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No.

1: Von waldbekränzter Höhe (in original key, G major)


No. 1: Von waldbekränzter Höhe (in low key, E-flat major)
No. 2: Wenn du nur zuweilen lächelst (in original key, E-flat major)
No. 2: Wenn du nur zuweilen lächelst (in low key, D-flat major)
No. 3: Es träumte mir (in original key, B major)
No. 3: Es träumte mir (in low key, A-flat major)
No. 4: Ach, wende diesen Blick (in original key, F minor)
No. 4: Ach, wende diesen Blick (in low key, D minor)
No. 5: In meiner Nächte sehnen (in original key, E minor)
No. 5: In meiner Nächte sehnen (in low key, C-sharp minor)
No. 6: Strahlt zuweilen auch ein mildes Licht (in original key, E major)
No. 6: Strahlt zuweilen auch ein mildes Licht (in low key, D major)
No. 7: Die Schnur, die Perl’ an Perle (in original key, B major)
No. 7: Die Schnur, die Perl’ an Perle (in low key, A-flat major)
No. 8: Unbewegte laue Luft (in original key, E major)
No. 8: Unbewegte laue Luft (in low key, C major)

BOOK I:
1. “Von waldbekränzter Höhe” (“From forest-crowned heights”). Text by Georg
Friedrich
Daumer. Lebhaft (Lively). Four part form (ABB’A’). G MAJOR, 4/4 time (Low key
E-flat major).

German Text:
Von waldbekränzter Höhe
Werf’ ich den heißen Blick
Der liebefeuchten Sehe
Zur Flur, die dich umgrünt, zurück.

Ich senk’ ihn auf die Quelle,


Vermöcht’ ich, ach, mit ihr
Zu fließen eine Welle,
Zurück, o Freund, zu dir, zu dir!

Ich richt’ ihn auf die Züge


Der Wolken über mir,
Ach, flög’ ich ihre Flüge,
Zurück, o Freund, zu dir, zu dir!

Wie wollt’ ich dich umstricken,


Mein Heil und meine Pein,
Mit Lippen und mit Blicken,
Mit Busen, Herz und Seele dein!

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--Stanza 1 (A). The exuberant, virtuosic piano part is an essential
element
of this song’s breathless character. The right hand sets up a perpetual motion in
two bars before the vocal entry; its top notes form a countermelody to the vocal
line when it enters. The left hand plays galloping syncopations. The vocal line
itself joyously arches upward and then settles back down. The end of the stanza
makes a strong tonal shift to the dominant key (D major). The last line is
repeated.

0:30 [m. 15]--An interlude sets up a new rhythmic motion, with upward-arching
broken
chords in triplet rhythm instead of the faster groups of four. D major. It also
anticipates the melody of the next stanza.
0:38 [m. 18]--Stanza 2 (B). Marked “Ruhiger” (“More tranquilly”). The vocal line
is somewhat more subdued for this verse. It begins by shifting to minor, then
again
making a strong key change to B-flat at the end of the first line. The rest of the
stanza remains in that key. The piano continues its triplet rhythm, the left hand
resuming its galloping syncopations for the last two lines. The top notes of the
right again play a countermelody, this time suggesting the melody of A. The last
line (“zurück, o Freund, zu dir, zu dir”) has a sense of yearning and is repeated.

1:10 [m. 33]--Interlude as at 0:30 [m. 15], now in B-flat major.


