Monday, September 1, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 15: Gustav Damm & Robert Schwalm (published between 1880-1900)

Here are some songbooks I have recently found in antiquarian bookshops. They were all published between 1880 and 1900 and collections like these - for students respectively schools - with what was the standard repertoire at that time were quite common. I always get the impression that every editor was recycling the same songs over and over again and in the end everybody must have known them by heart.
  • Gustav Damm (i. e. Theodor Steingräber), Kommersliederbuch. 132 Vaterlands-, Studenten-, Volks- und humoristische Lieder mit beigefügten Melodien. Neue Auflage, Leipzig, Steingräber, n. d. [first edition 1895, see Hofmeister XIX, Januar 1895, p. 15] (= Edition Steingräber Nr. 48)
    Download pdf (35,3 MB)
  • Gustav Damm (i. e. Theodor Steingräber), Liederbuch für Schulen. 168 ein-, zwei- und mehrstimmige Lieder. 11. Stereotypausgabe in neuer Orthographie, Hannover, Steingräber, n. d. [early 1880s; Hofmeister XIX: 8th ed., May 1879, p. 156; 17. ed., March 1889, p. 117]
    pdf (55 MB)
Gustav Damm was a pseudonym of Theodor Steingräber (1830-1904). He had written an instruction book for piano - first published in 1868 - that became immensely popular and was reprinted regularly. In the late 70s he started a music publishing house (information from Edition Steingräber - History). Even though music for the piano made up the greatest part of his program he also tried out other genres. His Kommersliederbuch is quite similar to Max Friedländer's Commersbuch that had been published some years earlier (see Old Songbooks, No. 11, in this blog). Songbooks for students were always in good demand but apparently Damm's attempt was apparently not that successful. 

On the other hand his Liederbuch für Schulen seems to have been very widely used in schools. It was first published in the 1870s and then regularly republished in new editions. This here is the 11th edition that came out in the early 1880s. It remained on the market until the 1920s when a 35th edition with 188 songs became available. 

Apparently Steingräber had no time to write four-part arrangements for these songs and therefore outsourced this task to Robert Schwalm (1845-1912), a composer, arranger, editor and choirmaster who worked in Königsberg since 1875 (information from Nordostdeutsche Komponisten, Edition Romana Hamburg). Schwalm had already edited other works for Steingräber publishing house, mostly piano music and he remained a regular contributor to his program (information found via Hofmeister XIX). 
  • Robert Schwalm, 123 Volkslieder und Gesänge zum Schulgebrauch in Mittel- und Oberklassen. Der 18. Auflage des "Liederbuchs für Schulen von Gustav Damm" entnommen und für gemischten Chor bearbeitet. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Verfügungen der kgl. Regierungen und Schulkollegien über Schullieder-Sammlungen, Leipzig, Steingräber, n. d. [1889, see Hofmeister XIX, September 1889, p. 371]
    pdf (61,2 MB)
Songbooks for schools were a lucrative field and therefore Schwalm did one himself, but of course for another publisher. This Schulliederbuch first came out in 1890 and remained in print at least until 1913 when a 9th edition was published. I have here the 4th edition from 1899: 
  • Robert Schwalm, Schulliederbuch. 188 ein- und zweistimmige Lieder nebst einer kurzgefaßten Chorgesangschule. Mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Verfügung der Königl. Regierungen und Schulkollegien über Schullieder-Sammlungen. 4. Auflage, Halle, Gesenius, 1899; first edition with 183 songs listed in Hofmeister, Oktober 1890, p. 442; 3rd edition, November 1896, p. 576)
    pdf (58,5 MB)
It should be added that Schwalm also edited another collection of four-part arrangements for schools, the Chorsammlung zum Unterricht an Schulen that was first announced in Hofmeisters in April 1887 (p. 192). That one sold apparently very well. I have the 14. edition published - posthumously - in the 1920s. According to the title-page this was the "111.-116. Tausend". In fact successful songbooks for schools were most welcome as a source of safe and steady income for both its editors and their publishers.

