Arie des Orpheus
for baritone and piano
for baritone Bernhard Spingler
Altes Eisen, Messing, Bley,
Lumpen, Fetzen, Hahnengeschrey.
Faule Äpfel, Ananas,
Schwere Reiter, Butterbrod,
Alte Weiber, Kohlendampf,
Ranzigs Fett und Märzenschnee.
Postillion und Sesseltrager,
Das ist doch ein
Das gewiß zum Herzen geht.
[ 4 pages, 1' 25" ]
From Meisl's Orpheus
und Euridice (oder So geht es im Olymp zu!) (c. 1820)
"Scrap iron, brass, lead, rags, shreds, cock-crows.
rotten apples, pineapples,
Artichokes, devils' filth, a hard rider,
Old wives, coal smoke, flying poison and stomach cramps.
Aching limbs, earaches, rancid fat and spring snow.
A mail coach driver
and arm chair carrier, a baker's yodel and ox beater.
Old cats, a black
poodle, liver dumplings, lung strudel,
That is then a quodlibet, which
certainly goes to the heart."
Middle Latin for a "disputation," a quodlibet is defined as an academic
debate or exercise in argument, especially on a theological question, and it
is also defined as a humorously incongruous musical parody, especially of
well-known melodies or texts. Who will make sense of this disputation with
alternatively spelled as Karl Meisl, was born 30 June 1775 in Laibach
(Ljubljana) and died 8 October 1853 in Vienna. He was an Austrian civil
servant und playwright, and - together with Adolf Bäuerle and Josef Alois
Gleich - was one of the most important representatives of the Viennese
Volkskomödie before Ferdinand Raimund. Meisl was best known for his Parodies
of serious Drama and Opera.
This setting of a "parodist" is therefore a silly romp, beginning with
triads diatonically descending by thirds over a simple rising scale as a
bass line, with the vocal line moving in opposite motion to the right hand
of the accompaniment. No great thought or ingenious musical device is behind
this setting; it is merely jolly nonsense, and should be performed as such.
Then perhaps this "quodlibet" just might go to the heart -- of laughter.
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial
performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement
with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano-vocal score.
Arie des Orpheus