Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Gustav Jenner and the Music of Brahms: The Case of the Orchestral Serenades

  • Jacquelyn Sholes

Abstract

Gustav Jenner (1865–1920) was Brahms’s only long-term composition student. Jenner, an outspoken proponent of the conservative musical values he shared with Brahms, left numerous songs and pieces for chorus, piano, chamber ensembles and orchestra. Despite his obvious stylistic affinities to Brahms, it is clear from Jenner’s prose writings that he placed high value on artistic independence. Although scholars have noted the circumstances surrounding Jenner’s interactions with Brahms between 1888 and 1895 and Brahms’s general aesthetic influence on the young man, Jenner’s music – and particularly its relationship to that of Brahms – has received scant attention. Deeper comparison of the two composers’ works yields insights into not only how Brahms influenced less prominent composers in his circle and in the generation that followed him, but also the extent and nature of Brahms’s direct influence as a teacher.

This article compares Jenner’s only complete orchestral piece, his Serenade in A major (1911–12), with its most obvious precedents, Brahms’s orchestral serenades. Although correlations in general style are numerous, discrepancies arise naturally. Jenner furthermore avoids Brahms’s most distinctive compositional choices and takes care not to rely too heavily on any one Brahmsian model for his own Serenade, suggesting his desire to distinguish himself and a wariness of the inevitable comparisons with the works of his teacher. Thus we find in Jenner’s work the same dual emphasis on musical tradition and independence emphasized both in Jenner’s prose writings and in the music of Brahms himself.

Copyright

References

Hide All

1 There were other young musicians to whom Brahms provided, or may have provided, compositional advice, and he had earlier taught piano, as well as some music theory, to a number of students – but Jenner is the only aspiring composer to receive ongoing advice and guidance from Brahms over an extended period. See Huschke, Konrad, ‘Brahms als Lehrer’, Deutsche Tonkünstler-Zeitung 31 (1933): 84183 ; editorial annotation in Gustav Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, trans. Susan Gillespie and Elisabeth Kästner in Brahms and His World, second edition, ed. Walter Frisch (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009), 381; Behr, Johannes, Johannes Brahms: Vom Ratgeber zum Kompositionslehrer (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007), 215217 ; and Behr, Johannes, ‘Brahms als Lehrer und Gutachter’, in Brahms-Handbuch, ed. Wolfgang Sandberger (Stuttgart: Bärenreiter, 2009), 87192 .

2 Elizabeth R. Aleksander provides a rare English-language discussion of Jenner’s music as it relates to Brahms: ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata in G Major, op. 5: An Analysis and Performance Guide with Stylistic Comparison to the Clarinet Sonatas, op. 120 of His Teacher, Johannes Brahms’ (DMA diss., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2008); the clarinet sonatas of both composers were inspired by the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, to whom Jenner was introduced via Brahms. Behr (Johannes Brahms, 217–405) looks in some detail at several Jenner works, including the Vier Lieder, op. 1, the Variations for Piano in F Major, and the first movement of the Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Minor, op. 8. More typical approaches to discussing Jenner’s music, however, are exemplified by Sabine Stanzel, who mentions the compositions mainly within the context of biography (‘Der Brahms-Schüler Gustav Jenner in Marburg: Rezeptionsgeschichte seiner Werke, künstlerisches und universitäres Wirken’ (MA Thesis, Philipps-Universität Marburg, 1994), 4) and Uwe Henkhaus, who discusses several of the works, but only very superficially (‘Gustav Jenner – der unbekannte Brahmsschüler’, Üben & Musizieren 7 (1990), 268–74).

