lines are essentially the same as those the men sang to the first
two lines of stanza 2, with the motion through G major protesting the
accusation of resistance, creating a parallel. The secondo is slightly thinner at the
0:57 [m. 42]--Stanza 3, lines
3-4 (A”’). The women
continue to sing to essentially the same lines as those in stanza
2. At the last line, the men suddenly interrupt with the last
line of stanza 2, but they sing the notes that would be expected at
that point. The women re-enter a bar later with their final line,
following the original melodies, but the men continue their line with
new harmonies, stating it twice in full. In order to accommodate
this, the women lengthen “grüßen,” stretching the line by
one more bar than before. Their late entry on the line precludes
text repetition. The piano parts are as before, varied only at
1:11 [m. 52]--Coda. The
women and men both repeat their lines, giving the men three total
repetitions of the last line from stanza 2 under the women’s two
statements of the last line from stanza 3. Furthermore, the
women’s repetition cuts off the word “komme,” further emphasizing the
men’s continued, seemingly unnecessary entreaties. The last
words, “grüßen” and “komme,” come together on notes extended
to two bars. Under these long notes, the piano parts play short,
detached cadence chords before the final syllable.
1:20--END OF WALTZ-SONG [56 mm.]
2. “Am Gesteine rauscht die Flut” (“Against the stones the stream
rushes”). Russian-Polish dance song source. [Im
Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. A MINOR, 3/4 time.
Am Gesteine rauscht die Flut,
wer da nicht zu seufzen weiß,
lernt es unterm Lieben.
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1. A
three-note scale upbeat in the piano primo
makes a transition from the E major of the previous song to the A minor
of this one. The tenor passionately sings the first line in a
broad hemiola, with the beats
grouped into larger implied 3/2 bars against the prevailing 3/4.
As he completes the line, the other three voices overlap with a
harmonized answer, also in hemiola.
the primo doubles the
main vocal line in octaves, the secondo
stubbornly remains in solid 3/4 with steady bass notes and after-beat
0:06 [m. 5]--The tenor again
leads in the second line, replacing the opening lower turn with a huge
octave leap. His entry overlaps with the completion of the first
line by the others. For this second line, the other three voices
begin after only one bar of the tenor line, so that they can all end
together. The tenor must sing one bar of straight 3/4 to “catch
up” to the hemiola of the
others as he stretches his words. The piano primo still follows the voices, but
now adds harmony. The voices and pianists unite on an E-minor
0:10 [m. 1]--Part 1 repeated,
0:14 [m. 5]--Part 1 repeated,
0:18 [m. 9]--Part 2.
Voices and pianists quiet down for the third line. The voices all
come together on the line, singing in harmony, but still with the hemiola rhythm and grouping.
The secondo is thinner, but
still maintains the 3/4 pulse with after-beat notes. The primo has a small bridge that
sounds like an soaring echo before the line is repeated at a higher
level, on E minor. Again, the primo
provides an upward-striving bridge. For the final line, the
volume is again strong. The voices sing together in straight 3/4,
with soaring leaps, while the piano primo
plays one last hemiola
grouping before the emphatic A-minor cadence.
0:30 [m. 9]--Part 2
repeated. The transition into it is only slightly different from
what it was after Part 1.
0:46--END OF WALTZ-SONG [20 mm.]
3. “O die Frauen” (“O women”). Russian-Polish dance song
source. [Im Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. B-FLAT
MAJOR or A MAJOR, 3/4 time. TB duet.
The original key is B-flat major, which is used in all the early
printings and the manuscript. Brahms indicated in his own copy of
the first edition a change to A major as a possibly smoother transition
between A minor (No. 2) and F major (No. 4). The old complete
edition prints the song twice, once in each key In this
recording, Schreier and Fischer-Dieskau sing the song in the original
O die Frauen, o die Frauen,
wie sie Wonne tauen!
Wäre lang ein Mönch geworden,
wären nicht die Frauen!
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1. The primo part is flowing and
decorative, and begins with a brief preparatory “grace note.” The
secondo provides a solid bass,
especially on the off-beats. There are no major rhythmic
complexities. The two men twice sing their high, gently sighing
“O die Frauen.” In the second line, the primo becomes slightly syncopated
and gains fuller harmony. Colorful chromatic harmonies underscore
the importance of the repeated word “Wonne” (“bliss”), where the bass
singer also makes expressive leaps.
0:16 [m. 1]--Part 1 repeated.
0:29 [m. 9]--Part 2. In
the third line, the secondo
and primo alternate on the
more decorative lines. When not playing them, the primo has short broken
octaves. The line is sung twice. Except for the word
“Mönch,” where the tenor reaches high, the second statement is a
0:41 [m. 17]--The last line
again has the primo becoming
syncopated. This time, it even has a high trill in both
hands. The two singers swell upward over more colorful harmonies
before descending on “Frauen.” The piano works downward after the
singers. The words “die Frauen,” now settled back down, are
repeated over another primo
trill. Here, the bass trails downward at the cadence.
0:51 [m. 9]--Part 2
repeated. Two sequential statements of the third line.
1:04 [m. 17]--Part 2
repeated. Last line with climax, trills, descent, and repetition
on the words “die Frauen.”
1:18-END OF WALTZ-SONG [22 mm.]
4. “Wie des Abends schöne Röte” (“Like the evening’s
lovely red”). Russian-Polish dance song source. [Im
Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. F MAJOR, 3/4 time.
Wie des Abends schöne Röte
möcht ich arme Dirne glühn,
Einem, Einem zu gefallen,
sonder Ende Wonne sprühn.
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1. The
song begins with a rising three-note upbeat played by both pianists in
octaves. When the two voices enter, the secondo has a more flowing line
while the primo decorates and
doubles the voice parts. The singers themselves have yearning
stepwise motion on almost every downbeat, usually moving inward toward
each other and resolving from dissonance into the main harmony.
The music moves from F major to A minor for the cadence of Part 1.
0:15 [m. 1]--Part 1
repeated. The three-note upbeat is altered to move back to F
major from A minor.
0:27 [m. 9]--Part 2. The
three-note upbeat is again slightly different. In the third line,
the soprano enters slightly before the alto. Both voices strive
higher to the climax on “Gefallen.” The piano parts in this line
pass descending arpeggios back and forth. The fourth line settles
back down and is more similar to Part 1, but the stepwise motion is now
typically upward. The piano primo
reaches quite high before the cadence.
