Thursday, December 25, 2014

"Long, Long Ago" & "Lang Ist's Her"

"Long, Long Ago", a song written by Thomas H. Bayly and first published in 1839, was immensely popular in Britain and North America during the 19th and early 20th century. In fact it is some kind of "evergreen" and even today the tune is still known:

But the song was equally popular in Germany. It began to appear on sheet music (see for example one edition by publisher Schlesinger, on the market since 1860, here a later reprint, Mus WB 8556, ZB Zürich), broadside sheets and songbooks in the 1860s and then remained a standard at least until the 1930s. Even the children sang "Lang ist's her", as it was usually called. We can find it in numerous songbooks for schools, for example in Gustav Damm's Liederbuch für Schulen, a popular and widely used collection published since the 1880s (here in the 11th ed., ca. 1880s, No. 93, pp. 76-7).

A couple of different sets of lyrics were in use, sometimes still as a love song like Bayly's original, sometimes a text about remembering childhood and mother, as Simon Breu's Deutsches Jugendliederbuch (here 2nd ed., 1909, No. 85, p. 74, both at the Internet Archive).

I have done a little bit of research about the song's history in Germany. A detailed account is now available on my website: 
What I found interesting is the strange fact that Mr. Bayly was very rarely credited as the song's author. "Lang ist's her" was usually labelled and sold as an "Irish Folk song", as in the three examples shown above. Of course this dubious claim is completely without any foundation. It was not that difficult to find out the songwriter's name, as did Folk song scholar Ludwig Erk (see f. ex. his Volkslieder-Album, 1872, No. 42, p. 42, later reprint, at the Internet Archive). But Bayly was barely known in Germany and it may have been much more promising to sell the song as "Irisches Volkslied". This was at that time a highly popular genre. Thomas Moore's "'Tis The last Rose of Summer" had been a great hit and "Robin Adair" as well as "Home, Sweet Home" were also often labelled as Irish Folk tunes. 

What is even more interesting is that Bayly in fact may have found some inspiration for the song's tune somewhere else, not in Ireland but in Germany. Hans Gaartz in his book Die Opern Heinrich Marschners (1912, p. 42, found in Google Books) noted the similarity of one piece in the latter's Der Templer und die Jüdin (1829) to "the Irish folk tune 'Lang, lang ist's her'". This is song No. 3, "Lied mit Chor" in the piano score of original edition of this opera (p. 29, available at Urmel, ThULb Jena):

Of course this is in no way identical to Bayly's tune but the relationship is clear to see. What they both have in common is especially the characteristic ascending melody line in the first couple of bars. I think there is good reason to assume that Bayly was familiar with this piece. Marschner's works were known in Britain, the piano score of Der Templer und die Jüdin was also published in London by Johannig and Whatmore. For me this looks like a deliberate attempt to take the characteristic motif, the ascending melody line in the first couple of bars, as a starting-point and then turn the tune into something more catchy, more "folk-like".

Gaartz was apparently not familiar with the real history of "Long, long ago" and insinuates somewhat that Marschner could have been inspired by this alleged "Irish folk tune". In fact it must have been the other way round because Bayly's song only appeared 10 years after the opera. But I find it also very strange that no other German "expert" has seen and noted these obvious similarities.

Not at least it is a little bit absurd that "Lang ist's her" was regularly sold as an "Irish song" while in fact it may have been inspired by and derived from a tune by a German composer. But this was not an uncommon phenomenon. The same happened to "Home, Sweet Home" by Henry Bishop and J. H. Payne which was also immensely popular in Germany. Often enough Bishop's tune happened to be identified as "Irische Volksweise" but it is highly likely that it was also inspired by a melody written by a German composer, in this case J. A. P. Schulz (see Underwood 1977).

  • Hans Gaartz, Die Opern Heinrich Marschners, Leipzig, 1912
  • Heinrich Marschner, Der Templer und die Jüdin. Grosse romantische Oper in drei Aufzügen von W. A. Wohlbrück, Vollständiger Klavierauszug vom Komponisten, 60. Werk, Hofmeister, Leipzig, n. d. [1829], online available at Urmel, ThULb Jena:
  • Byron Edward Underwood, The German Prototype of the Melody of "Home! Sweet Home!", in: Jahrbuch für Volksliedforschung 22, 1977, pp. 36-48

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 18: Victorie Gervinus, Volksliederbuch (1896) And Some More Songbooks For Schools

  • Victorie Gervinus, Volksliederbuch. 80 Volkslieder (deutsche, dänische, englische, französische, hebräische, indische, irische, italienische, maurische, persische, portugiesische, schottische, schwedische, spanische, ungarische, wälisische) mit deutschem Text und Klavierbegleitung, Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig, Brüssel & New York, n. d. [1896] (available at the Internet Archive)
This is a very interesting songbook. Victorie Gervinus (1820-1893) was the wife of historian and politician Gottfried August Gervinus (1805-1871) but also a music scholar in her own right. She for example edited a collection of vocal pieces from Händel's operas and oratorios arranged for piano and vocals and also wrote an instruction book for singing (available at BStB-DS). 

The Volksliederbuch was only published posthumously. From the introductory remarks by one J. Keller we learn that this publication is based on a collection of songs put together by Victorie Gervinus for private use. She used to sing them at home. It is an appealing collection of so-called "Volkslieder" from many different countries in German translation, sometimes including the original words. By all accounts she had found them mostly in well known printed collections. Silcher's Ausländische Volksmelodien (1835-41, now available at the Internet Archive) seem to have been an particularly important source. 

Foreign "Folk songs" - or what was regarded as such - used to be very popular in Germany since Herder's time. There were many relevant songbooks available. I will only mention here - besides Silcher popular booklets - once again Wilhelm Meyer's Volks-Liederbuch 1873 (also at the Internet Archive, I have just uploaded a new scan), one of the most interesting in this respect. Of course the songs in these kind of books were not exactly ethnologically "authentic" in a modern sense. But they very well reflect the fascination especially among educated middle-class music lovers for the culture of foreign countries. 

I have also uploaded some more songbooks for schools which are part of my series Deutsche Schulliederbücher 1850-1916. I don't want to discuss them here all individually. These are typical examples for this genre and all editors of course claim that their collection is the best and most useful. It would be too much to say that they all have the same songs but often its coming close. After seeing so many of them they all look quite familiar to me. 

But I hope these are worthwhile additions. Of particular interest should be one more collection by Robert Linnarz (1851-1931), music teacher, arranger, composer and choirmaster from the town of Alfeld in Lower Saxony (see the interesting article at And Brähmig's Liederstrauss was in fact one of the most popular songbooks for schools in the second half of the 19th century. It was first published during the 1850s. Brähmig died in 1872 but nonetheless this collection remained on the market until after the turn of the century.
  • Karl Bösche & Robert Linnarz, Auswahl von Liedern für deutsche Schulen. In 4 Heften, Norddeutsche Verlagsanstalt O. Goedel, Hannover
    1. Heft: 40 Lieder für die Unterstufe und 21 Spiellieder, 8. Auflage, 1904
    2. Heft: 59 Lieder und 10 Kanons für die Mittelstufe, 11. Auflage, 1903
    (at the Internet Archive)
    3. Heft: 90 Lieder und Kanons für die Oberstufe, 9. Auflage, 1902
    (at the Internet Archive)
    4. Heft: für gehobene und höhere Schulen, 2., vermehrte Auflage, 1900
    (at the Internet Archive)
  • Andreas Barner, Liedersammlung für Töchterschulen, Heft 3, 5. Auflage, J. Lang, Karlsruhe, n. d. [1909] (at the Internet Archive)
  • J. Lanzendörfer, Liederbuch für Töchterschulen und fürs Haus, 3. Auflage, C. Koch's Buchhandlung, Nürnberg, 1902 (at the Internet Archive)
  • Wilhelm Bünte, Liederbuch für Oberklassen höherer Töchterschulen, sowie für Pensionate und Lehrerinnen-Seminare, 5. Auflage, In Commission bei H. Lindemann, Hannover, n. d. [1903] (at the Internet Archive)
  • Bernhard Brähmig - Liederstrauß. Auswahl heiterer und ernster Gesänge für Töchterschulen. 4 Hefte, div. Auflagen, Merseburger, Leipzig, 1897-1904 (now at the Internet Archive)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Des Sommers letzte Rose" - Thomas Moore's "'Tis The Last Rose Of Summer" in Germany

At the moment I mostly interested in British songs that became popular in Germany during the 19th century. There were five of them that seem to have been particularly widespread. We can find them - as "Volkslieder" - in numerous songbooks of all kinds, with different sets of German words and also sometimes with different tunes. There was "Robin Adair" - I have already written at length about it (see my text on JustAnotherTune) -, Robert Burns' "My Heart's In The Highlands" - see a couple of texts in this blog -, "Long, Long Ago" (see now the text on JustAnotherTune), "Home, Sweet Home" and - perhaps the most successful of them all - Thomas Moore's "'Tis The Last Rose Of Summer". 

A look into Hofmeisters Monatsberichte (via Hofmeister XIX) shows that German versions of the latter - usually called "Irisches Volkslied" - with titles like "Letzte Rose" or "Des Sommers letzte Rose" were published numerous times as sheet music since the late 1840s. A nice early example is an edition by Schott from c. 1849 (available at the Internet Archive).
But it also appeared in many songbooks, for example in a choral arrangement in Ludwig Stark's Stimmen der Heimat (1868, here No. 19, pp. 34-5 in the 2nd edition, 1878), with piano accompaniment in Ludwig Erk's Volkslieder-Album (1872, No. 43, p. 43 ) as well as in song collections for schools like Volckmar's & Zanger's Deutsche [sic!] Lieder für Schule, Haus und Leben (1880, Heft 3, No. 88, pp. 87-8) or Liederbuch für preußische Volkschulen (5th ed., 1882, No. 60, p. 36, all at the Internet Archive). 
In fact in 1899 it was noted that "today even the farmhand and the peasant girl knows" this song (Fleischer 1899, p. 6, at the Internet Archive). How and when did "The Last Rose of Summer" migrate to Germany? That was a longer, somehow complex process that took some time. In this case it needed three attempts before it became established as a standard. 
Moore's song was first published in 1813 in the 5th Number of his Selection of Irish Melodies (pp. 16-21, at the Internet Archive):

'Tis the last rose of summer, left blooming alone;
All her lovely companions are faded and gone;
No flower of her kindred, no rosebud is nigh,
To reflect back her blushes or give sigh for sigh.

I'll not leave thee, thou lone one, to pine on the stem;
Since the lovely are sleeping, go, sleep thou with them.
Thus kindly I scatter thy leaves o'er the bed,
Where thy mates of the garden lie scentless and dead.

