Altes Lied - (2009)
for medium voice and piano
Es war einmal ein Bäcker,
Der prunkte mit seinem Wanst,
Wie du ihn kühner und kecker
Dir schwerlich träumen kannst.
Er hat zum Weib genommen
Ein würdiges Gegenstück;
Sie konnten zusammen nicht kommen,
Sie waren viel zu dick.
[ 2 pages, circa 1' 10" ]
There was once a baker
whose belly was so resplendent large
that there was little bolder and saucier
that something so heavy could be imagined.
He had chosen a wife
to be his worthy companion;
but she couldn't get close to him,
simply because she was too fat.
The adage says that the "pot calls the kettle black," and here is a story of the fattest man finding a fat woman fat; one might opine with the pun, for the obese baker even she was a "lulu." As Wedekind has titled this poem, it is indeed an "Old Song." Because the two could not come together for the most physical of reasons, the descant above the vocal line is two quarters to late and a step above, almost in A major against the tonic of the setting.
The last line is set to a differing meter as the accompaniment highlights the humor of this wee story. The final cadence is punctuated by the polytonal "dot," A over G.
The score for Altes Lied 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.