0:38 [m.9]--Part 2
repeated. The three-note upbeat is again altered. Before
each part and each repetition, the notes of this upbeat are slightly
different, so there are four different versions of it.
0:54--END OF WALTZ-SONG [16 mm.]
5. “Die grüne Hopfenranke” (“The green hops vine”). Russian
source. [Im Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. A
MINOR, 3/4 time. SATB
Die grüne Hopfenranke,
sie schlängelt auf der Erde hin.
Die junge, schöne Dirne,
so traurig ist ihr Sinn!
Du höre, grüne Ranke!
Was hebst du dich nicht himmelwärts?
Du höre, schöne Dirne!
Was ist so schwer dein Herz?
Wie höbe sich die Ranke,
der keine Stütze Kraft verleiht?
Wie wäre die Dirne fröhlich,
wenn ihr das Liebste weit?
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1. The
bass in the secondo has a
two-bar introduction with stepwise descending octaves beginning on the
upbeat. The first two lines are sung by the women, who are
doubled in both hands of the primo.
maintain a steady long-short rhythm with many “neighbor”
notes. Meanwhile, the secondo
continues its bass pattern of mostly stepwise descents. Its right
hand figures are the only things heard on the second beats of bars.
0:17 [m. 11]--The men sing the
last two lines of the first stanza, their entry overlapping with the
last descent of the women. They maintain the same rhythmic
patterns, as do the piano parts. The primo remains in the high register,
but it still doubles the men’s vocal lines in upper octaves in both
hands. At their cadence, the men make a striking motion to the
related major key, C major.
0:28 [m. 3]--Part 1 repeated,
without the two-bar introduction. The women now sing the first
two lines of the second stanza.
0:40 [m. 11]--The men conclude
the repetition by singing the last two lines of the second stanza.
0:50 [m. 19]--Part 2. The
new material is used for stanza 3. The women sing the first two
lines to a phrase that moves toward E minor. The patterns are the
same, but the secondo
includes falling octaves which were not used before. The word
“Kraft” is suddenly held out, breaking the rhythmic pattern and
extending the vocal line by a bar. A rising bridge in the piano
parts extends the phrase yet another bar.
1:05 [m. 29]--For the only time
in the song, all four parts join together for the last two lines.
The first half of the phrase swells to a high point in volume as well
as pitch, only to recede in the second half. With all four parts
singing in harmony, the primo
still plays exact octave doubling in both hands. It mostly
doubles only the soprano and alto, but adds some bottom notes
(three-note chords) doubling the tenor line at the beginning and
end. The secondo bass
doubles the vocal bass in octaves, and its right hand roughly follows
the tenor line. The phrase concludes gently, but still in the
1:16 [m. 19]--Part 2
repeated. The first two lines of stanza 3 are again sung by the
women as before.
1:30 [m. 29]--Last lines of
stanza 3 from all four voices, as before. Note here (as in the
first statement) the only articulated vocal syllable on a second beat
of a bar--the second syllable of “ware.”
1:45--END OF WALTZ-SONG [36 mm.]
6. “Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel” (“A small, pretty bird”).
Hungarian source. Grazioso. Rondo form (ABB’A’CA). A
MAJOR, 3/4 time. SATB
Ein kleiner, hübscher Vogel
nahm den Flug
zum Garten hin,
da gab es Obst genug.
Wenn ich ein hübscher,
kleiner Vogel wär,
ich säumte nicht,
ich täte so wie der.
lauert an dem Ort;
der arme Vogel
konnte nicht mehr fort.
Wenn ich ein hübscher,
kleiner Vogel wär,
ich säumte doch,
ich täte nicht wie der.
Der Vogel kam
in eine schöne Hand,
da tat es ihm,
dem Glücklichen, nicht and.
Wenn ich ein hübscher,
kleiner Vogel wär,
ich säumte nicht,
ich täte doch wie der.
0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1, lines
1-4 (A). The primo plays repeated octaves on the
note E, then repeats them an octave lower. The secondo takes over for another
statement yet an octave lower. This small introduction
establishes the basic rhythm. The tenor then sings the lilting
opening phrase alone, with engaging pauses on the second beats of the
bars. The first two hesitant words are still introductory, the
main patterns beginning on “hübscher.” The primo decorates his line with light
“bird-call” repetitions while the secondo
plays a solid waltz rhythm with bass octaves on the downbeats followed
0:15 [m. 13]--Stanza 1, lines
5-8. The other three voices begin their response, overlapping
with the tenor’s conclusion. Their opening upbeat is on shorter
notes. The material is essentially the same as the tenor’s
statement, but with vocal harmonies. The primo now adds an even more
decorative line, with downward swooping arpeggios in triplet rhythm
depicting the flight of the bird.
0:23 [m. 21]--Stanza 2, lines
1-4 (B). A sharp trill in
the primo leads into the new
section, which is in the key of C-sharp minor. The tenor and bass
forcefully sing the first two lines of the stanza in a decisive rhythm
representing the treacherous twigs. The primo is still decorative, playing
rapid, detached arpeggios in octaves. The secondo plays sharp chords that
emphasize the vocal lines. In the third and fourth lines, the
alto joins the men, and the music veers toward G-sharp minor, reaching
a half-cadence there.
0:31 [m. 29]--Stanza 2, lines
1-4 repeated (B’). The
same material begins, now with the soprano joining the lower voices and
taking the melody. In the third and fourth lines, the music
changes to remain in C-sharp minor, ending on a half-cadence
there. The tenor and bass repeat the fourth line as a lead-in to
the following “codetta.”
0:40 [m. 38]--In a sort of
“codetta” to the B section,
the last words, “nicht fort,” are passed twice from the soprano down to
the tenor and bass in harmony. The soprano and tenor sing them on
a rising half-step. The alto does not sing here. This
“codetta” is at a suddenly quiet level, and when the words are passed
to the tenor and bass the second time, the piano parts adjust the
harmony to E major, the related major key to C-sharp minor. The
piano primo echoes the rising
half-step one last time.
0:46 [m. 43]--Stanza 2, lines
5-8 (A’). The tenor
smoothly leads back to A major with a variant of his initial melody
that moves downward and smoothes out the line. The words are a
counter-argument to the last four lines of stanza 1. The piano
parts play similar music to what they did in the A section. Note the faster
notes on “kleiner Vogel.”
