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  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895


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  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895



    BRAHMS OP. 105/1



  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895



    Vie Melodien zieht es mirKlaus.GrothAlrt

    Singstimme A -& . " 1 1 "-- -.Wie Me.lo . di - en zieht es mir lei - bedurch den

    Pianoforte p,..rede'I

    . II.I .


    . -in. wie Fruh ing blu menbluht es und schwebt wieDuft da

    n, und schwebtwieDuft da -hin.


  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895



    "- IA"II h *I , -Doch kommtdas Wort. und- fa6t es und fiihTt es~ vor das

    Aug, wie Ne - bel-grau er - blat es nd schwin. det wie ein

    -moo-HAugh, uand schwin - det wie ein Hauch.

    Und den.noch ruhtd im-

  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895



    Rei . . me ver . bor . en wohl ein Duft, den mild aus stil . lem

    Kei . .me cin feuch tes Au . ruft, den

    mild atus mti- lem Ki. mte eti feuch tt', ein feuch . te--

    Au ruft._ . _. . - - O. ..7-- . . . . -- -.--7- -_t~~cTi 93.?f?-3It ~ 0-77':?P--- P TVIP

  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895



    BRAHMS OP. 105/1


    Brahms's "Wie Melodien zieht es" has aroused much less in-terest than one might expect of so fine a product of the com-poser's maturity. Perhaps it is because, as Frau Elisabetvon Herzogenberg acutely observed in a letter to the composer,the poem is unusually abstract. *1 Whereas most of Brahms'stexts are in the more concrete, narrative and descriptive veinof the Romantic lyric, "Wie Melodien" deals with the aestheticof the lyric in an almost symbolist manner. If the tune did notreappear in the first movement of the A major Violin Sonata,Op. 100, it would have been noticed even less. In the fourthvolume of his redoubtable biography, Max Kalbeck discussesthe relationship between the song and the sonata at some length,and then treats Brahms's attitude to the connection betweenmusic and poetry. *2 He returns to "Wie Melodien", when de-scribing the late song collections Opp. 105, 106, and 107, to

  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895


    7draw an interesting parallel between it and "Meine Lieder" (Op.106/4), another song on the nature of the lyric. *3After Kalbeck, the song receives little comment as studies ofthe Brahms lieder seem to focus on dimensions and issues thatleave "Wie Melodien" out of account. Walther Hammermann'smetric and harmonic analysis in the Riemann manner (1912)passes over it very lightly, and Max FriedlLnder's handbook(1922) does little more than quote Frau Liesel's response andnote the connection with the violin sonata. *4 Rudolf Gerber'sstudy of the form of Brahms's songs (1932) fails even to citeOp. 105 /1 as an example. *5 The author is intent on demon-strating that the gross form of the songs is controlled by theexplicit content of the text and accordingly concentrates onsongs whose poems have broad and obvious contrasts of im-agery, thought, or mood that can be clearly compared to themusical setting. Klaus Groth's poem is bypassed probably be-cause the development of its thought is subtle, the imagery isof essences, and the mood is introspective. Had Gerber cited"Wie Melodien", he would have classed it as a variation typeof strophic song along with "Mit vierzig Jahren" (Op. 94/1), asong with a similar structure. In Op. 94/1 Gerber sees themusical variations of each strophe corresponding to the changingthought and imagery of the poem, and, on the basis of suchsongs, concludes that in Brahms's songs the tonal structuresare dominated by the thought and feeling of the poem. Never-theless, in some purely strophic songs, Gerber is unable todiscover any connection between the structure of the music andthe meaning of the text.Konrad Giebeler's more recent dissertation (1959) is the firstto study seriously the declamation patterns of the songs, buthe too tests the word-tone relation by searching for "purelymusical" responses to the content of the text. Regarding Op.105/1 he observes that the form of the song (including the dec-lamation) is strongly determined by the musical structure andcontains no particular references to the text. *6Students of song are likely to fall into two large categories de-pending on their fundamental notion of the nature of song. Onthe one hand are the separatists who say that song is a com-pound of language and absolute music and that the history ofvocal music is a contest for supremacy between the two mediain which an equilibrium is seldom attained. When the separa-tist describes a song, he compares the verbal and purely tonalcomponents in an effort to discover the properties of the "music-language relation". He notes whether the composer embodies

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    the prosody, verse structure, literary imagery, and affectivecontent in the musical setting, and then concludes whether ornot he has achieved a "good" relation. Separatists appear toassume that "good" music-language relation is a universalideal unrestricted by local differences in the form and functionof song. On the other hand are the assimilationists who seesong essentially as absolute music in which the words are forthe most part transformed into purely musical elements. Thedescription of a song from this vantage point is in some waysunproblematic. The composition is treated as though it werevirtually an instrumental piece throughout, and the text playsa very small, even negligible, part in the description.I hope to avoid the pitfalls of both the separatist and assimila-tionist approaches in the following discussion of 'Wie Melodien".I wish, instead, to construe the song as an instance of a me-dium which is quite distinct from absolute music on the onehand and from speech on the other. I would prefer to expressthe imagery of the song in terms of features of the whole signalrather than in terms either of relations between the verbal andtonal components of the signal, or of the purely tonal dimensionalone. I shall therefore attempt to constitute the song as astructure of what Walter Wiora refers to as "Ganzheitseigen-schaften", features of song that are lost when the words andtones are examined separately. *7My first step will be to offer a reading of the poem, not to dis-avow the principles stated above, but to simplify the descrip-tion of a complex phenomenon. I do not set up the text as agiven, against which to judge the composer's tonal setting, butas a poem which we shall observe Brahms singing. Describingthe poem simplifies the task of description, but it also identi-fies those poetic values and structures which play importantroles in the song. In effect, this reading of the poem is guidedby the hindsight gained from knowing Brahms's setting.

    The PoemKlaus Groth (1819-1899), fromHundert Blatter (1854), "Klcnge":

    1 WieMelodien iehtes Likemelodies t stealsmir eisedurchdenSinn, gentlythroughmy mind,wie Friihlingsblumenliihtes likespringlowers t bloomsundschwebtwie Duftdahin. and drifts hither ikefragrance.

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    95 DochkommtdasWortund fasstes But if the word comesandgraspstundfiihrtes vor dasAug, andbrings t beforemy eye,wieNebelgraurblasst s it fades like agraymistund schwindetwie ein Hauch. andvanishes ike a breath.

    Unddennochruht im Reime Andyet, thereresides n verse10 verborgenwohl einDuft, an essencewellhidden,den mild aus stillemKeime whichsoftly from the still coreeinfeuchtesAugeruft. calls orth a moistened ye.If Groth'S poem seemed abstract to Frau Liesel in 1886, itmust have seemed even less concrete in 1854 on first printing.At a time when authors sought to arouse thought and feeling byassaulting the reader with explicit narration and depiction,Groth stimulates responses through the allusive power of a setof symbols. For example, although the poem is about sound,one of the principal symbols is the eye. In the second stanzathe eye stands for the reason which reads the word but is un-moved by emotion, and in the third stanza the eye, moistened bya tear, represents the feelings aroused by the lyric. Through-out the poem, effects are obtained by a series of metaphorsdressed up as similes that mark the poem as an early essay inthe symbolist manner.The poem treats the aesthetics of the lyric by comparing theability of the various sonic media - absolute music, speech,and lyric poetry - to arouse feeling. Of the three, pure tone(Melodien) arouses mood but fleetingly; it fades like springflowers and the clouds of their fragrance. The spoken word(Wort) tries to grasp emotion and even to display it to the eyein script, but mood eludes speech too, fades like a mist, anddisappears like a breath of air. Of the three, it is only thelyric (Reime) that fully arouses emotion. Hidden within thelyric's blend of tone and word lies the power to bring tears tothe eye. The strongest appeal to emotion is made by a com-bination of the explicit meanings of language with the evocativepower of absolute music.Joined to the strong and logical progression of the poem's ar-gument is a marvelously wrought structure of language soundsthemselves. Groth was not only one of Germany's foremostphilologists, linguists, and folklorists, he was also an accom-plished amateur musician. That "Wie Melodien" appears amonga group of poems entitled "Kltnge" suggests that he was sensi-tive to the phonological structure of his poetry.The first couplet contrasts the front, spread vowels of "Wie,Melodien, zieht, mir, Sinn" with the back, rounded, high vow-

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    els of the second couplet: "Frithlingsblumen, bltlht, Duft".But the two couplets are united by the soft 1's, v's, m's, andd's which help evoke the evanescent play of melodies and thehovering scent of spring blossoms. The hard, rough conso-nants k, g, f, s, and [)I contrast the next stanza strongly withthe first. They suggest the rough treatment speech alone (andespecially the written word) accords emotion, and the back,open vowels of "doch, kommt, Wort, Aug, Grau, Hauch" con-vey the emptiness of absent feeling. The [fv] of "schwindet"blows the mood away in a fricative rush, and recalls the con-trasting "schwebt", which stands at a parallel point in the pre -vious stanza. The i-vowels of "schwindet, wie" similarly re-call the principal vowels of the first two lines of the poem.Comparing the three stanzas, we note that the principal wordof each first line (Melodien, Wort, Reime) shifts toward theend of the line as the poem progresses:

    Wie Melodien. . .Doch kommt das Wort. . .Und dennoch ruht im Reime. . .

