english | nederlands

RC 86 Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)

text source

Goethe’s Gedichte Vol. I (Stuttgart: J.G. Cotta 1868), 59

first performance

1908-10-20 00:00:00.0 Den Haag, Diligentia

recordings

  • Anniversary Edition 7 Et'cetera KTC 1435 CD7

publications

  • Fünf Gesänge nach Goethe für gemischten Chor ohne Begleitung Noske, A.A. 11158647
  • Fünf Gesänge nach Goethe für gemischten Chor ohne Begleitung (reprint) Donemus 19176217

  • Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)
  • Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von
  • vocal quartet
  • 1908-08-19 00:00:00.0 | revised 1916-12-29 00:00:00.0 - 1916-12-31 00:00:00.0
  • duration 2:30

On 19 August 1908, three days after noting down his setting of Goethe’s Gleich zu Gleich (Like to Like, RC 85), Diepenbrock drafted the outlines of Wandrers Nachtlied (Wanderer’s Night Song), which was also intended for Gerard Zalsman’s vocal quartet, on the next three pages (pp. 18-20) of music notebook C-6. On that same day he turned these ideas into a complete 31-measure setting in the key of F major (pp. 21 to 27). The autograph bears traces of a great many erasions and corrections. On 9 October Diepenbrock made neat copy B-11(6) in the key of G major. This version occasionally has a different harmonic progression. It contains 40 measures, as the text is repeated in three places. …more >

Wandrers Nachtlied (incipit)


On 19 August 1908, three days after noting down his setting of Goethe’s Gleich zu Gleich (Like to Like, RC 85), Diepenbrock drafted the outlines of Wandrers Nachtlied (Wanderer’s Night Song), which was also intended for Gerard Zalsman’s vocal quartet, on the next three pages (pp. 18-20) of music notebook C-6. On that same day he turned these ideas into a complete 31-measure setting in the key of F major (pp. 21 to 27). The autograph bears traces of a great many erasions and corrections. On 9 October Diepenbrock made neat copy B-11(6) in the key of G major. This version occasionally has a different harmonic progression. It contains 40 measures, as the text is repeated in three places.

The Zalsman Quartet premiered this version of Diepenbrock’s Wandrers Nachtlied in The Hague on 20 October 1908, together with Gleich zu Gleich. It was not until later performances that year that the quality of the delicate and – due to the harmonies – demanding piece started to come into its own. Critic Willem Landré finally concluded:

“One has to be a Diepenbrock to be able to turn a text that has been set to music so often, such as Goethe’s Wand’rers Nachtlied, into such a beautiful atmospheric piece.” (BD VI:429)

Diepenbrock’s correspondence with his friend W.G. Hondius van den Broek of September 1908 shows some disappointment over the fact that the four singers put so little effort into the finishing touches:

"Things are done with such Dutch amiability, and they do not have a true understanding of ‘slogging oneself’, as Messchaert used to have with his quartet." (BD VI:13)

Especially the soprano fell well short with her intonation as well as her diction. Therefore Diepenbrock decided to simplify the introduction. The original opening

of which Hondius had written that he feared that the entry of the soprano would somewhat disturb the peace with its fast movement (BD VI:16), was changed into a straightforward

according to the correction in semi autograph B-22.

Everything was accomplished”

On 24 October 1916 Sem Dresden (1881-1957) and his Madrigal Society gave a beautiful performance in the Recital Hall of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw of Diepenbrock’s Chanson d’automne (Autumn Song, RC 38) and De groote hond en de kleine kat (The Large Dog and the Small Cat, RC 63). The composer was very complimentary: Everything was accomplished, without exaggeration. (BD IX:177) Most likely it was due to Dresden’s interest in these choral works (in the previous season he had already presented Auf dem See (On the Lake, RC 87), Dämmerung (Twilight, RC 7) and Den uil (The Owl, RC 56)) that Diepenbrock started a final revision of Wandrers Nachtlied two months later, on 29 December 1916. In manuscript B-12(10) he condensed the work on Goethe’s aphoristic poem to a mere 21 measures. On 31 December, via an alternative version in sketchbook C-31 (on the inside of the cover) with the conclusion I – IV minor-major 7 – I, he came up with the fascinating conclusion that draws on the thirds relationship between C major and E major.