0:55 [m. 51]--Stanza 2, lines
5-8 repeated. The other three parts overlap with the tenor’s
ending and sing the response to the same music as was used at 0:15 [m.
13]. The major difference is that here they are singing the same
words that the tenor just did. The primo again includes the downward
1:02 [m. 59]--A “codetta” is
added to the A’
material. The alto and tenor repeat the words “nicht wie der” in
a secretive, detached manner. The left hand of the primo and the right hand of the secondo accompany them. The
same words are then stated by soprano, tenor, and bass (without alto),
in a response. All hands except the right hand of the secondo play here. This
pattern with these two statements is repeated, but now the alto sings
instead of the tenor in the response, and its final harmony is
changed. Finally, all four voices and all four hands come
together in an emphatic cadence on “wie der.” A brief bridge with
repetitions of the keynote A in the basic rhythm follows. It is
used to pivot to F major.
1:11 [m. 67]--Stanza 3, lines
1-2 (C, Part 1). The
tenor begins a gently flowing melody that quietly reaches upward.
After he sings the first line, the other voices join him in harmony to
sing both lines. The key of the section is F major. The
piano parts provide block harmonies, but the “preparatory” grace notes
in the primo are
notable. The first part ends on an incomplete cadence.
1:23 [m. 67]--Stanza 3, lines
1-2 (C, Part 1) repeated.
1:33 [m. 75]--Stanza 3, lines
3-4 (C, Part 2). The
piano parts play a brief interlude to lead into these lines. The
“preparatory” grace notes are played in the secondo here. The tenor leads
in, as before, and the music is essentially the same, even when the
other voices enter for the repetition of the third line, but there is
an internal harmonic change suggesting D major. This was not
present in Part 1. The passage ends with the same incomplete
cadence as did Part 1, however.
1:49 [m. 75]--Stanza 3, lines
3-4 (C, Part 2) repeated,
including the lead-in piano interlude.
2:05 [m. 87]--Stanza 3, lines
5-8 (A). The transition
here has the same function as did the introduction to the song, and is
in the same rhythm. Instead of simple octaves, the piano parts
play chords that move from F major back home to A. The primo holds its outer octaves after
the first chords while the secondo
begins its two sets of harmonies. The tenor then sings to the
same music he used for the first lines of the song, including the three
introductory syllables. The piano parts are also the same.
Only the text is different.
2:20 [m. 99]--Stanza 3, lines
5-8 repeated. The other three voices enter and sing their lines
as heard at 0:15 [m. 13] and 0:55 [m. 51]. The words are the same
as those at 0:15 [m. 13], and a repetition of the tenor’s text.
The accompaniment, including the swooping arpeggios, is also the same.
2:28 [m. 107]--The “codetta”
from 1:02 [m. 59] is used to end this most extended waltz-song.
The absence of the word “nicht” in the repeated text creates a bit of
variation, especially in the piano parts. The fourth statement of
the text (the second response) includes the tenor, but not the soprano
and alto in another variance. The emphatic cadence on “wie der”
is also changed so that the soprano ends on the keynote, creating more
2:36--END OF WALTZ-SONG [111 mm.]
7. “Wohl schön bewandt’” (“Quite fair and contented”).
Polish source. [Im Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form.
C MINOR, 3/4 time. Soprano (or alto) solo.
Wohl schön bewandt
war es vor ehe
mit meinem Leben,
mit meiner Liebe;
durch eine Wand,
ja, durch zehn Wände
des Freundes Sehe.
Doch jetzo, wehe,
wenn ich dem Kalten
auch noch so dicht
vorm Auge stehe,
es merkts sein Auge,
sein Herze nicht.
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1. The
first statement of Part 1 sets the first four lines. The music is
characterized by heavy upbeats resolving downward but steadily working
upward. The primo is
primarily concerned with decorating and doubling the singer, while the secondo counters her upbeat rhythm
by placing its two-note descents on the second beat of each bar.
It also provides a solid low bass. The end of the phrase evokes
the memory of happiness with a warm motion to A-flat major, a third
below the home C minor.
0:13 [m. 1]--Part 1
repeated. The repetition sets lines 5-8. Because of the
accentuation of line 5, the piano parts take the first upbeat
alone. The word “durch” then enters on the downbeat, and the long
note that was used for “schön” in the first statement is split
into two notes for “durch” and the first syllable of “eine.”
0:23 [m. 9]--Part 2. It
sets the last six lines. The first four of these are given more
hopeful music. There is a strong motion toward A major,
emphasized by a turning decoration in the primo. Brahms never quite
arrives there, receding back to C minor after the high point on
“noch.” The last two lines take another harmonic detour through
D-flat major, a half-step above the keynote. This moves
immediately and strongly back to C minor as the word “Herze” is held
for almost six beats, the primo
adding a gentle turn figure to the bleak cadence. The secondo retains its rhythmic
patterns on the second beat of each bar.
0:43 [m. 9]--Part 2 repeated,
using the same text.
1:10--END OF WALTZ-SONG [24 mm.]
8. “Wenn so lind dein Auge mir” (“When your eyes look at me”).
Polish source. [Im Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form.
A-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4 time. SATB
Wenn so lind dein Auge mir
und so lieblich schauet,
jede letze Trübe flieht
welche mich umgrauet.
Dieser Liebe schöne Glut,
laß sie nicht verstieben!
Nimmer wird, wie ich, so treu
dich ein andrer lieben.
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1.
Stanza 1, lines 1-2. There is an introductory bar from the secondo that sets up the rhythm in
a similar manner to the opening of No. 1. The primo is immediately remarkable for
its soaring arpeggios leading to characteristic long-short
resolutions. These resolutions are also present in the blissful
vocal harmonies. The second and third bars before the end of the
phrase are grouped in an expressive hemiola
(implied 3/2 bar) in all vocal and piano parts except for the vocal
bass and the secondo left
hand, which articulate the actual downbeat.
0:13 [m. 10]--Stanza 1, lines
3-4. This phrase has a similar structure to the first one, but it
makes a decisive harmonic motion to the “dominant” key, E-flat, at the
end. The placement of the hemiola
is the same, but now it is only really present in the piano parts, the
vocal parts sticking to the 3/4 grouping against it. The primo, playing in octaves, uses a
zigzagging lead-in line to round off Part 1.