    "Melodien" begins on the first stress, "Wort" on the second,and "Reime" on the third. By positioning "Reime" at the endof the line after progressing through "Melodien" and "Wort",the poet throws it into strong rhythmic relief which is rein-forced by the sound of rhyme itself. "Melodien" lacks words,"Wort" lacks music, but "Reime" has both, and one manifesta-tion of the music of poetry is the verbal consonance of rhyme.Thought and sound conjoin: of the three media, only "Reime"wins a rhyme, and it does so with "Keime", a word that addsa new and deeper level of meaning. Together "Reime" and"Keime" form the crux of the poem: the lyric calls forth fromthe central bud of being the expressive form that moves thefeelings.The final stanza is a beautifully wrought summary of sound andmeaning. The sonorous r's of "ruht, ,Reime, verborgen, ruft"color it with a new and resonant consonant, but the l's, m's,f's and i-vowels, together with the words "Duft" and "Auge",link the sound and sense of the first two stanzas closely to thethird. The last line is particularly important. The first prin-cipal stress falls on "feuchtes", a word that recalls "schwebt"and "schwindet" in both sound and position, but replaces theirstrident fricative [fv] with a set of softer fricatives (f, [XI],and s) connected by a diphthong [-eW]and final vowel [e]."Feuchtes", with its firm but gentle, sustained and soft sounds,

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    projects effectively the climactic image of a welling tear andhumid eye. The quality of calm and fulfillment is maintainedin the long vowels of "Auge" and "ruft", the last two words ofthe line. Both words are tied to earlier images: "Auge" re-calls the "Aug" of line 6 with the essential difference that theeye of line 6 is by implication dry in contrast to the moist eyeof line 12. "Ruft" in turn picks up its rhyme "Duft" togetherwith the "Duft" of line 4 and brings into play the important im-age of inchoate essence. "Ruft" also climaxes the chain ofpredicates that forms the poem's spine: "ziehen, fassen, ftth-ren, rufen". The last three words tie up the motifs of the wholepoem in a neat, expressive knot. They summarize the soundsand sense of an utterance that reflects on the aesthetic form ofthe lyric in the lyric medium itself. Perhaps, as we turn toBrahms's song on his friend's poem, we shall uncover an essayon the aesthetics of song.Stanza 1The stanza of "Wie Melodien" is a common species of the arche-typal quatrain that consists of four lines each of four stressesand eight syllables. If the falling (or masculine) cadence dom-inates, the couplet is ideally:

    where is a syllable with a primary stress, and is a syllablewith a secondary stress. But if the rising (or feminine) cadenceis in control, the couplet is ideally:

    The species of quatrain found in "Wie Melodien" has a coupletof thirteen syllables made up of a feminine sevener followed bya masculine sixer and is thus a variant of the masculine coup-let above:S- Wie Melodien zieht es

    / \- - [ -_ mir leise durch den Sinnwhere [ ] enclose time units not articulated by syllables, i.e.,syllable rests; ~?. indicates an unstressed syllable assimilatedto a previous stressed syllable; and I indicates a syllable witha secondary stress which, because it is preceded by a syllablewith a primary stress, now functions as an unstressed syllable.

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    By assimilating the seventh syllable of the first line to thesixth, the fourth stress is joined to the third and is by contrastweakened to create a feminine cadence. The line now has threestresses instead of four and a feminine cadence in place of amasculine. The second line is truncated by removing thefourth foot altogether, which produces another three-stressline, but with a masculine cadence. Thus, the two lines of thecouplet are well contrasted in syllable count, cadence type,and rhyme, and group together closely to form a 13-syllablelong line with a strong final caesura and a weaker medianpause.Poets of the day found this stanza useful for many purposes.Groth's own poems in this meter range from simple folklikelyrics to his elegies on the death of Robert Schumann and thesinger Hermine Spies, and a poem to Hermine Spies on hersinging of Brahms's Alto Rhapsody. More germane to this studyis the fact that Brahms set a number of other poems in thismeter that range from a Scottish folksong translated and editedby Herder ("Murrays Ermordung", Op. 14/3) and a Slovakfolksong published by Wenzig (Op. 69/2) to various poems byUhland, Platen (Op. 32/6), Daumer (Op. 57/1), Candidus (Op.72/1), Lemcke (Opp. 85/6 and 107/2), and another by Groth(Op. 63/7).A comparison of the settings Brahms composed for these poemsshows that he adheres closely to the archetypal stanza periodof eight or sixteen measures, whatever the meter. Each coup-let in the duple and quadruple meters has four measures (seeFigure la-1j), and each couplet in the triple meters has eight(Figure 1k, 11). Furthermore, the declamation patterns aresimilar in many details. There is always an upbeat to the firstmeasure which contains four syllables of equal length (Figurela, b, d, e), or two pairs of syllables where the first syllableof the pair may be two (Figure ii), three (Figure Id), and evenfive (Figure 1j) times as long as the second. In simple dupleand quadruple meters dotted figures tend to reinforce the firstprimary stress of the line (Figures lb, c, f, g, h). A constantfeature of the archetypal declamation pattern of this stanza isthat the sixth syllable of the first line always falls on the down-beat of the second measure, while the seventh usually falls onthe third beat following. For special effects Brahms placesthe final syllable on the second beat as inOp. 32/6 ("Du sprichstdass ich mich ttuschte"), where the short sixth syllable under-lines the mood of impatience and despair (Figure 1h).The declamation pattern of "Wie Melodien" stands apart from

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    all the other settings Brahms made of this verse type. Insteadof a one-syllable upbeat it has a three-syllable anacrusis, andinstead of taking up four beats, the first five syllables take upseven beats. The result is that the first couplet receives afive- rather than a four-measure phrase (Figure lm). Thedifferences may appear slight at first hearing, but in a songaesthetic that hews so closely to the Volkston, any distortionof archetypal symmetries has a marked impact.The three-syllable/beat anacrusis is very rare in Brahms'slieder; when it does occur, it is usually associated with thedeclamation of a ten- or eleven-syllable line (see Figure 2a,b, c). In Figure 2a and 2b, the first principal stress occurson the fourth syllable just before the cesura. The verse ofOp. 105/4 is similar in length, but the cesura falls after thesixth instead of after the fourth syllable (Figure 2c). An upbeatfigure of three eighths may also be found for eight-syllableverse in a triple meter, as in Op. 47/3 (Figure 2d), but for aseven-syllable line in duple meter, a three beat anacrusis ismost exceptional, as is the succeeding measure in which twosyllables are spread over four beats. The normal declamationrate for this verse type is four syllables per measure, thus arate of two syllables per measure reduces the rate by one-half.But after the first verse, the declamation of "Wie Melodien" isperfectly conventional. There is a typical dotted pattern forline 2, which is reiterated for lines 3 and 4. It is the first linethat sets the declamation of "Wie Melodien" apart from all othersongs with a four-stress, four-line stanza. By stretching thefirst line over three measures, Brahms has created an excep-tional song image that has important consequences as the songproceeds.What is the meaning of this interesting departure from thenorm? Some might hear it as a tonal image perfectly suitedto the poetic image of "ziehen". The lengthening of the fourthand fifth syllables and the consequent displacement and neu-tralization of the primary stresses might seem to create animage of attenuation, floating, relaxation, and ease. But thenthe classic problem of the strophic setting arises: the samephrase must also serve for lines 5 and 9 in conjunction withthe actions of "fassen" and "ruhen", respectively. Whereasan image for "ziehen" might do for "ruhen", in these terms,it certainly could not be expected to illustrate "fassen", andseparatists such as Giebeler would say that the strophic designseverely weakens the word-tone relation of the song. But toargue that the word-tone relation must exist on certain speci-fied levels of the semantic/ structural hierarchy of the song

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    I "~. 1- Ate-e-, -1)I e-g

