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RC 92 Der Abend (“Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn”)

text source

Max Koch (ed.), Arnim, Klemens und Bettina Brentano, J. Görres (Stuttgart: Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft [n.d.]), 158-159

first performance

1910-04-14 00:00:00.0 Amsterdam, Concertgebouw

recordings

  • Anniversary Edition 3 Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD3

publications

  • Drei Lieder für eine Sopranstimme und Orchester Donemus/ADF 26293159

  • Der Abend (“Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn”)
  • Brentano, Clemens
  • soprano and orchestra
  • 1908-11-01 00:00:00.0 - 1908-11-19 00:00:00.0 | revised 1910-04-01 00:00:00.0 - 1910-04-04 00:00:00.0
  • duration ca. 5:30

The orchestrated version of Diepenbrock’s song Der Abend (The Evening) was performed for the first time on 14 April 1910 at a subscription concert in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw under the composer. Before the interval Diepenbrock conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Fourth Symphony by Gustav Mahler. After the interval the programme was entirely dedicated to his own works. Aaltje Noordewier-Reddingius was the soloist in Der Abend, Lied der Spinnerin (Song of the Spinner, RC 42) and Hymne an die Nacht “Gehoben ist der Stein” (Hymn to the Night “Uplifted is the Stone”, RC 49). The Hymne voor viool en orkest (Hymn for Violin and Orchestra, RC 44) was also performed. For this occasion Diepenbrock had revised the orchestration of the Hymne an die Nacht, and also that of the original version of Der Abend. …more >

Der Abend (incipit)


The orchestrated version of Diepenbrock’s song Der Abend (The Evening) was performed for the first time on 14 April 1910 at a subscription concert in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw under the composer. Before the interval Diepenbrock conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra in the Fourth Symphony by Gustav Mahler. After the interval the programme was entirely dedicated to his own works. Aaltje Noordewier-Reddingius was the soloist in Der Abend, Lied der Spinnerin (Song of the Spinner, RC 42) and Hymne an die Nacht “Gehoben ist der Stein” (Hymn to the Night “Uplifted is the Stone”, RC 49). The Hymne voor viool en orkest (Hymn for Violin and Orchestra, RC 44) was also performed. For this occasion Diepenbrock had revised the orchestration of the Hymne an die Nacht, and also that of the original version of Der Abend.

Already on 20 September 1908, shortly after completing the piano version of Der Abend (RC 90), Diepenbrock wrote that for the song to come into its own, it needed to be orchestrated. (BD VI:14) He realised this plan – some designations of instruments in autograph A-64(10) already point in this direction – in the course of the autumn of 1908. At the end of October Diepenbrock wrote in a letter to Johanna Jongkindt, to whom he had sent a copy of the song:

Now I am busy orchestrating Der Abend. Don’t you think it is difficult to play? It is impossible for those who are considered a ‘pianist’, I believe. Therefore the orchestra is the only option, although the chances are small that I will hear it in the near future or ever. (BD VI:34)

A year and a half later he was proven wrong.

When revising the orchestration of Der Abend Diepenbrock discarded a great deal in order to make the music more transparent. This was not only influenced by the fact that during this period he was studying the symphonic and vocal works by Mahler, whom he admired (Now I have all of Gustaaf’s songs, and I am more and more surprised by his immense genius, he wrote on 29 March 1910), as well as the music by Claude Debussy. For example, in 1909 Diepenbrock had made a piano score of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun) for study purposes and in January 1910 he had purchased the score of Pelléas et Mélisande.

Der Abend calls for a large wind section: besides Diepenbrock’s favourite duo of oboe d’amore and English horn, it includes 2 clarinets, bass clarinet and 4 horns, resulting in a wide variety of timbres. The horns present the opening motive, while the double basses reinforce the organ point. The woodwinds play solo most of the time, but in the interlude after the third verse (Più vivace, agitato molto) they join forces. In the four measures after the peaceful end of that verse – on the words “ganz stumm” (quite silent) – Diepenbrock collectively makes the dynamics swell to fff, creating a much larger contrast with the preceding section than in the piano version. The sound is intensified even further by the clarinets playing Schalltrichter auf – an effect he derived from Mahler.

The concert on 14 April 1910 was not only a big event for Diepenbrock himself, it was also covered at length in the press. Diepenbrock was disappointed that several critics found that, of the orchestrated songs, the Lied der Spinnerin was to be preferred over Der Abend. He was surprised that the newspaper De Tijd spoke of a forced depiction of the text and an obvious contradiction between the words and the music. (BD VI:252)

In February 1915 Der Abend was performed again by the Concertgebouw Orchestra, this time conducted by Willem Mengelberg and with the renowned German soprano Gertrud Förstel. After this concert a number of critics were more impressed by Diepenbrock’s song than by Gustav Mahler’s Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (Where the Beautiful Trumpets Blow) and Wer hat dies Liedlein erdacht (Who Made Up this Little Song), which also featured on the programme. As Matthijs Vermeulen said:

There was too great a contrast between Diepenbrock and Mahler to make any comparison and we can only say in passing that we thought Der Abend was more captivating. The orchestral interlude before “Vöglein euer schwaches Nest” (Little bird your weak nest) is a masterpiece and in none of Mahler’s songs are such universal feelings depicted, presenting in a few measures a complete plot (here a very dramatic one), not even the Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children), although they are composed from a purely personal perspective. (BD VIII:719)

Désirée Staverman



Der Abend

Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn
In dem lieben, stillen Hain,
Sonne will schon schlafen gehn,
Läßt ihr goldnes Hemdelein
Sinken auf den grünen Rasen,
Wo die schlanken Hirsche grasen
In dem roten Abendschein.