So soon may I follow, when friendships decay,
And from Love's shining circle the gems drop away.
When true hearts lie withered, and fond ones are flown,
Oh! who would inhabit this bleak world alone?
In Britain it was surely the "most well-known" song of this collection (see Scott 2001, Ch. 1c, at The Victorian Web). But Thomas Moore became also very popular in Germany early on - unlike Burns who was only rediscovered since the mid-30s - and therefore tune and text of "The Last Rose of Summer" found its way here very quickly.

Beethoven wrote variations (Six Themes Varies, op. 105, 1819, No. 4, at Beethoven-Haus, Bonn) but for some reason here it was called Air Ecossais, "Scottish tune". Translations were also published, for example by Friedrich Johann Jacobsen in 1820 in his influentual Briefe an eine deutsche Edelfrau über die neuesten englischen Dichter (p. 536) and by an unknown author in Iris. Unterhaltungsblatt für Kunst, Literatur und Poesie (No. 69, 1.9.1822, p. 269). Another translation by Sophie Gräfin von Steinhardt was set to music by composer Emilie Zumsteeg in 1829 (in 6 Lieder mit Pianoforte, op. 5, see Hofmeister, September, October 1929, p. 83 and the text at LiederNet).

But it took more than two decades before it was adapted as a "Volkslied", at first by Friedrich Silcher in his Ausländische Volksmelodien in 1835 ("Des Sommers letzte Rose", in: Heft 1, No. 2, p. 3):

 Silcher, Musikdirektor at the university in Tübingen and one of the most successful promoters of the "Volkslied"-genre, was fascinated with songs from other countries and his collection with altogether 41 pieces in four booklets first published between 1835 and 1841 seems to have been particularly popular. It was reprinted and republished several times (see for example a later edition, ca. 1870, at the Internet Archive; see also Bopp 1915, p. 101-104).

The text used here by Silcher was written by his friend Hermann Kurtz, a Swabian poet and a relative of his wife who supplied him with more translations - not only of Moore's works - for this project. It was then also published the following year in Kurtz's own collection Gedichte (Stuttgart 1836, p. 199, at the Internet Archive):
Des Sommers letzte Rose blüht hier noch allein:
Verwelkt sind der Gespielen holdlächelnde Reih’n.
Ach es blieb keine Schwester, keine Knospe zurück,
Mit erwiederndem Seufzer, mit erröthendem Blick.

Ich will nicht, Verlassne, so einsam dich seh’n:
Wo die Lieblichen schlummern, darfst auch du schlafen geh’n.
Und freundlich zerstreu’ ich deine Blätter über’s Beet,
Wo die Düfte, wo die Blätter deiner Lieben sind verweht.

So schnell möcht’ ich folgen, wenn Freundschaft sich trübt,
Und der Kranz süsser Liebe seine Perlen verstiebt.
Wenn Theure verschwinden, manch treues Herz zerfällt,
Wer möcht’ allein bewohnen diese nächtliche Welt?
In 1837 famous English soprano Clara Novello came to Germany and performed here with great success. A part of her repertoire were English, Scottish and Irish National Airs - what was called "Volkslieder" in Germany - and those were especially popular with her audiences (see f. ex. AMZ 40, 17.1.1838, p. 49, NZM 8, 27.2.1838, pp. 66-68, NZM 8, 19.1.1838, p. 24). She also sang "'Tis The Last Rose of Summer" and it was published as sheet music together with other songs of this type she had performed:
  • No. 1: Die Letzte Rose, in: Irische Volkslieder, gesungen von Miss Clara Novello, und ihr verehrungsvoll gewidmet, Wunder, Leipzig, n. d. (see Hofmeister XIX, März 1838, p. 46)
It is not clear if she sang it in German or in English but in this publication another German translation - different from the one by Kurtz - was used:
Letzte Rose, die einsam im Sommer noch glüht,
Deine duftenden Schwestern sind alle verblüht.
Kein Knöspchen mehr strahlet den glühenden Blick,
Keine Blüthe hauchzt Seufzer um Seufzer zurück. [...]
Publisher Schlesinger from Berlin followed suit and also offered his own editions of sheet music of her repertoire (see Hofmeister, Dezember 1838, p. 188, Februar, März 1839, p. 30).

At this time two different versions of "The Last Rose of Summer" were available on the German market. But for some reason they didn't inspire more reprints. I haven't found any other sheet music editions of this "Volkslied" for the next 10 years. And much to my surprise it wasn't included in any songbooks from this era even though Silcher's work used to be plundered - much to his chagrin - by rival publishers and editors. In fact it took a decade until its real breakthrough and then only because it was part of a highly successful opera.

In 1847 another German version of Moore's song was used by composer Friedrich von Flotow in Martha oder Der Markt zu Richmond (see the short overview in Wikipedia), here with a new translation by his librettist Friedrich Wilhelm Riese as well as some minor but characteristic melodic variations (2. Akt, No. 9, here p. 121 in a piano score, Cranz, Leipzig, n. d., at the Internet Archive):

Letzte Rose, wie magst du so einsam hier blühn?
Deine freundlichen Schwestern sind längst, schon längst dahin.
Keine Blüte haucht Balsam mit labendem, labendem Duft,
Keine Blätter mehr flattern in stürmischer Luft.

