Die sonnige Kinderstraße - (2010)
for medium voice and piano
Meine frühe Kindheit hat
Auf sonniger Straße getollt;
Hat nur ein Steinchen, ein Blatt
Zum Glücklichsein gewollt.
Jahre verschwelgten. Ich suche matt
Jene sonnige Straße heut,
Wieder zu lernen, wie man am Blatt,
Wie man am Steinchen sich freut.
[ 2 pages, circa 2' 20" ]
The children's sunny street
My early childhood had
romped about on a sunny street;
With only a small stone or leaf
I was delighted.
Years are recalled. I seek weakly
Such a sunny street today,
To learn again how with a leaf,
How with a stone one could be pleased.
The text comes from the collection, Gedichte 1910, and speaks to that human sentiment of returning to one's childhood -- its joys, its simplicity, its wonder. That one might be delighted with a leaf or stone is Ringelnatz' amazement, for he knows it, knew it once, and seeks it again. Such a similar sentiment to other poets and song writers over generations can be seen as another example in Klaus Groth's (1819-1899) text, so lovingly set by Brahms, which begins "O wüßt ich doch den Weg zurück."
The setting is simple, a lingering on the tonic major seven, before moving to the subdominant and then a return again. As such, the harmonic rhythm is extremely slow, against the flowing eighth and quarter notes. The lengthening at the ends of gestures is intended as a "written" rubato, breaking the seemingly square duple meter. The text is not repeated in song form fashion, but rather the second stanza begins before the return of the tonic as if a second verse, making the setting lightly asymmetrical.
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.
Die sonnige Kinderstraße