    S- - --- -- -

    . . 2I2) L -) I) ,0-0-0 -o


    4- 6, 6r

  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895


    a. Vld 16 Wach auf mein Herzenssch6nezart Allerliebste mein.Op. 57/1 Im Finstern geh' ich suchen after the Italian "Blinde Kuh"

    mein Kind, wo stechst du wohl?b. Op. 69/2 O Felsen, lieber Felsen, from the Slovakwas stiirztest du nicht einc. Op. 63/7 Wie traulich war das Fleckchen, Groth, "Heimweh"wo meine Wiegegingd. Op. 14/3 O Hochland und o Su'dland! from Herder's Stimmen der VWlkerWas ist auf euch gescheh'n! Scottish, Murray's Ermordung"e. Op. 107/2 Es sass ein Salamander Carl Lemcke (1861)auf einem kiihlem Steinf. Op. 84/1 Geh' schlafen, T6chter, schlafen. Hans Schmidt (1854-1923),Schon fillt der Thau auf's Gras "Sommerabend"g. Op. 85/6 Ich sass zu deinen Fiissen Carl Lemcke, "In Waldeseinsamkeit"in Waldeseinsamkeith. Op. 32/6 Du sprichst, dass ich mich taiuschte August von Platen (1796-1835)beschworst es hoch und hehri. Vld 17 Ach Gott, wie weh tut Scheiden,hat mir mein Herz verwund'tj. Op. 72/1 Es kehrt die dunkle Schwalbe Carl Candidus (1817-72)aus fernem Land zuriickk. Mondnacht Es war, als hdittder Himmel Joseph Eichendorff (1788-1857),die Erde still gekiisst "Mondnacht'1. Op. 19/2 So soll ich dich nun meiden, Johann Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862),du meines Lebens Lust' "Scheiden und Meiden"m. Op. 105/1 Wie Melodien zieht es Klaus Grothmir leise durch den Sinn

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    a. Op. 46/4 C J J I IJ Jb. Op. 597C J J J IJc. Op. 105 /4 3d.Op. 7/3

    a. Geuss' nicht so laut/ der liebentflammten Lieder (4+7)b. Mein wundes Herz/ verlangt nach milde Ruh (4+6)c. Der Tag ging regenschwer/ und sturmbewegt (6+4)ci. So hab' ich doch die ganze Woche (4+5)

  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895



    may be appropriate to certain idioms of song but not to others.Brahms prided himself on his ability to create strophic melo-dies that transcended immediate text images, and he scornedthe through-composed declamatory setting that meandered cas -ually from one image to the next without a larger sense of co-herence. In light of the composer's evident preference forstrophic settings (four-fifths of his lieder are strophic), weshould interpret the opening song image as constitutive of thesong as a whole rather than as illustrative of a particular lineor stanza of text. Indeed, the last line/phrase of the stanzaclearly compensates for the abnormal declamation of the open-ing phrase, and the setting of the third stanza will be seen tobe a composing out of the tonal premises of the first line.The reiteration of the fourth line of a quatrain is common inBrahms's art songs, but not in his folk songs. The "artistic"distortion of the archetypal quatrain lengthens the normal periodby two measures to give a total of ten measures for the stanza/period (see, for example, other settings of the same stanzatype: Opp. 14/3, 32/6, 72/1, and 107/2). In "Wie Melodien"Brahms departs even from the art song norm by inserting anextra measure between line 4 and its reiteration (mm. 9-10).The extra measure has two important functions: it balancesthe extra measure in line 1 by evening up the stanzaic periodto a total of twelve measures, and it makes room for an im-portant figure in the piano - the descending parallel thirds insyncopated half notes in the RH countered by a chromaticallyrising "tenor" line in the LH - which plays a leading role inthe process of strophic variation.Turning to the tonal scheme, we should note that the one-measure extensions (mm. 2 and 10) are harmonically redundantand contribute to the sense of slow, leisurely movement.Measure 2 prolongs the opening tonic triad with a 16, and thefourth beat of m. 10 could fall on the fourth beat of m. 9 withoutloss of continuity. In general, the harmonic background of"Wie Melodien" presents anunusual structure on another level.The most striking feature of the first couplet is its basic pro-gression of a plagal cadence (see Figure 3f). Avoidance ofdominant function in the first couplet renders the move to V inthe fourth verse all the more decisive, and the reiteration ofverse 4 firmly tonicizes V. The first stanza of some othersongs with a similar stanza type are diagrammed in Figure 3for comparison. Notice their avoidance of IV in the first coup-let and their consistent return to tonic at the end of the secondcouplet. The exploitation of subdominant function in the firstcouplet sets "Wie Melodien" apart from the usual quatrain

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    18period and presages some extraordinary events in the laterstanzas.A strong turn to the dominant at the close of the,first stanzanormally prepares a contrasting second stanza in a non-tonicregion and results in something like an ABA design (see, forexample, "In Waldeseinsamkeit", Op. 85/6 and "Aug dem See",Op. 106/2). The first stanza of a strophic or varied strophicsetting, by contrast, usually closes in the tonic. All the songsdiagrammed in Figure 3a-3e close the first stanza in tonicfunction and all are strophic or varied strophic in design. Al-though "Mondnacht" closes with a contrasting stanza in the de-sign AAB, the second stanza does duplicate the first.The move to V at the close of the first stanza of "Wie Melodien"leads the listener to expect something other than a strophicdesign, and although the design is in fact basically strophic itis of a quite unusual kind. The first couplet of each of the threestanzas is reiterated almost identically, while the second coup-let of the second and third stanzas departs increasingly furtherfrom that of stanza 1. This is manifest in the tonal realm by amove to IV then vi at the close of stanza 2 and then to the bVIin the second couplet of stanza 3 (see Figure 4). The wideranging tonal scheme is kept firmly in check by the return tothe tonic for each first couplet, but the decisive departuresfrom tonic function in the second half of each stanza providesthe basis for some magnificent imagery that could not havebeen achieved by the normal varied strophic design in whicheach stanza closes on the tonic. For other solutions to thisproblem, we can examine "Mit vierzig Jahren" (Op. 94/1),where both the first and the second couplet begin identically inall three quatrains. Occasionally, as in Op. 32/6, Brahmsemploys a tail- rather than a head-motif so that the secondcouplet remains the same while the first is varied. The variedstrophic setting, which is so characteristic of Brahms's lieder,admits a substantial element of through-composition, but neverso much as to obscure the beloved Volkston of the archetypalstanzaic period.The interaction of line and chord in the first stanza of "WieMelodien" also merits analysis as the textural patterns func-tion strongly in the song imagery. In Brahms's earlier songsthe distinction between the successive and the simultaneoustextural moments is firmly and consistently maintained. Thevoice is given primary responsibility for line while the pianoaccompaniment provides the chords. When the piano doublesthe vocal line, the distinction between line and chord is main-

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    a. Op. 19/2 i - - - I v I -v - III v III V i

    b.Op. 7/3 i - I - i V -Vi i vn In v i - V - i -c. Op. 107/2 i - III - V - i -

    VII - $vii - i V/v v - i6 V i -

    d. Op. 32/6 i - V6 (chromatic down to) V -i I IvV - - ii - I i -

    6 6e. Mondnacht 16 V I - 14 - V

    I V I - VI (chromatic down to) II V I -

    f. Op. 105/1 I - I IV - II - I -ii6 6 7- - i6 V I

    Vverse 1 verse 2verse 3 verse 4 verse 4 reiterated

  • 7/28/2019 Brahms Wie Melodien 842895







    L II

    cl -ffiL I

    ILOL r'


    * I 10

    7--,ma n(

    j 0


    t4 t4 D~r

    Fo j(0 I .0 II I g O

    8ck ,,

    I,' LL _L Io'1 I1 J* In

    I I- _ _ I

    I 0 - -- - -

    oU Oo~ I I rpr* I.



    N~ N NUd Ud U

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    tained, and doubling functions on a broad scale for major ar-ticulations. But in the later songs Brahms's textures becomemore mobile: line and chord interchange, merge, and dissolvein subtle shadings and colorings. In place of hard-edged me-lodic outlines filled out with broad areas of block chords, wehear lines made of chords, chords generated from lines, anda rich variety of doubling relationships that range from thestrongest possible linear emphasis to the most faintly shadedstrokes.The first couplet of the song is an extraordinary structure oftextures. The vocal line extends from beginning to end in oneunbroken arch that rises quickly to its crest and falls graduallyto its starting point. Comparison with Brahms's other liedershows that couplets of this kind usually have a break betweenthe verses and that each verse has a distinct arch contour ofits own (see Op. 107/2). A single, uninterrupted five-measurecontour is unique and reinforces the image of length, flow,continuity, and easeful repose.The motif itself is highly distinctive. A rising motion leadsfrom the anacrusis c#1/US (unstressed syllable) to the dis-placed downbeat el/PS (syllable with primary stress), andcontinues through two conjunct fourths (el-al-d2) to an apog-giatura to c#2/SS (syllable with secondary stress) which fallsto al for the following US. In Figure 5a, where we analyze thelinear and chordal components of the first couplet, the motifel-al-d2-c#2-a1 is labelled 'a', and as we look further wediscern the same motif projected on other levels of the phrase.In the RH of the piano part the motif is extended over the firstcouplet, and in the LH the bass line presents the successiona-d-c# -a in, retrograde. The three levels are presented moreclearly in Figure 5b. Reduced to basic intervals, we see thatthe rising fourth a-d is an essential constituent of the vocalline of the first verse, it defines the bass line move from thefirst to the second verse, and, on a still broader scale, it de-fines the bass line move from the first to the second couplet(see 'x' in Figure 5b). The replication of motif 'a' and of theinterval 'x' on three levels of the opening stanza period pro-duces an extraordinary economy of material on several levelsin the local and temporal fields. The effect is an image of afundamental shape from which many levels of the song arise.To confirm the validity of the image, we might add that theoverall shape of the third stanza similarly replicates at anotherlevel of magnitude the shape of the first couplet.Returning to Figure 5a, we note that the A triad is arpeggiated