0:24 [m. 2]--Part 1
repeated. Stanza 1, lines 1-2 as before, without the introductory
bar. Brahms indicates that the repeat should be quieter than the
0:34 [m. 10]--Stanza 1, lines
3-4 as before.
0:45 [m. 18]--Part 2.
Stanza 2, lines 1-2. The first line begins with the lower three
parts, the soprano trailing behind them by a bar. The piano parts
already introduce the hemiola
grouping in this line, but only the alto voice participates in this
grouping. The line makes a colorful harmonic shift to E
major. The second line makes a similar shift downward, to C
major. The men’s parts overlap with the completion of “Glut” from
soprano and alto. This time, both the soprano and alto play the
“trailing” role. The hemiola
is placed as in the first line, but now it is the tenor who
participates instead of the alto. The soprano and alto state the
line quickly so that all four parts can end together. The entire
phrase is quite restless.
0:55 [m. 26]--Stanza 2, lines
3-4. These last lines move back to A-flat. They open in a
slight overlap with the closing gesture of the previous phrase.
They build slightly in volume and work to the highest pitches in the
soprano and tenor. The hemiola,
where it was in both phrases of Part 1, now includes all voices
and both hands of both piano parts.
1:05 [m. 18 (34)]--Part 2
repeated. Stanza 2, lines 1-2 as before, with motions to E major
and C major.
1:15 [m. 26]--Stanza 2, lines
3-4 as before. The final cadence is followed by a low punctuating
A-flat, the same as had opened Part 2 and its repetition.
1:29--END OF WALTZ-SONG [34 mm.]
9. “Am Donaustrande, da steht ein Haus” (“On the banks
of the Danube, there stands a house”). Hungarian source.
[Im Ländler-Tempo]. Rounded binary form. E MAJOR, 3/4
da steht ein Haus,
da schaut ein rosiges
es ist wohl gut gehegt,
zehn eiserne Riegel
sind vor die Türe gelegt.
Zehn eiserne Riegel
das ist ein Spaß;
die spreng ich
als wären sie nur von Glas.
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1.
Stanza 1. The secondo
provides a brief lead-in with dissonant whole-step clashes resolving to
pleasing thirds. Only the lower three parts sing in this first
part. When they enter, it is with a harmonious, highly stylized
waltz rhythm. The right hand of the secondo follows the vocal lines,
especially the alto, and the primo
provides “Blue Danube”-like responses to the first two (identical)
lines. In the last two lines, this response is used to propel the
waltz rhythm forward as the cadence is approached with large downward
leaps in the alto. The cadence itself is punctuated with a gentle
0:29 [m. 20]--Part 1, varied
repeat. Stanza 2. In this verse, the hands largely reverse
roles. The vocal lines are now followed much higher in the primo, and the “Blue Danube”
responses are in the secondo
right hand. The whole-step/third alternation moves to
the primo left hand, and the secondo left hand adds a new low
bass. The vocal parts are mostly unchanged except for the tenor,
who adds parallel harmonization to the alto’s closing leaps. The
closing descent is heard, now at a lower pitch level in the secondo only.
0:50 [m. 36]--Part 2.
Stanza 3. The bass impetuously begins the line at a suddenly
powerful level. The other three voices (the soprano [the
imprisoned maiden?] making her only appearance in the song) follow him
a bar later. The primo
has rapid chords moving with the voices, with the right hand following
the left off the beat. It then moves to the “Blue Danube”
responses. The secondo
is less active, providing a foundation. The first two lines hint
at B major, but remain in E. The bass finishes before the top
parts, and then begins the second couplet, the others following
again. He slows down his last line so that he can end with the
others. The phrase sternly moves to G-sharp minor. A
“Danube” echo bridges to the gentle music.
1:03 [m. 47]--Stanza 1
reprise. The music of Part 1 returns, but this time the tenor has
a preparatory leap the leads the alto and bass back into the
music. The soprano drops out after her brief appearance for
stanza 3. When the other voices enter, there is an extra
“preliminary” hint of the “Blue Danube” response that is held over from
the bridge. The bass joins the tenor for similar lead-ins to the
second line and to the last couplet. The bass repeats “da steht,”
and both tenor and bass repeat “da schaut.” The accompaniment to
the first two lines is similar to that heard at the beginning, but the secondo adds the low bass line from
stanza 2. In the last couplet, the stanza 2 pattern, with the
response in the secondo,
takes over. The last vocal bar (m. 61) begins the closing
descent, and the repeat signs lead back to m. 34 to complete it.
1:26 [m. 36]--Part 2
repeated. Stanza 3, with its impetuous bass outburst, is reprised.
1:39 [m. 47]--Stanza 1, second
reprise, with tenor and bass lead-ins and full accompaniment. The
gentle descent is completed in two new bars (mm. 62-63), with the primo entering to double the chords
at a high level and with the volume and speed both receding
greatly. This explains why the repeat went back to m. 34.
These last two bars are a “closing” version of mm. 34-35.
2:11--END OF WALTZ-SONG [63 mm.]
10. “O wie sanft die Quelle sich” (“Oh how gently the
stream”). Russian-Polish dance song source. [Im
Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. G MAJOR, 3/4 time.
O wie sanft die Quelle sich
durch die Wiese windet!
O wie schön, wenn Liebe sich
zu der Liebe findet!
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1. The
soprano introduces the pervasive long-short-short-short rhythm, and is
freely imitated by the tenor a bar later. The alto and bass
provide slow-moving support. The mood is light and
fleeting. The primo
follows the soprano in octaves, filling in pauses with notes from the
tenor line. The secondo
maintains the basic waltz pulse. The last word, “windet,” is
stretched out as all voices come together. As they end, the piano
parts have a two-bar hemiola
or cross-rhythm. The primo
and the secondo bass stretch
their motion to a longer implied 3/2 bar while the secondo right hand has a new
0:14 [m. 1]--Part 1 repeated.
0:24 [m. 11]--Part 2.
Beginning with a heavy emphasis on C major, the “subdominant” key, the
tenor starts the second part alone on the third line. The soprano
freely imitates him a bar later. Four bars into this pattern, the
alto and bass begin a similar free imitation. The tenor and
soprano come to an end two bars after that. Under the first four
bars, the right hands of both parts follow the tenor and soprano
respectively while their left hands keep the rhythm. After the
other two parts enter, the primo
follows the alto in octaves while the secondo
right hand follows the bass. The hemiola cross-rhythm is placed at
the end where it is expected, and the alto and bass now participate
with the piano parts, stretching their lines. Their completion
overlaps with the first bar of the repetition on the tenor entry, where
there is another emphasis on C major.
