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Brahms's Lullaby is the common English title of Johannes Brahms's "Wiegenlied: Guten Abend, gute Nacht" ("Lullaby: Good evening, good night"), Op. 49, No. 4, published in 1868. The lyrics of the first verse are from a collection of German folk poems called Des Knaben Wunderhorn and the second stanza was written by Georg Scherer (1824–1909) in 1849. The lullaby's melody is one of the most famous and recognizable in the world, used by countless parents to sing their babies to sleep. The Lullaby was dedicated to Brahms's friend, Bertha Faber, on the occasion of the birth of her second son. Brahms had been in love with her in her youth and constructed the melody of the Wiegenlied to suggest, as a hidden counter-melody, a song she used to sing to him. The lullaby was first performed in public on 22 December 1869 in Vienna by Louise Dustmann (singer) and Clara Schumann (piano).
|Original German||Literal English translation||Traditional English version|
Guten Abend, gute Nacht,
Good evening, good night,
Lullaby and goodnight,
Arrangements and other uses
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Brahms himself used variations on the melody for much of the first movement of his Symphony No. 2 in D major, Op. 73. In 1922, Australian pianist and composer Percy Grainger arranged the Wiegenlied as one of his "Free Settings of Favorite Melodies" for solo piano. This study was characterized by much use of suspensions and arpeggiation, with the first statement of the melody placed in the tenor range of the keyboard. This last practice was a favorite one of Grainger.
Brahms' Lullaby is also commonly sung to the Hebrew words of Jacob's blessing to his grandchildren, Ephraim and Menashe, in Genesis 48:16. This blessing is incorporated into the "Bedtime Shema" and has thus become a popular Jewish Lullaby (Hamalach hagoel oti...).
Wendy Cope's poem "Brahms Cradle Song" refers to this song.
- 1937 Elisabeth Schumann (soprano) with orchestral accompaniment on Romophone, re-issued on Naxos Historical.
- 1941 Bing Crosby – recorded May 23, 1941, with John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra. This reached No. 20 in the Billboard charts.
- 1944 Frank Sinatra – recorded December 3, 1944, with Axel Stordahl and his Orchestra.
- 1947 Lotte Lehmann (soprano) on RCA Victor.
- 1953 Rosemary Clooney – recorded February 3, 1953, with The Percy Faith Orchestra, as "Close Your Eyes".
- 1954 Bing Crosby – recorded June 16, 1954, for the album Bing: A Musical Autobiography.
- 1958 Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (baritone) and Gerald Moore (piano) on Orfeo C140201.
- 1958 Joni James – recorded for her album Among My Souvenirs.
- 1959 Dean Martin – included in his album Sleep Warm.
- 1962 Elisabeth Schwarzkopf (soprano) and Gerald Moore on Testament Records (UK) 1206.
- 1963 The Jazz Crusaders – on their album Tough Talk.
- 1973 Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Wolfgang Sawallisch (piano) on EMI Classics ASIN: B000005GQ9.
- 1978 Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Daniel Barenboim (piano) on Deutsche Grammophon.
- 1986 Kidsongs - Good Night Sleep Tight as Lullaby and Good Night.
- 1989 Anne Sofie von Otter (mezzo-soprano) and Bengt Forsberg (piano) on Deutsche Grammophon 429727.
- 2013 Bernarda Fink (mezzo-soprano) and Roger Vignoles (piano).
- 2013 Hayley Westenra – included in her album Hushabye.
- 1937 Lost Horizon – sung a cappella by children at Shangri-La
- 1945 Anchors Aweigh – sung by Frank Sinatra
- Swafford, Jan (1999). Johannes Brahms: A Biography. Random House of Canada. p. 338. ISBN 978-0-679-74582-2.
- "Brahms' Lullaby"
- McCorkle, Margit L. (1984). Johannes Brahms. Thematisch-bibliographisches Werkverzeichnis. Munich: Henle. p. 197. ISBN 3-87328-041-8.
- Opus 49, Fünf Lieder für eine Singstimme und Klavier
- "Brahms's Lullaby" ("Lullaby and Goodnight"), babycenter.com
- "Gewürznelken", Merck's Warenlexikon (1884) (in German)
"Näglein, das", Duden Online (in German)
- Ould, 5.
- "Hamal'ach Hagoel" ("Wiegenlied")
- "Hamalach Hagoel"
- Guten Abend, gute Nacht on IMDb
- "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890–1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 108. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
- "Frank Sinatra Discography". jazzdiscography.com. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
- Crossland, Ken (2013). Late Life Jazz – The Life and Career of Rosemary Clooney. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-19-979857-5.
- The Essential Canon of Classical Music
- "Discogs.com". Discogs.com. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
- "The Classical Good CD & DVD Guide"
- "Gramophone Classical Good Guide"
- "All Music Guide to Classical Music: The Definitive Guide to Classical Music"
- Brahms Lieder, review by Richard Wigmore, Gramophone
- Ould, Barry Peter, Notes for Hyperion CDA67279, Percy Grainger: Rambles and Reflections – Piano Transcriptions, Piers Lane, piano.
- Sheet music for Brahms' Lullaby (Wiegenlied)
- J. Brahms: 5 Songs, Op. 49: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project (IMSLP)
- Brahms' Lullaby (Cradle Song, Wiegenlied) at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
- Another website with lyrics
- Text of the Wiegenlied at the LiederNet Archive
- Text of original verse as "Gute Nacht, mein Kind!" in Des Knaben Wunderhorn at Google Books.