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lacht so grüßlich, lockt so küßlich,

daß mir’s bebt in des Herzens Grund.

Gleich der sonnigen Veilchenau


glänzt der Wonnigen Augen Blau.
Frisch und ründchen blüht ihr Mündchen
gleich der knospenden Ros’ im Tau.

Ihrer Wängelein lichtes Rot


hat kein Engelein, so mir Gott!
Eia! säß ich unablässig
bei der Preislichen bis zum Tod!

English Translation (Note: Brahms switched stanzas 2 and 3, as above. In the


translation,
the stanzas should be switched to match the music. The last stanza given in the
poem here is simply a repetition of the first, which Brahms did not indicate should
be performed.)

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 1. Each line begins with a downbeat rest, so the
voices
begin off the beat. The first two lines have the same contour up and down, but the
second is first two steps, then one step lower, the shift coming through artful
repeated
notes, along with a chromatic line in the second sopranos. Each line is three bars
long. The harmony is rich and full, and the second altos are unusually low. The
second line ends on a half-close. The piano mostly follows the voices, but not
with
the same exact voicing.
0:11 [m. 7]--The third line is stretched to four measures, reflecting the structure
of the poem, where the third line of each stanza has an internal rhyme. Brahms
stretches
out the rhyming syllables. There are two two-bar units, each beginning with a
downbeat
rest. The first of these is the high point of the verse. The second sopranos
continue
their beguiling half-step motion. The piano introduces its extremely subtle, but
effective variation from the voices as it plays a bottom note on the downbeat
before
the second two-bar unit, anticipating repeated notes in the second altos. The
phrase
hints at the related minor key, then ends on a colorful F-major chord, a half-step
above the keynote E. The fourth line is similar to the first two, its range and
contour being somewhat midway between them. It reaches a full cadence, now with
chromatic motion in the first altos. The second altos end on a deep, earthy low
E.
0:24 [m. 1]--Stanza (strophe) 2. Lines 1 and 2, with music and declamation as in
stanza 1.
0:33 [m. 7]--Lines 3 and 4, with music and declamation as in stanza 1.
0:46 [m. 14]--Stanza (strophe) 3. The vocal parts are unchanged, but Brahms now
includes a completely new piano part. The bottom lines in the left hand remain
similar,
but they do reach lower into the bass at the end of the second line. The right
hand
now has flowing figures that move twice as fast as the voices. At the end of each
of the first two lines, the right-hand harmonies follow the left hand after the
beat.

0:56 [m. 20]--The third line continues the pattern, with the flowing right-hand
lines
entering off the beat for each half of the phrase. As in the other stanzas, the
left hand enters alone on the downbeat before the second two-bar unit, but now it
leaps down an octave in the second bar. The fourth line follows the pattern of the
first two, but the left hand is now in the low bass, and it enters on the downbeat
before the voices, as in the second part of the third line. It did not do this in
the first two stanzas.
1:08 [m. 14]--Stanza (strophe) 4. Lines 1 and 2, with music, declamation, and
piano
part as in stanza 3.
1:17 [m. 20]--Lines 3 and 4, with music, declamation, and accompaniment as in
stanza
3.
1:31--END OF SONG [26 mm. (x2)]

2. Der Bräutigam (The Bridegroom). Text by Josef Karl Benedikt von Eichendorff.
Allegro. Combination of strophic and through-composed (or varied strophic) form
(AAA’B). E-FLAT MAJOR, 6/8 time.

German Text:
Von allen Bergen nieder
So fröhlich Grüßen schallt -
Das ist der Frühling wieder,
Der ruft zum grünen Wald!

Ein Liedchen ist erklungen


Herauf zum stillen Schloß -
Dein Liebster hat’s gesungen
Der hebt Dich auf sein Roß.

Wir reiten so geschwinde,


Von allen Menschen weit. -
Da rauscht die Luft so linde
In Waldeseinsamkeit.

Wohin? Im Mondenschimmer
So bleich der Wald schon steht. -
Leis rauscht die Nacht - frag’ nimmer,
Wo Lieb’ zu Ende geht!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1. With no introduction, the sopranos forcefully shoot upward
in an arpeggio of the E-flat chord while the altos begin to provide a solid
harmony.
The sopranos separate at “Bergen,” then continue upward to the end of the line.
The second line is the same, but without the last syllable and note. The piano
provides punctuating, largely doubling chords. The third line begins without the
first sopranos. The seconds oscillate around the keynote while the altos descend.
The first sopranos enter after one bar, also on the oscillating line up a step,
and the harmony emphasizes C minor as the line concludes. The lower three voices
must repeat “der Frühling.” The piano doubles everything except the oscillating
line.
0:14 [m. 8]--The last line is greatly extended. All voices sing “der ruft” in
harmony,
then the altos echo it on a half-step in octaves. The sopranos then sing the next
two syllables in harmony, echoed by the altos on the same half-step. This happens
a third time, the sopranos completing the line on a cadence, but echoed by the same
octave half-step. The entire line is then repeated, the sopranos beginning in long
notes with the altos following in faster motion, still emphasizing the same half-
step,
until they come together. The sound is rich and full. Finally, in a flowing
cadence
gesture, the sopranos repeat “zum grünen Wald” and the altos repeat the whole line
again. The piano adds to the sopranos’ harmony on the two-note gestures and
provides
a lower bass to the alto half-steps.
0:27 [m. 1]--Stanza 2. This is indicated with repeat signs, and the first three
lines are as in stanza 1, with the repeated text for the lower parts in the third
line being “dein Liebster.”
0:38 [m. 8]--The extended last line follows the pattern of stanza 1, beginning with
“der hebt.” The last partial repetition in the sopranos is “dich auf sein Roß.”

