Brentano Lieder – R. Strauss

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    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #151131

    Has anyone played the Brentano Lieder by Richard Strauss? This is the first time I have ever done them, and I am mystified by the section from four bars after 21 in the sixth Lied (Lied der Frauen). If this goes at about 76 to the half note, how do you play it? At this speed, it’s impossibly awkward to do as written. Let’s not even get into the fourth movement, which has some pedal changes which would require growing a third foot. Do you split these parts with the second harpist if you have one?

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #151132

    Oh, and Clinton, are there mistakes in these Lieder? There are some very odd chords here and there. But that’s not unusual in R. Strauss.

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #151133

    Hi, Clinton! There is one spot in the 6th song (Lied der Frauen) where the score indicates a glissando but the harp parts show it as a strangely-voiced arpeggio. That was the spot I was wondering about. Everything else seems okay. We start rehearsing it next week, so I’ll post anything else I discover.

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #151134

    There was one more mistake in the harp part: no tempo marking for the fourth song! It is “lieblich lebhaft”. In other words, it clips along! I did my own edition to eliminate some of the pedal changes, (including staying in a flat key when the original goes to a sharp key and back), and split the last bit of the last song between the two harpists. A word of warning: there are various recordings out there, but they vary enormously in tempi, so don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Choose the fastest tempi to practice with and you’ll be safe rather than sorry. These are gorgeous songs, and it is a pity that they are not programmed more regularly.

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