0:36 [m. 21]--Part 2
repeated. The tenor begins in overlap as the alto and bass
complete their previous lines. The first bar of the piano parts
is slightly thicker to reflect this overlap. The repetition then
follows as before until the hemiola,
the alto and bass now abruptly end on the first bar and do not
participate with the piano parts. The alto cuts off the last word
“findet,” and the bass cuts out “zu der Liebe.” All four parts
enter on the last two beats, and then the cross-rhythm is repeated with
all voices participating, leading to the final cadence bar. They
state the whole last line. The piano parts are lower in the
repeated cross-rhythm, but the harmony is the same, suggesting C major
(as at the repetition) and then confirming G major.
0:54--END OF WALTZ-SONG [33 mm.]
11. “Nein, es ist nicht auszukommen” (“No, there’s just no getting
along”). Polish source. [Im Ländler-Tempo].
Rounded binary form. C MINOR, 3/4 time. SATB
Nein, es ist nicht auszukommen
mit den Leuten;
Alles wissen sie so giftig
Bin ich heiter, hegen soll ich
bin ich still, so heißt’s, ich wäre
irr aus Liebe.
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1 (Stanza
1). The song begins with an impetuous outburst from all voices in
block chords. While the primo
follows the vocal harmonies, the secondo
agitates the mood with after-beat chords. After the first half,
the primo bridges a bar of
vocal rests with an echo of the rhythm and shape of the previous
bar. The same thing happens after the second phrase, which
emphasizes the “dominant” harmony of G major. The
consonant-filled text moves with tongue-twisting speed and requires
0:10 [m. 1]--Part 1 (Stanza 1)
0:18 [m. 9]--Part 2.
Stanza 2. The contrasting passage begins at a suddenly quieter
level. The voices are still agitated, and at the end of the first
phrase, “lose Triebe” recalls the predominant long-short-short-short
rhythm. Both piano parts have active, detached notes until
becoming more smooth at “lose Triebe.” The parallel second phrase
builds strongly and suddenly, reaching a climax on the main rhythm with
“irr aus Liebe.” These last words are repeated in a powerful
general descent. The primo
has fuller harmonies throughout this second phrase, and the secondo bass speeds up under the
two statements of “irr aus Liebe.” This contrasting passage also
has fast-moving text. It suggests the related keys of E-flat
major and G minor.
0:28 [m. 19]--Stanza 1
reprise. This statement is an exact reprise of Part 1.
0:35 [m. 9]--Part 2
repeated. Repetition of the contrasting passage for the second
0:46 [m. 19]--Second reprise of
stanza 1. The only change is a broadening for a final cadence at
the end, and only the voice parts are stretched out. The piano
parts are unchanged from previous statements. The last two bars
have first and second endings because of this vocal broadening at the
0:54--END OF WALTZ-SONG [26 mm.]
12. “Schlosser auf! und mache Schlösser” (“Locksmith - get up and
make your locks”). Russian-Polish dance song source. [Im
Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. E-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4
Schlosser auf! und mache Schlösser,
Schlösser ohne Zahl;
denn die bösen Mäuler will ich
0:00 [m. 1]--Part
1. The mood and material are similar to No. 11, which it usually
follows without a break. The bass intones a stark motion, still
in C minor, of the initial imperative, doubled by the secondo in octaves. The top
voices enter directly afterward with chords from the primo. The voices then come
together for the remainder of the phrase, which sets the first two
lines, “mache Schlösser” being reiterated. The
long-short-short-short rhythm is again used, and E-flat major, relative
key to C minor, emerges. The second line turns quickly back to C
minor. The primo
follows the vocal harmonies, also bridging the lines, while the secondo plays entierly in thumping,
detached octaves. Note the play between “Schlosser” (“locksmith”)
and “Schlösser” (“locks”), which requires precise diction.
0:08 [m. 8]--Part 1
repeated. While the piano parts begin a decorative echo of the
previous vocal line, the tenor suddenly begins to intone the third
line. The bass follows directly in the next bar (m. 9) with his
initial intonation, now on the first words of the third line (“denn die
bösen”). This bar corresponds to the opening upbeats except
for the presence of the primo
and the tenor. The following bar (m. 10a) corresponds exactly
with m. 2, and the other voices (including tenor) make their entrance
on the third line. The repeat then moves back to m. 3, and the
last two lines continue to the same music, repeating “bösen”
0:16 [m. 8]--Part 2. The
tenor begins his intonation here, as he had before, now repeating
different words from the last lines, “will ich schließen.”
The bass begins his intonation in m. 9, also to these words, but m. 10b
is entirely new, and launches the second part. The top three
voices state “will ich schließen” in C minor, overlapping the
bass (who repeats “schließen”), with the primo now continuing its
decorative echo. The secondo
begins to suggest a faster rising motion, still in octaves and single
notes. A third statement of “will ich schleßen” (the second
for soprano and alto) begins a step higher. Both of these last
statements are followed by softer, slower piano echoes, the second of
which is repeated as the secondo
0:24 [m. 15]--The two female
voices, with the primo, begin
a faster, more illustrative statement of the last two lines in their
entirety. The men follow them with the same faster material a bar
later. The voices come together as the women repeat
“schließen” yet again. The entire statement moves
decisively to E-flat, where the emphatic cadence is surprisingly
bright. Both piano parts are also bright, strong, and detached.
0:29 [m. 19 (9)]--Part 2
repeated. Immediately after the cadence, the piano parts
forcefully turn back to C minor and the bass intones “will ich
schließen.”* The leading tenor intonation, having already
been heard twice, is here skipped. The music repeats back to m.
10b, and the two full statements of “will ich schließen” and
their echoes follow.
0:35 [m. 15]--Repetition of the
faster statement of the last two lines and final E-flat major cadence.
0:42--END OF WALTZ-SONG [19 mm.]
*Note: Some scores, including the
“Sämtliche Werke,” indicate that the bass is not to sing the
intonation on the repetition of Part 2, instead joining the other
voices in the two full statements of “will ich schließen” and
leaving the piano parts alone in their transition back. In this
recording, Fischer-Dieskau sings the intonation here (which is the
fourth time it is heard).