Warum blühst du so traurig im Garten allein?
Sollst im Tod mit den Schwestern, mit den Schwestern vereinigt sein.
Drum pflück ich, o Rose vom Stamme, vom Stamme dich ab,
Sollst ruhen mir am Herzen und mit mir, ja mit mir im Grab.
The opera was set in 18th century England. Of course the song in this form didn't exist at that time. But a National Air or "Volkslied" in an opera was surely a good idea. 20 years ago "Robin Adair" had become immensely popular in Germany mostly because of its inclusion in Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche. And here this idea also paid off. Flotow's version of "The Last Rose of Summer" became a great hit. The original publisher, Müller in Vienna, tried to squeeze out as much revenue as possible from this success. We find the song published again in sheet music editions like Sechs Lieblingsmelodien aus der Oper Martha. Für eine Singstimme mit Guitarrebegleitung (1848, No. 2, p. 4, at ÖNB, Wien, MS87148-4°). Other publishers of course also jumped on the bandwagon. I have already mentioned Schott's edition. Here are two by Aibl in München:
  • Erato. Auswahl beliebter Gesänge mit leichter Begleitung der Guitarre. No. 1: Letzte Rose. Irländisches Volkslied, Aibl, München, 1850 (available at BStB, 2 1726-1/30 & the Internet Archive)
  • Aurora. Sammlung auserlesener Gesänge mit Begleitung des Pianoforte. No. 1, Irländisches Volkslied: Letzte Rose, Aibl, München, 1851 (available at BStB, 2 1717-1/25)
The song remained on the market until the end of the century and a great number of sheet music editions were made available. After Flotow's success "Die Letzte Rose" also appeared in songbooks, at first apparently in Thomas Täglichsbeck's Buch der Lieder (1851, Bd. 2, No. 92, p. 108, at the Internet Archive). Interestingly this was not the version from Martha but a different translation. The very first songbook for the use in schools with this song may have been the Liedersammlung für die Schule by Weeber & Krauß in 1852 (Heft 3, No. 33, p. 29, here in the 3rd ed., 1854). They used still another translation.
In later years Flotow's version seems to have been the one published most often in books (see the list at, although Silcher's was also used occasionally. The song became part of the repertoire of Männergesangvereine , was included in numerous collections of "Volkslieder" and not at least until the 1920s apparently nearly every child sang it in school.  

  • August Bopp, Friedrich Silcher, Stuttgart 1916
  • Oskar Fleischer, Ein Kapitel vergleichender Musikwissenschaft, in: Sammelbände der Internationalen Musik-Gesellschaft 1, 1899-1900, pp. 1-53 (available at the Internet Archive)
  • Derek B. Scott, The Singing Bourgeois: Songs of the Victorian Drawing Room and Parlor, 2nd Edition, Aldershot, 2001 (online available at The Victorian Web)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 17: Some More Songbooks For Schools (1879-1882)

  • W. Jütting & F. Billig, Liederbuch für die Mittel- und Oberklassen städtischer Volksschulen (auch
    gehobener Landschulen) und die unteren Klassen höherer Lehranstalten, Carl Meyer (Gustav Prior), Hannover, 1879 (at the Internet Archive)
  • A. Wille, Liederbuch für deutsche Schulen. Sammlung von 200 ein-, zwei- und dreistimmigen Liedern. Drei Hefte, 3. Auflage, Verlag der Buchhandlung des Pestalozzi-Vereins, Eberswalde 1882 (at the Internet Archive)
  • Liederbuch für preußische Volksschulen. Zusammengestellt von einem praktischen Schulmanne, 5. Auflage, G. Wilh. Leipner, Leipzig, 188 (at the Internet Archive)
  • C. H. Voigt, Volksweisen. Für die reifere Jugend, M. Bahn (früher C. Trautwein), Berlin, 1879/80
    1. Heft, 9. Auflage, 1880 & 2. Heft, 3. Auflage, 1879 (at the Internet Archive)
  • C. Landwehr, Jugendklänge. Sammlung von Liedern und Chorälen für höhere Töchterschulen. Nach unterrichtlichen Grundsätzen in vier Stufen geordnet. IV. Stufe, 2. verb. u. verm. Aufl., Siegismund & Volkening, Leipzig, 1877 [pp. 97-176] (at the Internet Archive)
  • Wilhelm Tschirch, Vierundfünfzig zwei- und dreistimmige Lieder und Gesänge für obere Knabenklassen von Volks- und bürgerschulen und für mittlere Klassen von Gymnasien und Realschulen, 4. Aufl., Siegismund & Volkening, Leipzig, 1878 (at the Internet Archive)
  • W. Volckmar & G. Zanger, Deutsche Lieder für Schule, Haus und Leben, 3 Hefte, Ed. Peter, Leipzig, 188 (at the Internet Archive)
Recently I ordered from an antiquarian bookshop a songbook for schools published in 1879. When I received it I was surprised to see that it was bound together with five more similar song collections from the same time period. I have scanned them all and added here one more songbook "für Schule, Haus und Leben" (also 1880) acquired separately. They are now all available at the Internet Archive as part of my series Deutsche Schulliederbücher 1850-1916.

These are the typical song collections compiled and produced for the use in schools, often sloppily printed and then sold cheaply so the pupils and the schools could afford them. This was a heavily contested but also also very promising market. If a book prevailed and was then even reprinted regularly the successful editor could expect a most welcome additional income. 

What we find in these books is the standard repertoire of this era that was recycled again and again by numerous editors and publishers. Notable is once again the extreme obsession with patriotic songs. I still can't get over Hoffmann v. Fallersleben's truly awful song about Kaiser Wilhelm:
Wer ist der greise Siegesheld, der uns zu Schutz und Wehr
für's Vaterland zog in das Feld mit Deutschland's ganzem Heer?
Du, edles Deutschland, freue dich,
Dein König hoch und ritterlich,
Dein Wilhelm, dein Wilhelm, dein Kaiser Wilhelm ist's. 
And I always thought it was Field Marshal von Moltke who had won the war. But nonetheless (nearly) everybody loved the old Kaiser, the former Kartätschenprinz (i. e. "Prince of Grapeshot", as he used to be called back in 1848, during the revolution). Of course the editors couldn't avoid including all the other classics of this particular genre like "Hurrah Germania", "Die Wacht am Rhein (Es braust ein Ruf wie Donnerhall)", "Heil Dir Im Siegerkranz" or "Deutsches Weihelied":
Alles schweige!
Jeder neige ernsten Tönen nun sein Ohr!
Deutschlands Söhne, laut ertöne euer Vaterlandsgesang!
Dem Beglücker seiner Staaten,
Dem Vollender großer Thaten
Töne unser Rundgesang!
Once again I can't help but feel deeply sorry for the poor children who were treated to this excessive amount of patriotic propaganda. But we should not forget that these kind of songbooks for the use in schools were not compiled with the intention that the pupils have fun singing. They were first and foremost regarded as a helpful tool for teaching them to be loyal, patriotic subjects (not citizens!). 

Besides that these books also include religious pieces of all kinds, "Volkslieder" and "volkstümliche Lieder" about Heimat, nature, Abschied, wandern, the yearly seasons and even occasionally a real good song like for example a German version of Thomas Moore's "The Last Rose of Summer" or Silcher's famous "Loreley", both immensely popular at that time. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Links - The London Stage 1660-1800, Now Available Online

The best news recently was that The London Stage is now available online. This is a tremendous and immensely helpful resource compiled from contemporary sources like newspaper advertisements, playbills and more. What was performed in theatres and other places of entertainment in London during that era? 
  • The London Stage 1660 - 1800. A Calendar Of Plays, Entertainments & Afterpieces Together With Casts, Box-Receipts And Contemporary Comment, 5 Pts. in 11 Vols, ed. by William van Lennep et al., Carbondale 1960-68
I occasionally go to the university library in Köln where they have a complete set. The books looked as if they hadn't been used for the last 10 years. But I needed them regularly because this work is also important for research into British music history during that period. To be true these were the kind of books I really enjoy. I could spend hours with them. In fact I did because it answered many questions I had, for example: when did Kitty Clive first perform "Ellen a Roon" in London? On March 8, 1742, after the third act of the comedy The Man Of Mode at the theatre in Drury Lane (London Stage 3.2, p. 974). Or: When was Burk Thumoth's first documented performance? On May 13, 1730, at the age of 13, at Goodman's Field (London Stage 3.1, p. 60). 

Thankfully these books are now available online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library as searchable and downloadable pdfs with a CC BY-NC license: 
Of course it is now also possible to link directly to the relevant pages. Here are for example the links to Kitty Clive in Vol. 3.2, p. 974 and Burk Thumoth in Vol. 3.1, p. 60. It is even allowed to embed these books. I hope it works here:

Many thanks to theatre historian Mattie Burkert for her efforts to make this possible:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion (1745-1769) - What Is Available Online?

One of the most important and influential Scottish tune collections of the 18th century was James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, published in 12 volumes since circa 1745. Oswald (1710 - 1769), the "most prolific and successful composer of 18th-century Scotland", but also a publisher, music teacher, arranger, editor, cellist and not at least a very astute businessman, worked at first in Dunfermline and Edinburgh and then moved to London in 1741. Six years later he set up his own music shop and publishing house and in 1761 he even became chamber composer to King George III. (quote from Johnson/Melvill, James Oswald, in: New Grove, 2nd ed., Vol. 18, pp. 790-1, see also Kidson, British Music Publishers, pp. 84-87).

The Caledonian Pocket Companion surely was the most popular of Oswald's numerous publications. These were handy and relatively inexpensive booklets with only the melody line, "noteworthy for [their] somewhat spartan appearance [...], to be available to the average punter rather than the gentleman amateur [...] an exercise in musical democracy" (Purser 1997, p. 327). In fact even the less affluent music fans could afford a tune collection like this one. The real problem with this work is that Oswald never gave the sources of the tunes. So in many cases we don't know if he had written them himself, if he had collected them somewhere or borrowed from another publication. 

But nonetheless this was a historically important and influential repository of tunes known at that time. It was regularly reprinted and remained in use even long after Oswald's death. Robert Burns owned a copy (see Purser 1997, p. 327) and editors of subsequent collections of Scottish songs used it as a source, for example James Johnson, Joseph Ritson and James Hogg (see McAulay, pp. 57, 68, 162). I have encountered Oswald's collection nearly every time I set out to research the history of particular tunes. In case of "Farewell to Tarwathie" I found altogether five different tune variants (see Ch. 1 of this work, at Most recently I was surprised to find out that he was also responsible for the earliest documented precursor of the tune used by Thomas Moore for "'Tis The last Rose of Summer" ("St. Martin's Church Yard", in Vol. 3, p. 25, according to SITM 1175, p. 223). 

