Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten


Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten - (2013)     

Susanne Paasch nach den Brüdern Grimm

for soprano, tenor, baritone soli and piano or chamber ensemble



Together with librettist Susanne Paasch, I planned settings of some Grimm fairy tales. The first was Es war einmal (2012), a retelling of three short stories combined into one.  As Susanne is from Bremen, the next obvious choice was an adaptation of this fanciful tale. She has added a royal couple to the tale, and much hilarity. Nine characters, the princess and prince, the four hopeful 'musicians,' and three comic villains make up the cast, with a small chamber ensemble or single piano as accompaniment, per the needs of the producing venue. There is spoken dialogue throughout, making this formally a Singspiel. The ranges of the singers are as follows:





As with other of my works, this one-act opera begins with a prelude and fugue. In traditional fashion, the prelude is an overture of themes from the opera.




The fugue which follows is based on the prelude, and the subject is accompanied at the outset, as with many of my keyboard works.



The princess named "Lionheart" -- Prinzessin Löwenherz -- is clothed as a hunter and introduces herself in a song with folk-like melody but lightly polytonal accompaniment, her motive being the chord succession, D/C to C/D and back.



The prince, at first named "Rabbit's Foot" -- Prinz Hasenfuß -- but hoping to become known as Prince Lionheart, enters, stuttering with trepidation to tell of robbers in the woods of which children should be rightly afraid.





The royal couple hear animals in the woods, as we meet these "musicians of Bremen." They meet and in a quartet the 'musicians' tell the royal pair of their respective predicaments.




They leave and the leader of the robbers -- Kinderdieb --  enters, filled with comedic self-importance. He is accompanied later by his sidekicks, Wahn and Witz -- a pun of the German, Wahnwitz, or "lunacy."



Kinderdieb leaves the comedy duo, Wahn and Witz, to watch through the night. Their duet -- in canon -- bemoans this fate.



And so this Singspiel continues through more fun and a comic battle between good and evil, into the happy ending as prescribed by the Grimm brothers' tale, with a last rousing reprise for the "musicians of Bremen" and their new, royal patrons.


Susanne Paasch


Susanne Paasch studied music and Romance languages and literature in Detmold and Berlin, theater in Bochum with engagements in Augsburg and St. Gallen. Additionally she has worked in stage direction in various projects, and taught music, French and theater. Our other collaborations include the one-act Es war einmal, a opera in two acts, Professor Unrat, and a new work in progress after the completion of this comedic Singspiel.


Piano-vocal score - 94 pages in PDF format - and orchestra score - 226 pages in PDF format.


The piano-vocal score for Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten 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.   For inquiries and the arrangement of a license for performance, click here for Contact Information.  Click on the graphic below for this score.


Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten - Klavierauszug

A4 format


Die Bremer Stadtmusikanten - Partitur

A4 format


For inquiries and the arrangement of performance rights, click here for Contact Information