3 See, for instance, Heussner, Horst, ‘Der Brahmsschüler Gustav Jenner’, in Brahms-Kongress Wien 1983 (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1988), 248249 ; Geus, Theodor, ‘Gustav Jenner und der junge Hindemith’, Melos / Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 3 (1977): 435 ; Henkhaus, ‘Gustav Jenner – der unbekannte Brahmsschüler’, 273; as well as Finscher, Ludwig, ‘Komponieren um 1915’, Hindemith-Jahrbuch 6 (1977), 23 , and Moser, Hans Joachim, Geschichte der Deutschen Musik (Stuttgart: J. G. Cotta, 1920–1924), 3 : 351ff. An exception is Aleksander, who finds that, ‘while Jenner’s [Clarinet] Sonata retains some elements of Brahms’s style … the connections are not as prominent as one might expect’, noting ‘Jenner’s modification of traditional forms to suit his own compositional needs’. Aleksander concludes that Jenner’s Sonata ‘becomes progressively more distinct toward the end’, a finding consistent with observations to be made here regarding the treatment of form in Jenner’s Serenade finale. See ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata’, ii–iii, 96–7,

4 Review published in the Hessische Landeszeitung on 1 November 1913, cited in Stanzel, ‘Der Brahms-Schüler Gustav Jenner in Marburg’, 131.

5 Finscher, ‘Komponieren um 1915’, 23. For another review of the 450th jubilee performance at Marburg, see Geus, ‘Gustav Jenner und der junge Hindemith’, 434–5. Both a facsimile of the autograph score (the original is in the composer’s Nachlass, held by the Hessischen Musikarchiv of Philipps-Universität) with a short preface by Horst Heussner, as well as an LP recording of the Serenade, the only commercial score and recording releases of which I am aware for this work, appeared in this jubilee year as well. See Jenner, Gustav, Serenade für Orchester (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1977); for the recording, see Appendix 2. For more on source materials related to Jenner, particularly those in the Hessischen Musikarchiv, see Behr, Johannes Brahms, 217–20.

6 Kohleick, Werner, Gustav Jenner, 1865–1920: Ein Beitrag zur Brahmsfolge (Würtzburg: Konrad Triltsch, 1943), 1 .

7 See, e.g, Richard Fellinger, Klänge um Brahms: Erinnerungen, ed. Imogen Fellinger, second edition (Mürzzuschlag: Österreichische Johannes Brahms-Gesellschaft, 1997; previously published 1933), 153–4 and Aleksander, ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata’, 1. See also Kohleick, Gustav Jenner, 1ff.

8 Aleksander, ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata’, 1.

9 See Aleksander, ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata’, 1 and 96, as well as Henkhaus, ‘Gustav Jenner – der unbekannte Brahmsschüler’, 268.

10 1884 is the same year in which scandal and tragedy struck the family: Andreas, having been put on trial and found guilty of sexually assaulting a number of his female patients, committed suicide; see Russell, Peter, Johannes Brahms and Klaus Groth: The Biography of a Friendship (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006), 138139 .

11 Aleksander, ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata’, 2. See also Heussner, Horst, Gustav Jenner (1865–1920): Universitätsmusikdirektor in Marburg (Marburg: Pressämt d. Stadt Marburg, 1985), 5 .

12 Fellinger, Klänge um Brahms, 160; Behr, Johannes Brahms, 266ff; Henkhaus, ‘Gustav Jenner – der unbekannte Brahmsschüler’, 270–271; and Richard Schaal, ‘Jenner, Gustav’, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1957), as well as Jenner, ‘Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 408. See also the website of the Kirchenchor Baden St Stephan, http://kirchenchor.baden-st-stephan.at/index.php?theme=geschichte&site=zanetti, accessed 11 June 2014.

13 See ‘Jenner, Gustav’, Schaal and Natorp, Paul, ‘Zum Gedächtniss Gustav Jenners’, Neue Musikzeitung 42 (1921), 59 , as well as Aleksander, ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata’, 4 and Henkhaus, ‘Gustav Jenner – der unbekannte Brahmsschüler’, 269. In this position, Jenner succeeded Richard Barth, a former student of Joseph Joachim.

14 See Schaal, ‘Jenner, Gustav’; Aleksander, ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata’, 4; and Stanzel, ‘Der Brahms-Schüler Gustav Jenner in Marburg’, 6–79 and 136–142. The Hessisches Musikarchiv currently maintains a website devoted to Jenner: www.uni-marburg.de/fb09/hma/jenner.

15 Public domain photograph retrieved from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustav_Jenner on 17 June 2014.

16 Jenner’s account was published as Johannes Brahms als Mensch, Lehrer und Künstler (Marburg, 1905), following its appearance under that title in two parts in Die Musik 2/3 (1902–1903), 171–89 and 389–403. It has been republished in English translation as ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’; see fn. 1 above.