Thanks to the digitization efforts of the National Library of Scotland and the University of Western Ontario this collection can easily be accessed at the Internet Archive. But there are different editions and composite volumes available and perhaps it is helpful to point out the most usable digitized versions. 

Most important is a book including what looks like the original versions of the first six volumes. The first two had been published not by Oswald himself but - before he started his own business - by John Simpson: 
Then there are some composite volumes including reprints of Vol. 1 & 2 published by Oswald himself. One is not particularly useful because it consists only of a couple of pages from different booklets: 
Much more helpful is an edition that includes not only the first six booklets - with an alphabetical index - but also Vols. 7 & 8: 
A composite volume of different editions of the first 8 volumes is unfortunately a little bit incomplete. Some pages of Vols. 2 & 4 are missing: 
We now have the first 8 Vols. of this collection. But for the remaining four one must resort to later new editions. One was by publishers Straight & Skillern but the copy available here is incomplete and includes only Vols. 8, 11, 12 
Later music publisher Robert Bremner brought out a new edition in two volumes, the first including the original booklets 1-6 and the second one with original numbers 7 - 12, but with new continuous pagination. The latter has also been digitized and can be found here: 
In fact all individual volumes of the Caledonian Pocket Companion are now available, the original editions of the first 8 and the last four as part of Bremner's later edition. 

  • David Johnson & Heather Melvill, James Oswald, in: The New Grove, 2nd ed., London 2001, Vol. 18, pp. 790-1 (the best short resumé of Oswald's life and work)
  • Frank Kidson, British Music Publishers, Printers And Engravers, London, Provincial, Scottish and Irish. From Queen Elizabeth's Reign to George The Fourth's, London 1900 (available at The Internet Archive)
  • Karen E. McAulay, Our Ancient National Airs. Scottish Song Collecting c. 1760 - 1888, PH. D. thesis, University of Glasgow, 2009 (online available at; now also published by Ashgate with the title: Our Ancient National Airs: Scottish Song Collecting from the Enlightenment to the Romantic Era, Farnham 2013, see Google Books)
  • John Purser, 'The Wee Apollo': Burns and Oswald, in: Kenneth Simpson, Love and Liberty. Robert Burns: A Bicentenary Celebration, East Linton 1997, pp. 326-333
  • SITM = Aloys Fleischmann (ed.), Sources Of Irish Traditional Music, C. 1600 - 1855, 2 Vols., New York & London 1998

  • The books digitized by the NLS are also available on their own site and can be used there. They are part of the Glen and Inglis Collections of Printed Music.
  • There is also a facsimile edition of Caledonian Pocket Companion on 2 CD Roms, published in 2006 & 2007 by Nick Parkes, with introduction and notes by John Purser (see the review of Vol. 1 at; the CDs are still available on John Purser's website). I haven't seen this one yet but it looks very promising and I have just ordered a copy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Old German Songbooks, No. 16: Pflüger, Liederbuch für Schule und Leben (1850s); Hesse & Schönlein, Schulliederbuch (1890s); Meyer, Volks-Gesangbuch (1873)

Here are some more songbooks I have scanned (and now uploaded to the Internet Archive). All are from the second half of the 19th century:
  • J. G. F. Pflüger, Liederbuch für Schule und Leben, 3 Bde., Friedrich Gutsch, Karlsruhe, 1857/8
    I. Heft, Kinderlieder, 1857
    II. Heft, Volkslieder, 2. Auflage, 1858
    III. Heft, Volksthümliche Lieder, 1858
    Now at the Internet Archive
  • Friedrich Hesse & Adalbert Schönstein, Schulliederbuch. Sammlung auserlesener Lieder für Bürger-, Mittel-, höhere Töchter- und höhere Bürgerschulen, Heft II. Lieder für die Mittelklassen, 3. Auflage, Verlagsbuchhandlung von Paul Baumann, Dessau, 1894
    Now at the Internet Archive
    Friedrich Hesse & Adalbert Schönstein, Schulliederbuch. Sammlung auserlesener Lieder für Bürger-, Mittel-, höhere Töchter- und höhere Bürgerschulen, Heft III. Lieder für die Oberklassen, 5. Auflage, Verlagsbuchhandlung von Paul Baumann, Dessau, 1899
    Now at the Internet Archive
  • Wilhelm Meyer, Volks-Liederbuch. Auserlesene ältere und neuere Volkslieder und Nationalgesänge des In- und Auslandes mit ihren eigenthümlichen Sangweisen. Für den vierstimmigen Männerchor, Hahn, Hannover, 1873
    Now at the Internet Archive
Both Pflüger and Hesse & Schönlein put together song collections for schools. Here we can see the development of the standard repertoire over 30 years. Pflüger already offered many songs that later became common in songbooks for schools and Hesse & Schönlein's is not that different from other publications from that time. In these books we find the usual amount of religious songs as well as many patriotic ditties and the popular "Volkslieder" by Silcher & co. Both books of course include the "Loreley", a song known to nearly everybody even today. Church and Vaterland, Heimat and nature were the most important topics and sometimes I feel really sorry for the poor children who had to sing something like:
Ich hab' mich ergeben mit Herz und mit Hand dir,
Land voll Lieb' und Leben, mein deutsches Vaterland [etc]
(Pflüger II, No. 23)
I am mostly interested in foreign, especially British, songs that were popular at that time in Germany. Therefore I was surprised to find another text for the tune of "Robin Adair/Eileen Aroon" that I hadn't been aware of (Pflüger III, No. 43; Hesse & Schönlein II, No. 73):
Fröhlicher Jugendsinn füllt uns die Brust,
Leicht durch das Leben hin folgt mir die Lust!
Wenn uns die Veilchen blühn
Wenn über frisches Grün wir durch den Frühling ziehn [...]
This is not exactly a masterpiece of poetry and was only very rarely included in songbooks, much less than the popular standard texts ("Treu und herzinniglich" & "Heut' muß geschieden sein"). Nonetheless it is a nice addition for my work about "Robin Adair" in Germany (on Interestingly the tune was taken directly from Boieldieu's La Dame Blanche and not from Silcher's, Erk's or Täglichsbeck's well-known publications. Pflüger even credits Boieldieu as the composer. Someone with the name "Jung" is given as the author of the text in Pflüger's book and I have not able to find out who that was. Hesse & Schönlein - who don't mention Boieldieu but call it "Schottisches Volkslied" - claim it was "J. H. Jung-Stilling (1740-1817)" but that is clearly wrong and misleading. 

