Entwurf zu einem Trauerspiele


Entwurf zu einem Trauerspiele - (2013)     

Christian Morgenstern

for medium voice and piano


Ein Fluß, namens Elster,
besinnt sich auf seine wahre Gestalt
und fliegt eines Abends
einfach weg.

Ein Mann, namens Anton,
erblickt ihn auf seinem Acker und schießt
ihn mit seiner Flinte
einfach tot.

Das Tier, namens Elster,
bereut zu spät seine selbstische Tat
(denn – Wassersnot tritt
einfach ein).

Der Mann, namens Anton,
(und das ist leider kein Wunder) weiß
von seiner Mitschuld
einfach nichts.

Der Mann, namens Anton,
(und das versöhnt in einigem Maß)
verdurstet gleichwohl
einfach auch.

5 Pages, circa 4' 30"

Christian Morgenstern


Outline of a tragedy

A river by the name of Magpie
reverts to its true form
and one evening just
flies away.

A man by the name of Anton
sees it in his field
and with his trusty shotgun
shoots it dead.

The creature by the name of Magpie
repents too late its selfish deed
(then - what follows is rightly
an inundation).

The man by the name of Anton
(and this is no surprise) knows
of his complicity
simply nothing.

The man by the name of Anton
(reconciled to a liter or so)
thirsts nonetheless
and easily so.


Paraphrase of the composer


The text is from Morgenstern's Der Wasseresel und anderes.  For other settings of Morgenstern's texts, click here.


 The "outline" of a tragedy follows many tragedies, in which roles which play a part remain unaware of the larger picture. As a musical paraphrase for a tragedy, a snippet from the Trauermarsch from Wagner's Götterdämmerung provides this tragedic touch as well as the first motive from Tristan sings out above the dark C minor, as well as being used in retrograde for some bridge material. The first strophes take the triplets and broaden them into a bass line under a simple tune. The third strophe compacts the text into short bursts, and then the final strophes are variations on the first with a tiny snippet referring to Hunding from Die Walküre. A prolongation repeats the final words, "...der Mann" for such is the "outline of a tragedy." Any tragedy, and certainly Wagner's.



The score for Entwurf zu einem Trauerspiele 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.


Entwurf zu einem Trauerspiele