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RC 88* Der Abend (“Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn”)

unfinished work

text source

Max Koch (ed.), Arnim, Klemens und Bettina Brentano, J. Görres (Stuttgart: Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft [n.d.]), 158-159
  • Der Abend (“Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn”)
  • Brentano, Clemens
  • vocal quartet
  • 1908-08-22 00:00:00.0

After composing three vocal quartets on texts by Goethe (RC 85, 86, 87) for Gerard Zalsman’s ensemble of soloists within one week in August 1908, Diepenbrock resolved to set the poem Der Abend (The Evening) by Clemens Brentano for the same ensemble. The sketches date from 22 August, two days after the completion of Auf dem See (On the Lake). The thematic similarity between Brentano’s poem and Goethe’s Wandrers Nachtlied (Wanderer’s Night Song) will have motivated Diepenbrock’s choice of text. …more >

Der Abend (incipit)


After composing three vocal quartets on texts by Goethe (RC 85, 86, 87) for Gerard Zalsman’s ensemble of soloists within one week in August 1908, Diepenbrock resolved to set the poem Der Abend (The Evening) by Clemens Brentano for the same ensemble. The sketches date from 22 August, two days after the completion of Auf dem See (On the Lake). The thematic similarity between Brentano’s poem and Goethe’s Wandrers Nachtlied (Wanderer’s Night Song) will have motivated Diepenbrock’s choice of text.

The composition got stuck after two different settings of the first verse, notated in 4/4 metre. The first is in d minor and its structure is determined by a peaceful progression of seconds. This version comprises 15½ measures. On a new page in the sketchbook Diepenbrock started another setting in D major that very same day, built on the opening motive in the soprano, but he also broke off this attempt after the first verse, which this time consists of fourteen measures.

Clearly Diepenbrock was not pleased with either of these settings; he crossed out both of them with a thick blue pencil.

Désirée Staverman & Ton Braas

 



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)

 

 

 


  • C-7(32-35) Der Abend (“Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn”)

    C-7(32-35) dated on the first page 22 Aug 1908 and on the third page 22 Aug.

    • 1908-08-22 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown