Frau Teemaschine - (2009)
for medium voice and piano
Frau Teemaschine sang auf dem Feuer.
Der Beifall war ganz ungeheurer.
Ja, ihre Base Pe troleumkanne
War von dem Liede ganz gefangen.
Ihr rannen die Tränen über die Wangen
Und tropften gerade in eine Pfanne,
In der ein Schweinebraten briet,
Der ausgezeichnet dann geriet.
War auch Pe troleum drauf geflossen,
Er wurde trotzdem doch genossen.
Sein Herr war mit dem Koch zufrieden.
(Besagter Herr war ein Kosack;
Sein Leibgericht war Siegellack.)
Ja, die Geschmäcker sind verschieden.
[ 4 pages, circa 2' 10" ]
Missus Tea Pot sang on the fire.
Her screaming went wildly higher.
And oh, the gas can sitting under
From such singing was all a thunder.
Gas-filled tears rolled down its cheeks
To drop into a pan, it leaks!
There a joint of pork did cook,
Which had a yummy porky look.
So petroleum did drop and drip
To give that pork a bit of zip.
The cook was praised not once, but twice.
(The chap who'd praised was Cossack nice,
For sealing wax was his favorite spice.)
Yea, tastes so vary from verse to vice.
Rhymed paraphrase by the composer
The text is found in Die Schnupftabacksdose - Stumpfsinn in Versen, 1912. For this comic text I chose a modified song form as a quodlibet. The opening gesture comes from Wagner's Die Walküre, while over it as accompaniment to the voice Bizet's Carmen also sings along, out of phase in time. Might we imagine Missus Tea Pot singing "Brünhilde" higher and higher?
The petroleum overflows its canister, as a snippet from Wagner's "magic fire" music hints, and thereupon the drops are imagined with falling staccato chords.
The notion that this scene is enjoyed by someone cites a short them from Wagners' Tristan und Isolde, giving way to a quote from Khacahturian's ballet, Spartacus. The return of the opening gestures allows a closed form for the song.
The score for Frau Teemaschine 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.