Example 7a. Example 7b. Schumann begins this final strophe with the BRD-conformant option shown in Example 3b.
German Children Songs - Lied vom Sandmann (DDR) lyrics + English translation
The setting of the third line continues the leisurely declamatory pace. The pianist can contribute to this temporary calming by enriching the sound with an increased amount of pedal. In this final strophe, Schumann thus postpones until the fourth line the hasty rhythm that he used to set the second lines of the first two strophes. The slowness of the declamation in the preceding portion of the strophe renders the final eighth-note pace particularly shocking.
The constant fluctuations of the declamatory rhythm lend a pervasive restlessness to the music—an ominous sensation of dark emotions bubbling under the surface, ready to burst forth. This sensation is reinforced by a number of other musical characteristics, notably by the volatile dynamics for example, the sudden fortes in measures 8 and 28 , by the displacement dissonances at those same points, and by the persistent irregularity of the hypermeter.
Surely, performers should do what they can to enhance the effects of the irregularities, and do nothing that would weaken these effects. The pianist, too, should not slow down at these points; playing the interludes and the postlude that follow them, with their surprising sforzandos and forte markings, perfectly in time rather than stretching them out reinforces the sense of acceleration that the singer has just created. Audio Example 4.
The expressive impact of the ending is lost in this performance. The effect of the striking contrast between the initially slow and subsequently quick declamation of the last strophe is neutralized. For all of these reasons, only a performance that remains strictly in tempo, or even slightly rushes the eighth notes, can have an appropriately chilling effect—an effect upon which the following postlude capitalizes with its powerful metrically displaced chords Example 8. Our performance of the final strophe and the postlude is provided in Audio Example 5.
To summarize the above discussion, I have included our performance of the entire song Audio Example 6. Audio Example 5. Audio Example 6. Example 9. This song is a setting of a poem by Elisabeth Kulmann, a Russian-German poet whose works Schumann very much admired.
The poem is perfectly regular in surface rhythm see Example 9 , and listen to Audio Example 7. Each line consists of three iambic feet, plus a pause; here again, pauses are obligatory after each line—short pauses after odd-numbered lines, and longer pauses after even-numbered lines.
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There is a clear distinction between levels of stress, but in this poem the stronger stresses are not quite regular. The first two lines, for instance, have different deeper-level stresses. Thereafter, as is illustrated by the third and fourth lines in Example 9, the lines settle into an almost consistent pattern of deep-level stresses on the first and third stressed syllables. Example 10a. Example 10b. Because of the initial irregularity in the deep-level stresses, it is not possible to place strong stresses on downbeats during the first couplet—but I have established that placement in the second couplet.
After the second line of the poem, however, he departs from the established regularity as is shown by the sudden influx of red on the second staff of Example 10b. Here, this sensation does not come from accelerated declamation; the note values in the vocal line remain quite consistent, as do the foot durations.
The premature initiation of the third line also disrupts the expected alignment of couplets and hypermeasures. Example 10a shows the hypothetical aligned state; each line occupies two bars and each couplet, four. This elongation brings the hypermeasure to an end at the expected point, i. Example 11a. Example 11b. Example 12a. Example 12b. Schumann delays the vocal entry with an interlude which, incidentally, announces a variant of the opening melody, and hence the expected BRD-conformant rhythm!
As if to make up for lost time, he then compresses a considerable number of feet and omits the expected rest between the first and second lines of the stanza. The emphasis on these final words is reinforced by the dynamic markings—a crescendo leading to the first forte marking in the song at measure 27 not counting the fp markings in the middle section.
The postlude, in which the piano reiterates the initial greeting to the swallows cf. Possible solutions to the problem are to choose an overly slow tempo for the song, or to relax the tempo just at that passage. But a slow tempo would evoke large, possibly flightless birds rather than swallows, whose unpredictable darting flight Schumann surely intended to suggest with his irregular declamation.
A performance of the entire short song at a tempo that seems in accord with the liveliness of the birds mentioned in the poem is given in Audio Example Audio Example Example Example 14a.
Synonyms and antonyms of Sandmännchen in the German dictionary of synonyms
Example 14b. Audio Example 11 is our performance of the first strophe of the song. As in that song, the first and third stresses are strong in numerous lines; this pattern is present, for example, in the second and third lines. Otherwise, however, this setting is characterized by regularity. The poetic feet are close to equivalent in duration. The most frequent duration is two eighth notes per foot.
There are some deviations by. An unexpected and very charming feature of his setting of these lines is the placement of long pauses after them, and the filling-in of the pauses with substantial piano interludes they are just as long as the vocal sub-phrases.
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The pauses and interludes are unexpected because this is a poem whose rhythm does not suggest pauses between lines; notice the absence of such pauses in Example 14a. The strategy becomes clear after the third line. At the end of the third line, however, there is no extended pause, and no piano interlude; it is as if the singer simply cannot wait to utter the fourth line. This sense of rushing ahead as the fourth line begins is absolutely appropriate, for the sandman, who in the first three lines merely describes his shoes and his sack, springs into action at this point.
Example 14c. This premature landing, in turn, would provide a springboard into the following hasty sixteenth notes. Example 15a. Example 15b. The interlude here is quite short—a brief echo of the preceding vocal pitches. The abrupt restoration of the quick tempo and of the sixteenth-note figuration at the beginning of the postlude evokes the image of the sandman scampering off to his next assignment—but Schumann concludes with another gesture that suggests falling asleep: the progression from sixteenth-note pulse to eighth-note pulse to a final half note.
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At the end of the vocal line, it is important to reestablish the tempo exactly where Schumann requests it. These cadential bars will definitely require some rehearsal. The first two stanzas and the first two lines of the third stanza describe various signs of the arrival of spring. The poem is written in iambic trimeter, with regularly recurring strong stresses near line endings. Schumann begins as in the other examples: his strategy is to establish the normal declamation pattern before deviating from it. The first deviation occurs immediately after the BRD-conformant initial couplet.
Schumann, however, delays the onset of the third line by a quarter beat; an allusion to the opening of the vocal line in the piano shown in small notes in Example 18b reminds us of the expected point of onset of the third line and thus draws attention to the delay that occurs in the vocal line. Example 18a.
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Example 18b. Example 19a. Example 19b.
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A hypothetical BRD-conformant vocal line for the third line of the stanza is shown in Example 19a with embedded Audio Example This quick pacing is surprising not only because it exceeds the expected rate of declamation for the poem, but also because it is much more rapid than the corresponding points of the earlier strophes. This is another of those points where performers must take care; the peak would fall flat if one were to slow down the sixteenth notes as one might be tempted to do, since this passage is close to the end of the vocal line.
What is required here is breathless excitement, not lethargy. These gestures of retraction put a negative spin on the potentially optimistic ending of the song. Daverio, John. Fabb, Nigel and Morris Halle. Meter in Poetry: A New Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
It was very popular with GDR citizens to the point that after the wall fell, former citizens lamented the appropriation of the beloved cartoon by corporate West German television. The East German version was ultimately more popular, and repeats of episodes are still broadcast today.