Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund

 

 

Schlechte Zeiten, guter Wein - (2012)    
Wilhelm Müller
for baritone or tenor and piano


 

Über schlechte Zeiten
Klag' ich nimmermehr,
Wird von gutem Weine
Nur mein Faß nicht leer.

Willst die Zeitung lesen?
Bruder, geh' zu Bier!
Zu dem Saft der Reben
Schmeckt kein Löschpapier.

Ob auf dieser Erden
Auch von Tag zu Tag
Matter, kälter, schwächer
Alles werden mag:

Doch der Wein im Fasse
Trotzt der Macht der Zeit,
Fühlet nichts vom Alter
Als die Würdigkeit.

Was das Jahr dem Menschen
Allgemach entrafft,
Das, das giebt's dem Weine:
Gluth und Muth und Kraft.

Wollen's wieder holen
Aus dem Faß hervor,
Was im Flug der Jahre
Jeglicher verlor!

Und wer mit dem Leben
Lebt in Leid und Streit,
Trink' aus altem Fasse
Alte gute Zeit!

4 pages, circa 2' 25"


Wilhelm Müller
 

I'm done with my complaining
About how bad things get,
When with a heady, hefty wine
I can my whistle wet.

Awful news? Apocalypse?
Brother, let's have a drink!
To toss one down has greater worth
Than newsprint and the printers' ink.

Perhaps things round the world
And from day to miserable day
Get worse, more worse, most worse
As so many loudly say:

But there's relief in liquidity
Despite the fads and trends,
As has been true throughout the years
When spent with drink and friends.

What each passing year might bring
In public stings' breadth and length,
Is answered fruitfully by wine,
Ginning passion, courage, strength.

Let's pour out yet another round,
Open and empty, and open yet more.
Time flies by just the same,
And constant worry is such a bore!

For those who waste their pressured lives
Mired in misery's chains,
I recommend some vintage year
Such thinking to right rearrange.

 

rhymed paraphrase by the composer

 

Copyright © 2012 Gary Bachlund    All international rights reserved.

 

 

The accompaniment to the simple vocal line is a texture of falling scales over  a pedal, whose top note is also a falling scale in a different time span. after two strophes, a center section breaks the static harmony for some light chromaticism and then returns in the last strophes as before. Marked prestissimo, it should be comfortably fast for the performers yet no faster than a clean articulation allows. More a sermon for the choir than a drunken brawl.

 

 

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.

 

Schlechte Zeiten, guter Wein

baritone

 

Schlechte Zeiten, guter Wein

tenor