The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168339   Message #4071381
Posted By: keberoxu
09-Sep-20 - 08:42 PM
Thread Name: my first performance in thirty years
Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
This month we are moving on to Brahms.
We are now looking at Brahms' Opus 91,
in which two songs for voice and piano were in fact composed
to be performed with viola as well, hence informally
they are sometimes called the viola lieder.

The first song is a setting of Friedrich Rückert
describing a beautiful sunset/evening scene.
The second is a German translation of a Spanish lyric
which is for the infant Jesus,
a lullaby sung by the Blessed Mother.

Because Brahms uses a tune --
"Josef lieber Josef mein" -- from traditional music,
the lullaby is easier and more accessible.
The Rückert setting, while very beautiful,
really tests the viola player, as that part
is enormously complex and sophisticated --
it's murder for the violist to sight-read, which
my colleague was doing last night, poor thing.

But both songs are brief and tuneful, and if we ever get them
up to performance speed, and perform them for our fellow patients,
I suspect they will go over well.