Saturday, April 12, 2014

A New Song History: "Robin Adair" in Germany

While researching the history of the songs "Eileen Aroon" and "Robin Adair" I learned - much to my surprise, I must admit - that the tune had also been very popular in the German speaking countries for quite a long time. One adaptation - "Treu und herzinniglich" - was introduced by poet Wilhelm Gerhard in 1826 and it soon became a standard in collections of so-called "Volkslieder". A second text - "Heimat, Ade!" - appeared first in the 1850s and was later not uncommon in songbooks for schools. I got the impression that the Folklorists in Germany didn't care much for these songs and not much research has been done. But in fact this turned out to be a very fascinating story. I have worked quite a long time on that but now I am glad that it is complete and as usual the text that is now available on my website has become much longer than expected:  
This is conceived more as a kind of documentation but I also felt it necessary to discuss some important theoretical questions. Especially the term "Volkslied" needed some clarification. I was not interested in our current definitions of this very controversial concept - Herder's "cuckoo's egg" (see Chapter III) - but in the practical use of it during the 19th and early 20th century. At that time the "Volkslied" covered a very broad range of songs and today's ideas of "authenticity" are not of much use in this respect.

Besides that I have learned a lot that I didn't know before. For example I must admit that I had never heard of Wilhelm Gerhard, a formerly popular German poet who is completely forgotten today. He not only played an instrumental role in this story but also turned out to be a most fascinating character. A considerable number of his poems and adaptations - later he also translated Burns - were set to music and one gets the impression that his contemporaries regarded him as a very competent lyricist. Perhaps I will write a little more about him in the near future.

Another thing I have learned is that an unbelievable great amount of songbooks and sheet music of all kinds were published during that era. Did the people really use them? At least it seems that music publishing was a worthwhile and rewarding business. But today it is not that easy to keep track of all of them. The holdings of the libraries are somewhat fragmentary, not every publication has survived until today and many songbooks are a little bit difficult to get. Moreover the strange secretiveness of many editors and publishers regarding their sources wasn't particularly helpful. But nonetheless I hope I have reconstructed the song's history in a reasonable way. In one case - the origin of "Heimat, Ade!" - I had to correct myself three times and I am still not sure if there maybe was an even earlier initial publication.

The success and long-running popularity of "Robin Adair" in Germany also shows how easy foreign songs could be integrated into the "Volkslied"-genre. Other songs were even more popular, for example Burns' "My Heart's In The Highlands" - as "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" - and as far as I can see this has not been addressed properly so far. Only after World War I this multicultural attitude began to vanish and the foreign hits were piece by piece purged from the repertoire and then were at best ghettoized in extra chapters. Otherwise it cannot be explained why these kind of songs that had once been so popular have completely disappeared from the musical memory. I hope this text I have written helps a little bit to uncover this not overly well-known chapter of German music history.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 7: Weeber & Krauss, Liedersammlung für die Schule (three editions: 1850s, 1870s, 1900s)

One of the most durable and long-lasting songbooks for schools in Germany was surely the Liedersammlung für die Schule [...] in stufenmäßig geordneter Folge conceived and compiled by Johann Christian Becker and Friedrich Krauss. The very first edition consisting of five booklets came out in 1852 and from then on this series remained in print at least until 1915. 

Johann Christian Weeber (1808-1877) worked as a teacher for music, composer, organist andMusikdirektor in the town of Nürtingen in Swabia (see Schwaebische-orgelromantik.de). Weeber had already published a collection for schools a couple of years earlier of which there are apparently no extant copies: Liederbuch für die deutsche Schul-Jugend, Stuttgart 1847 (see Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1847, p. 16). His co-editor Friedrich Krauß (1816-1872) was a pastor who later would compile other song collections, for example 42 Rhythmische Choräle der evangelischen Kirche aus dem 16. und 17. Jahrhundert and or 8 Grabgesänge für 4-stimmigen Männerchor (see Hofmeister XIX, März 1853, p. 291 & November 1860, p. 187).

