Wiegenlied: Brahms

Learner Skills

​A delightful arrangement of a popular lullaby.  This lullaby will appeal to people who like the idea of rocking a baby to sleep. The piece is very popular and therefore can be deceptively simple in sound. An enjoyable piece for students with little ones in the home.

Knowledge Skills

The composer wrote a set of five songs or Lieder. These are registered as opus 49 and were written in 1868 when the composer had settled in Vienna.

The text is from Das Knaben Wunderhorn or The Youth's Magic Horn, a collection of German folk poetry.

This piece was written for a friend of the composer to mark the birth of her second son.

Technical Skills

The piece is in simple triple time and a rocking motion should be encouraged. The natural movement of the melody allows for the student to introduce a character movement. The use of the traditional words will enhance the natural rise and fall of the phrase and encourage a suitable phrase endings. Although triple time the student should be encouraged to feel a bar pulse.

The section covering bar 6 and 7 will require comfortable wrist alignment and fluid movement for a clear and effortless move to the 4th finger on B.

This is covered in exercise 5 on the pack available below.

Articulation Skills

A musical touch is required from the outset, the inclusion of dynamics from the start will help to ensure that there is no harsh attack to the notes.

The tempo is appropriate providing the notes are well known to remove any feeling of haste.

Sound Skills

Quiet music does not have to be boring. You can use the imagination to help achieve the right tone. A lullaby evokes the reassuring safety and the calm heaviness of sleep approaching. Smooth and gentle playing will ensure the baby does not wake.

Pedal Skills

This style of playing will benefit from the use of the 'Una Corda' pedal during the final ritardando section.

The sostenuto pedal is not required in the piece.

Stylistic Skills

A musical touch is required from the outset, the inclusion of dynamics from the start will help to ensure that there is no harsh attack to the notes.

The tempo is appropriate providing the notes are well known to remove any feeling of haste.

Practise Skills

This lullaby requires a smooth and gentle phrase execution. To achieve this secure finger movement is required.

The finger crossings on line 3 and 4 will require smooth practised movement.

Practice slowly with three beats per bar and work up to a one beat per bar pulse.

Use hands separately on the sections that require movement.

Performance Skills

This piece offers the opportunity to discuss the effect of stillness and performance. Playing a delightful performance with a gentle and still ending that dissolves into the silence will please the examiner. The effect of pausing motionless for a moment after the last bar can change the emotional content of everything that came before.

Teaching Skills

Warm up with the scales and arpeggios used in the piece.

Ensure all the terms and signs used in the piece are understood.

The dotted rhythm in the right hand needs to be secure without the left hand support.

Aural work can be enhanced with a 'spot the crescendo and decrescendo' activity.

Exam Skills

An accomplished learner will be confident and full of character with a rocking tempo and a secure pulse. It will include plenty of detail.

A satisfying performance which will have accurate rhythms, contrasting dynamics and a good balance between hands.

On completion of the learning process an acceptable performance will be a little under time but will have an accurate rhythm and some dynamics.

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Author

C.L. Caton-Greasley CT ABRSM DipLCM(TD) ALCM(TD)

Created

21/11/20, 11:30