The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168339   Message #4071540
Posted By: keberoxu
11-Sep-20 - 11:49 AM
Thread Name: my first performance in thirty years
Subject: RE: my first performance in thirty years
I have opened a music thread for the
"Geistliches Wiegenlied" which is
Opus 91, no. 2, by Johannes Brahms.
It is of interest in itself because it is not
a typical art song/German 'Lied' with
a text by a German poet, set to music.

For this song, Brahms helped himself to two different traditions.
For the singer, he set to music a German translation of
a Spanish lyric, from about 1600 A.D.,
of a lullaby to be sung by the Virgin Mary;
it makes no mention of Joseph, but begs the winds in the trees
to stop making so much rustling noises,
that the baby Jesus may not be awakened from slumber.

Now, when Brahms encountered the German-language translated text,
it reminded him of a German Christmas carol, which DOES mention:
"Joseph, lieber Joseph mein ..."
and features the Virgin Mary asking Joseph
to help her rock the baby Jesus to sleep.
Rather than combine the two texts,
composer Brahms borrowed the melody at the beginning of the German carol,
which is played by the viola as a counterpart
to the singer's melody and text.

I thought the song merited its own thread.