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    in falling eighth notes in the piano part and in rising quartersin the voice. This reflects in small the background structureof the piece as a whole, which is a falling arpeggiation of theA triad from the fifth degree to the first.Brahms's technique of doubling the vocal line in the piano israised to a new level of functional importance in this song. Inthe first couplet the piano doubles the vocal line of the secondverse very lightly and subtly (see Figure 5a, motif 'd'). Noneof the piano pitches doubling the vocal pitches (f~ -a-f?-f-e) areattacked in sync with them, nor do the piano pitches appearconsistently in the same figuration (f# -a-f are played in theRH dyads, while the following f -e is played in the LH). Inverse 3 there is no doubling and the texture is lightened byrests and the reduction of the piano part to a series of dyadsarpeggiated with open octaves and with a very static successionof interval steps (mm.6-7). By contrast, verse 4 introducesheavy doubling by parallel thirds in the RH, where it is impor-tant to note that the higher tone of the thirds is in unison withthe vocal line. Reversing the arrangement by doubling thevocal line with the lower tone of the parallel thirds creates astriking image in the third stanza.The vocal line of verses 3 and 4 has a rich interval collection -falling fourths (perfect and diminished), a falling third, and arising fifth - which in a lively but gentle fashion guides the linedown from b2 (m. 6) to a2 (m. 7) to g#2 (m. 9) in two falling mo -tions. Then comes the extra measure of interlude between thefourth verse and its reiteration: a series of three thirds fallingstepwise in syncopated half notes. Although we have just hearda series of stepwise falling thirds in the previous measure,this is a new image. The thirds are not doubling the voice,their attacks are syncopated against the alla breve beat, andthe LH figure is also new: rising and falling arpeggiation ofV7 with a chromatically rising tenor line (b-b# -c# -d) that cre -ates a fine equilibrium with the falling thirds. The reiterationof verse 4 (mm. 10-12) with the parallel thirds doubling thevoice as before confirms the difference between that phraseand the interlude motif, and closes the stanza period with acadence on e. Two measures of dominant function arpeggiatedin the manner of motif 'c' lead to the second stanza.The first stanza period is loaded with a rich store of imagery.The irregular phraseology, the motivic interlocking of struc-tural levels, the extraordinary attention to texture, the unusualdwelling on subdominant function, and the new accompanimentmotif before the reiteration of verse 4 create a richly modeled

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    br- couplet - coopl 2


    p i a n o

    =X I

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    yet highly integrated song stanza. But the powerful thrust ofthe poem's argument demands more than a purely strophic set-ting, and Brahms answers the challenge by creating a firststanza that gives ample opportunity for elaboration.Stanza 2The new stanza sets forth the music for the first couplet of thefirst stanza with only very slight changes. The verbal empha-sis in the first line falls on "Wort" on the downbeat of m. 15,whereas in the first stanza "Melodien" begins on the beat be-fore "Wort", and in stanza 3 "Reime" falls on the cadence ofthe line (m. 30). The effect of this shift of the principal wordis that "Melodien" is stressed least, "Wort" is stressed more,while "Reime" is given the greatest stress of all. In m. 17 thedyads in the RH are shifted ahead onto the beat, leaving thevoice with unaccompanied eighths on the second half of beats2 and 4. This produces a rather bumpy effect that is carriedinto m. 18 with the piano dyads on the beat and the bass notesoff. The effect of roughness, which is poetically conveyed bythe density of hard, short phonemes in lines 5 and 6 and by theverbs "kommt, fasst, ftthrt" is further reinforced by the g# -g? cross relation between the tenor dyad and the voice in m. 17.Variation is intensified in lines 7 and 8, where the vocal lineis much reduced in melodic activity. The vocabulary of pitchesand intervals is restricted to exclude fifths; fourths occur onlybetween the phrases; and there are only two thirds, one minorand one diminished. Variety is reduced still further by se-quencing the vocal line of verse 7 a third lower for the finalverse of the stanza. Conjoined to poetic images of fading("erblassen") and gray mist ("Nebelgrau"), the minimizing ofmusical events in this passage produces a song image of bleak-ness and emptiness. For verse 8 the parallel thirds of verse 4are abandoned and replaced by the open octave dyads of m. 19with a diminuendo. The image of emptiness is underlined bythe open fourths and fifths between the voice and the piano LHon the fourth and last eighths of mm. 19 and 21. (In the firstand third stanzas the intervals at these points are thirds andseconds. See mm. 6 and 33.)The interlude before the reiteration of verse 8 is similar tothat of stanza 1, which serves to heighten the absence of theparallel thirds in the RH of m. 21 and their only partial reap-pearance in m.24. For the second presentation of verse 8,the series of parallel thirds is broken down into pseudo-sus-pension figures preceded by eighth rests that indirectly double

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    the vocal line in thirds over a static bass line that proves tobe the dominant of vi and cadences on f#. After so much sub-dominant function in the first couplet of each stanza, why doesBrahms close the second couplet of the second stanza on IVand then move to vi for the reiteration? A variety of factorshelp to answer the question: the melodic sequence in mm. 18-22 is supported by a harmonic sequence, b-A7-D to D-C$7-f#;vi prepares the way for important tonal events involving sub-mediant function in stanza 3; the subdominant and submedianthave not appeared as cadential points before, and their coloris appropriate to the second stanza. The submediant cadenceis the first close on a minor function and has a desolate effect.Figure 3 shows that by moving from IV to vi the second stanzastands in a neighbor relation to stanza 1 with its emphasis ondominant function.The harmonic rhythm, which has picked up some momentumat the cadence on vi, relaxes again in the interlude in prepara-tion for the third stanza. The ff root of vi is inflected to f inm. 26, and the c# moves to d to produce the minor subdominantfunction which is arpeggiated over two measures. Lengtheningthe interlude by one measure allows more time between thesecond and third stanzas to introduce another element of vari-ation and to anticipate the figure that recurs in the postlude toclose off the whole song.The move from vi to iv involves an inflection of fI to f , whichwe have heard before and will hear again in still other roles.It occurs in each appearance of the first couplet, where it fig-ures in a progression passing from IV back to I (see Figure6a). The second context is at the beginning of the second coup-let of stanza 2, where f#-f -e occurs in a similar progressionbut at the beginning rather than at the end of a phrase (Figure6b). The interlude between stanzas 2 and 3 is also controlledby the same movement, but this time it is articulated morefully and emphatically by the progression vi-iv-I and stret6hedover four measures rather than two or three (Figure 6c). Theprogression recurs in the third stanza in yet another fashion,and we might regard the tonal task of the final stanza as therecovery of the f#.Stanza 3The first three lines of stanza 3 repeat the tonal setting of thefirst three lines of the first stanza without any of the modifica-tions of stanza 2. We have already noted the important shiftof word stress in verse 9 produced by the principal word

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    "Reime" falling on the last primary stress of the line and thuson the downbeat of the cadential measure. The absence ofchange in the first three lines of the stanza is deceptive, forthe succeeding passage to the end of the song is packed with adensity of development that throws new perspectives on all thematerial heard before and gives the song as a whole an unex-pected depth and breadth of imagery.At the mention of "Keime" (m.34) f is heard in the RH inpreparation for a cadence on f 4 tself (6VI). To manage thisbreak with what has gone before, the bass moves down a halfstep from c# to c? rather than the whole step it was accustomedto fall in stanzas 1 and 2. To secure the c 4, it is reiteratedin alternating octaves with the dotted pattern familiar from theparallel m. 21. An important variation is that this time thedotted pattern stresses the offbeats, not the downbeats. Theshift of metric stress in the bass is complemented in the RHby arpeggiations of the 6 and 67 sonorities over the c4 that alsostress the offbeats with the highest tones of the arpeggio pat-tern. The voice, on the other hand, retains the usual metricpattern stressing the strong beats. The clash between thedownbeat voice pattern and the upbeat piano pattern is strongeston the third quarter of m. 35, where the key word "Auge" isbegun alone on a c without a simultaneous attack in the piano.Vocal pitches are rarely sung without simultaneous piano at-tacks, and a couple were noted off the beat in m. 17, but in m.35 the "unaccompanied" vocal pitch falls on the beat ratherthan off and produces a quite different effect. The conflict be-tween the downbeat and upbeat versions of the metrical patterndamps down the rhythmic flow to a node of relative stasis. Themoist eye seems to be suspended, motionless at the still coreof the song.The melodic momentum is also reduced to a condition of virtualstasis. The voice holds to the a as though in hushed recitation,rises a minor third to "Au-" on c (a new pitch class for thevoice), falls a diminished fourth to g# (a new interval class)for "-ge", and returns to a for "ruft". Thus the voice closeswith a phrase that has fewer pitches and intervals than anyother of the song, but has new and striking elements nonethe-less. The final note a is the third above the root of the caden-tial sonority, which reiterates the pattern established in thefirst two stanzas (in stanza 1 the g# of m. 9 is the third of V,and in stanza 2 the f# of m. 22 is the third of IV). The surpriseof stanza 3 is that the third is not over the diatonic VI (alreadyheard at the close of stanza 2), but is joined to an f . Thusthe first cadence on the prime scale degree closes in the con-

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    I 3 5a.