There is at least one extant copy of the original edition the Liedersammlung. It is available in the WLB Stuttgart (Paed.oct.4482-1/5, see SWB-catalog for Vol. 3) although unfortunately it has not yet been digitized. I happened to find an early reprint, the 3rd edition from 1854, with all five booklets bound together in one volume:
  • J. Chr. Weeber & Friedrich Krauß, Liedersammlung für die Schule. Vier Abtheilungen, in stufenmäßig geordneter Folge. I. Heft zum Gebrauch der Elementarklasse. II. Heft zum Gebrauch der Mittelschule. III. Heft zum Gebrauch der Oberschule. IV. Heft zum Gebrauch der gehobenen Oberklasse. Mit einem Anhang: V. Heft: Liedersammlung für Knabenschulen, 3./3./3./2./1. Stereotyp-Auflage, In Kommission bei der Ebner'schen Kunst- und Musikalienhandlung, Stuttgart 1854/54/54/54/52
    Download pdf-file of complete series, bound together (26 MB), my own scan of a book from my collection
This collection - cheaply produced and therefore relatively inexpensive - apparently became very popular and was then reprinted regularly. For example a 4th edition came out already in 1857 (see catalog UB Frankfurt: Mus 1932/577 Nr. 3) and in the early 70s the 7th edition was published. All the five booklets are identical to the original version:
  • J. Chr. Weeber & Friedrich Krauß, Liedersammlung für die Schule. Vier Abtheilungen, in stufenmäßig geordneter Folge. I. Heft zum Gebrauch der Elementarklasse. II. Heft zum Gebrauch der Mittelschule. III. Heft zum Gebrauch der Oberschule. IV. Heft zum Gebrauch der gehobenen Oberklasse. Mit einem Anhang: V. Heft: Liedersammlung für Knabenschulen, 7./7./8./7./5. Stereotyp-Auflage, In Kommission bei Eduard Ebner, Stuttgart 1873/73/72/73/68
    Download pdf-file of complete series, bound together (26 MB), my own scan of a book from my collection
This is in fact a very interesting collection. Here we can find for example the usual amount of patriotic and religious pieces, some songs by composers like Schulz, Kreutzer, Silcher, Mozart, Haydn, Nägeli and even Gluck as well as a generous amount of so-called "Volkslieder". Thankfully they also included some foreign songs - with German words of course. In the third booklet there is for example "Des Sommers letzte Rose", an adaption of Moore's "The Last Rose Of Summer" (No. 29, p. 33) and in Heft 5 a version of Robert Burns' "My Heart's In The Highland" ("Das Hochland", No. 14, pp. 12-13). Ferdinand Freiligrath's translation was here combined not with the original tune but with another I am not familiar with at the moment:

Most interesting was what may have been the very first publication of "Heimath, Ade!", a new text for the popular tune of "Robin Adair". This song later became a standard in German and Swiss school songbooks:

Krauß and Weeber died in 1872 respectively 1877 but their songbook remained in use and was reprinted in the original form during the next two decades. But in the 90s the publisher hired one Karl Friedrich Breuninger (1836-1904, see Schwäbische Orgelromantik), a music teacher, organist and choirmaster from Stuttgart for a revised edition. He added an additional booklet, a supplement to Vol. 1 & 2, but also corrected and expanded the other volumes. This way the whole collection grew from nearly 200 to just under 300 pages. For example Heft 3 now included 69 instead of 50 "Liedchen und Lieder". I was able to find an edition printed shortly after the turn of the century:
  •  J. Chr. Weeber, Liedersammlung für die Schule. Vier Abteilungen, in stufenmäßig geordneter Folge. I. Heft zum Gebrauch in Elementarklassen. Ergänzungsheft zu I. II. von Breuninger. II. Heft zum Gebrauch in Mittelklassen. III. Heft zum Gebrauch in Mittel- und Oberklassen. IV. Heft zum Gebrauch in Oberklassen, Fortbildungsschulen, Frauenvereinen u. s. w. V. Anhang (Ergänzungsheft zu Heft III),neu durchgesehen von K. Fr. Breuninger, 14./2./13./16./12./14. Auflage, J. B. Metzler'scher Verlag, Stuttgart 1903/01/04/04/03/03
    Download pdf-file of complete collection, bound together (36 MB), my own scan of a book from my collection
All in all this song collection seems to have been modernized rather carefully but still it looked a little bit old-fashioned. In the preface to the 3rd volume he noted that he had deleted some of the less popular songs as well as some that may have been too difficult for the pupils. I also got the impression that the number of patriotic pieces and "Heimatlieder" was raised considerably. I haven't counted them but - of course - that was during the Kaiserreich when the poor kids were permanently plagued with these kind of propaganda disguised as songs. At least the editor spared them Hoffman von Fallersleben's atrocious ditty about Kaiser Wilhelm I ("Wer ist der greise Siegesheld…") that can be found in many other songbooks from this era .