13. “Vögelein durchrauscht die Luft” (“Little bird
rushes through the air”). Russian-Polish dance song source.
[Im Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. A-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4
time. SA duet.
Vögelein durchrauscht die Luft,
sucht nach einem Aste;
und das Herz, ein Herz begehrt’s,
wo es selig raste.
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1. The primo represents the fluttering
bird with fast two-note groups, all thirds and fourths until the end of
the second line, where the groups expand to fifths and sixths and also
contract to whole-steps. The left hand always plays its groups on
the second beat of the bar, and only the right-hand downbeat groups are
descending until the last bar of the second line. The two female
vocalists leap up and down in harmonies of mostly thirds and fourths,
repeating “durchrauscht die Luft.” They, along with the right
hand of the secondo, are in a
broad cross-rhythm, or hemiola,
the first line. The secondo
bass joins the primo in
regular groupings against this. Normal 3/4 motion is restored for
the second line with its half-cadence.
0:13 [m. 1]--Part 1 repeated.
0:22 [m. 9]--Part 2. All
parts remain in normal motion for the third line. The primo introduces a smooth flowing
line. The two singers swell and recede on the line, moving to
colorful harmonies suggesting C-flat major. In the last line, the
smooth flowing line is passed to the secondo.
singers are in normal 3/4 motion, but now the primo, which did not play the
cross-rhythm before, recalls the opening vocal harmonies in that
cross-rhythm as the voices themselves settle to a gentle cadence.
0:33 [m. 9]--Part 2
repeated. At the end of the second line, a second ending allows
the primo to return to normal
rhythmic grouping for the last two bars, and the secondo is also adjusted to make
the cadence more final. The vocal parts are unchanged in this
0:47--END OF WALTZ-SONG [16 mm.]
14. “Sieh, wie ist die Welle klar” (“See how clear the
waves are”). Russian-Polish dance song source. [Im
Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. E-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4
time. TB duet.
Sieh, wie ist die Welle klar,
blickt der Mond hernieder!
Die du meine Liebe bist,
liebe du mich wieder!
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1. This
song is closely linked to the previous one, and retains its quiet,
subdued mood. The male singers are in gentle, pleasing
harmonies. The primo
has a smooth flowing line similar to that heard at the end of No. 13,
while the secondo plays
standard waltz accompaniment. In the second line, Brahms
indicates even greater hesitancy and quietness. The harmony makes
a turn to C-flat (also present in the second part of No. 13). The
primo moves to winding
octaves, the left hand displaced by syncopation. The end of the
second line arrives on a half-cadence in the home key of E-flat.
0:15 [m. 1]--Part 1 repeated.
0:26 [m. 9]--Part 2. The
two male singers swell gently in the third line, which briefly moves to
A-flat (the key of Nos. 13 and 15, both of which are closely connected
to this song). They rise to their top pitches. Both piano
parts have the flowing line, which now introduces the
long-short-short-short rhythm so common in these waltz-songs. The
last line settles down for an incomplete cadence in E-flat. As in
the second line, there is syncopation, as the right hands of both piano
parts play harmonies after the beats. At the end, the secondo has a bridging figure in
the long-short-short-short rhythm.
0:39 [m. 9]--Part 2
repeated. The bridging figure at the end is retained to lead
directly into No. 15. The incomplete cadence also helps the music
flow smoothly into this next song.
0:51--END OF WALTZ-SONG [16 mm.]
15. “Nachtigall, sie singt so schön” (“The
nightingale, it sings so beautifully”). Russian-Polish dance song
source. [Im Ländler-Tempo]. Binary form. A-FLAT
MAJOR, 3/4 time. SATB
Nachtigall, sie singt so schön,
wenn die Sterne funkeln.
Liebe mich, geliebtes Herz,
küsse mich im Dunkeln!
0:00 [m. 1]--There is a two-bar
piano introduction that flows directly from the end of No. 14. It
establishes the dotted (long-short) rhythm that will pervade much of
the song, and remains anchored on the “dominant” note, E-flat, with the
short note a step above that. In the second bar, a harmony a step
lower is added. The primo
has the actual rhythm while the secondo
only has straight octaves.
0:05 [m. 3]--Part 1. When
the voices enter, the two piano parts pass the dotted rhythm between
them. The secondo still
remains anchored to the E-flat in line 1, while the primo ranges more freely in arching
lines. In the first line, the soprano and alto sing in unison,
following the dotted rhythm of the secondo.
tenor and bass provide static harmonies. In the second line,
the voices and the secondo
break free of their anchor (and the women from each other) and soar
higher. The arching lines in the primo continue through an
0:19 [m. 3]--Part 1 repeated.
0:33 [m. 11]--Part 2. The
third line makes a striking harmonic motion to B major (the same key,
differently notated, to which the music moved in Nos. 13 and 14).
The voices sing in block harmonies, abandoning the dotted rhythm.
The piano parts, however, follow the alternating patterns from Part 1,
still using the dotted rhythm. The secondo even remains anchored to
the new “dominant” note (now F-sharp) as in the first line.
0:40 [m. 15]--The voices reach
a small climax at the beginning of the last line, and work their way
back home to A-flat. The primo
has a hemiola cross-rhythm
grouping of three two-beat units on the dotted rhythm. The voices
recede as they reach the word “Dunkeln,” which is prolonged as the primo moves back to its arching
lines in regular 3/4 grouping.
0:46 [m. 19]--In the first
ending, the words “im Dunkeln” are repeated to the same vocal
harmonies. The piano parts continue in an extended
elaboration. The primo
meanders on the dotted rhythm, and the secondo has a more solid bass and
chords. They play two full bars beyond the vocal cadence,
including one strong minor-key inflection in the dotted rhythm, and
lead at the end back to the repeat of Part 2.
0:54 [m. 11 (23)]--Part 2
repeated. Third line moving to B major.
1:00 [m. 15]--Fourth line
working back to A-flat and including cross-rhythm.
1:06 [m. 19 (23)]--In this
second ending, the piano parts are the same as in the first ending
until the end, where instead of leading back, they continue to a final
cadence (and an extra bar for it). The vocal parts, however,
greatly extend their repetition of the word “Dunkeln,” following the
harmonies of the piano with internal motion, and ending with the piano
players, whereas they had dropped out early in the first ending.