    19 20

    b. v

    25 28



    39, beat 3 4]e r lv /

    IIW-ll MW

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    text of the flat submediant, and the reiteration of the finalcouplet may be heard as returning the a from submediant totonic function. The return is accomplished by a scalar descentthrough an octave started by the piano immediately in m. 36 andjoined by the voice in the next measure, a descent that recoversthe cadential a of m. 36 one octave lower in m. 43 as the rootof the tonic triad and carries to completion the fundamentalarpeggiation of the prime triad that began on the fifth degreeat the opening of the song.The return from flat submediant to tonic is centered about thenow familiar inflection of pitch class f, but in this final trans -formation the ft returns to fI (mm.40-41). The reverse in-flection of the f is accomplished by the word "feuchtes", whichwe have seen is the only word in the song that is immediatelyreiterated. The first "feuchtes" resolves the f4 to e (reachingthe dominant degree), the second introduces the recovered f#(see Figure 6d-e). "Feuchtes" is the key descriptive word ofthe last stanza. The moistness of the eye proclaims the arousalof emotion and hence the power of the lyric medium. Thisreveals the central image of the song, for it would seem thatBrahms intends f to be the tonal analogue of the still, secretcore, ("stillem Keime"). He prepares the inflection of pitchclass f as a motif during the early stages of the song and thenexploits it with unerring skill and power at the climax. Byassociating the poetic symbol "feuchtes" and what it symbolizes(emotion) with the inflectionof f to f#, Brahms creates a songimage that draws the symbolism of the song into a well tiedknot.Other motifs which have been prepared along the way also findtheir fulfillment in the reiteration of the final couplet. Thepiano interlude following the cadence at m. 36 follows as ex-pected with the bass resolving by fifth (f-bb) to begin the repeatof verse 11. In the third stanza, however, the syncopated half-note parallel thirds continue to fall diatonically through theoctave from a2 to a written g# (m. 39) which actually soundslike ab until the f 4resolves to e (m.40). The syncopated par-allel thirds replace the metrically consonant pattern of mm.10-11 and in so doing contribute a fresh image to the closingstanza. Here, where word and melody unite in the lyric, thesyncopated piano thirds (previously mere interludes) accompanyan entire couplet. If the voice is an image of word, then per -haps the parallel thirds are an image of pure tone as they pre-viously appeared only in between vocal phrases. Another fea-ture appears to validate the symbolism beyond any doubt. Inthe first two stanzas, where pure tone and word are presented

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    separately, the parallel third doubling of the voice is arrangedso that the voice is in unison with the upper members of thedyads, but in the third stanza, where word and tone are unitedin the lyric, the voice is in unison with the lower members ofthe dyads. The tones enfold the word within the song fabricforming a new texture that symbolizes the nature of the lyric.Groth's poetic proposition that tone plus word equals the lyricis translated by Brahms into the song medium where the equa-tion reads: absolute music plus lyric equals song.The stepwise falling line recalls the final phrase of stanza 2(mm. 23-25), but the descent is slower with two notes to a stepin place of one. In m. 39 "Keime" takes two beats instead ofthree (as in m. 34) and so falls together with the syncopatedthirds in the RH pushing forward with more urgency to the lastclimactic phrase, which also climaxes the declamation patternof the song. The declamation of the conclusion is characterizedby the new, briefer pattern for "Keime" (m. 39), the half notepattern given the ensuing "ein feuchtes" (m. 40), the reiterationof "ein feuchtes" to the declamation pattern of the first line ofthe stanza, and the two-fold augmentation of the initial "Augeruft" pattern for its final appearance. All in all, "ein feuchtesAuge" (mm.34-35) is augmented three-fold in mm.40-42, awritten out ritard that is not mere cadence, but climax as well.From m. 39 beat 4 it would have been possible to continue onthe circle of fifths (c-f-bb) for one more step to arrive on ebin m. 40. But the last line had to recover the tonic function,so the bass moves up from bb to b? while the voice declaims"ein feuchtes" on ft. At that point what was really an ab in m.39 becomes g# and part of the home dominant that is fully con-stituted when the voice and RH together resolve the f to e.Arrival at last on the dominant requires a final reassertion,which Brahms provides when he repeats "feuchtes" with tonicand subdominant function in m. 41 and in so doing brings backthe long lost f#. The vocal line comes to a close by continuingthe stepwise fall that was interrupted by the reiteration of"feuchtes", and "Auge ruft" at last completes in brief the scalarmotion 3-2-1 that is implied but never expressed in the body ofthe song. The tonal design of the last stanza is remarkable onyet another level, for it continues the motif of the replicationof certain basic motifs on multiple structural levels. As Fig-ure 7 shows, the tonal scheme of stanza 3 projects over anineteen measure span the scheme of the first couplet, whichextends for five measures. This explains the low density ofdominant function and the high concentration of subdominantfunction in the third stanza and its postlude. A heavy dominantanticipation of the final cadence would destroy the pattern of a

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    plagal cadence projected onto the whole stanza. It is no wonderthat the postlude reiterates the plagal cadence in brief again.Frau Liesel heard the final A as the dominant of D and blamedBrahms for having too much subdominant. But the composerwas only following through the premise of the first phrase ofthe song when he closed with a cadence that brought back thef# in its original role in the subdominant context.The postlude does still more, it recapitulates the interactionbetween line and chord that plays so important a role in theimagery of the song. The RH figure (m. 43) that rises out ofthe fundamental A with which the song begins also repeats theopening vocal figure. Carefully prepared in the two precedingmeasures (mm.41-42), the figure emerges fully in m.43 andleads to the motif familiar from the other interludes. Thefigure now presents eighth-note arpeggiations of the tonic triadand at the same time outlines a descending arpeggiation of thetonic triad in half notes with the highest notes of the RH pas-sage reinforced rhythmically by the LH chords. The recall ofthe motivic interlocking of multiple rhythmic levels that marksthe first couplet of each stanza (see Figure 5b) is followed bythe last appearance of the subdominant triad and the figure thathad concluded the second interlude (m. 26). The difference, ofcourse, is that f4 is now f#. Thus, restatement of IV at thispoint is not redundant; it clarifies and confirms the structureof the entire song.

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    R E F E R EN C ES

    1 Max Kalbeck, ed., Brahms im Briefwechsel mit Heinrich und Elisabet vonHerzogenberg (Berlin, 1907), Vol. II, 132.2 Max Kalbeck, Johannes Brahms, Vol. IV/1, 1886-1891, 2nd ed. (Berlin, 1915),pp.15-20.3 Ibid., pp. 132f.4 Walther Hammermann, Johannes Brahms als Liedkomponist (Dissertation,Leipzig, 1912).

    Max Friedlander, Brahms' Lieder (Berlin, 1922), trans. by C. Leonard Leese(London, 1928), pp.176-78.5 Rudolf Gerber, "Formprobleme im Brahmsschen Lied", Peters Jahrbuch 1931(Leipzig, 1932), pp.23-42.6 Konrad Giebeler, Die Lieder von Johannes Brahms (Dissertation, Mtlnster,1959), p. 103.7 Walter Wiora, Das Deutsche Lied: Zur Geschichte und Asthetik einer musik-alischen Gattung (Wolfenbtittel, 1971), p. 24.

