Drei Hasen - text of Christian Morgenstren


Drei Hasen - (2019)    

Christian Morgenstern

for medium voice and piano


Drei Hasen tanzen im Mondenschein
im Wiesenwinkel am See:
Der eine ist ein Löwe,
der andre eine Möwe,
der dritte ist ein Reh.

Wer fragt, der ist gerichtet,
hier wird nicht kommentiert,
hier wird an sich gedichtet;
doch fühlst du dich verpflichtet,
erheb sie ins Geviert,
und füge dazu den Purzel
von einem Purzelbaum,
und zieh aus dem Ganzen die Wurzel
und träum den Extrakt als Traum.

Dann wirst du die Hasen sehen
im Wiesenwinkel am See,
wie sie auf silbernen Zehen
im Mondschein sich wunderlich drehen
als Löwe, Möwe und Reh.

4 pages, 2' 30"

Christian Morgenstern


Three rabbits

A grotesque ballad

Three rabbits dance in the moonlight
In a lakeside meadow near:
A lion is one,
A seagull for fun,
And look, the third's a deer.

Who asks should be made aware
There's no comment here within,
What's written is neither trick nor snare;
Feel not obliged then to begin
In some public square to spin,
Or perform your somersault
Off a branch of a somersault tree,
But grasp the root of the whole Gestalt
And extract this dream most dreamily.

Then rabbits are what you'll see
As they in that meadow lake appear:
How on silver toes mincingly
In the moonlight turning whimsically
Dance lion, seagull and deer.

paraphrase by the composer 


Copyright © 2019  Gary Bachlund     All international rights reserved.




Three figments of a poet's imagination dance for us in a text which embeds commentary about reading the text as part of the whole. The dance in three-quarter time is introduced by a "curtain" of octaves, and as the melody begins in intervals of thirds as a musical reflection of the poet's double natured text, the melodic notes bring their own triadic harmony, oddly functional yet not in the expected domains. The first verse and last follow this strategy.



The middle section, fully and functionally related to the whole, sits more closely into F minor before a return to the beginning stanza musically, and then finally cadences in the root of the "Wurzel," in F with its included non-harmonic D flat.  Go figure.  For other settings of Morgenstern's wonderful texts, click here.




The score for Das Bild 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.


Drei Hasen