On the other hand some particularly popular standards were added, like the "Lorelei" (here III, No. 53, p. 45) which had not been included in the original edition. In fact at that time no songbook was complete without this beloved song:

Interestingly "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" now found a place in Vol. III (No. 48, p. 41), but not with the uncommon tune from the early editions but with the German "Volksweise" that was most often used at that time for this text: 

Breuninger's new edition was not the end of this collection's life span. In 1915 publisher Auer from Stuttgart brought out one more new edition, now revised by H. Schlegel and F. Schuler (see DNB 56102099X). Apparently this time only the first three volumes were updated. But as far as I know no further editions or reprints followed. After more than 60 years this legendary series came to an end. One may assume that it remained in use for at least a few more years. But at that time it was surely eclipsed by many much more sophisticated and ambitious school songbooks. Nonetheless its longevity is very impressive and numerous generations of children must have learned singing with these handy booklets.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 6: Barner's & Beck's Collections for Girls' Schools 1902/04

For different reasons I have become interested in songbooks published in the German speaking countries during the 19th and early 20th century. Countless collections for all kinds of purposes were published during that era. Especially songbooks for school were produced and sold in great numbers. Every pupil needed a couple of them during his school career and for the editors - mostly experienced teachers - they became a source of steady income. Some of these collections remained available for several decades, sometimes even after the death of the original editor. Not at least the authorities - the government as well as the churches - supervised closely the repertoire of songs taught in schools because they saw music as an important means of patriotic education.

Here I will present two influential and widely used songbooks for girls, one by Andreas Barner from Karlsruhe and the other by Philipp Beck from Köln. In both cases it is the second volume - intended for pupils aged 10 to 14 - of a three-part series: 
  • Andreas Barner, Liedersammlung für Töchterschulen, Heft 2, 5. Auflage, Karlsruhe n. d. [1902]
    Download pdf-file (58 MB), my own scan of a book from my collection
Barner (1835-1910, see Schwäbische Orgelromantik) was a music teacher and composer but also for more than 40 years organist at the court in Karlsruhe. A couple of his other works are listed in Hofmeisters Monatsberichten, for example a Siegesfantasie und Fuge über "Heil unserm Fürsten Heil"(Hofmeister XIX, September 1871, p. 193) or an instructional book for singing lessons (dto., Januar 1879, p. 31). But this Liedersammlung für Töchterschulen was clearly his most successful publication. The first edition came out in 1879 and was then regularly reprinted. This here is the fifth edition from 1902 and in the preface he noted that his "song collection [...] is becoming more widespread, even abroad". A 6th edition was published in 1909, a year before Barner's death (see DNB 365171921). All in all his collection remained available for more than 30 years.

