Brahms: Feldeimsamkeit

Tempo: Langsam (slow)
Key: Ab (originally F)
Time Signature: common
Lyrics translated:
I rest quietly in the tall green grass
And send my long Looking Up ,
From crickets swarmed round unceasingly ,
From blue of the sky miraculously emblazoned .
The beautiful white clouds draw then
Through the deep blue , as beautiful silent dreams ;
I feel as if I'm already dead
And prefer blessed with eternal space.
Analytical points:
Pedal point used in opening bars
Rising tonic chords establish tonality
The pedal point builds up tension which is then released by a 2nd inv. Dominant chord which
directs it back to the home key
Heavy use of pedal means that the harmonic texture feels thick and full despite the
dynamics being soft
Every two lines or so there is a brief piano interlude which carries on material from one
section and linking it to the next
Phrases tend to start with an anacrusis giving the vocal line initial drive
The use of the expressive technique of a mordent emphases the candence ppoint back into
the home key
As this is a later romantic composition the concepts of chromaticism are heavily in place
allowing the pieces to flow seamlessly to harmonically unrelated territory. The brief detour
into what appears to be Fb major is coupled with a crescendo that follows the melodic
contour to draw emphasis to this progression
The final chord serves as an example of word painting as it is relatively high pitched
compared to the rest of the accompaniment part, which is reflective of the sky which is so
often referred to in this lieder