Der Handkuß - (2015)    

Detlev von Liliencron

for baritone and piano


Viere lang,
Zum Empfang,
Vorne Jean,
    Fährt meine süße Lady.

Wache raus.
Und im Saal
    Steht meine süße Lady.

Sehr graziös,
    Knixt meine süße Lady.

Hoher Sinn.
Ihre Hand,
    Küßt meine süße Lady.

Viere lang,
Vom Empfang,
Vorne Jean,
    Kommt meine süße Lady.

Nun wie war's
Heut bei Czars?
Ach, ich bin
Noch ganz hin,
    Haucht meine süße Lady.

Nach und nach,
Ihren Mann
Wieder dann
    Kennt meine süße Lady.

4 pages, circa 3' 00"

 Detlev von Liliencron (1844-1909)


A set of scenes passes in rapid succession. "My sweet lady," the refrain of the speaker, is carried by coach and coachman to a royal gathering, through the castle gates and into the court in its festive hall, into the presence of the royals, and then home again, unsatisfied with the kiss of her hand. The sparse application of words like daubed paint on a minimalist canvas is the style, leaving the singer in this setting to then enact both nonchalance and perhaps bemused tolerance at the mostly uneventful evening at the "Czar's." Thus the reader/listener also bit by bit gets to know something of this speaker's "my sweet lady," for the continual return to that relationship.



 The succession of verses move quickly along, tempi and key changes along with variation in gestures with which to accompany the vocal line.



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 Handkuß