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RC 7 Dämmerung (“Dämm’rung senkte sich von oben”)

text source

Goethe’s Gedichte II (Stuttgart: J.G. Cotta 1868), 234

first performance

1897-09-05 00:00:00.0 Delft, Waalsche Kerk

recordings

  • Anniversary Edition 7 Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD7

publications

  • Choral classics from Holland (H.U. 4155), 4-10 Harmonia 13076676
  • Dämmerung (“Dämm’rung senkte sich von oben”) Alphons Diepenbrock Fonds 18803601

  • Dämmerung (“Dämm’rung senkte sich von oben”)
  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
  • mixed choir a cappella
  • 1884-05-06 00:00:00.0
  • duration 4:50

Dämmerung (Twilight), number VIII of the cycle Chinesisch-Deutsche Jahres- und Tageszeiten (Chinese-German Seasons and Times of Day), is the first poem by Goethe that Diepenbrock set to music. There is no documentation on the genesis of this choral work, written or finished on 6 May 1884 according to the date in the manuscript. However, we do know that once, at the time he was teaching in den Bosch, Diepenbrock played the piece for his friend Antoon Derkinderen. (BD III:8) …more >

Dämmerung (incipit)


Dämmerung (Twilight), number VIII of the cycle Chinesisch-Deutsche Jahres- und Tageszeiten (Chinese-German Seasons and Times of Day), is the first poem by Goethe that Diepenbrock set to music. There is no documentation on the genesis of this choral work, written or finished on 6 May 1884 according to the date in the manuscript. However, we do know that once, at the time he was teaching in den Bosch, Diepenbrock played the piece for his friend Antoon Derkinderen. (BD III:8)

In the poem Goethe depicts the atmosphere of nightfall, when all that is nearby, appears to be far away. In the soft light of the evening star everything sways with uncertainty. Mist creeps slowly upwards; the silent lake reflects a pitch-black darkness. Then in the eastern sky the moon appears. On seeing its magical light and the moving shadows playing through the rustling trees, a sense of cool tranquillity descends on the heart.

Diepenbrock’s setting offers rich harmonies and subtly ‘translates’ the nuances in Goethe’s text. While the majority of the composition is homophonic, Diepenbrock constructed the quatrain “Alles schwankt in’s Ungewisse, / Nebel schleichen in die Höh’; / Schwartzvertiefte Finsternisse” in a strictly imitative manner, each of the voices entering on a dissonant. The word “schwanken” (to sway) is also expressed by the curve of the melody. The mist slowly creeping upwards is accompanied by an ascending octave leap. In the line “Wiederspiegelnd ruht der See” (The reflecting lake rests) ends with a long two-measure Generalpause.

On the words “Dort, am östlichen Bereiche” (There, in the eastern sky) the second part starts with a literal repeat of the first four measures. The moving shadows of the trees are portrayed by a supple quaver movement and on “Luna’s Zauberschein” (The magical moonlight) all voices are in a high register on a C-sharp major chord. Once again there is a two-measure Generalpause. The last lines of the poem are in A major (thirds relationship) and, while modulating back to C major, they are repeated once.

On 5 September 1897 Dämmerung and the Vijftiende-eeuwsch bruyloftslied (Fifteenth-Century Wedding Song, RC 10) were premiered in Delft by the Amsterdamsch Vocaal Kwartet – 15 years after these compositions came into being. The concert with works by, among others, Palestrina, Haydn, Lassus, Senfl, Loewe and Röntgen, marked the beginning of a tour the ensemble made that autumn of several Dutch towns (Schiedam, Dordrecht, Utrecht, Haarlem, The Hague, Eindhoven, Arnhem, Rotterdam, Middelburg, ’s-Hertogenbosch, Amsterdam, Hoorn, Groningen, Veendam, Leeuwarden, Apeldoorn, Hilversum, Deventer, Amersfoort, Nijmegen, Breda, Wageningen, Zaandam, Assen and Sneek). Diepenbrock and his wife thought the performance in Amsterdam of 9 October was beautiful. (BD III:510) The critics of the major newspapers and periodicals characterised Diepenbrock’s style at length. Composer-conductor Daniël de Lange (1841-1918) remarked:

The music closely follows the text. The harmonies that emerge from the melodies of the different voices are modern, so there are more than enough unusual transitions in this four-part song. In fact, they should not be called transitions: they are rather notes that accidentally sound simultaneously, which, in order to be considered chords, should have to be in some key or another, but which actually have a meaning only as transitory chords in relation to the general tonality. (BD III:510)

Ton Braas



Schemering

Schemering daalde neer,
Weldra is alle nabijheid ver;
Maar de avondster, als eerste opgegaan,
Licht vriendelijk op!
Alles verkeert in het ongewisse,
Nevels kruipen omhoog;
Diepzwarte duisternis weerspiegelend
Rust het meer.

