Brahms's Vocal Duets and Quartets with Piano: A Guide with Full Texts and Translations

Brahms's Vocal Duets and Quartets with Piano: A Guide with Full Texts and Translations

Brahms's Vocal Duets and Quartets with Piano: A Guide with Full Texts and Translations

Brahms's Vocal Duets and Quartets with Piano: A Guide with Full Texts and Translations

Synopsis

... a generous treatment of some of Brahms's most endearing and imaginative creations." --Choice

... an excellent addition to the literature on vocal chamber music... " --Notes

In this sequel to A Guide to the Solo Songs of Johannes Brahms, Lucien Stark opens up a beautiful and largely neglected repertoire, providing the full German text for each song, along with a new English translation, notes on vocal ranges, and a wealth of engaging commentary of technical, aesthetic, and historical interest.

Excerpt

It hardly seems possible that within the oeuvre of so popular and so thoroughly studied a composer as Brahms most of an entire genre of works should sink into neglect, unperformed. Yet, of the duets and quartets for solo voices with piano, only the Liebeslieder and, to a lesser extent, the Neue Liebeslieder and Zigeunerlieder could currently be described as familiar. It is my sincere hope that this guide might help to remedy that situation.

Not surprisingly, there is only a small literature that treats specifically of the duets or quartets. Many of the works listed in the bibliography are therefore only tangentially relevant, but all have been helpful to some extent. Citations within the text are abbreviated.

Three resources have been indispensable:

(1) Brahms’s correspondence, particularly the two volumes in English of Letters of Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, 1853—1896, edited by Berthold Litzmann and anonymously translated (New York: Vienna House, 1973; reprint of the 1927 London publication); Johannes Brahms: the Herzogenberg Correspondence, edited by Max Kalbeck, translated by Hannah Bryant (New York: Vienna House, 1971); and Johannes Brahms and Theodor Billroth: Letters from a Musical Friendship, edited and translated by Hans Barkan (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1957).

(2) Max Kalbeck’s four-volume biography, Johannes Brahms (Berlin: Deutsche Brahms-Gesellschaft, 1904–1914; reprinted in 1974 by Schneider in Tutzing).

(3) Margit L. McCorkle and Donald M. McCorkle’s catalog of Brahms’s works, Johannes Brahms: thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis (Munich: G. Henle Verlag, 1984).

Presuming that this book will be used principally for reference, I have tried to make each entry complete in itself; some redundancy has been the inevitable result.

It will be apparent too that much of the analysis assumes that a score will be accessible to the reader. a recommended edition is that of Eusebius Mandyczewski, [Johannes Brahms] Sämtliche Werke (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel [1926]; reprinted in 1949 by J. W. Edwards in Ann Arbor, Mich.). All of the quartets are found in volume 20, the duets in volume 22. in 1997 the Breitkopf & Härtel Liebeslieder, Neue Liebeslieder, and Op. 103 Zigeunerlieder were reprinted in one volume by Dover Publications, Inc. C. F. Peters publishes convenient, readable performing editions of all of the duets and quartets except Nos. 1 and 3 of the Op. 75 Ballads and Romances and the . . .

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