1:18 [m. 36]--Stanza 3 (B’). The music is very similar to that of stanza 2, but
the declamation of the lines is different, with the first two lines set to an
expanded
version of the first musical line of the earlier stanza. In this line, the key
very
subtly shifts down a half-step to B major, where the rest of the stanza will
remain.
Over the last two lines, Brahms marks “Allmählig lebhafter” (“Gradually more
lively”).
The statement of “zurück, o Freund, zu dir, zu dir” and its repetition are even
more yearning and excited than in stanza 2.
1:48 [m. 50]--The cadence of stanza 3 is unexpectedly over a B minor chord. The
following interlude is similar to the preceding two, but is more active and changes
key, as the others did not. It moves back to the home key of G. It also stops the
triplet rhythm and establishes the original exuberant accompaniment.
1:54 [m. 54]--Stanza 4 (A’). Marked “Sehr lebhaft” (“Very lively”). The first
four
musical lines are the same as in stanza 1, but are performed at a faster speed.
Also, the placement of the lines is different, with the second line repeated to the
music used for the third line of stanza 1, and the third line sung to the music
used
for the first statement of the fourth line in stanza 1.
2:08 [m. 62]--For the last line of stanza 4, Brahms alters the music from stanza
1, avoiding the motion to D major heard in the repetition of that stanza’s last
line.
Instead, the line ecstatically reaches to the song’s highest note. It is repeated
to a longer, broader musical line with joyful wide leaps. The piano briefly
concludes
the song after the final vocal descent on the word “Seele” (“soul”).
2:29--END OF SONG [68 mm.]

2. “Wenn du nur zuweilen lächelst” (“If you would only smile now and then”). Text
by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from the Persian by Hafis. Poco Andante. One-
verse
through-composed form. E-FLAT MAJOR, 9/8 time (Low key D-flat major).

German Text:
Wenn du nur zuweilen lächelst,
Nur zuweilen Kühle fächelst
Dieser ungemeßnen Glut -
In Geduld will ich mich fassen
Und dich alles treiben lassen,
Was der Liebe wehe tut.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--The 9/8 meter sets up a gentle flow in its three-beat groupings. The
voice and piano begin together with no introduction. They establish the lilting
motion in the first line of text, with warm chords and a solid, but comforting bass
line.
0:08 [m. 3]--The piano suddenly breaks into groups of two chords that clash against
the established three-beat grouping. The second line of text then begins, with the
vocal line coaxing the piano back to the flowing rhythm. The end of this line
brings
the first minor-key inflections of notes.
0:15 [m. 5]--The third line makes a much darker turn. It is repeated, moving to
a cadence in the key of G minor. The gently flowing 9/8 rhythm and rocking bass
line persist, but are more agitated.
0:26 [m. 8]--The piano plays a three-note gesture similar to the opening notes of
the song. The music moves back to the home major for the fourth line, which enters
tentatively after the piano gesture, stammering the words “in Geduld” (“with
patience”)
twice before completing the line.
0:37 [m. 12]--The fifth line enters as the three-note piano gesture continues to
be repeated, but this line and the succeeding sixth line become rapidly intensify,
introducing many chromatic notes and mixing major and minor. The climax comes on
the word “Liebe” (“love”), set to an inflected minor-key note and rich descending
chords.
0:55 [m. 18]--The sixth and final line is repeated, entering on the last beat of
a bar and tied over to the next one, intensifying the feelings of yearning
desperation.
The repetition is stretched out over longer notes, including a biting minor
inflection
on the first note of “wehe” (“pain” or “injury”). The vocal line ends in a very
tentative and almost resigned manner.
1:07 [m. 21]--The piano postlude begins as the last word is sung. It appears to
reprise the opening of the song, but it skips the second bar, moving to the
clashing
two-note groups of the third. These are then interrupted by a chord with the same
minor-key inflection just heard on the word “wehe,” tied over the bar line and
falling
into a “sigh” figure. The “sigh” is repeated without the inflection, but with
continued
chromatic notes in the bass. Finally, a third, lower sigh is in pure major and
gently
ends the song.
1:37--END OF SONG [25 mm.]

3. “Es träumte mir” (“I dreamed”). Text by Georg Friedrich Daumer, adapted from
a Spanish folk poem. Sehr langsam (Very slowly). One-verse through-composed form.
B MAJOR, 6/8 time (Low key A-flat major).

German Text:
Es träumte mir,
Ich sei dir teuer;
Doch zu erwachen
Bedurft’ ich kaum.
Denn schon [ach] im Traume
Bereits empfand ich,
Es sei ein Traum.