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    BRAHMS OP. 105/1


    Brahms composed this beautiful song in the summer of 1886 inThun, Switzerland, where he was to return the following twosummers as well. It was certainly a very productive summer,and Brahms must have been working very quickly, for in alisting of his compositions for the summer of 1886 Brahmsnotes:Comp. August: Lingg "Immer leiser" cis m [Op. 105, 2]Flemming "Und gleichwohl" A dur [Op. 107, 1]Lemke "Verrat" hm [Op. 105, 5]Groth "Wie Melodien" A d [Op. 105, 1]Groth "Im Herbst" fUr Chor a moll [Op. 104, 5]Violoncellsonate F d [Op. 99]Trio c moll [Op. 101]Violinsonaten in d moll u. A dur [Opp. 108 and 100].

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    Amazing, even if the list is, as seems likely, inaccurate andcasual. *1 The set of songs Op. 105, Fiinf Lieder fur einetiefere Stimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, was first pub-lished by Brahms' friend and regular publisher, Simrock, in1889.The text is by Brahms' friend, the plattdeutscher poet, novel-ist and short-story writer, Klaus Groth*2 (1819-1899), andcomes from the collection of poems entitled Hundert Bl?tter,Paralipomena zum Quickborn (1854); it is the concluding poemin the opening sequence of thirteen poems subtitled Klange: *3

    (approximate literal translatiornWie Melodien zieht es Like melodies it flowsMir leise durch den Sinn, Gently through my mind;Wie Friihlingsblumen bliiht Like spring-flowers ites, blossoms,Und Schwebt wie Duft dahin. And hovers along like afragrance.Doch kommt das Wort und But yet the word comes andfasst es grasps itUnd filhrt es vor das Aug', And presents it to the eye,Wie Nebelgrau erblasst es Like misty grey it palesUnd schwindet wie ein Hauch. And vanishes like a breath.Und dennoch ruht im Reime And yet there dwells in rhyme,Verborgen wohl ein Duft, Concealed, a fragrance,Den mild aus stillem Keime Which, softly from its quiet

    core,Ein feuchtes Auge ruft. A moist eye calls.If, in the art of poetry, the formal structure and divisions of apoem, its manifold verbal techniques (associative, rhythmic,prosodic, metric or whatever), and the theme underlying thediscourse - are all, each with the others, intrinsically one in-separable unity, one can ask first how a musical setting mayreflect this.The simple formal structure of Groth's poem - the three qua-trains with parallel beginnings (wie. . . doch. . . und. . .) andalternate rhymes - gives rise easily to the form of the song:strophic with modifications (modified, as changes in the mean-ing of the text call for corresponding musical changes). Thealternate rhyme-scheme (a b a b, c d c d, e f e f) is taken careof, too (Example 1). (One notes the final rhythmic enlargement

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    36of mm. 31-32 in m. 42.) Various poetic word-associations canbe considered later. (Regarding the meter, see also Refer-ence *6.) But more importantly and perhaps less obviously,as elsewhere in vocal works of the great masters, the poeticidea, too, is composed. The words are not merely set: thepoem, its structure, and the thought behind the discourse aswell are organically part of the composition.It may be well to consider first, then, what the underlyingpoetic idea or meaning is in Groth's poem *4 and how Brahmshas expressed this musically.(Ist stanza) The poet feels in his imagination what might becalled the idea of beauty - the spirit of beauty (es) - ineffableand indefinable, though like a melody or fragrance which hoversabout.(2nd stanza) But the poet cannot grasp this feeling with words,for it eludes verbal description or depiction (vor das Aug'),and seems in this futile attempt to vanish like a fading mist.(3rd stanza) Only when it has become art (im Reime) can thefeeling of beauty in the poet's imagination find expression andattain fulfillment and communicability: what was only in thepoet's mind (Sinn, 1st stanza) has achieved realization throughart (though an art concealed, and invoked by ein feuchtes Auge,3rd stanza; cf. das Aug' in the 2nd stanza which has looked invain when words without art were not evocative). Symbolically,the poetic message is itself mirrored in the structure of thepoem: the first two stanzas refer only to "it" ("es, " the in-definite, impersonal pronoun); but finally the third stanza, nowexpressing the arrival at the goal, art, replaces the hithertounnamed "it" with substance ("hidden, a fragrance"; cf. 1ststanza "like a fragrance"). *5Brahms has composed this poetic meaning (the thought thatonly when the idea of beauty has become art can it achieve ex-pression and fulfillment) in a number of ways; these have to dowith (1) the thirds in the piano(mm. 7/8-11; 22-24; 36 et seqq.)- to be discussed in more detail presently; (2) the symbolicgreater complexity in the setting of the third stanza, whichbrings about (3) the repetition and resetting of the last two linesof the text just in this last stanza, not only of the last line as inthe previous two stanzas; (4) the role and difference in struc-tural function, programmatic and musical, of the note d2 (m. 2;15; 29; 40; and implied in mm. 3-4; 15-16; 22-23; and 30-31-- tobe discussed in connection with the voice-leading sketches);

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    . zia~t: es b1ht e.s durch danSinn Duft ..- himn

    2. 5ft es (?r) ast es vor das Ag' wie ein Hauch

    3. Re. me, KL me whki in Duft Au-ge ruft1,' .2..

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    38and (5) the significance of tonic closure only at the end, m. 43,in contrast to the endings of the two preceding stanzas which,because of the meaning of the text, had to move towards othergoals.The thirds which appear in the piano (m. 7/8. .) at the lastline of the first stanza are indeed striking, being the first (andonly) kind of melodic gesture, as distinct from the arpeggiofigurations, in the piano part; moreover, they double the voicehere. These thirds seem to appear without preparation; onlyto break off suddenly in m. 11: Example 2a. (One notes thecontinuation in m. 9 by rhythmic enlargement.) In the secondstanza they reappear in m. 22 (Example 2b); disintegrating bynon-simultaneous statement in m. 24, they are once again dis-continued. In the third stanza they make their final and longestappearance in m. 36 - when the complete text and the poeticmessage have already been stated, thus before the restatementof the last two lines of the text which the thirds therefore nowreinforce (Example 2c) - and now the thirds continue throughm. 40 and then in some sense are picked up in the voice, andindeed in the piano coda, m. 43 (e2 - c#2. . .). The appearingand breaking off of the thirds in the first and second stanzas,but now their continuing through in the third stanza is too sa-lient a feature simply just to have occurred: there must be adeeper compositional meaning. In this way Brahms has com-posed the thought behind the poem. The thirds correspond towhat was paraphrased as the spirit of beauty ("es" in the poem),present in the first and second stanzas but incomplete, startingbut breaking off (cf. "and hovers" in the first stanza, "andvanishes" in the second); only in the third stanza when the ideaof beauty has finally become art do the thirds symbolically con-vey this by continuing - in a sense to the end of the song. Inthis sense, too, the thirds were present already in the opening(Example 3), thus connecting the two points, m. 2 and m. 41,musically and textually, associating Melodien (m. 2) with "art"(m. 41 - incidentally also Wort, m. 15 and Reime, m. 30) to linkthat which was first only implied to that which is now realizedand explicitly stated.The other means of composing the poetic idea will be discussedlater, in connection with the voice-leading sketches.Example 4 shows sketches of the first stanza. The sketchesare intended to be self-explanatory. One must, however, gobeyond voice-leading sketches, since, unlike a purely instru-mental work, the text and the way the text is expressed, beingorganically part of a vocal composition, must always be taken

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    3- - --- - ----n

    Nn. A A A A

    C. no. (3) AI S

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    M. ~- -J- on: -hno. (2)

    - " -----: ' -"--

    .-i- -- r--r

    .. . -----..,*

    rII FtbS rla MIV- 8

    =------ "- .....r


    ae o-t o non

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    into account.Measures 1-5. The word Melodien is represented by the risingand falling (=melodic) opening measures of the vocal line (itselfsuggested in the piano figuration, which thereby becomes or-ganic), also by the "melodic" embellishments - the nn. d2 andpn. bl -, and particularly by the successive rhythmic exten-sions *6 which now also correspond to one meaning of the wordzieht (draws out) (Example 5). The word leise (gently) is markedby the further "gentle" slowing of the rhythm (Example 5) andis expressively evoked as the third al-g#l-f#l (mm. 2-3) hereturns to the minor (al-)g 1-fl1. (The nn. g(l1 also tends tobreak up the fifths (Example 6) and the flat to the bbnn. avoidsthe diminished fifth b -f l. ) The minor coloring for leise ispointed up by the change in rhythmic detail to r. r The elof the opening voice arpeggiation, because of its metric posi-tion, the word assigned to it, and also the supporting el of thepiano, suggests the rising sixth el-c#2 (see Example 4) whichis answered by the descending sixth back to el in m. 5. Thisdescending sixth assumes significance as a kind of middlegroundmotive, Example 7 (and Example 18). As a rising sixth el-c#2in m. 5, it connects to the opening, and takes care of the paral-lel beginnings (comparisons) wie. . . wie. ... The d2 in-dicated in parentheses in the sketch is not actually stated inthe music, but contrapuntally it would be the upper voice abovethe f11, the motion tof#l being a descent into an inner voice.Here d2 may be understood: present in the imagination (cf.text, durch den Sinn). Although this d2 is not related struc-turally to the d2 in m. 2 - merely an upper nn. to the c#2 - thepitch association is there, and is to take on significance later(m. 41).Measure 6. The piano accompaniment subtly underscores thechange of thought in the text. Here the new comparison, wieFruihlingsblumen, receives a fresh impetus by the change inthe piano's accompaniment pattern, though the octave leapsare retained.Measure 7. The piano accompaniment figurationpicks up m. 1,supporting the reading (Example 4a) of the parallelism c#2-a1(m. 2) and c#2-al (mm. 5-7). The connective sense of "und"(e2) is also composed. The principal top voice is still c#2here: the e2 is merely superposed, effecting a connection be-tween the thirds c#2-al (mm. 6-7) and its parallel d#2-bl (m. 8)(Example 8), and also preparing for the thirds in the piano(mm. 9 et seqq.). The placing of the e2 above the principaltone also expresses schwebt.

