College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 1 Page: 87
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PROGRAM NOTES (cont'd)
Neue Liebeslieder, Op. 65 (1875)
In 1869, Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) published a set of 18 waltzes entitled
Liebeslieder, Op. 52. These pieces enjoyed such popularity in the bourgeoning Hausmusik
movement in Germany that Brahms soon followed them up with another set of waltzes,
this time called Neue Liebeslieder, Op. 65 in 1875. Both sets have much in common,
beyond their obvious triple meter. Both are settings largely of the poetry from Polydora,
a collection of poems from around the world translated into German by Georg Friedrich
Daumer, though the second set concludes with a poem from Goethe; and both are scored
for vocal quartet (in the original set, the term ad libitum was used to describe the inclusion
of the voices) with piano duet accompaniment.
The Neue Liebeslieder, however, shows quite a bit more sophistication than that of
the original waltzes, both in form and in emotional content. While the Op. 52 are loosely
grouped in pairs in two largely straightforward sections, the two sections of the Op. 65
each include a first and last movement for the full quartet, enclosing an additional quartet
as well as four movements for solo voice or, as in the case of "Nein, Geliebter, setze dich,"
a duet. The two sets of waltzes also differ in their overall emotional character. The earlier
pieces generally refer amiably to the situation of the lovers described in the poetry. The
later set, however, explores a much wider range of emotions, especially the darker side of
love, touching on themes such as jealousy, lust, rejection and despair. Taken as a whole,
both sets complement each other, and both have remained standards in the repertoire since
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University of North Texas. College of Music. College of Music Program Book 2011-2012: Ensemble & Other Performances, Volume 1, book, 2012; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc114723/m1/88/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Music Library.