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Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.

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keberoxu 17 Feb 22 - 06:38 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Feb 22 - 07:10 PM
GUEST,keberoxu 17 Feb 22 - 07:27 PM
Steve Shaw 17 Feb 22 - 07:41 PM
Joe Offer 18 Feb 22 - 02:53 AM
keberoxu 18 Feb 22 - 07:14 PM
keberoxu 19 Feb 22 - 12:53 PM
Reinhard 19 Feb 22 - 02:44 PM
keberoxu 19 Feb 22 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Grishka 21 Feb 22 - 02:20 PM
keberoxu 25 Feb 22 - 09:19 PM
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Subject: Beethoven op. 118: Elegischer Gesang
From: keberoxu
Date: 17 Feb 22 - 06:38 PM

With no further ado, here is the source -- with
bolded texts for the words used by composer Beethoven
in his Opus 118, Elegischer Gesang, for chorus and string quartet.
You will note that this is a late opus, dating from the year 1914 1814.


BEY DER KUNDE VON JACOBI'S TOD

Du schläfst an Deines Lieblinges *) Seite, Freund,
Der Tugend Lehrer, Sänger und Musterbild,
Den langen Schlaf. Aus Deiner Lyra
Tönte des Schwanengesanges Nachhall.

Ja, Deine Silberlocken umzirkte noch
Ein frischer leichterrungener Lorbeerkranz,
Und der Verklärung Morgenröthe
Strahlt' in den Zügen des greisen Jünglings.

Sanft, wie Du lebtest, hast Du vollendet.   Gleim,
Dein zweyter Schutzgeist, lispelte Brudergruß.
Erscheinen durft' er, segnend winken:
"Komm, mein Geliebter!" -- und lächelnd starbst Du.

O Du, der Edler'n Stolz und Bewunderung,
Stillthätig, weis', untadelig, fromm und froh,
Zu heilig für den Schmerz! Kein Auge
Wein' ob des himmlischen Geistes Heimkehr.


Jacobi, Deine Lieder in Lust und Leid
Sind uns Dein Herz -- O süße Reliquien!
Nacheifer schafft Dein Wandel. Hohen-
Priesten des Guten und Schönen lebst Du!

*)Sein einziger Sohn,
ein hoffnungsvoller Jüngling,
starb am Schlusse des Jahres 1812.

Author identifies himself as "H--g". This person is:
Johann Christoph Friedrich Haug, author and editor.

source material:

Morgenblatt für gebildete Stände, achter Jahrgang, ed. by Johann Christoph Friedrich Haug, Tübingen: J. G. Cotta'sche Buchhandlung, issue no. 21, page 81. Dienstag, 25 Januar, 1814.



further confirmation:

Gedichte von Friedrich Haug, zweiter Band, Leipzig und Hamburg: G. J. Göschen und Hoffmann und Campe, 1827, pages 21 - 22. Appears in Oden.


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Feb 22 - 07:10 PM

1814 I should think! Despite the opus number, this is a middle-period Beethoven work that is seldom performed. The late opus number presumably reflects its publication year, which was 1826.


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: GUEST,keberoxu
Date: 17 Feb 22 - 07:27 PM

oops ... you're right and i'm wrong.
    Corrected. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 17 Feb 22 - 07:41 PM

I confess that I don't know this work even though Beethoven is my favourite composer. He wrote a number of earlier works that predate his official "Op 1" but not many of them are especially remarkable. He was a late developer compared to Mozart. He didn't come up with many turkeys (and I'm not saying that this is one!), but he set some Scottish folk songs that don't sound especially authentic to me, and I don't really "get" the Choral Fantasy, the Double Concerto and Wellington's Victory. I wish he hadn't spent so long in his late prime writing that lumbering Missa Solemnis (what a curate's egg...) when we could instead have had another symphony or two and some more of that wonderful piano music and those chamber works.

I'll give it a listen tomorrow when this storm has passed. I have a bust of Beethoven in the other room. If he hears what I've been saying he'll be frowning even more.


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Feb 22 - 02:53 AM

Here's a recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og5G097NtGg

The usual name is Beethoven: "Elegischer Gesang" in E major, Op. 118. Many places on the Internet have it as "BEY DER KUNDE VON JACOBI'S TOD." "Bey" is not Hochdeutsch - it's "bey." And I don't know about "Jacobi's," but one doesn't usually find possessives formed with apostrophes in German. Es ist ein Wunder.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: keberoxu
Date: 18 Feb 22 - 07:14 PM

Can anyone do better than I managed to do, which is:
find a before-the-Internet biography/article on Beethoven
(there are tons of them)
which does NOT say:

"this author is unknown / Unbekannt."


It isn't difficult, with the World Wide Web and
digital files from library archives, to locate the poem
written and printed by Friedrich Haug;
a simple search on Beethoven's lyrics pulls up both that newspaper
and the volume of Haug's collected poems.

I have searched at some length, though, for a pre-computer-world
author/commentator who cites Haug, the poet, or
comments on the poem from which the musical setting takes the lyrics.

It would seem that, for a couple of centuries,
the source of the lyrics has been hiding in plain sight,
the poem gathering dust in the library stacks.

