Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund

 

 

Genialisch treiben - (2010)    

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

for medium voice and piano


 

So wälz ich ohne Unterlaß,
Wie Sankt Diogenes, mein Faß.
Bald ist es Ernst, bald ist es Spaß;
Bald ist es Lieb, bald ist es Haß;
Bald ist es dies, bald ist es das;
Es ist ein Nichts, und ist ein Was.
So wälz ich ohne Unterlaß,
Wie Sankt Diogenes, mein Faß.

[ 2 pages, circa 1' 20" ]


Johann Wolfgang Goethe

 

 Task of genius

So do I roll, without pause,
like Saint Diogenes, my barrel.
Now in earnest, now in jest;
now in love, now in hate;
now it is this, now it is that -
it is a Nothing, and it is a Something.
So do I roll, without pause,
like Saint Diogenes, my barrel.

 

Translation from German to English copyright © by Emily Ezust, reprinted with kind permission.

See The Lied and Art Song Texts Page.

 

 

Diogenes was a second generation after Socrates, who lived as a beggar in the streets of Athens, making a virtue of poverty. He was said to have lived in a tub, and to have walked through the streets carrying a lamp in the daytime, looking for an honest man. Goethe takes the image of the barrel and tells of varying and contradictory aspects of life through that metaphor. The opening gesture is a set of triads coming in contrary motion against each other. The relative chromaticism of the piece explains its lack of key signature, though the setting moves largely towards B minor.

 

 

 

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.

 

Genialisch treiben