Considering Brahms's ““Heimweh”” Lieder (op. 63 nos. 7––9) together rather than individually is indispensable to their interpretation. In each song, Brahms conveys the protagonist's longing for lost childhood by introducing the folklike qualities of Kinderlieder within the frame of a Kunstlied. The expression of nostalgia also takes places across the minicycle as a whole. The recurrence and transformation of musical patterns and motifs enhances the retrospective nature of the three songs, which seem to reflect on childhood from successively greater temporal distances. Despite the overt despondency of the poetic speaker in each text, the musical settings together convey a positive message: Death is a welcome refuge from life's afflictions. In offering this consolation, Brahms draws upon the Romantic concept of Heimweh, including its characteristic spiral-like pattern of expression, but tempers it in accordance with the scaled-back artistic goals of the post-Romantic period.
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