17 Julie outlived Gustav by 22 years, passing away in 1942. Kohleick consulted with her while working on his biography of Gustav Jenner. See Kohleick, Gustav Jenner, [i].

18 Russell, Johannes Brahms and Klaus Groth, 135. See also Platt, Heather, ‘Jenner Versus Wolf: The Critical Reception of Brahms’s Songs’, The Journal of Musicology 13 (1995): 385 and Klaus Groth to Johannes Brahms, 13 March 1888, in Briefe der Freundschaft: Johannes Brahms, Klaus Groth, ed. Volquart Pauls (Heide in Holstein: Westholsteinische Verlaganstalt Boyens, 1956), 123–4.

19 See Russell, Johannes Brahms and Klaus Groth, 135 and Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 382.

20 See Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 382. For more on the correspondence between Groth and Brahms leading up to this initial meeting, see Johannes Brahms and Klaus Groth, Briefe der Freundschaft; Russell, Johannes Brahms and Klaus Groth, 137ff; Behr, Johannes Brahms, 228ff; Platt, ‘Jenner Versus Wolf’, 385; and Aleksander, ‘Gustav Jenner’s Clarinet Sonata’, 5–6.

21 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 385 and 388.

22 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 385–6.

23 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 386.

24 See Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 388.

25 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 386.

26 See Brahms to Klaus Groth, 8 March 1888, in Russell, Johannes Brahms and Klaus Groth, 139–40.

27 See, for instance, Mann, Alfred, ‘Tchaikovsky as a Teacher’, in Music and Civilization: Essays in Honor of Paul Henry Lang, ed. Edmond Strainchamps and Maria Rika Maniates (New York: W.W. Norton, 1984), 280 .

28 See Russell, Johannes Brahms and Klaus Groth, 139.

29 See Rummenhöller, Peter, ‘Franz Liszt und seine Schüler in Berlin: Carl Tausig (1841–71)’, Studia Musicologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 42/1–2 (2001): 6576 .

30 See Hake, Bruno, ‘Mendelssohn as Teacher with Previously Unpublished Letters from Mendelssohn to Wilhelm v. Boguslawski’, trans. Susan Gillespie, in Mendelssohn and His World, ed. R. Larry Todd. (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 310337 ; originally published as ‘Mendelssohn als Lehrer, mit bisher ungedruckten Briefen Mendelssohns an Wilhelm v. Boguslawski’, Deutsche Rundschau 140 (1909), 453–70.

31 Six letters between them, dating from 1883 to 1890, survive regarding composition, followed by two 1891 letters in which Tchaikovsky confides distress and hurt over the recent unexplained cessation of all communication from von Meck, who was facing bankruptcy. Most of these letters are in the holdings of the Library of Congress; this relationship and correspondence are the focus of Mann, ‘Tchaikovsky as a Teacher’, 279–296. Pakhulsky and Tchaikovsky may also have met in person to discuss Pakhulsky’s work; early in their correspondence, Tchaikovsky indicates a hope that they will do so; see Mann, ‘Tchaikovsky as a Teacher’, 285.

32 See Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 389–90.

33 On Schumann’s encouragement of young composers, including advice he provided on their compositions, see for example Andrea Herrmann, ‘Robert Schumann als Pädagoge in seiner Zeit’ (Doctoral diss., Universität zu Köln; published in Berlin by Dr Köster, 1997), 120–33.

34 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 391–2. See also Jenner to Klaus Groth, 17 February 1888, trans. in Russell, Johannes Brahms and Klaus Groth, 139.

35 See for example Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 392–3; Behr, Johannes Brahms, 253ff.; and Klänge um Brahms, especially 154–65.

36 See also Fellinger, Klänge um Brahms, 158–9 and 163.

37 See Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 408–9; Kohleick, Gustav Jenner, 16; and Behr, Johannes Brahms, 246ff.