In der Quellen klarer Flut
Treibt kein Fischlein mehr sein Spiel,
Jedes suchtet, wo es ruht,
Sein gewöhnlich Ort und Ziel,
Und entschlummert überm Lauschen
Auf der Wellen leises Rauschen
Zwischen bunten Kieseln kühl.

Schlank schaut auf der Felsenwand
Sich die Glockenblume um;
Denn verspätet über Land
Will ein Bienchen mit Gesumm
Sich zur Nachtherberge melden,
In den blauen, zarten Zelten,
Schlüpft hinein und wird ganz stumm.

Vöglein, euer schwaches Nest
Ist das Abendlied vollbracht
Wird wie eine Burg so fest.
Fromme Vöglein schützt zur Nacht
Gegen Katz und Marderkrallen,
Die im Schlaf sie überfallen,
Gott, der über alle wacht.

Treuer Gott, du bist nicht weit,
Dir vertraun wir ohne Harm
In der wilden Einsamkeit,
Wie in Hofes eitlem Schwarm.
Du wirst uns die Hütte bauen,
Daß wir fromm und voll Vertrauen
Sicher ruhn in deinem Arm.

 

The Evening

How softly the leaves blow
In the sweet and quiet grove,
The sun already seeks its rest
And lets its golden tunic
Sink onto the green lawns,
Where the slender deer graze
In the crimson evening light.

In the clear spring waters
The fish no longer play,
For all seek to rest
In their usual place,
Sleeping as they listen
To the soft murmur of the waves,
Cool between bright pebbles.

The slim campanula
Looks around on the cliffside.
A buzzing bee
Flies tardily around
In search of shelter for the night;
It slips into soft blue tents
And is completely silent.

Little birds, your flimsy nest
Is transformed by the song of the night
And becomes as strong as a fortress.
Pious little birds, may God who watches over all
Protect you at night
From the cats’ and martens’ claws
That might attack you whilst you sleep.

Faithful God, you are not far,
We trust in you and fear neither
The wild desert places
Nor the vain crowds at Court.
You will build a tabernacle for us,
That in pious trust
We may rest safe in your arms.

(transl. Peter Lockwood)

 

 

 


  • A-63(2) Der abend (“Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn”)

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4

    A-63(2) dated on the last page gecomp Aug 1908, geinstr. 1. Nov 19 Nov. 1908 / herzien 1-4 April 1910.

    • 1908-11-01 00:00:00.0 – 1910-04-04 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: 4

  • click to enlarge

    Anniversary Edition 3

    cd Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD3
    Residentie Orkest ♦ Vonk, Hans ♦ Bije, Annette de la ♦ Defraiteur, Renée ♦ Devos, Lode ♦ Hombert, Christoph ♦ Kruysen, Bernard ♦ Omroeporkest ♦ Radio Philharmonisch Orkest ♦ Promenade Orkest ♦ Berg, Maurits van den ♦ Otterloo, Willem van ♦ Silberman, Benedict

    Tracks: 1 = RC 84; 2 = RC 75; 3 = RC 92; 4 = RC 81; 5 = RC 80; 6 = RC 130; 7 = RC 59; 8 = RC 73; 9 = RC 60; 10 = RC 82; 11 = RC 83; 12 = RC 58

  • Drei Lieder für eine Sopranstimme und Orchester

    1954 Donemus/ADF

14 apr 1910: Diepenbrock treedt op als gastdirigent op het abonnementsconcert. Het programma vermeldt voor de pauze de Vierde Symfonie van Mahler, na de pauze composities van Diepenbrock, en wel Lied der Spinnerin en Der Abend (eerste uitvoering), gezongen door Aaltje Noordewier-Reddingius, de Hymne voor viool en orkest, gespeeld door Julius Thornberg (eerste uitvoering) en de Hymne an die Nacht “Gehoben ist der Stein” (soliste Aaltje Noordewier-Reddingius).

De heer Diepenbrock was gisteravond de dirigent. […] Mevrouw Noordewier en het orkest met zijn dirigent oogstten na de symphonie aller dank, maar de tweede helft van den avond bracht een groot en warm succes aan Diepenbrock, den toondichter: als componist van kleinere liederen, de Hymne voor viool en een der beide groote Hymnen an die Nacht (“Gehoben ist der Stein”) (Novalis); Brentano's Lied der Spinnerin, in de uiterst fijne en stemmingsvolle orkestratie, werd gevolgd door een ander lied van Brentano, Der Abend, waarin eveneens de suggestieve kracht der zelfstandige instrumentale stemmen naast den zang den indruk niet weinig verhoogde. […] Mevrouw Noordewier en het orkest zijn naar verdiensten gehuldigd, en Diepenbrock zelf kreeg een ovatie van langen duur en groote hartelijkheid!

Algemeen Handelsblad (S.Z. [= W.N.F. Sibmacher Zijnen], 15 april 1910

pdf All reviews for RC 92 Der Abend (“Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn”)