At least, everyone seems to agree that
Beethoven himself offered not the slightest clue
to the Author's identity or where the lyrics came from.


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Feb 22 - 12:53 PM

Some more questions and comments.
How do you translate into English:

"Nacheifer schafft Dein Wandel" ?

As elegant and concise as this German sentence is,
I don't know how to render it in English.
Most of the rest of Haug's poem is fairly accessible.
A literal English translation would be a blessing, in any case.



Now, about the context of this poem.
It is, in many ways,
A Tale of Three (German) Poets.

The occasion of the poem is the recent death of this writer:
Johann Georg Jacobi
(1740 - 1814)


At the above link, you can click on the words 'Song List'
and see which great Lieder composers set Jacobi's words to music.
I especially commend the little song by Mozart,
a song which is a staple of singing teachers and studios everywhere,
with sentiments of full-blown German romanticism.
And the piano accompaniment is fun, as well.


The poem, after its affectionate first two stanzas about Jacobi,
names "Gleim, dein zweyter Schutzgeist." He is:
Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim (1719 - 1803)
Here is a partial inventory of musical settings of
Lieder Author, Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim



This brings us to Johann Christoph Friedrich Haug (1761 - 1829),
the author of the poetic tribute to Jacobi,
and demonstrably the youngest of the three poets.
There is no shortage of German Lieder which sets Haug's poetry to music,
including such composers as Beethoven, Schubert, and Carl Maria von Weber.
I can't link to Haug's Wikipedia biography page.


None of these poets are in the august league of a Goethe or a Schiller.
They were active around the Enlightenment period,
although at least two of them have certain streaks of religiosity or pietism
which seems very dated now,
but endeared them to the public of the time.
In particular, Jacobi, often mocked by critics and fellow authors,
had so affectionate a public that his funeral procession
was noted for the enormous crowds in the streets.


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: Reinhard
Date: 19 Feb 22 - 02:44 PM

According to the text on lieder.net, the phrase is

Nacheif'rer schafft Dein Wandel.

which could perhaps be translated as

Your change creates followers/disciples.

But I don't really understand the German phrase. Does this change mean Jacobi's passing, i.e. the change from being alive to being dead?


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: keberoxu
Date: 19 Feb 22 - 06:33 PM

Only within a larger context, Reinhard, can I place
that rather enigmatic four-word sentence in German,
Nacheifer schafft Dein Wandel.

And what serves as a larger context? Respectfully I suggest,
Look at Stanza Two.

A rough attempt at Stanza Two in English:

Yes, the silver locks of your hair are now crowned by
the fresh laurel wreath of lightly-gained victory,
and the rosy dawn of transfiguration
radiates from every feature of your grey-haired youth.


Even this is going to raise questions of course,
and these questions become matters of interpretation.
As Author Haug's footnote indicates,
the aging Jacobi had had the recent, painful necessity
of burying his only son, who pre-deceased him.
And the very first line of Stanza One
reunites Jacobi with his best-beloved, that same son.

Thus, death, according to Author Haug's own conviction,
liberates Jacobi's spirit from the constraints of the physical world.
Now the father's spirit may reunite, for example,
with that of his much-lamented only son.


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 21 Feb 22 - 02:20 PM

Jacobi, Deine Lieder in Lust und Leid
Sind uns Dein Herz -- O süße Reliquien!
Nacheif'rer schafft Dein Wandel. Hohen-
Priesten des Guten und Schönen lebst Du!

Here my conjecture:

Jacobi, your songs in pleasure and suffering
are your heart to us –– oh sweet relics!
Your way of life inspires imitators. For high
priests of goodness and beauty, you are still alive!


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Subject: RE: Beethoven op. 118: found Text Author.
From: keberoxu
Date: 25 Feb 22 - 09:19 PM

Thank you, Reinhard.
Thank you, Grishka.

Yes, the word "Wandel" seems to be one of those words,
every language has them, with multiple possible meanings according to context.
I quite like Grishka's suggestion of
"Way of life" within Author Haug's praise of Jacobi's example.

Slight change of subject within the opus 118 topic.
1814 is given as the date when Beethoven composed his music,
and more specifically, a particular date in August 1814
is cited with reference to Pasqualati to whom the work is dedicated.
It is stated that Pasqualati's beloved wife had died three years earlier in August.
Those writers who speak of the first performance of opus 118 --
not all writers go this far, though --
say the piece was performed August 1814 in tribute to Pasqualati's deceased wife.
This suggests that the performance was a fairly private affair.
I don't find, in my searches, a date of a really official public concert performance or premiere for opus 118.

Note, then, that the Author, Friedrich Haug, first published his
"Bey der Kunde von Jacobi's Tod"
in January, 1814.
So the dates do line up:
the poem is published on the front page of the Morgenblatt in January,
and that gives Beethoven several months in between to compose the setting.

It would have been considerate of Beethoven, of course,
to identify the Author from whom he helped himself to the text.
However, as the biographers agree,
1814 was a very busy year for Beethoven.

Worth noting that in 1822, according the Theodore Albrecht edition of published Letters of Beethoven,
the composer offered opus 118 to publisher Peters.
Nothing came of that offer, it seems, before 1826.


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