38 See Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 384 and 393–4.

39 A facsimile of the postcard, dated 9 November 1889, informing Jenner of his award and signed by Brahms as well as Max Kalbeck and other members of the award committee, appears in Heussner, Gustav Jenner (1865–1920), 27. See also Fellinger, Klänge um Brahms, 166. News of Jenner’s award was reported as far away as Boston, Massachusetts; an announcement appeared in The Boston Musical Herald 11/2 (February 1890): 45.

40 Information from Fellinger, Klänge um Brahms, 161; photograph reproduced from Henkhaus, ‘Gustav Jenner—ein ubekannte Brahmsschüler’, 271. N.B. The image also appears in Heussner, Gustav Jenner, 25. None of these three sources gives a copyright holder for the image.

41 Fellinger, Klänge um Brahms, 162.

42 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 385.

43 See Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 401–3 and 407–8.

44 See Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 398 and 400–01.

45 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 413. See also pp. 402, 406 and 411.

46 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 391, 396, 398, and 405–6.

47 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 406. On Brahms’s reluctance to discuss himself and his own works with others, see also p. 397. Of the major musical figures who taught, the most conscientious shared with Brahms a concern for nurturing the artistic individuality of their students. Liszt, for example, made this a priority; his piano students were not to merely imitate his own interpretations and style; see Harrison, Max, ‘Liszt as Teacher’, Musical Opinion 134 (2011): 1820 .

48 See, for example, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 406–7 and 416–17.

49 For Jenner’s characterization of Wagner as a master of orchestration, see his ‘Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 387.

50 See, for example, Jenner, ‘Betrachtungen über Programmusik’, 150, 159–60, 179, 185, 186.

51 Jenner, ‘Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 414 (see also 420) and Jenner, ‘Betrachtungen über Programmusik’, 150 and 187.

52 Gustav Jenner, ‘War Marxsen der rechte Lehrer für Brahms?’ Die Musik 12/2 (1912–1913), 77–9 and 83.

53 Jenner, ‘War Marxsen der rechte Lehrer für Brahms?’, 79 and 83.

54 Jenner, ‘Johannes Brahms as Man, Teacher, and Artist’, 413–15 and 419–21. See also Jenner, ‘War Marxsen der rechte Lehrer für Brahms?’, 82.

55 See Behr, Johannes Brahms, 227; on the collection of 53 known compositions (mostly songs for voice and piano) that Jenner wrote in Kiel between 1881 and 1887, before meeting Brahms, see 224–6. For lists of Jenner’s published and unpublished works, see also 325–32, as well as Kohleick, Gustav Jenner, 81–92 and Schaal, ‘Jenner, Gustav’.

56 See Kohleick, Gustav Jenner, 64 and 91. Jenner’s failure to complete the symphony may have been partly the result of circumstance: soon the First World War was underway, and its effects on concert life in Marburg were severe; after 1914, Jenner no longer had an orchestra at his disposal (Stanzel, ‘Der Brahms-Schüler Gustav Jenner in Marbug’, 132).

57 Jenner, a pianist, drew on his orchestral experience mainly as a conductor; he had also written orchestral accompaniments for some of his early works. See Kohleick, Gustav Jenner, 64.

58 In May 1888, Jenner’s five-part song cycle on poems of Rückert, Frühling Liebster, was performed in the Fellinger home, as were piano works in 1892. Walter, known for his performances of Brahms’s vocal works, performed Jenner’s songs ‘Murmelnde Lüftchen’ and ‘Barcarole’ on 13 February 1891; Jenner’s music was also apparently incorporated into the repertory of alto Hermine Spies, likewise known for performing Brahms’s songs. On 23 January 1893, 12 vocal trios (published as Jenner’s op. 3) were heard at the Tonkünstlerverein. Three piano ballades were performed in concert on 26 January by Adele Mandlick, who had also accompanied Brahms Lieder at the Tonkünstlerverein. On 6 February, the vocal trios were heard again, alongside piano works of Jenner played by Baumayer, the first pianist Brahms entrusted with his Second Concerto. Jenner’s B-flat major Violin Sonata was played by Marie Röger-Soldat, a pupil of Joachim known for her interpretation of Brahms’s Violin Concerto; she performed the Sonata twice privately in early January 1894, with the composer at the keyboard, then played the piece at the Tonkünstlerverein. (See Heussner, ‘Der Brahmsschüler Gustav Jenner’, 252–4 and Fellinger, Klänge um Brahms, 154–6 and 165–6.)

59 On performances in these cities, see Stanzel, ‘Der Brahms-Schüler Gustav Jenner in Marburg’, 133; Henkhaus, ‘Gustav Jenner – der unbekannte Brahmsschüler’, 271; and Heussner, ‘Der Brahmsschüler Gustav Jenner’, 252. For detailed discussion on the performance and reception of Jenner’s works at Marburg, see also Stanzel’s pp. 80–135.

60 Stanzel, ‘Der Brahms-Schüler Gustav Jenner in Marburg’, 133–4. See also Arthur Smolian, ‘Vortrag von Kompositionen von G. Jenner’, Leipziger Zeitung 257/1 (4 November 1905), 384ff and Alexander Winterberger, ‘Kompositionen von Professor Dr Gustav Jenner, Universitäts-Musikdirektor zu Marburg a. d. Lahn’, Leipziger Neueste Nachrichten, 4 November 1905, 21. Jenner’s critical failure in Leipzig echoed Brahms’s own experience in that city as a young composer – particularly the devastatingly hostile reception there of his First Piano Concerto in 1859.

61 Several other serenades were written for either string or wind orchestra; these include op. 23 (1874) of George Henschel, as well as works of Volkmann (opp. 62, 63 and 69, dating from 1869–1871); Fuchs (opp. 9, 14, 21, from 1874–1878, and op. and 51, from 1892); Dvořák (opp. 22 and op. 44, of 1875 and 1878); Tchaikovsky (op. 48, from 1880); Strauss (op. 7, composed 1881); Suk (op. 6, dating from 1892); and Elgar (op. 20, from 1892). Suk’s Serenade was published by Simrock at Brahms’s recommendation (see John Tyrrell, ‘Suk, Josef (i)’, Grove Music Online (accessed 14 October 2015)), and in fact most of these composers had some sort of personal connection with Brahms. For more on these relationships, see Clive, Peter, Brahms and His World: A Biographical Dictionary (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2006), 7274 , 113–18, 159–60, 210–12, 350, 458–9, 462, 465–6 and 478–9 and Wirth, Helmut, ‘Johannes Brahms and Max Reger’, Brahms-Studien 1 (1975): 91112 . In some of these cases, the serenade served as a training ground for symphonic writing much as it did with Brahms and Jenner. Dvořák also composed an unpublished serenade for flute, violin, cello and triangle, op. 15bis, completed in 1867; although he had already composed two symphonies by this time, he would not have a symphonic work published or publicly performed until the premiere of No. 3 in Prague in 1874. Dvořák ‘s pupil and eventual son-in-law Josef Suk is another example, not producing his (sole) Symphony until the late 1890s, several years after completing his Serenade, likewise in E major. For more on the genre of the serenade and on these and other nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century manifestations, see Hubert Unverricht and Cliff Eisen, ‘Serenade’, Grove Music Online (accessed 12 April 2006) and Schipperges, Thomas, Serenaden zwischen Beethoven und Reger: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Gattung (Frankfurt am Main: Lang, 1989).

62 Furthermore, during the winter semesters of 1910–1911 and 1912–1913, Jenner was offering five-part lecture series at Marburg on ‘Johannes Brahms’s Life and Work’. He also remained engaged with Brahms in the concert hall during this period, for instance conducting the German Requiem in Marburg on 11 December 1912. See Stanzel, ‘Der Brahms-Schüler Gustav Jenner in Marburg’, 13, 23, 58 and 141–2.

63 See Vaillancourt, Michael, ‘Brahms’s “Sinfonie-Serenade” and the Politics of Genre’, The Journal of Musicology 26/3 (2009), 392394 .

64 For a concise introduction to the Brahms serenades, see for example Musgrave, Michael, ‘Serenade No. 1 in D Major, op. 11’ and ‘Serenade No. 2 in A Major, op. 16’, in The Compleat Brahms: A Guide to the Musical Works of Johannes Brahms, ed. Leon Botstein (New York: W.W. Norton, 1999), 4043 and 43–6, as well as Pascall, Robert, ‘Serenade Nr. 1 für grosses Orchester D-Dur op. 11’ and ‘Serenade Nr. 2 für kleines Orchester A-Dur op. 16’, in Brahms-Handbuch, ed. Wolfgang Sandberger (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2009), 497498 and 502–6.

65 The finale of Beethoven’s D major Serenade for violin, viola and cello, op. 8, for example, begins with an ‘Andante quasi allegretto (Variationen)’, and his D major Serenade for flute, violin and viola, is an Andante con Variazioni. Dohnanyi’s Serenade in C major, op. 10, for String Trio (1902) has a ‘Tema con variazioni. Andante con moto’. Brahms’s use of ostinato in op. 16/III is in keeping with this tradition.

66 Jenner’s second movement and Brahms’s fourth are further connected in that the outer sections of both, despite their differing tonalities, similarly shift from their respective tonics into extended passages in the secondary key of F-sharp major (at bar 10 in Brahms and bar 16 in Jenner).

67 See for example Smith, Peter H., ‘Tonal Pairing and Monotonality in Instrumental Forms of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms’, Music Theory Spectrum 35/1 (2013): 77102 and ‘The Drama of Tonal Pairing in Chamber Music of Schumann and Brahms’, in Expressive Intersections in Brahms: Essays in Analysis and Meaning, ed. Heather Platt and Peter H. Smith (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2012), 252–90.

68 See Bloom, Harold, The Anxiety of Influence: A Theory of Poetry, 2nd edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).

69 Horton, John, Brahms Orchestral Music (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1978), 26 .

70 In general, however, neither composer shows a tremendous concern for motivically linking first and second themes within a given movement, relying more on the principle of thematic contrast. Occasional linkages do exist nonetheless; for example, the two themes of op. 16/III share a similar rhythm and ascending arpeggiation of the tonic chord. In Jenner’s opening movement, the two main themes both begin with three-fold alternations between two different pitches, followed by descending motion; in both cases, the bar following the last note of the opening pitch oscillation presents a broken root-position triad in the melody; see, for example, bars 4 and 68.

71 For detailed discussion of cyclicity in op. 11, see Chapter Four of Jacquelyn Sholes, ‘“Transcendence”, “Loss”, and “Reminiscence”; Brahms’s Early Finales in the Contexts of Form, Narrative, and Historicism’ (PhD diss., Brandeis University, 2008).

72 Although Jenner does not shy away from adventurous key changes (especially in his development sections) and, in his A major finale, in fact concludes the exposition and begins the development section in G-sharp minor, nowhere in Jenner’s Serenade are major structural areas introduced with chromatic key shifts like those in the third movements of both Brahms serenades; in op. 11/III, a chromatic key shift initiates the recapitulation (bar 151), and in op. 16/III, the first theme is in A minor, and the second begins in A-flat major.

73 In op. 11/II, only the first section of the scherzo repeats; in op. 11/V, there is an inexact written-out repeat of the first section, and repeat signs appear for the remainder of the scherzo and both halves of the trio; and in op. 16/II, only the second half of the scherzo is not repeated. Jenner repeats both halves of the scherzo, but only the first half of the trio.

74 On these and the other mentioned features as markers of pastoral style, see Geoffrey Chew and Owen Jander, ‘Pastoral [pastorale]’, Grove Music Online (accessed 5 June 2015).

75 In both Jenner’s Serenade and Brahms’s op. 11, leading up to the finales, there is a tendency towards the repeated-note, rather than sustained-pitch, variety of drone, the latter being more common elsewhere in both works; see Jenner’s fourth movement and Brahms’s fourth and fifth.

76 Musical examples from Jenner’s Serenade are drawn (with some layout editing) from the only published score of the work, a reprint of the manuscript copy in Jenner’s Nachlass; the edition is © 1977 by Bärenreiter, Heinrich-Schütz-Allee 35-37, 34131 Kassel, Germany. See n. 5. Examples appear by permission of Bärenreiter.

77 Musical examples from both Brahms serenades are drawn from Johannes Brahms: Sämtliche Werke, v. 4, ed. Hans Gál (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926–27).