Old German Songbooks, No. 14: Volkslieder-Album (1864)

  • Volkslieder-Album. Eine Sammlung ausgewählter Volkslieder für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Berlin, Trautwein, n. d. [1864]
    Download pdf (27 MB)
This is a collection of some of the most popular so-called "Volkslieder" with simple piano accompaniments. These kind of booklets were cheaper than single sheet music editions but looked better and more sophisticated than songbooks. The target audience were amateur musicians who loved to sing and make music at home. 

There is no publication date, but a book with this title in Hofmeisters Monatsberichten in April 1864 (p. 83). Here we can find altogether 32 songs with simple piano arrangements and one may say that they were among the most popular from this genre. Besides the well known German standards like the unavoidable "Lorely" this booklet also includes of generous amount of foreign pieces, of course with German texts.

Thomas H. Bayly's "Long, Long Ago" had become immensely popular in Germany but it was usually regarded as an "Irisches Volkslied" (No. 30: "Lang' ist es her"). Thomas Moore's "The Last Rose of Summer" was also well known since Friedrich von Flotow had used it in his opera "Martha" in 1847 (here No. 13: "Letzte Rose"). Not at least the anonymous editor included "Robin Adair", at that time ubiquitous in songbooks of all kinds. There were also Sicilian, Russian and Swedish songs. A favourable review can be found in Pädagogischer Jahresbericht 16, 1864 (Leipzig 1865, pp. 407 & 409, at BStB-DS):
"Das sind wirklich 'ausgewählte', oder vielmehr auserwählte Volkslieder, 32 an der Zahl, mit leicht spielbarer, sehr discreter Klavierbegleitung; eine Sammlung, die nichts enthält, was nicht musikalisch charaktervoll, poetisch bedeutsam wäre, und welcher deshalb die weiteste Verbreitung - auch um der hübschen Ausstattung willen - zu wünschen ist".
Another review in the AMZ in 1867 (Vol. 2, 1867, p. 161, at Google Books) was not as positive. This writer admonished the complete lack of information about the songs in this collection: 
"[...] wie es sich der Herausgeber überhaupt sehr bequem mit dem Nachweise gemacht hat; so hat er es nicht einmal der Mühe für werth gehalten, die namen der Componisten, welche ja meistentheils bekannt sind, anzumerken, nur selten treffen wir einen Namen [...] Wir möchten unserseits nur den Herausgeber fragen, ob das Lied 'Hans und Liese' zu den Volksliedern zu zählen und warum der Name des Componisten (Curschmann) nicht genannt ist? Soll etwa durch das Letztere die Einschmuggelei gedeckt werden?"
Other songs were lifted from Friedrich Silcher's books. The "Matrosenlied" was written by Gerhard and Pohlenz, the German words for "Robin Adair" were also by poet Wilhelm Gerhard, to name only some more examples. But this sloppiness was not untypical for the attitude of many publishers and editors towards the "Volkslied"-genre. Eveybody who had tagged his songs that way - or whose songs were regarded as "Volkslieder" - would quickly find them reprinted in other collections, usually without proper acknowledgement. "Folk songs" were seen as common property, no matter who had written them and the music publishers felt justified to recycle them for free.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sheet Music: Carl Krebs, "Die süsse Bell", 1841 (Burns in Germany)

  • "Die süsse Bell". Gedichtet von dem Schotten Robert Burns. In Musik gesetzt Für eine Singstimme mit obligater Pianoforte-Begleitung und Fräulein Sophie Löwe Kön. Preuss. Kammersängerin zugeeignet von C. Krebs, Kapellmeister, Op. 90, Schuberth & Comp., Hamburg u. Leipzig, n. d. [1841]
    Download pdf (5,7 MB, my own scan)
 I have already mentioned a couple of times the great fad for Robert Burns in Germany that started in the late 1830s. A considerable amount of translations as well as a great number of new musical settings for these German adaptations were published until the end of the century (see again for the background: Selle 1981). Carl Krebs (1804-1880, see Fürstenau in ADB 17, 1883, pp. 99-100; also Christern 1850), Kapellmeister at the court in Dresden, was among the first composers to turn his attention to the germanized Burns.