Daar in oostelijke richting
Vermoed ik het schijnsel van de maan,
Slanke, fijnvertakte wilgen werpen
Schertsende schaduwen op het nabije water.
Door beweeglijk schaduwspel
Trilt Luna's betoverend schijnsel,
En de koelte, die door de ogen
Naar binnen dringt, brengt het hart tot bedaren.

Dämmerung

Dämm’rung senkte sich von oben,
Schon ist alle Nähe fern;
Doch zuerst emporgehoben
Holden Lichts der Abendstern!
Alles schwankt ins Ungewisse,
Nebel schleichen in die Höh’;
Schwarzvertiefte Finsternisse
Widerspiegelnd ruht der See.

Dort, am östlichen Bereiche
Ahn’ ich Mondenglanz und -glut,
Schlanker Weiden Haargezweige
Scherzen auf der nächsten Flut.
Durch bewegter Schatten Spiele
Zittert Luna’s Zauberschein,
Und durchs Auge schleicht die Kühle
Sänftigend ins Herz hinein.

 

 

 


  • A-48(11) Dämmerung

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6

    A-48(11) dated on last page 6 Mei 1884

    • 1884-05-06 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: 6
  • B-16(3) Dämmerung

    semi-autograph B-16(3)

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • B-19(09) Dämmerung, bass choral part

    semi-autograph bass choral part B-19(9)

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown

  • click to enlarge

    Anniversary Edition 7

    cd Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD7
    Nederlands Kamerkoor ♦ Stok, Klaas ♦ Gronostay, Uwe ♦ Vocaal Ensemble Markant ♦ Haenchen, Hartmut ♦ Netherlands Radio Choir ♦ Antunes, Celso ♦ Quink Vocaal Ensemble

    Tracks: #1 = RC 7; #2 = RC 36; #3 = RC 85; #4 = RC 86; #5 = RC 87; #6 = RC 38; #7 = RC 56; #8 = RC 63; #9 = RC 28; #10 = RC 5; #11 = RC 34; #12 = RC 35; #13 = RC 119; #14 = RC 57

  • Choral classics from Holland (H.U. 4155), 4-10

    1982 Harmonia
  • Dämmerung (“Dämm’rung senkte sich von oben”)

    1923 Alphons Diepenbrock Fonds

5 sep 1897:  Eerste uitvoering van Dämmerung en het Vijftiende-eeuwsch bruyloftslied (RC 10) door het Amsterdamsch Vocaal Kwartet in de Waalsche Kerk te Delft. Hier begint dit vocaal ensemble zijn tweede concerttournee met een programma dat verder bevat:
Adoramus te (Jacopo Corsi), Madrigale (Palestrina), Der Greis en Beredsamkeit (Haydn), Sandmännchen (volkslied), Die Liebe als Rezensentin (Gustav Schreck), Ständchen en Madrigal (Orlando di Lasso), O Elslein (Ludwig Senfl), In der Marienkirche en Im Frühling (Loewe), Twee Oud-Nederlandsche Volksliederen (Jul. Röntgen, naar Adrianus Valerius).

Na Delft optredens in de volgende plaatsen: Schiedam (6 september), Dordrecht (9), Utrecht (27), Haarlem (28), Den Haag (1 oktober), Eindhoven (3), Arnhem (4), Rotterdam (6), Middelburg (7), ’s-Hertogenbosch (8), Amsterdam (9), Hoorn (10), Groningen (11), Veendam (12), Leeuwarden (13), Apeldoorn (15), Hilversum (16), Deventer (17), Amersfoort (20), Nijmegen (22), Breda (27), Wageningen (28), Zaandam (31), Assen (2 november), Sneek (3). Diepenbrock hoort in Dordrecht voor 't eerst zijn Dämmerung en Vijftiende-eeuwsch bruyloftslied uitvoeren.

Als een bijzonderheid mag vermeld worden dat van den heer Diepenbrock, die in de zaal aanwezig was, werden uitgevoerd (en wel voor de eerste maal) Vijftiende-eeuwsch bruiloftslied en Dämmerung. Het laatste vooral is een diep-gevoelde 'sinnige' compositie, volkomen waardig uitgevoerd te worden door zangers als van het vocaalkwartet.

Weekblad voor Muziek (M.), 18 september 1897

pdf All reviews for RC 7 Dämmerung (“Dämm’rung senkte sich von oben”)