Even more popular and more widely used was another song book for girls' school:
  • Philipp Beck, Liederbuch nebst kurzer Gesanglehre für höhere Mädchenschulen und Lehrerinnen-Bildungsanstalten. Zweiter Teil. 5. - 7. Schuljahr, 17. Auflage, Leipzig 1904
    Download pdf-file (37,9 MB), my own scan of a book from my collection
The editor was at that time director of the Evangelische höhere Töchterschule und Lehrerinnen-Bildungsanstalt in Köln. Some contemporary newspaper articles from the Zeitungsauschnittsammlung of the University Library in Köln offer a little more information about Philipp Beck (ZAS, II.47, p. 36, II.106, p. 78, II.139, p. 106, 109). He was born in 1843, studied at the seminary in Neuwied and already in 1876, at the age of 33, became director of this school. He remained there for 35 years until his retirement in 1911 and died four years later, in 1915. Apparently this song collection was his only music-related publication but he also edited and revised some volumes of a history book for girls' schools (see GEI-Digital).

Beck's Liederbuch first came out in 1883 (see UB Basel, catalog). A second revised edition - now printed by Bredt in Leipzig instead of Roemke from Köln - was published in the late 1880s and a third in 1890 (see Hofmeister XIX, April 1888, p. 159, Oktober 1890, p. 434). This here is the 17th edition that was printed in 1904. I also have a later, revised and extended, edition with 114 instead of 104 pages. Unfortunately the title page is missing but the foreword is dated as from 1910:
  • Philipp Beck, Liederbuch nebst kurzer Gesanglehre für mittlere und höhere Mädchenschulen, Frauenschulen, Studienanstalten und Lehrerinnenseminare.Nach den Bestimmungen von 1908. Zweiter Teil, Leipzig, n. d. [1910 or later]
    Download pdf-file (20,2 MB, my own scan of a book from my collection)
But this collection had an even longer lifespan and reached its 51st edition in 1920 (see DNB 365196177). I even saw a 56th edition published in 1925.

The song repertoires presented by Barner and Beck are of course very similar to each other and around 20 pieces can be found in both collections. There is a heavy dose of patriotic propaganda like, for example, Hoffmann von Fallersleben's "Kaiser Wilhelm":
Wer ist der greise Siegesheld, der uns zu Schutz und Wehr
fürs Vaterland zog in das Feld mit Deutschland's ganzem Heer
[...]
The poor girls had to sing it and I wonder if they really enjoyed these kind of songs. Then there are considerable number of "Heimatlieder", for example "Heimat, Ade!", a German text for the tune of "Robin Adair" that had became a standard in schoolbooks since the 1880s. But the editors also included a lot of popular pieces by composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Abt etc as well as so-called "Volkslieder" or "volkstümliche Lieder", also a genre massively promoted in schools. In fact the "folk" learned the "folksongs" first and foremost in the school. In both collections we can find for example the "Loreley" ("Ich weiß nicht was soll es bedeuten…"), a poem by Heinrich Heine with a tune by Friedrich Silcher, one of the most popular German songs ever:




Friday, March 14, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 5: Illustriertes Volksliederbuch [c. 1900]

  • Illustrirtes [sic!] Volksliederbuch. Eine Sammlung der schönsten, beliebtesten und bekanntesten Volks-, Jäger, Liebes-, Soldaten-, Studenten-, Trink-, Wander-, Opern- und Gesellschaftslieder. Mit zahlreichen Original-Bildern vom A. v. Werner, Georg Bleibtreu und Ludwig Burger, Verlag von Moritz Schauenburg, Lahr n. d. [c. 1900], 410 pp.
    Download pdf-file (my own scan of a book from my collection: 72,4 MB, 410 pp.)
During the second half of the 19th and first half of the 20th century countless songbooks of all kinds were
published in Germany. The fad for "Volkslieder" survived all political and cultural changes and publishers and editors were able to recycle the standard repertoire of these kind of songs endlessly. Many of these collections remained available for several decades and apparently sold in great numbers. Textbooks were particularly popular, not only because many people knew all the important tunes but of course also because these kind of handy pocket volumes were much cheaper than songbooks with music. The collection presented here was apparently first published in the 1860s, perhaps even earlier, at least according to the dates given in some library catalogs. The dating is a little bit difficult because the publisher refrained from giving the year of publication. But that was not uncommon for songbooks at that time. 