0:52 [m. 16]--Stanza 3. The first two lines are as in stanzas 1 and 3. Then, with
the third line, there is a dramatic change. The voices are suddenly hushed. The
second sopranos begin their oscillation, as before, but the altos below them
greatly
alter their harmony, moving toward A-flat major, to which the second sopranos must
conform. When the first sopranos enter, they are on the same pitches as the
seconds,
not a step higher. The words “so linde,” repeated in the lower voices, are
suddenly
stretched out, extending the phrase by a bar. In addition, the speed itself is
slowed,
and the song has apparently become more “serious.”
1:05 [m. 24]--The last line, instead of being given the elaborate extensions and
alternating syllables from the first two stanzas, is modestly set only once, as a
phrase moving the harmony back to a cadence in the home key. The second altos
retain
a memory of the pervasive half-step. This is followed by a pause of a full measure
before the final stanza’s dramatic entrance.
1:15 [m. 28]--Stanza 4. The sopranos abruptly call in a loud unison on the
question
“Wohin?” The piano does not play under them. It joins with the altos, who repeat
it in harmony, along with the second sopranos, as the first sopranos hold their
note.
They are suddenly quiet again. The line is then completed in a descending line
with harmony that moves to the minor key. The voices pause, then sing the second
line in more low, colorful harmonies that begin to suggest the “dominant” minor
key,
B-flat. They slow down. There is another full-measure pause.
1:31 [m. 37]--For the third line, the sopranos and altos alternate, both in
harmony,
in the style of a call and response. They each sing “Leis rauscht die Nacht”
twice.
The key seems to fluctuate between B-flat major and E-flat major. The voices are
still quiet, but are animated, as Brahms indicates. The piano plays bare octaves
and thirds under them. As the altos sing their second response, the sopranos
continue
with “frag’ nimmer,” completing the line. The altos then join them in a
repetition,
growing in volume. The key continues to oscillate between B-flat and E-flat, and
the piano only plays long chords.
1:41 [m. 43]--The last line continues the musical phrase, reaching its high point
in pitch and volume, then descending and slowing. It ends on the “dominant” chord,
finally creating the expectation of the home key, E-flat. The voices, remaining
strong but continuing to slow dramatically, repeat the last line. The sopranos
begin,
with the altos following closely after. The top three voices descend broadly,
stretching
out “Lieb’” as they quiet down. The second altos, however, bring back a
remembrance
of their pervasive half-step, adding a repetition of “wo Lieb’.” The line is
completed,
with chromatic notes in the sopranos on “zu.” The second altos continue their
obsessive
half-step on these last words, repeating it a total of seven times before finally
joining the three upper voices in the final cadence, moving there after they
complete
it. In this last repetition, the piano follows the voices and again adds a low
bass
to the half-step.
2:03--END OF SONG [48 mm.]

3. Barcarole . Text by Karl Witte after an Italian folk source. Allegretto


grazioso.
Simple strophic form with refrain. E MAJOR, 6/8 time. (The solo altos in the
recording
are unidentified.)

German Text:
O Fischer auf den Fluten, Fidelin!
Komm schnell zu fischen her!
Refrain:
Und auf seinem schmucken Kahne,
auf dem Kahne rudert er.
Fidelin linla.

“Was willst du, daß ich fische?” Fidelin!


Mein Ringlein fiel ins Meer.
(Refrain)

Dir lohnt die schönste Börse, Fidelin!


von hundert Talern schwer.
(Refrain)

“Nicht will ich deine Börse, Fidelin!


von hundert Talern schwer.”
(Refrain)

“Ein liebevolles Küßchen, Fidelin!


ein Kuß ist mein Begehr.”
(Refrain)

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1. Two solo altos begin a cappella. They sing the first line
in so-called “horn fifth” harmony, which, along with the 6/8 meter, lends the piece
a mild echo of a hunting song. The full choir joins on the refrain interjection,
“Fidelin!” along with the piano in a graceful punctuating descent. The a cappella
solo altos then take the second line in similar “horn fifth” harmonies, but with
a mild harmonic shift that points to A major for the beginning of the refrain.
0:12 [m. 6]--Refrain. The full choir joins with the piano for the refrain. The
peaceful rocking rhythm, beginning halfway through the preceding measure, dispels
the mild hunting echo. The four parts are in full harmony throughout the first
part
of the refrain. At the repetition of “auf dem Kahne” is again the mildly dissonant
turn, now suggesting F-sharp minor. The climax, full but still tender, comes on
“rudert er.” Those words are repeated by all voices, with the second sopranos and
first altos trailing as an echo, adding an additional repetition of “rudert.” The
completion of the phrase by these middle voices overlaps with the beginning of the
last phrase on “Fidelin linla.”
0:20 [m. 10]--The outer parts, first sopranos and second altos, gently sing
“Fidelin
linla.” They are echoed and overlapped by the middle parts. The outer voices
enter
again to punctuate the final “linla.” In this closing phrase, the piano is reduced
to supporting chords on the two statements of “linla.”
0:31 [m. 1]--Stanza 2. Alto solos with “Fidelin” interjection.
0:41 [m. 6]--Refrain. Text and music as at 0:12.
0:49 [m. 10]--Closing phrase on “Fidelin linla,” as at 0:20.
1:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 3. Alto solos with “Fidelin” interjection.
1:10 [m. 6]--Refrain. Text and music as at 0:12 and 0:41.
1:18 [m. 10]--Closing phrase on “Fidelin linla,” as at 0:20 and 0:49.
1:28 [m. 1]--Stanza 4. Alto solos with “Fidelin” interjection.
1:38 [m. 6]--Refrain. Text and music as at 0:12, 0:41, and 1:10.