1:20--END OF WALTZ-SONG [23 (27) mm.]*
*In the “Sämtliche Werke” score,
with a break from usual practice, the second ending is labeled as m. 23
rather than repeating the numbering (19) of the first ending.
This is the rationale behind the parenthetical numbering of 23 at 0:54
and 1:06. If the number 19 were repeated, the first ending would
conclude with m. 22, the second with m. 23. Beginning the second
ending with m. 23 yields a concluding number of 27. The first
ending contains four bars, the second five.
16. “Ein dunkeler Schacht ist Liebe” (“Love is a dark shaft”).
Hungarian source. Lebhaft (Lively). Binary form. F
MINOR, 3/4 time. SATB
Ein dunkeler Schacht ist Liebe,
ein gar zu gefährlicher Bronnen;
da fiel ich hinein, ich Armer,
kann weder hören noch sehn,
nur denken an meine Wonnen,
nur stöhnen in meinen Wehn.
0:00 [m. 1]--Part 1.
Beginning with an upbeat, the top three voices begin their line in
unison. It is an oscillating figure beginning with a downward
motion. The primo
begins its agitated, constant motion underneath the voices, its lower
notes following them. As they move to “ist Liebe,” they break
into harmony. At that point, the bass enters in
counterpoint. He inverts the “oscillating” figure and begins with
the upward motion. The secondo
also enters at that point, playing more agitated figures, including
broken octaves. The top three voices complete the phrase with the
second line as the bass sings only the first line, repeating “ist
Liebe” at the end. The mood is extremely uneasy, and the primo motion ranges quite high.
0:10 [m. 1]--Part 1
repeated. Some scores, including the Sämtliche Werke, indicate that
the bass should sing the second line in this repetition. In this
recording, Fischer-Dieskau retains the first line with its illustrative
downward leap of an octave under the text representing the “dark shaft”
0:17 [m. 9]--Part 2. The
bass begins the third line with the oscillating figure in its original
direction, albeit at a higher pitch. The secondo underscores him, initially
with broken octaves. The top three voices enter in harmony as he
sings “ich Armer” on long notes. The primo enters with them, also
beginning with broken octaves. When they enter, the left hand of
the secondo drops to low bass
octaves. The soprano now has the “inverted” version of the
figure. The same alternation occurs, in overlap, on the fourth
line. Here, the voices reach a half-cadence, and the bass repeats
“noch sehn” in a downward motion as the upper voices complete their
lines. After they cut off, the volume suddenly drops as the secondo continues to oscillate.
0:27 [m. 19]--With a turn to
the major mode (F major), the soprano initiates a series of entries in
counterpoint on the fifth line reflecting on happiness, all at the
distance of two bars. She sings the oscillation on the “inverted”
version. The tenor follows her with the original direction.
The primo doubles the soprano
in octaves, with the right hand displaced by syncopation. The
left hand continues its faster oscillation in the left hand, with the
right hand doubling the tenor when he enters.
0:31 [m. 23]--As the tenor
completes his line, the alto now enters with the “inverted”
version. The fast oscillation moves to the primo right hand, its left hand
doubling the alto. The secondo
roughly follows the tenor’s completion in octaves using the slower
“inverted” oscillation. Here, the soprano repeats “an meine
Wonnen” in long notes. Finally, the bass enters with the original
version. At that point, the tenor has the first anticipation of
the last line with an early statement of “nur stöhnen.” The
right hands of both piano parts now have the fast oscillation, their
left hands moving in slower notes. The bass has not yet completed
the line as the primo right
hand shoots upward, ending the phrase.
0:35 [m. 27]--The top three
voices come together on two repeated statements of the colorful text
“nur stöhnen,” singing in harmony on a dissonant “diminished
seventh” chord and “sighing” downward. The primo follows them while the secondo has an upward arpeggio
moving to octave oscillations. The bass completes “Wonnen” under
the first statement, and sings with them on the second statement.
The first statement has an arrival on the F major of the preceding
music, and the second statement lands on F minor.
0:39 [m. 31]--A final statement
of “nur stöhnen” in all four parts completes the line. The
notes are longer in all voices but the alto, who has a final
oscillation on the “inverted” version. The primo follows the voices in long
notes while the secondo
continues its arpeggios and octave oscillations (doubling the alto’s
oscillations). The final F-minor cadence is tortured by the
addition of dissonance. In all, the soprano and alto state “nur
stöhnen” three times, the tenor four times, and the bass
twice. After the cadence, secondo
arpeggios lead to the complete repeat of Part 2.
0:45 [m. 9]--Part 2
repeated. Third and fourth lines, as at 0:17.
0:55 [m. 19]--Soprano and tenor
entries in counterpoint on the fifth line (F major), as at 0:27.
0:59 [m. 23]--Tenor and bass
entries in counterpoint, as at 0:31.
1:03 [m. 27]--Two “sighing”
statements of “nur stöhnen,” as at 0:35.
1:07 [m. 31]--Final statement
of last line and last cadence, as at 0:39. The only variances are
the addition of a final loud chord in the primo under the last word, the
prolongation in the voices of that last word (“Wehn”), an upward leap
of the soprano and upward motion of the alto on that last word, and a
final punctuating short chord in the
secondo on the last beat. Brahms also indicates an extra
accentuation of the word “meinen” at the beginning of the second ending
1:16--END OF WALTZ-SONG [36 mm.]
17. “Nicht wandle, mein Licht” (“Do not wander, my light”).
Hungarian source. Mit Ausdruck (With expression). Binary
form. D-FLAT MAJOR, 3/4 time. Tenor solo.
Nicht wandle, mein Licht, dort außen
Die Füße würden dir, die zarten,
zu naß, zu weich.
All überströmt sind dort die Wege,
die Stege dir;
so überreichlich tränte dorten
das Auge mir.
0:00 [m. 1]--The piano parts
set up the initial rocking accompaniment in a two-bar introduction.
0:04 [m. 3]--Part 1 (Stanza
1). The tenor sings short, almost breathless, but still gently
subdued figures for the first two phrases. He leaps between lower
and higher figures that also move in opposite directions. The
piano parts artfully reflect this when they alternate in doubling the
vocal line. They also pass the off-beat figures of the
accompaniment between the primo
left hand and the secondo
0:17 [m. 11]--The third phrase
becomes slightly darker through the use of a note (F-flat) borrowed
from the minor key. The phrase is also prolonged to a fifth bar
by holding out the word “dir” before moving up to “die zarten” on the
“dark” F-flat. Here, the primo
mostly plays counterpoint to the vocal line in octaves.
