Johannes Brahms: Blinde Kuh (Blind man’s bluff)

7 04 2009

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Ach, sie versteckt sich immer, daß ich verschmachten soll!

Love is a game, making children out of the best of us.  Brahms manages to capture the image of children chasing each other in a game of blind man’s bluff (or literally, “blind cow”) with the perpetual motion of the running sixteenth notes in the piano. The singer sneaks around as well, particularly in the beginning, before simply crying out for the game to stop at the end.

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Johannes Brahms: Liebesklage des Maedchens (The maiden’s love lament)

24 03 2009
So hat mich Liebe verwundt

"So hat mich Liebe verwund't"

Brahms’s songs sound simple. The mark of a master, though, is to make the difficult seem effortless, and Brahms, Norman, and Barenboim accomplish that in this lover’s lament.

I initially was seeking Brahms’s Ophelia-Lieder, but could not locate a score online. The five songs last less than four minutes, and have also been recorded by Jessye Norman. They are lovely, but almost too simple — after all, they were intended to be sung unaccompanied and have a folk character.