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)