Der grosse und der kleine Hund
for soprano and piano
Ondrej Prokopec gewidmet
Ein kleiner Hund, der lange nichts gerochen
Hunger hatte, traf es nun
Und fand sich einen schönen Knochen
Und nagte herzlich dran, wie Hunde denn wohl tun.
Ein großer nahm
sein wahr von fern:
»Der muß da was zum Besten
Ich fresse auch dergleichen gern;
doch des Wegs einmal hintraben.«
Alard, der ihn des Weges
Fand es nicht ratsam, daß er weilte;
Und lief betrübt davon, und heulte,
Knochen ließ er da.
Und Packan kam in vollem Lauf
den ganzen Knochen auf.
Ende der Fabel
»Und die Moral?« Wer hat davon gesprochen? -
Gar keine! Leser, bist du
Denn welcher arme Mann nagt wohl an einem Knochen,
reiche nähm' ihn wohl?
UND DER KLEINE HUND, oder Packan und Alard
[ 5 pages, circa 2' 50" ]
Claudius was born 15 August 1740 in Holstein, a minister's son. He studied
theology and law, during 1764-1765 was secretary of the Count in Holstein,
then from 1768 to 1770 worked for two newspapers in Hamburg. A well-known
writer and minor poet, Claudius died 21 January 1815 in Hamburg.
This commentary in poetic form speaks volumes about that time and this, as
the powerful and wealthy often preach and proclaim to others of their
concerns for the needy, all the while profiting wildly from them. Such is
the nature of modern social welfare governments and their bureaucracies,
akin to the old aristocracies and their petty bourgeoisie or the tsars and
their commissars or the mandarins and their governors, wherein an elite
aggrandizes for itself from the many for their few, all the while saying
they pursue the opposite course, all as a means to their self-preservation.
One notes that Claudius accurately observes the "rich" happily
deprive others of their "bones." So was it, and so is it today. Le plus
change, le plus même chose."
The Big and Little Dogs
A little dog, that hadn't recently
sniffed a bone but was hungry, came across a beautiful bone and happily
gnawed on it, as dogs tend to do.
A bigger dog came from afar: »As
one who wishes to have the best,
I'll happily gnaw on that same bone; so
I'll drive him away.«
Alard, who saw the other come along the
path, found it unwise to tarry;
and he ran sadly away howling, for he had
to leave his bone there.
And Packan came in full stride and
swallowed up the entire bone.
End of the Fable
moral?« Who has spoken of this?
No one really! Reader, are you amazed?
What poor man gnaws happily on a bone,
and what rich man deprives him of
The setting is in three parts, two strophes for the storytelling and a
foreshortened third as coda for the moral of this tale. The running themes
and the repetition of "nagte" and "fresse" as these dogs chew and consume
the bone are meant in a humorous vein to be well enunciated and comically
presented. The moral of the story is of course, serious, and should be
delivered with increasing fervor.
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.
Der grosse und der kleine Hund