It seems he found Wilhelm Gerhard's book of translations (Robert Burns' Gedichte, Leipzig 1840, available at BStB-DS) in a bookshop and was so fascinated by these texts that he "immersed himself in it at home at his piano" and then "created a significant series of songs" (this story from Christern 1850, p. 31, at BStB-DS). The first 9 were published in December 1840 (see the advert in the AMZ, Vol. 42, No. 52, p. 1078, at Google Books), among them "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" - translation not by Gerhard but by Ferdinand Freiligrath - which I have already discussed here (see here). More would follow during the next couple of years (see Dupont 1971, p. 142-3).

"Die süsse Bell" was first announced in Hofmeisters Monatsberichten in April 1841 (p. 61). It is a German version of "My Bonie Bell" (see Scots Musical Museum, IV, 1792, No. 387, p. 401, at the Internet Archive):
The smiling spring comes in rejoicing,
And surly Winter grimly flies;
Now crystal clear are the falling waters,
And bonny blue are the sunny skies.
Fresh o'er the mountains breaks forth the morning,
The ev'ning gilds the Ocean's swell;
All Creatures joy in the sun's returning,
And I rejoice in my Bonie Bell.

The flowery Spring leads sunny Summer,
The yellow Autumn presses near,
Then in his turn comes gloomy Winter,
Till smiling Spring again appear.
Thus seasons dancing, life advancing,
Old Time and Nature their changes tell;
But never ranging, still unchanging,
I adore my Bonie Bell.
 Krebs used the translation included in Wilhelm Gerhard's book (No. 116, p. 203, at BStB-DS):
Der Frühling kehret lächelnd wieder;
Der eisig grimme Winter flieht;
Das Bächlein rinnt, und bunt Gefieder
Melodisch froh den Wald durchzieht.
Wie mild die Luft! wie sinkt die Sonne
In Purpurglanz dem Meere zu!
Du, Frühling, schenkst uns solche Wonne:
Mir, süße Bell, den Himmel du!

Der Lenz verblüht, des Sommers Farben
Verweht des Herbstes kühlre Luft,
Und Schnee bedeckt das Feld der Garben,
Bis wiederkehrt der Blume Duft.
So tanzt das Jahr; vorüber schweben
Die Bilder wechselvoller Zeit:
Doch, süße Bell, mit Seel' und Leben
Bleib' ich im Wechsel dir geweiht!
 It is also interesting to have a look at his new tune:

  Your browser does not support embedded midi

Christern in his little biographical work about Carl Krebs claimed that this was the best of the series (p. 31, at BStB-DS) and it also may have been the most popular because it was published again several times - sometimes in new arrangements - during the coming years (see Hofmeister XIX, October 1841, p. 157, December 1841, p. 182, November 1842, p. 170, December 1844, p. 190, December 1848, p. 189).

  • [J. W.] Christern, Carl Krebs, als Mensch, Componist und Dirigent. Eine biographisch-musikalische Studie, Hamburg & New York 1850 (available at BStB-DS)
  • Wilhelm Dupont, Werkausgaben Nürnberger Komponisten in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, Nürnberg 1971
  • Moritz Fürstenau, Art. Krebs, Karl August, in ADB 17, 1883, pp. 99-100 (available at BStB-DS)
  • Rosemary Anne Selle, The Parritch and the Partridge: The Reception of Robert Burns in Germany. A History, 2 Vols, Phil. Diss., Heidelberg 1981 (now available as: 2nd Revised and Augmented Edition, Frankfurt/M. 2013)

  • The code for the midi-player used here is c/o: The problem with midi - Note for webmasters ( Many thanks

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Old ([this time:] Swiss) Songbooks, No. 13: Ignaz Heim, Sammlung von Volksgesängen für den Männerchor (1863)

  • [Ignaz Heim (ed.)] Sammlung von Volksgesängen für den Männerchor. Herausgegeben von einer Kommission der zürcherischen Schulsynode, unter Redaktion von I. Heim. Zehnte, vermehrte und verbesserte Auflage. Fünfte Stereotyp-Ausgabe, Zürich, Fries & Holzmann, 1863
    Download pdf (53,5 MB, as usual my own scan of a book from my collection)
Ignaz Heim (1818-1880; see ADB 50, 1905, pp. 133-5, at BStB-DS; a short summary at Wikipedia) was one of the mainstays of the Swiss music scene for several decades. He made himself a name as a choirmaster, composer and editor of songbooks for choirs. I have already discussed one of his publications, the first volume of Neue Volksgesänge für den Männerchor (1863) (see No. 3 of this series, in this blog). The songbook presented here was another of his immensely popular collections of arrangements for Männergesangvereine. 