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    0r& eIJ

    Me.lo. - en ziekt es eise


    (5 - 5)

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    3r3~mtive d tie..

    ,.:s, -" - . -

    8I. - - _ , ,'-' .ag

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    Measure 8. The d#2 (here and again in m. 11) is not resolvedin register, again expressing schwebt, and also, perhaps, thesense of unfulfillment implicit in the text. Just as in m. 6 anew melodic start corresponded to a new comparison in thetext, so here the new comparison wie Duft requires some mu-sical change, and the piano brings in the thirds, mentionedearlier. (The piano accompaniment, preserving the same tex-tual thought, accordingly maintains a similar LH pattern throughm. 12.)Example 9a and b: the motivic reference associates the wordsFriihlingsblumen and Duft, suggesting not only a "hovering fra-grance" (m. 8) but also enhancing the poetic meaning with thesuggestion of the "fragrance of spring-flowers". The fx per-haps alludes to the pitch g of m. 4, now revalued.There is also a kind of chiasmus *7 to be noted, in this sense:Example 10, which would have as its raison d'etre the associa-tion of the verbs zieht and schwebt, assimilating their mean-ings, by connecting the opening phrase (mm. 2-3) with a rhyth-mic variant (m. 8) and enlargement (mm. 9-10). As regardsthe syncopation in m. 9, compare m. 2 where main tones areon the weak beats 2 and 4.Measures 10-11. The principal tone c#2 is approachedfromboth sides (cf. schwebt) by the thirds, Example 11; what abeautiful and expressive touch that these thirds g#1, b#1 andbOl, d#2 should thus be juxtaposed, but not connected!Measure 12. The inner voices seem to disappear (cf. schwebtwie Duft dahin) as the opening accompaniment figuration is re-stated, now arising, as a kind of rhythmic acceleration, out ofm. 11. (The octave leap in the LH E-e becomes the seventhel-d 2 in the RH, the seventh avoiding a conclusive cadenceon V and aiming to its resolution in register in m. 15.)Example 12 presents a sketch of the second stanza. The mo-tion to VI (m. 25) (as a I-substitute), while not in itself so un-usual*8, and beautifully mixing and superimposing a minorcoloring upon the major mode (vice-versa for a work in a minorkey) might here convey a programmatic meaning: that the poethas not yet achieved his real goal.Measures 18 et seqq. The change in the piano accompaniment(prepared by the change at m. 17) goes along with a change inthe voice-leading: now not just the third c#2-al, mm. 18/19-20, as in mm. 5/6-7, but the third and a fourth, c -g1,

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    9a. b.

    wie D;'t wie Frh - linqs-blumec

    10b -b_ _ _p r

    & - ,,-I a

    1 Nn./I--4KW 'AmI7

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    Mm. 9,1 " ' ,l. _

    A------- ---------

    -fr C .. f,,- -- -



    . ...-. ..."-,li

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    mm. 18-21. Note the reassertion of the bass octave Al-A ofm. 18 in m. 21. Also the inner voice fl1-fWl-el in mm. 16-18,picked up in mm. 19-20 (piano) and beginning the third f#2-e2-d2 in m. 2.2, and again in mm. 2.5-28: Example 13; and the f41revalued as e #1 in m. 21 (coming from the e l1 in m. 18) and m.24. The word schwindet finds musical expression in the break-ing off of the piano's thirds, m. 24, into the thinner texture ofmm. 25-27, and in the underlying F#-F?-(E understood) motionof mm. 25-28 (Example 13), the E disappearing into a low in-ner voice. One notes also the motivic tenor in m. 24, Example14, which, supporting the cadence, has come most immediatelyfrom the thirds in m. 22, but refers to the motive in m. 2 andm. 15. How subtly beautiful is the linking of the close of thevocal line here, m. 24/25, Example 15a, with the restart ofthe piano figuration, m. 25, Example 15b. Some kind of linkwas due here, since there had been a link in the analagous spot,mm. 11-12; the same kind of connection could not, however,recur here.Example 16 shows a sketch of the third stanza.Measure 28. If the cadence on F# in m. 25 might possibly haveled one to expect a later motion to a goal on a different degreeof the scale (such as to V as a goal, as in I-VI-V, or I-VI-IV-V), then the return to the tonic here not only follows the stro-phic overall form, but coincides with and points up the worddennoch (nonetheless).Measure 29. Cf. m. 24/25.Measure 34. The reference of stillem Keime back to Blumenin mm. 6-7 is pointed up by the same vocal setting, but the dif-ference in thought at this point in the text calls for a new direc-tion in the composition.As will be seen from the voice-leading sketch, mm.33-40represent the composing-out of the bass by the arpeggiationD-F -B61, each of which notes is itself further prolonged (seethe top-voice sketch). While this reading makes sense in termsof voice-leading, it is also the compositional reason for thismore difficult and complicated prolongation that must be con-sidered. As suggested earlier, the point would be that thisvery complexity expresses the message of the text by symbol-izing the art which has, only at this time, been accomplished.Measures 38-39. The word mild is now associated with leisein m. 4. The same sound (BL major triad) returns, and in a

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    "-41' !ug;

    15 a. Il 25]b.wie in auc

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    _1 .? N

    0UN UN



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    certain sense the bb of m. 4, only an embellishing nn., is also"fulfilled" or "realized", having become the final note of thebass arpeggiation as shown in the voice-leading sketch.Measure 40. Although it is a chromatic pn. to "correct" theB61, one notes the downward stem on the low BV in m.40;thus Brahms clearly marks the end of the bass arpeggiationand (literally) with the same stroke links the bass, throughthis quarter note transition (- r ) to the half note basstones in mm. 41-43.The word ein, unaccented in normal declamation, here, nota-bly, receives the tonic (pitch) accent. One asks why this shouldbe so, and what its significance is. *9 This d2 becomes now asubtle realization of the "es" of the beginning: the implied be-comes reality. For this particular pitch dZ had not yet as-sumed harmonic or contrapuntal significance. When stated ear-lier it had been either an incomplete upper nn., embellishing theprincipal primary tone c#2 (mm. 2; 15; 29) - only a foregroundfeature without harmonic or structural function. Or else, asshown in parentheses on the sketches and in Example 17, thed2 was only suggested, being an implied upper nn. above thef#1 (mm. 3-4; 16-17; 22-23; 26-27 above an f0l; and 30-31). Itwould be understood, contrapuntally, still as belonging to anupper voice nn. motion (perhaps on a middleground level), em-bellishing the c#2. But finally here, m. 40, the d2 is explicitlystated, on a higher structural level, strongly asserted by theunusual and deliberate accentuation of ein, its placement withinthe repetition of the last two lines of the text, and the harmonicsupport- the end of the bass arpeggiation; note also the voice-exchange in the sketch. (Harmonic support was, of course,always lacking when d2 simply embellished the c#2 in mm. 2,15, and 29.) The d2 in m. 40 is in a structural sense also thehighest pitch of the vocal part. (The e2 of m. 7 merely embel-lished by prolongation the lower c#2, expressing schwebt andund, and the d#2 of m. 11 represented a motion through a thirdto the main tone bl, giving rise to the parallelism marked inthe sketch.) And here, too, (m. 41) as already pointed out, thed2 signals the return of the opening melodic gesture (Example3).The point of this emphasis is surely, then, to express onceagain the poem's message, realization through art, throughthe "realization" of the d2 by endowing it with structural weight.For like the previously discussed thirds, the d2 was alwayshinted at and virtually present, but not to be brought to fulfill-ment until called for by the text. *10 Not even in the beginning

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    Nn.r INn.