English Translation

0:00 [m. 1]--A three-bar introduction introduces the slow rising arpeggios that
will
dominate the left hand for most of the song. They accompany a series of
expressive,
dissonant chords with many non-key (chromatic) notes. For much of the song, the
low note of the bass arpeggios remains the same (F-sharp, the expectant “dominant”
note). The whole song has a sense of suspended time. No vocal phrase enters at
the beginning of a bar.
0:14 [m. 4]--The first two lines are set to a single, melodious phrase, lingering
on the word “teuer” (“dear”). This phrase is one of only two in the song where the
constant bass arpeggios break. They and the slow-moving chords temporarily give
way to more flowing chords that follow the vocal line.
0:28 [m. 8]--The arpeggios and expressive chords of the opening return immediately
for the next phrase, which sets the third and fourth lines. The expressive chords
follow and double the vocal line when it enters. This phrase makes an immediately
darker turn, moving to a minor key (C-sharp minor) and incorporating a dissonant
leap in the word “erwachen” (“to awake”).
0:48 [m. 12]--Unlike the previous two phrases, which each set two lines without a
pause between them, the next phrase, setting the fifth and sixth lines, adds some
space between the lines, which are set to a similar rising, questioning gesture.
These gestures intensify and reach the climax of the song. The last arpeggio
under
the sixth line finally moves away (down) from the constant F-sharp as the bottom
note. The key of B returns, mixing its major and minor versions. In line five,
Brahms replaced the original word “ach” (a simple interjection like “ah!”) with
“schon”
(“already”). The last line follows without a break:
1:01 [m. 16]--For the “extra” seventh line, which clinches the heartbreaking
message
of the poem, Brahms allocates as much music as he did for his phrases setting two
lines. This is done by setting the line twice to a very slowly descending phrase.
The first of these includes striking notes borrowed from the minor key (mode),
which
are also included in the now-constant arpeggios. The bottom notes of these are now
free, wandering about after losing their F-sharp “anchor.” The minor-mode notes
almost wail in despair. The arpeggios continue for two more bars, slowing,
softening,
and reaching a notated pause.
1:31 [m. 21]--The music of the introduction is repeated, but the first of the
arpeggios
is reduced from six notes to five to increase the sense of gradual motion from the
preceding pause. Also, the third and fifth of the expressive chords are now
quickly
rolled, which they were not before.
1:49 [m. 24]--The fifth and sixth lines are repeated, but now to the music
originally
used for the first two lines at 0:14 [m. 4]. As there, the arpeggios break in the
piano. The end of the phrase deviates from the original, though, reaching higher
and becoming more intense. The rocking chords continue darkly after the vocal line
ends. Brahms restores the original word “ach” to the fifth line to heighten the
sense of despair.
2:05 [m. 28]--The arpeggios again return in the bass, but are not anchored to F-
sharp.
The seventh line is set twice more (for a total of four times). As before, both
settings are to a slow descending phrase including minor-key borrowings. The
second
phrase is now even more despairing, incorporating more dissonant chromatic notes,
extended a bar, and actually ending in the minor, which the earlier second phrase
did not.
2:28 [m. 32]--The extended postlude enters with the last vocal note on “Traum”
(“dream”).
It continues the slow rising arpeggios, whose bottom notes now hold on the home
note of B, and more expressive, bitingly dissonant chords. Although the major mode
is re-established with the beginning of the postlude, the dissonances undermine it.
After four arpeggios, the bottom note moves to a low F-sharp, and the notes are
reduced to five, then four, and finally three (with B again in the bottom) under
the last chords, assisting the gradual slowing to motionlessness. This postlude
is the first definite arrival on the home key, and even then, the tension between
minor and major is not resolved until the very end.
3:22--END OF SONG [38 mm.]

4. “Ach, wende diesen Blick” (“Ah, turn away this gaze”). Text by Georg Friedrich
Daumer. Ziemlich langsam (Rather slowly). Ternary form (ABA). F MINOR, 3/4 time
(Low key D minor).

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