I have the 10th edition of this Sammlung von Volksgesängen - "expanded and improved" - that was published in 1863. According to the article in the ADB (p. 134) the first edition of the Sammlung von Volksgesängen had come out the same year. That means that there were at least 10 editions of this book in the course of one year. This collection remained on the market for several decades. The 119th edition was published in 1897. 

What kind of songs does this book contain? The terms "Volksgesang" and "Volkslied" should not be confused with what we understand today as "folk songs" in the narrow sense. At that time all kinds of "simple" songs for the people, songs to sing at home or in amateur choirs, were regarded as "Volkslieder". Therefore we can find here numerous pieces by popular composers, for example 15 pieces by Friedrich Silcher as well as some by Abt, Nägeli, Mendelssohn, Marschner, Schumann, to name just a few. 

I am particularly interested in foreign songs that became popular in the German speaking countries during the 19th centuries. There are not much of these kind of songs in this volume. But at least the editor included a German version of Robert Burns' "My Heart's In The Highlands" ("Mein Herz ist im Hochland", No. 188, pp. 334-5). He used the well known translation by Ferdinand Freiligrath but the tune is different from all the the other variants of this song published in Germany. It is described as "Volksweise" but Heim didn't name the source. I haven't yet found this melody in any other earlier publication and I would not be surprised if he had simply written it himself and then passed of as a "folk tune". These kind of methods were not uncommon at that time:
  Your browser does not support embedded midi

Saturday, July 5, 2014

German Versions of "Eileen Aroon" (1874/1885)

I have already written quite a lot about the great popularity of the British song "Robin Adair" in 19th- and early 20th-century Germany (see my detailed account on But what I wasn't aware of until recently was that it's partner piece "Eileen Aroon" also was translated into German language and subsequently set to music by at least three composers. I only learned that when reading Ernst Fleischhack's bibliography of musical settings of Ferdinand Freiligrath's poems and translations (Freiligrath's Gedichte in Lied und Ton, Bielefeld 1990, here p. 60). 

The indefatigable Freiligrath (1810-1876) was at that time one of the most important and influential mediators of English language poetry and song lyrics. Composers loved his adaptations - especially those of Robert Burns' and Thomas Moore's songs - and supplied them with new tunes. According to Fleischhack (p. 18) 71 of his translations were set to music a total of 425 times.

His "Eileen-A-Roon" - described as "Irisches Volkslied" - was published in Zwischen den Garben. Eine Nachlese älterer Gedichte (Stuttgart & Tübingen 1849, pp. 182-3, at BStB-DS) and the title of this interesting collection of poems and translations suggests that it may have been written earlier.
Stets will ich lieben dich,
Segnen dich ewiglich,
O für dich eilt' ich gern
Irland durch, nah und fern,
Hoffnung mein Licht, mein Stern,

O wie gewinn' ich dich,
Sag', o wie minn' ich dich,
Gern ohne Rast und Ruh'
Zög' ich der Ferne zu,
Würdest mein Hausweib du,

Drum, willst Du ziehn mit mir,
Sag', aber bleibst du hier,
Nein, ich bin dein, bin dein!
Ziehe mit dir allein!
Einzig dein Lieb soll sein

Heil hundertausendmal,
Heil dir ohn' Maß und Zahl,
Heil und Willkommen froh,
Jetzt und für immer so,
Bis Lieb' und Leben floh,
 The original English language text is quite easy to find, even though Freiligrath for some reason preferred not to mention the source. It is poet Thomas Furlong's translation of an Irish text that was published in 1831 by James Hardiman in his Irish Minstrelsy, Or: Bardic Remains Of Ireland With English Poetical Translations (p. 265-7, at Google Books):
I love thee evermore,
Eileen a Roon!
I'll bless thee o'er and o'er,
Eileen a Roon!
Oh! for thy sake I'll tread,
Where the plains of Mayo spread;
By hope still fondly led,
Eileen a Roon!