Approaching the last phrase, the primo
moves to full chords, still following the tenor, who moves back to the
short units on “zu naß” and “zu weich.” The secondo continues the rocking
accompaniment. The last phrase moves to the “dominant” key,
A-flat. Flowing chords in the secondo
right hand lead to the repeat.
0:31 [m. 3]--Part 1
repeated. The tenor’s opening upbeat is shorter than it was the
0:41 [m. 11]--The last two
phrases are played and sung as before. The flowing chords in the secondo at the end are slightly
changed to lead into the second part.
0:56 [m. 21]--Part 2 (Stanza
2). The first half of the stanza is compressed into a
forward-pressing six-bar phrase. The singer works upward to his
highest note. The flowing chords from the lead-in continue now in
both piano parts. These smoothly and gradually build. The
end of the phrase moves to the new key of G-flat. The primo echoes the rhythm and contour
of the tenor’s last notes in a bridge to the last phrase.
1:07 [m. 29]--The bridge has
moved back to the home key of D-flat, but this phrase immediately
suggests G-flat again. Like the corresponding place in Part 1, a
prolongation stretches the phrase to five bars, this time in
syncopation on the word “tränte,” which also has a similar
minor-key inflection The secondo
here moves to broken octaves. The last phrase sets “das Auge mir”
in tender two-note off-beat groups separated by rests, and the music
moves back to D-flat for the cadence. These are supported by
chords in the primo.
Another flowing line, this time in both secondo right hand and primo left hand, leads to the
repeat of Part 2.
1:22 [m. 21 (39)]--Part 2
repeated. Six-bar phrase, move to G-flat, and bridge.
1:32 [m. 29]--Last two
phrases. The ending replaces the flowing lead-in with closing
accompaniment figures and a final chord in the secondo. The ending is
extended a bar longer than the previous “lead-in.”
1:58--END OF WALTZ-SONG [39 mm.]
18. “Es bebet das Gesträuche” (“The bushes are trembling”).
Hungarian source. Lebhaft (Lively). Binary form.
B-FLAT MINOR--D-FLAT/C-SHARP MAJOR, 3/4 time. SATB
Es bebet das Gesträuche,
gestreift hat es im Fluge
In gleicher Art erbebet
die Seele mir, erschüttert
von Liebe, Lust und Leide,
gedenkt sie dein.
0:00 [m. 1]--The secondo plays a very brief
introduction with a pair of secretive upbeat two-chord figures.
They are in the key of B-flat minor, where the song will begin.
0:04 [m. 3]--Part 1. The
voices sing the first two lines in block chords, still using the
secretive detached, upbeat figures heard in the introduction.
There are longer, accented notes on the second syllable of
“Gesträuche” and the first syllable of “Flüge.” The secondo follows these vocal
harmonies, but the primary interest is in the primo, which introduces a skittish
perpetual motion of detached up-down motion and short left-hand
notes. The key is still B-flat minor. The two phrases are
0:12 [m. 11]--For the words
“ein Vögelein,” the voices and secondo
suddenly become smooth, stretching out the first syllable, adding
gently flowing motion in soprano and tenor, and prolonging the last
syllable. More importantly, the music here moves to the related
major key (same key signature, five flats) of D-flat major, where No.
17 was set. The words are repeated at lower pitch levels, with
the flowing motion in alto and tenor. The primo continues to play its
skittish motion, and leads to the repeat with broken octaves.
0:19 [m. 3]--Part 1
repeated. First two lines in B-flat minor.
0:26 [m. 11]--Two statements of
“ein Vögelein” in D-flat major. Broken octaves lead down to
0:34 [m. 19]--Part 2. The
music makes a sudden shift to E major (four sharps). The fourth
and fifth lines are sung in almost rapturous fashion with soaring lines
from all four parts. The fifth line reaches higher. There
are small chromatic inflections on “erbebet” and
“erschüttert.” The secondo
now plays more sweeping lines, alternating with the detached upbeats,
which are heard under the longer words. The primo still has the perpetual
motion, but it now has some longer upward lines.
0:41 [m. 27]--The key makes yet
another shift, to the related C-sharp minor (also in four
sharps). Note that C-sharp is the same note as D-flat, the major
key where Part 1 ended. The sixth line is now sung and played
twice with very similar music to that used for the first two lines, but
now a bit higher in the C-sharp minor key. The second phrase is
also not identical to the first, and reaches higher, increasing the
0:48 [m. 35]--The last line,
the words “gedenkt sie dein,” is sung to the same music, and in the
same key, as were the words “ein Vögelein” at 0:12 and 0:26 [m.
11]. The first note is different, since the music is approaching
from a different location, and the tenor and alto lines are largely
reversed, but it is otherwise virtually identical. Visually, it
does not appear that way, though, since Brahms notates it in C-sharp
rather than D-flat. Also, he continues to use the four-sharp
signature of the previous C-sharp minor
rather than the unwieldy seven sharps of C-sharp major, simply adding
the other sharps in front of notes as needed. Even the lead-in to
the repeat at the first ending is like the previous second ending, leading to the same
0:56 [m. 19 (43)]--Part 2
repeated. Fourth and fifth lines in E major, as at 0:34.
1:04 [m. 27]--Two statements of
the sixth line in C-sharp minor, as at 0:41.
1:11 [m. 35]--Initial statement
of “gedenkt sie dein” in C-sharp (D-flat) major, as at 0:48. Only
the first statement is an identical repeat, as the second one is
changed somewhat in a second ending.
1:15 [m. 39, second ending]--The
ending with the repetition of “gedenkt sie dein” has an altered
accompaniment for the closing. The perpetual motion in the primo finally breaks, cutting off
the last beats of each bar, even adjusting pitches in the broken
octaves of the fourth bar under the vocal cadence. The secondo and the voice parts,
however, are not changed. This subtle “braking” of the motion
carries into a two-bar extension, which has a two-note final “sighing”
descent in the primo and a
low C-sharp major chord in the secondo.
Brahms retained the four sharp signature to visually match the
E major of the first waltz-song in the cycle.
1:33--END OF WALTZ-SONG [44 mm.]
END OF CYCLE
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