Meyer's Volks-Gesangbuch was not intended for schools but includes 4-part arrangements for Männergesangvereine. Interestingly he claims in his preface that most "Volkslieder" are not suitable for school children. That was a quite uncommon opinion at that time. He prefers male choirs as "die Stätte seiner Pflege". But this is a very interesting collection. Meyer included many adaptations of foreign songs from all kinds of countries, particularly from Britain. It seems he especially liked Burns and Moore and we can find here many of their songs. 

This book reflects the German fascination with foreign "Volkslieder" and amusingly he somewhat pats himself and his compatriots on the back for this interest in other people's songs:
"Es kann dem Deutschen nur zur Ehre gereichen, dass er gern sich in das innerste Leben anderer Völker vertieft und ihre Lieder mit Hingabe singt" (p. V).
In fact it is one of the best song collections from that era and the editor clearly tried to avoid much of the standard repertoire. But even he couldn't leave out some of the most popular German classics like the "Loreley" and "Der Mai ist gekommen".

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Mein Herz ist im Hochland" - New Musical Settings By German Composers 1836-1842 (Burns in Germany)

Among the most popular songs in Germany during the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century was "Mein Herz ist im Hochland". This was an adaptation of Robert Burns' "My Heart's In The Highlands" with - numerous - different melodies. For some reason it was never published here with the original tune (see Scots Musical Museum, Vol. 3, 1790, No. 259, p. 268, available at the Internet Archive).

But we must distinguish here between two lines of tradition. On one hand the song was offered as a "Volkslied", usually with Ferdinand Freiligrath's translation. Friedrich Silcher was the first to publish it in his collection of foreign national airs in 1837. Others like Ludwig Erk would follow his lead (see my texts about Silcher's and Erk's versions in this blog). All in all at least six different tunes - some old, some new - were used for this song and it appeared in numerous collections. 

On the other hand a great number of German composers took one of the available translations - most popular were those by Freiligrath, Philipp Kaufmann or Wilhelm Gerhard (see The Earliest German Translations…, in this blog) - and wrote a new tune. I have counted more than 60 of these publications between 1836 and 1899. Here are all the new settings published between 1836 and 1842. This information is extracted from Hofmeister XIX, a database of Hofmeisters Monatsberichte which is invaluable for research into 19th century German music and Ernst Fleischhack's Freiligrath's Gedichte in Lied und Ton (Bielefeld 1990, here pp. 68-73). 
  • Friedrich W. Jähns, Schottische Lieder und Gesänge, mit Begleitung des Piano-Forte. Gedichtet von Robert Burns, übersetzt von Philipp Kaufmann, Op. 21, Heft II. 4 Gesänge für Bass, Bariton od. Alt, Berlin, Crantz [1836], No. 1, pp. 2/3 (at the Internet Archive; see Hofmeister, Nov. 1836, p. 125)

  • Carl Wilhelm Greulich, Jäger-Lied für Tenor mit Begleitung des Piano-Forte und Horn ad lib. (Mein Herz ist im Hochland), Letzte Arbeit des Komponisten, Berlin, Westphal [1837] (see Hofmeister, August 1837, p. 106, no extant copy?)
  • Wenzel J. Tomaschek, Drei Gesänge, componiert für eine Singstimme mit Pianoforte-Begleitung, Op. 92, Hamburg, Cranz [1839], No. 3: "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" (see Hofmeister Oktober & November 1839, p. 142; extant copies f. ex. at ÖNB, Wien, MS16405-4°; SMI, Regensburg, xxx [not yet digitized])
  • Heinrich Marschner, Lieder nach Robert Burns von F. Freiligrath für eine Sopran oder Tenorstimme mit Begleitung des Piano-Forte, Op. 103, Mainz, Schott [1839], No. 6, pp. 12-13 (online available at the Internet Archive; also at IMSLP, see Hofmeister, Dezember 1839, p. 154)
  • Friedrich Kücken, Drei Duette für Gesang mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Op. 30, Berlin, Bechthold [1840], No. 2: "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" (available at the Internet Archive; see Hofmeister August 1840, p. 107; also in later edition: Sechs Berühmte Duette für zwei Singstimmen. Opus 15 und 30, Leipzig, Peters [1894], No. 5, pp. 23-30, at the Internet Archive [bound together with Sechs Berühmte Duette für zwei Singstimmen. Opus 8 und 21, Leipzig, Peters, n. d.])

