Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Russell, Tilden A. “Brahms and ‘Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten’: A New Contribution.” The American Brahms Society Newsletter 6, no. 2 (1988): 8-9.

Siegfried Ochs claimed that Brahms had made it clear to him that the second movement of his Ein deutsches Requiem had been based on a chorale tune, “Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten,” yet analysis reveals that the rhythm and pitches of the melodies are quite different. Christopher Reynolds has recently argued that it is in fact based on a different chorale tune. If one compares the movement with a piano piece by M. Jessen that explicitly takes its melody from the chorale, Brahms’s use of it in the Requiem becomes more doubtful. In fact, treatises of the time suggested that composers wishing to write a successful funeral march should make it sound chorale-like. Therefore, it is highly possible that Brahms wrote the melody himself, merely emulating the general style of a chorale and not a specific chorale tune.

Works: Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem (8-9); M. Jessen: Wer seinen Gott allein läßt walten, Op. 6, No. 1 (9).

Sources: Georg Neumark: Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten.

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Meredith Rigby

Except where otherwise noted, this website is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
Creative Commons Attribution License