On 12 May 1917 Dresden and his vocal ensemble performed Wandrers Nachtlied, together with the Stabat mater speciosa (RC 35), once again in the Recital Hall of the Concertgebouw. Matthijs Vermeulen reported in the newspaper De Telegraaf:

The exceptional virtuosity with which the difficulties of Wandrers Nachtlied (Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh - Over all summits is peace), one of Diepenbrock’s latest works that evokes the dying sonority and the melancholy of autumn, were overcome, was amazing. (BD IX:568)

After the publication of Wandrers Nachtlied in 1923, this musical gem became one of Diepenbrock’s most frequently performed choral works.

Ton Braas



  Über allen Gipfeln
Ist Ruh,
In allen Wipfeln
Spürest du
Kaum einen Hauch;
Die Vögelein schweigen im Walde.
Warte nur, balde
Ruhest du auch.
 

 


  • B-12(10) Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)

    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4

    (final version in E major) B-12(10) dated on the first page 29 Dec 1916 and on the last page Laren 31 Dec. 1916

    • 1916-12-29 00:00:00.0 – 1916-12-31 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: 4
  • B-11(6) Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)

    (revised version in G major) B-11(6) dated on the last page 9 Octob 1908

    • 1908-08-09 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • B-22 Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)

    copy B-22 in G major

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • B-3(6) Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)

    copy B-3(6) in F major

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • C-6(18-20) Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)

    sketch C-6(p18-20)

    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown
  • C-6(18-27) Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)

    (first version in F major:) C-6(18-27) dated on the last page 19 Aug 1908

    • 1908-08-19 00:00:00.0
    • location: Diepenbrock Archief Laren
    • pages: unknown

Wandrers Nachtlied (finale versie) uitgevoerd door Middelburgs Kamerkoor o.l.v. Pim Overduin

Wandrers Nachtlied uitgevoerd door het Nederlands Kamerkoor o.l.v. Hartmut Haenchen



  • 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

  • Fünf Gesänge nach Goethe für gemischten Chor ohne Begleitung

    1923 Noske, A.A.
  • Fünf Gesänge nach Goethe für gemischten Chor ohne Begleitung (reprint)

    1980 Donemus

20 okt 1908: Eerste uitvoering van Wandrers Nachtlied en Gleich zu Gleich in Diligentia te 's-Gravenhage door het Zalsman-Kwartet (Johanna van de Linde, Hermine Scholten, Jac. van Kempen en Gerard Zalsman). Voorts wordt van Diepenbrock nog gezongen Den uil, overigens composities van Clemens non Papa, Valerius, Lechner, Donato, de Sermisy, Lasso, Janequin, Gascogne, Costeley, Löwe, Mozart, Praetorius en Brahms, in totaal 21 nummers.

De eenige levende componist, wiens naam gedrukt stond, was onze Diepenbrock; hij was vertegenwoordigd door drie werkjes, waarvan twee humoristische: Den uil (Vlaamsch volkslied) en Gleich zu gleich (Goethe). Beide bijzonder geslaagd, beter dunkt mij dan de “verklanking” van Goethe's Wandrers Nachtlied “Ueber allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”, dat men (na Schubert) maar met rust moest laten. Want elke muziek moet beneden de Taalmuziek van dit onsterfelijk gedichtje blijven.

Het Vaderland (niet gesigneerd), 21 oktober 1908

Hoeveel schoons er bestaat in de literatuur voor kwartetzang, heeft het Zalsman-Kwartet ons ten duidelijkste bewezen. Ook dat een modern Nederlands componist een der belangwekkendsten is op dit gebied, is zeer heuchelijk en iets dat op prijs gesteld moet worden. Alphons Diepenbrock's werken behoorden tot de meest interessante op dezen avond. Eene compositie als Den uil is zeer ad notam te nemen. Maar ook, hoe stemmingsvol is zijn Wanderer's Nachtlied (Goethe), hoe frisch en boeiend het Gleich zu Gleich (Goethe).

De Hofstad (niet gesigneerd), 21 oktober 1908

pdf All reviews for RC 86 Wandrers Nachtlied (“Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”)