Rastlose Liebe, Hess 149 (Completion) (mp3)

Rastlose Liebe, Hess 149 (Completion) (mp3)
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Performer: Willem
Length: 5:26
Rastlose Liebe, Three Continuity Drafts, Hess 149 (mp3)
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Performer: Willem
Length: 17:31
Rastlose Liebe, Three Continuity Drafts, Hess 149
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Author: Willem
Length: 17:31
Rastlose Liebe, Hess 149 (Completion)
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Author: Willem
Length: 5:13
Rastlose Liebe, Hess 149 (1796).

Picture by courtesy of Donna Dralle. More of her work can be found at http://www.graphixnow.com
This song is not known to have developed beyond the sketch stage. The sketches are presently in Berlin, as part of the Fischoff Miscellany, and in Vienna at the Gesellschaft der Musicfreunde in manuscript A67. Gustav Nottebohm guessed that the sketches could have come from anytime between 1800 and 1824; Douglas Johnson has verified that these sketches are on a paper type known to have been used by Beethoven in Prague in early 1796. Thus we can be fairly confident about the dating of these sketches.

Beethoven wrote out three full continuity drafts for this song, each varying somewhat melodically, but pretty much all consistent in their general vision. We present here a midi of the three continuity sketches, each about 5 minutes in duration, in the order which Johnson believed Beethoven had written them. At the conclusion are several fragments which give variant versions of small spots in the song without a full continuity draft being written. These drafts/sketches were written a few months after Adelaide, op. 46, and bear a certain similarity to that song; we can clearly see Beethoven moving the lied toward what would become the art-song. Beethoven certainly put a great deal of effort into this song; it is unclear to us why he didn't take it to completion. Although the piano part is indicated only occasionally (and only the right hand at that), an autograph could have been completed from this sketch without too much difficulty. Willem has made his attempt at completing the latest version of the song, which is presented here in a separate midi. The piano part for the completion was suggested by a small figuration which is jotted into on area of the sketch; it clearly fits the restless nature of the song, and was used and expanded to make the accompaniment heard in the completion here.

The poem is by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who wrote Erl-koenig, which was also sketched at about the same time. Johnson hypothesizes that these Goethe-lieder were written for Countess Josephine de Clary, for whom Beethoven wrote the mandolin pieces, WoO 43 and 44 on this same kind of paper. If Beethoven completed these songs for Josephine, however, they are not known to have survived.

Rastlose Liebe

Dem Schnee, dem Regen,
Dem Wind entgegen,
Im Dampf der Kluefte,
Durch Nebelduefte,
Immer zu!  Immer zu!
Ohne Rast und Ruh'

Lieber druch Leiden
Moecht' ich mich schlagen,
Also so viel Freuden
Des Lebens ertragen.
Alle das Neigen
Von Herzen zu Herzen,
Ach, wie so eigen
Schaffet das Schmerzen!

Wie, soll ich fliehen?
Waelderwarts ziehen?
Alles vergebens!
Krone des Lebens,
Glueck ohne Ruh'
Liebe, bist du!

------J.W. von Goethe

Restless love

Against snow, the rain  and wind I go,
through steamy clefts,
through fog's odour,
Onwards! Onwards!
No rest no peace!

Rather through suffering 
I desire  to fight,
than to bear so much
joy of life.

All that inclines		  
From heart to heart,
oh, how peculiarly	 
it creates pain.

How shall I flee?
Into the woods?
All doomed to fail!
Crown of Life,
Happiness without rest,
Oh love, thou art!

(trans. Jan Templiner)

Hess: 149

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