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    of the third stanza could it appear: in keeping with the strophicdesign, and perhaps also with the word verborgen.As the opening is resumed in m. 41, the octave transfer of thevoice c#2 to c#1 picks up the original register of the openingpitch c#1 and brings it to completion in the original registerby the descent to a. The restatement and conclusion is under-scored by the prominent half note cadential bass tones (NB thelow E2) supporting the closing - 2- t, and the correspondingchange in the piano RH (to the half note pattern I mm. 41-43); mm. 41-42 are echoed by the piano coda (Example 3c), thethirds e2-c#2-al being emphasized by the LH syncopation. Thed-c motive appears in an inner voice (m.42/43) and at thevery end (mm. 45-46, in octave coupling), thus suggesting onceAAmore, by superposing it over the 1, the initial 3 primary tone.The quick arpeggios in m. 43 in the LH continue the 7 ?Jpattern, and the eighth note arpeggio figuration (RH) associ-ates, also registrally, with that established at the outset, asdoes its final condensation into the arpeggiated last chord.Example 18 shows a sketch of the whole.Certain foreground and middleground Umotives"might be men-tioned. The D-C# motive (from Melodien, m. 2) is noted bybrackets (Example 4b): mm. 3-5 understood, in the bass mm.4-5, then d#2 (!)-c#2 in m. 8; the sketches of the second andthird stanzas continue indicating this programmatic feature.The opening descending sixth becomes a basis for parallelismand continuation (cf. of course the descending piano thirds), asindicated in Example 7. The chromatic rising in the "tenor",b-b#-c#l-d1 (mm. 9-10), is composed in enlargement, as inExample 4c. Although the enlargement does not reappear sub-sequently, its half note rhythmic aspect may possibly, in thethird stanza, have to do with the half note values of mm. 41-42,Example 19. Example 4d shows certain border-tones, not avoice-leading event, but only a kind of registral line.An alternate reading of mm. 6-8 may be considered quickly:Example 20a. This interpretation would understand 116 as be-ing prolonged, with the A major chord in m. 7 only passing,not a return to the tonic. Such a reading can be supported onlyby the motivic reference in mm. 6 and 8 (Example 20b) whichoccur at the beginning and ending of the prolongation 116 - II#,a procedure which, of course, is of frequent occurrence inpassages which are to be understood as single prolongations.Also, the piano figuration changes in m. 6, though the octaveleaps of the LH are retained and do reappear in the LH in m. 8.

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    18he whole: U [El

    201OP"I ~- (E) I 1I (PI ~ IN I I

    19" r -- -AMMEIC7-ftC~s '-ror

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    Against this reading and favoring the reading given in Example4 speaks the fact that the piano figuration of mm. 1 and 2 cer-tainly returns in m. 7, connecting these points and supportingthe reading of a tonic return. Further, the rhythmic units aretwo-measure units: m. 6-7, and 8-9/10 (with extension by thethirds motive), in which m. 8 corresponds rhythmically to m.6, and m. 9 to m. 7 (and not m. 9 to m. 6); cf. also Example 20dfor the rhythmic analogy between mm. 9 and 7. The entranceof the thirds motive in m. 8, as something new - a new harmon-ic event - would also make a connection or reference back tom. 6 unlikely. The preferred reading, Example 4, shows thethird c#2-al in m. 2 in enlargement from mm. 5 to 7, the ex-tending of the word Melodien and then zieht subtly expressing"melody" and ziehen ("draw out"); and that the same thirdshould recur ("drawn out") in this enlargement is a beautifulway of continuing the same thought. (The motivic reference,mentioned in Example 9a and b, and its connotation of courseholds good in either reading.)Perhaps great art demands not simplicity as such, but a cer-tain degree of inner complexity, however simple the appear-ance may be. For what is really merely simple, in all as-pects, emerges as just simple-mindedness. Here, this studywishes to point out, to some extent the great art and beauty ofthis song, in which to a relatively simple harmonic-contra-puntal background structure is linked, in beautiful manner,other levels more complex, of organically composed motivicand musical-poetic relationships.

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    F f-'--------- -

    ........ shta


    I,. ;? ?-. . I ". PT"iO:'jj

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    56R E FE R E NC E S

    1 Quoted from Max Kalbeck, Johannes Brahms (Berlin, 1914), IV, 92.2 Concerning Brahms' friendship with Groth, see [Brahms-Groth], Briefe derFreundschaft, ed. Volquart Pauls (Heide, 1956); H. Miesner, Klaus Groth unddie Musik (Heide, 1933); also Kalbeck, Johannes Brahms. Brahms set manyother Groth texts: Op. 59:3, 4 (also another setting of the same, without opusnumber, published 1908), 7, 8; Op. 63:7, 8, 9; Op. 66:1, 2; Op. 97:5; Op. 104-5;

    and Op. 106:3; and all but two (Op. 59:4 and Op. 97:4) are from the same col-lection, Hundert Blditter, as Wie Melodien. Brahms paid musical tribute toGroth in a number of compositions. The second subject of the first movementof the A Major Violin Sonata refers, almost literally, to Wie Melodien (com-posed earlier the same summer).The opening of the same sonata alludes (possibly an extra-musical suggestion-cf. allegro amabile) to Groth's Komm bald (Op. 97:5); in the finale there is areference to Auf dem Kirchhofe (Op. 105:4) composed around the same time;and the last movement of the G Major Violin Sonata makes use of Groth's Re-genlied (Op. 59:3). The personal and musical connotations of Brahms' testi-monial in the case of Wie Melodien perhaps have to do with the text of the poemtoo: Brahms' personal gesture may symbolize the personal nature of the thoughtbehind the poem, and subtly suggest its theme of inner communication onlythrough art, and completion of the poem only through the art of music.

    3 Klaus Groth's Gesammelte Werke (Kiel und Leipzig: Verlag von Lipsius &Tischer, 1904), IV, 177.

    4 Groth's text is often held to be obscure; indeed, Brahms' friend and formerpupil, Elisabet von Herzogenberg, who kept up a rather frank musical corres-pondence with Brahms, commented upon this (in a letter to Brahms, Dec. 2,1886; see Brahms-Herzogenberg Briefwechsel, ed. Max Kalbeck, Berlin, 1908,II, 133): "In the A major song, with the singularly abstract text, the warmflow of the melody gives me much happiness, and I sing it to myself very glad-ly. * She continues, 'But the concludinr strain - it, too - gave me real diffi-culty; I have played it to myself so often now that I have accustomed myself toit, and inwardly become A major myself, which at first, in spite of all my ef-forts, I was unsuccessful in doing. I felt the A still as the dominant of D.. ...

    5 Kalbeck's interpretation differs in letter, but is the same in spirit: "In rhyme,the melodic element of verse [Groth says), resides perhaps that concealed fra-grance which gives new color to the feeling that had paled in words, and whichrecalls the mood that had disappeared like a breath; and to this fragrance themusician is attracted, and only he brings the work to completion. " (Kalbeck,Johannes Brahms, IV, 19.)

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    576 This extension results in a 5-measure phrase, grouped 3+2 in the voice. Butthe piano accompaniment groups the phrase into 2+3: thus both subdivisionsare offset, each by the other, so as to fuse a single 5-measure unit in ordernot to interrupt the single thought expressed between Wie. . . and Sinn. Schoen-berg (in "Brahms the Progressive", Style and Idea, New York, c. 1950, p. 77)points out that often, at the outset of a Brahms song, the number of metricalfeet corresponds with or is reflected in the number of measures in the phrase.Thus, the 3-foot verse of Wie Melodien would call for a 3-measure phrase - orsub-phrase, allowing of the subsequent 5-measure phrase. As to the upbeatsense that the first measure might convey, see Heinrich Schenker, Der FreieSatz (Vienna, 1956) 296, 191.7 Another instance of chiasmus: the opening three measures of Brahms, Inter-

    mezzo Op. 76, 4 in Bb.8 A large-scale I-VI-I-V-I progression may, for example, be seen in Chopin,Etude Op. 10, 1 (Schenker, Der Freie Satz, Ex. 130, 4a); Schubert, Der Schiffer(ibid., Ex. 39, 1); Brahms, Symphony I, Andante sostenuto (ibid., Ex. 88, 4a);Beethoven, Sonata Op. 14, 1, Allegretto; etc.9 For a short study concerning questions of word accentuation in Brahms' DasMdidchen spricht Op. 107, 3, see H. Federhofer, "Zur Einheit von Wort undTon im Lied von Johannes Brahms" in Kongress-Bericht, Gesellschaft fiirMusikforschung (Hamburg: Barenreiter, 1956, p. 97.10 A somewhat analogous mode of composition occurs, for example, in Schubert'sDer Neugierige, where the pitch f#2 never appears as a tone with true harmonicsignificance: it is always only an embellishing tone. The f#2 expresses the"yes" which the poet wishes to hear from his beloved; that this note never reallyoccurs with any structural force indicates, with beautiful subtlety, that thewished for response is not forthcoming.