A digitized version of another edition of this book is available at the Hathi Trust Digital Library, as usual with annoying watermarks. I really don't understand why they have to put them on every single page. They are especially disturbing in graphically more ambitious publications like this one. Their edition with 588 texts and 386 pages is dated as from "[1871?]" and that seems like a reasonable assumption. In the catalog of the HAAB Weimar (Sign. 231065-A) an edition with the same number of pages has "ca. 1867" as an approximate date. The copy of the book I have includes 661 texts on 408 pages. This extended edition was apparently published around the turn of the century (see the catalog of SUB Hamburg, Sign. A/595057, [1902]). 

This is a particularly interesting and enjoyable collection of texts that is enhanced by numerous tasteful illustrations. In fact it is most pleasant to look at and to browse through. But for some reason the unknown editor - perhaps publisher Schauenburg himself - refrained from giving the name of the authors of all these numerous texts included here. These were surely not all "Volkslieder" produced by the anonymous "folk". In fact there is not a single reference to a source and not a single writer or poet is credited. I assume that it was all borrowed - i. e. stolen - from printed sources and then recycled here for free. But nonetheless it is a nice book that reflects nicely the popularity of the so-called "Volkslieder" and related genres at that time.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 4: Zander & Fischer, Liederschatz. Sammlung vierstimmiger Chorlieder für Knaben und Mädchen, H. 1 (1907, 1914)

Here is another nice and somehow rare songbook that I have acquired recently. It is only available in very
few libraries and also not that easy to find in second hand bookshops. As far as I know this booklet has not yet been digitized.
  • Adolf Zander & Dr. L. H. Fischer (ed.), Liederschatz. Sammlung vierstimmiger Chorlieder für Knaben und Mädchen, Heft 1, 23. Auflage, L. Oehmigke's Verlag, Berlin n. d. [1914?]
    Download pdf-file (66,9 MB), my own scan of book from my collection
This collection - the first volume of a four-part series - was originally published in 1901 (see Hofmeister 1901, p. 195, at the Internet Archive). A 7th edition with, according to the preface, 39 additional songs appeared in 1907. This 23th edition - which is identical to the 7th - seems to have been printed in 1914 (see DNB 99434662X).

Adolf Zander (1843-1914, see Wikipedia) was a highly respected composer, organist and choirmaster in Berlin. The co-editor Dr. Fischer worked, also in Berlin, as a schools inspector. The latter had organized concerts with all pupils of the first grade from the schools in his district singing as a big choir - "das letztemal über 2200 Kinder" - and the "Liederschatz" served as a songbook for these events (see p. 3, preface 1st. ed.). Later shows were apparently even more successful:
"Die im März 1903 und 1906 im Zirkus Busch unter starker Beteiligung und lebhaften Beifall des Publikums wiederholten Gesangsaufführungen, die auch durch den Besuch der Kaiserlichen Majestäten beehrt wurden, haben eine weitere Verbreitung unseres Liederschatzes auch über Berlin hinaus zur Folge gehabt" (p. 4, preface 7th ed.). 
The repertoire in this booklet - all arranged for four voices - is not untypical for these years. First there is a considerable number of religious songs and then a lot of patriotic pieces like "Auf Kaiser Wilhelm I.", "Kaiserlied", "Soldatenlied", "Das treue deutsche Herz" and "Vaterlandssänger" which would be rather indigestible today. The rest of the collection is made up of the popular standards (i. e. "volkstümliche Lieder" and some "Volkslieder") that are mostly known from other collections as well as some works by Zander himself. Apparently the editors had a special preference for spring songs: "Frühlingschor", "Frühlingsglocken", "Frühlingsgruß" and more. The only foreign song included here is "Robin Adair", interestingly with both German texts: "Treu und herzinniglich" and "Heimat Ade":