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RC 89* 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
  • soprano, alto and organ
  • 1908-08-22 00:00:00.0

After Diepenbrock had made two attempts at setting Brentano’s poem Der Abend (The Evening) for vocal quartet (see RC 88) on 22 August 1908, he drastically changed his approach. He chose a setting for vocal duo (soprano and alto) and organ, writing a melody in which a punctuated rhythm spices up the diction that deviates from the original 4/4 metre and is in a different key (B major). On the first four pages of a new sketchbook, C-8, he wrote a fourteen-measure fragment comprising five lines of the poem, in other words he did not complete the first strophe. Characteristic is the undulating quaver motion in the organ over an organ point. …more >

Der Abend (incipit)


After Diepenbrock had made two attempts at setting Brentano’s poem Der Abend (The Evening) for vocal quartet (see RC 88) on 22 August 1908, he drastically changed his approach. He chose a setting for vocal duo (soprano and alto) and organ, writing a melody in which a punctuated rhythm spices up the diction that deviates from the original 4/4 metre and is in a different key (B major). On the first four pages of a new sketchbook, C-8, he wrote a fourteen-measure fragment comprising five lines of the poem, in other words he did not complete the first strophe. Characteristic is the undulating quaver motion in the organ over an organ point.

This undated fragment must have been written that same day, as Diepenbrock has sketched the first outlines of the definite version of this song for soprano and organ (RC 90) on the next page, which is dated 22 Aug.

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-8(1-4) Der Abend (“Wie so leis’ die Blätter wehn”)

    C-8(1-4), not dated

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown