《Vier ernste Gesänge, op.121》 is Brahms’ last Lieder composed in 1896. It consists of a cycle of four songs, whose lyrics were excerpted from the Bible. Through this work, Brahms expresses his infinite awe of god and vanity of human life. Another significant poetic theme of this work is redemption by love. This is shown in the first song, in which its core lyric word “Hebel [vanity/ futility/ meaninglessness...]” in Hebrew, excerpted from Qoheleth, becomes a musical motto motive, which deepens in expression through developing variation. This remains not only to the first song but also throughout the entire cycle, and thus ultimately showing that the whole cycle deduces from the first motto motive and builds into a continuous unity.
1. 《네 개의 엄숙한 노래, op.121》의 가사의 의미
2. 시적 의미와 결부된 음악적 동기의 연관성