This chapter presents the text of Johannes Brahms' “Die Schwestern,” from Eduard Mörike's Gedichte (1838), with translation. The annotations are mostly taken from George Bozarth. Plate 13.1, given at the end of the chapter, gives a score for the song. Numbers of voices address us, some in succession and some in overlay. Of these, the chapter devotes particular attention to Mörike's sisters, Mörike's raisonneur, Brahms's sisters, Brahms's raisonneur, and the singers who perform the duet. The rest of this chapter involves more technical musical explorations. It first proposes a basically four-square rhythmic/metric setting, embodying a folkish Vierhebigkeit as a template that underlies Brahms's actual music. The chapter then explores in more detail the composer's techniques of phrase extension and how they abet his presentation of the drama.
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