Johannes Brahms' Wiegenlied ("Guten Abend, gute Nacht"), frequently referred to in English as Brahms's Lullaby or Cradle Song, is the composer's Op. 49, No. 4, originally written for voice and piano, published in 1868. It was performed often by the Virginia Glee Club in the early 20th century.

Composition and premiere[edit | edit source]

The Lullaby was dedicated to Brahms's friend, Bertha Faber, on the occasion of the birth of her second son. Brahms had been in love with her in her youth and constructed the melody of the "Wiegenlied" to suggest, as a hidden counter-melody, a song she used to sing to him.[1] The lullaby was first performed in public on 22 December 1869 in Vienna by Louise Dustmann (singer) and Clara Schumann (piano).[2][3]

Lyrics[edit | edit source]

The lyrics of the first verse are from the collection of German folk poems, Des Knaben Wunderhorn[1] and the second stanza was written by Template:Ill (1824–1909) in 1849.

Brahms version

Guten Abend, gut' Nacht,
mit Rosen bedacht,
mit Näglein besteckt,
schlupf unter die Deck':
Morgen früh, wenn Gott will,
wirst du wieder geweckt.

Guten Abend, gut' Nacht,
von Englein bewacht,
die zeigen im Traum
dir Christkindleins Baum:
schlaf nun selig und süss,
schau im Traum 's Paradies.

Literal translation

Good evening, good night,
With roses covered,
With cloves adorned,
Slip under the covers.
Tomorrow morning, if God wills,
you will wake once again.

Good evening, good night.
By angels watched,
Who show you in your dream
the Christ-child's tree.
Sleep now blissfully and sweetly,
see the paradise in your dream.

Performances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Swafford, Jan (1999). Johannes Brahms: A Biography. Random House of Canada. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-679-74582-2. 
  2. McCorkle, Margit L. (1984). Johannes Brahms. Thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis. Munich: Henle. pp. 197. ISBN 3-87328-041-8. 
  3. Opus 49, Fünf Lieder für eine Singstimme und Klavier

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Ould, Barry Peter, Notes for Hyperion CDA67279, Percy Grainger: Rambles and Reflections – Piano Transcriptions, Piers Lane, piano.

External links[edit | edit source]

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