Oh! how may I gain thee?
Eileen a roon!
Shall feasting entertain thee?
Eileen a Roon!
I would range the world wide,
With love alone to guide,
To win thee for my bride,
Eileen a Roon!

Then wilt thou come away?
Eileen a roon!
Oh! wilt thou come or stay?
Eileen a Roon!
Oh yes! oh Yes! with thee
I will wander far and free,
And thy only love shall be,
Eileen a Roon!

A hundred thousand welcomes,
Eileen a Roon!
A hundred thousand welcomes,
Eileen a Roon!
Oh! welcome evermore,
With welcomes yet in store,
Till love and life are o'er,
Eileen a Roon!
Hardiman had called this text the "Old Eileen Aroon" and his notes (p. 328) somewhat suggest that "the original and sweetly simple song of Eileen a roon" was at that time already a couple of hundred years old, at least older than the other version in his book (on p. 211) which is described as "the production of a Munster bard, of a seventeenth century" (p. 328). But there is no evidence for these claims and at the moment I still don't know where Hardiman had found the two original Irish texts. 

I wonder if Freiligrath had a copy of Hardiman's book. It is not listed in the Verzeichniss of his library (available at the Internet Archive) that was put together after his death. But as far as I know Furlong's translation hadn't been published anywhere else up to that point. 

Three composers have set Freiligrath's text to music:
  • Heinrich Bellermann, Sechs Lieder für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte : op. 18, No. 5, "Stets will ich lieben dich", Berlin, Trautwein, n. d. [1871, see Hofmeister XIX; only extant copy at Musikwissenschaftliches Institut, Universität Hamburg, II Bel-3 G 1.1 ]
  • Carl Banck, 24 Lieder und Gesänge für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, op. 70, No. 9: Eileen a Roon („Stets will ich lieben dich“), Leipzig, Kistner, n. d. [1874, see Hofmeister XIX; only extant copy at Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar, Universität Heidelberg, N 91::9]
  • Eusebius Mandyczewski, Lieder und Gesänge für gemischten Chor, Op. 8, Heft 1, No 1. Eileen-a-Roon. Irisches Volkslied, Wien, Rebay & Robitschek, n. d. [1885, s. Hofmeister XIX, only extant copy at ÖNB, Wien, MS83074-4°]
Unfortunately I couldn't get Bellermann's version but was glad to see copies of the other two. Carl Banck (1809-1889, see H. A. Lier in ADB 46, Leipzig 1902, pp. 199-202, at BStB-DS; see also Wikipedia), composer, mostly of songs, and music critic, published this collection in 1874. It was one of his late works. These 24 songs are mostly settings of German poems, some of them by Mörike and Heine. But he also included a Lithuanian and a Danish "Volkslied". His tune for "Eileen-a-roon" sounds of course in no way like the original Irish melody: 

   Your browser does not support embedded midi 

Eusebius Mandyczewski (1857-1929; see M. Handlos in: NDB 16, Berlin 1990, pp. 20, at BStB-DS; see also Wikipedia), a composer and scholar from Romania living in Vienna, included his setting of Freiligrath's "Eileen-a-roon" in one of his earliest works. This collection is not that dissimilar from Banck's. He also used mostly German language poems - here for example by Körner, Geibel and Rückert - but also two translations of foreign songs, in this case both by Burns. All of them were arranged for a mixed choir. Here is the soprano voice of his arrangement:
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  • I wish to thank the Musikwissenschaftliches Seminar, Universität Heidelberg for sending me a copy of Banck's work. And I also wish to thank the professional scanning service of the ÖNB, Wien, for supplying me with a copy of Mandyczewski's collection.