    • Robert Schumann, Myrthen. Liederkreis von Göthe, Rücker, Byron, Moore, Heine, Burns und Mosen, Op. 25, Leipzig, Kistner [1840], Heft 3, No. 1, p. 2: "Hochländers Abschied" (at BSB; see Hofmeister, Oktober 1840, p. 143; see a later edition, No. XIII, pp. 30-2, at the Internet Archive)
    • Carl Krebs, Mein Herz ist im Hochland. Lied für eine Singstimme mit obligater Pianoforte-Begleitung, Op. 73, Für Sopran od. Tenor, 1/3 Thlr., Schuberth & Comp, Hamburg u. Leipzig, T. Trautwein, Berlin, T. Haslinger, Wien, n. d. [1840], at the Internet Archive (see Hofmeister, Dezember 1840, p. 172, see also this text in my blog)
    • Otto Bähr, 6 Lieder für Mezzo-Sopran, Alt oder Bariton mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel [1841], No. 5: "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" (see Hofmeister, November 1841, p. 172)
    • Julius Stern, Zwei Gesänge, No. 2: "Mein Herz ist im Hochland", in: Sammlung von Musik-Stücken aus alter und neuer Zeit als Zulage zur neuen Zeitschrift für Musik, 13. Heft, Juni 1841, pp. 10-11, available at the Internet Archive (also in Julius Stern, 6 Gedichte von Reinick, Eichendorff, Burns, Chamisso, für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Op. 8, Magdeburg, Heinrichshofen [1841], No. 4: "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" (one extant copy in the library of Schumann-Haus, Zwickau, $Zwi17#4625,2-A4/D1 [not yet digitized])
      • Leopold Lenz, Mein Herz ist im Hochland, nach dem Schottischen des Robert Burns, in: Musikbeilage zu August Lewald (ed.), Europa. Chronik der gebildeten Welt, 1841, 26 (at BSB München, 4 1796-1841, 26), also in: Leopold Lenz, 7 Lieder für 1 Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, op. 29, Leipzig, Breitkopf & Härtel [1843], No. 3 (see Hofmeister, Februar 1843, p. 29, one extant copy [not yet digitized] at BSB, München, 2 10766)
      • Henry Hugh Pearson, 6 Lieder von Robert Burns nach Freiligrath für eine Singstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, Op. 7, Leipzig, Kistner [1842], No. 3: "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" (see Hofmeister, Juni 1842, p. 97 , available at Badische Landesbibliothek, Karlsruhe, DonMusDr 2260)
      • W. E. Scholz, 4 Lieder, Op. 30, 7tes Liederheft, Breslau, Cranz, [1842], No. 4: "Des Schotten Abschied" (see Hofmeister, Juni 1842, p. 97; no extant copy?)
      • Alexander Fesca, Drei Lieder von Robert Burns in Musik gesetzt für eine sopran- oder Tenorstimme mit Begleitung des Pianoforte, op. 21, Braunschweig, Meyer [1842], No. 1: "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" (see Hofmeister, September 1842, p. 144, one extant copy at Badische Landesbibliothek, Karlsruhe, DonMusDr 1035; also at the Internet Archive)
      • J. Sommer, 6 Gesänge für 4 Männerstimmen, Op. 3, Coblenz, Geswein [1842] (see Hofmeister, Oktober 1842, p. 160; no extant copy?)
      This list shows nicely how the interest in Burns' songs grew at that time. The first one was Friedrich Wilhelm Jähns in 1836. He used Philipp Kaufmann's translation which was already available at that time even though his complete book would only be published in 1839. One more - Greulich - followed in 1837 but the great flood only started in 1839/40 with five new publications and then seven more in 1841/2. Interestingly some were dedicated exclusively to Burns' songs, like Jähns, Marschner, Pearson and Fesca. This demonstrates his newfound popularity in Germany. One should also take into account that there were some more collections of Burns' translated texts set to new music that didn't include this particular song (like Kufferath's 6 Lieder, 1841, see this text in this blog). 

      "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" remained popular among composers for the rest of the century. Until 1849 there were at least 15 more relevant publications, among them works by Ferdinand Hiller and Niels Gade. Between 1850 and 1899 at least 33 new settings would follow. In fact for more 60 years this song never went out of fashion. 

      • Ernst Fleischhack, Freiligraths Gedichte in Lied und Ton, Bielefeld 1990
      • Hofmeister XIX = Musikalisch-literarischer Monatsbericht neuer Musikalien, musikalischer Schriften und Abbildungen, Hofmeister, Leipzig 1829ff (online available at Österreichische Nationalbibliothek; searchable database: Hofmeister XIX (Royal Holloway, University Of London)

      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)
        Now at the Internet Archive
      • 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]
        Now at the Internet Archive
      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 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]
        Now at the Internet Archive
      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)
        Now at the Internet Archive
      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]
        Now available at the Internet Archive
      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 is listed 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], at the Internet Archive
       I have already mentioned a couple of times the great enthusiasm 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 & the Internet Archive) 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), among them "Mein Herz ist im Hochland" - translation not by Gerhard but by Ferdinand Freiligrath - which I have already discussed (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):
      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:

      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)

      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
        Now available at the Internet Archive (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 previous 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