78 In op. 11/I, the subdominant is not only the primary key of the recapitulatory first group but is also featured in an extended passage in the development (bar 278ff). In the recapitulation of the B-flat major third movement is a surprising shift to E-flat major (bar 190). The fourth movement, in the subdominant key of the work, almost immediately emphasizes its own subdominant. Towards the end of the recapitulation in the finale, tonic-key arrivals are undercut by harmonic reinterpretations of the tonic as V/IV (see, for instance, bars 272 and 280). In op. 16, Brahms begins with emphasis on subdominant harmony; the second movement is a C major scherzo with an F major trio and a subdominant emphasis in the coda; the A minor third movement also exhibits a heavy stress on D minor in the closing passage. The fourth movement, again in the subdominant of the work, closes with a plagal cadence, and the sonata-rondo touches on D major several times (particularly at bars 202ff). In Jenner, the subdominant serves as the key of the third movement and surfaces elsewhere (especially at bars 129ff of the finale), but it appears neither so consistently nor in such structurally prominent places, and when passages in the subdominant do appear, they are also less likely than in Brahms to be underlined or anchored with drones.

79 Chew and Jander, ‘Pastoral [pastorale]’.

80 In op. 11, the least balanced phrasing appears in the lilting, slow third movement, which, although often divisible into two-bar subphrases, begins, for example, with large overlapping phrases of seven, ten and nine bars (bars 1–7, 7–16 and 17–25), and initiates its second theme (at bar 64) with six- and nine-bar phrases. Elsewhere in the work, Brahms uses a variety of devices to keep even his relatively square phrasing interesting; in the first menuetto, for example, he uses two-bar extensions (for example, bars 9–10) and phrase overlap (for instance, starting at bar 18). Brahms plays with the barline in the opening of the second movement, but the movement is still fundamentally based on phrases of two, four and eight bars. Similarly, in op. 16, it is really only in the middle movement that the phrasing becomes fairly off-kilter, with not only syncopation, but overlapping three-bar melodic phrases and more complicated 12/8 rhythms. The second and fourth movements are fundamentally balanced in phrasing, although both make use of syncopation and phrase extensions, which in op. 16/IV sometimes lead to phrases with uneven numbers of bars.

81 The Adagio contains a complement of other oscillating and circular figures in both the melody and accompaniment, including those of the transitional material between theme groups (bars 39–63) and the second theme group (as at bars 64–104). This material has been likened to the murmuring of the brook in the second movement of Beethoven’s ‘Pastoral’ Symphony; see, for instance, Musgrave, Michael, The Music of Brahms (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985), 125 .

82 Melodic wavering between pairs of notes occurs at intervals other than minor and major seconds as well, for example at the third in the transition between the two main theme groups (bar 36ff) and at the fifth at the outset of Theme 2 (bars 62ff).

83 In the finale, see bars 40ff (recalling the voicing and rhythmic values of the second movement’s ‘B’ section) and bar 102 (circling B–A–G –A–B). The closing theme of the finale’s exposition and recapitulation (appearing first at bars 56ff) begins with E–F –E motion in the clarinet (again, a connection to the beginning of the work), followed immediately by similar gestures in the oboe and other voices. The main theme of the third movement begins with complete neighbour-note figures in several voices. The first complete phrase of the fourth movement (which recurs later in several keys) closes with E–F –E melodic motion (bars 10–11). In the manner of Brahmsian ‘developing variation’, Jenner takes this neighbour-note figure and from it generates much of the accompanimental material for the scherzo (beginning with the violin and viola at bar 13ff). The main thematic material of the trio section also features complete upper-neighbour figures on several pitch levels.

84 Sholes, ‘“Transcendence”, “Loss”, and “Reminiscence”’, 161–2.

85 See, for example, Vaillancourt, ‘Brahms’s “Sinfonie-Serenade”’, 397–403.

86 Score excerpts from the Brahms symphonies are from Johannes Brahms: Sämtliche Werke, v. 2, ed. Hans Gál (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1926–1927; reprinted New York: Dover Publications, 1974).

87 Finscher, ‘Komponieren um 1915’, 24 and Heussner, Gustav Jenner (1865–1920), 256.

Gustav Jenner and the Music of Brahms: The Case of the Orchestral Serenades

  • Jacquelyn Sholes

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed