Der heroische Pudel - (2016)    

Christian Morgenstern

for high voice and piano


Ein schwarzer Pudel, dessen Haar
des abends noch wie Kohle war,
betrübte sich so höllenheiß,
weil seine Dame Flügel spielte,
trotzdem er heulte: daß (o Preis
dem Schmerz, der solchen Sieg erzielt!)
er beim Gekräh der Morgenhähne
aufstand als wie ein hoher Greis -
mit einer silberweißen Mähne.

2 pages, circa 1' 30"


A poodle black whose hair at night
was dark as coal-black anthracite,
burned hell-hot as his mistress quite
played piano with all her might,
and so he howled: that (o the bite
of overwhelming poodle plight!)
he, as cocks' crowed the dawning light,
stood tall as an old man in height --
with standing mane of silvered white.


rhymed paraphrase by the composer


Copyright ©  Gary Bachlund  2016



Morgenstern's humor ranges from imagery to word play to dark humor. This humorous imagery suggested short citations from other composers find their way into this setting. The text is found in Morgenstern's collection, Galgenlieder, published by Bruno Cassirer, 1905.


The triadic gestures in octaves becomes separated at the twelfth later, and the poodle's mistress is attempting a well-known piece. The "o" for the singer should suggest the poodle's musical criticism, of course. For other settings of Morgenstern's texts, click here.




The score for Der heroische Pudel 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 heroische Pudel