Frühling - (2015)    

Theodor Fontane

for medium voice and piano


Nun ist er endlich kommen doch
in grünem Knospenschuh.
»Er kam, er kam ja immer noch«,
die Bäume nicken sich's zu.

Sie konnten ihn all erwarten kaum,
nun treiben sie Schuß auf Schuß;
im Garten der alte Apfelbaum
er sträubt sich, aber er muß.

Wohl zögert auch das alte Herz
und atmet noch nicht frei,
es bangt und sorgt: »Es ist erst März,
und März ist noch nicht Mai.«

O schüttle ab den schweren Traum
und die lange Winterruh',
es wagt es der alte Apfelbaum,
Herze, wag's auch du!

3 pages, circa 2'50"

Theodor Fontane


It is now at last appeared
In green buds bursting free.
»It came, it came with silent stealth,«
Nods each now green-leafed tree.

All could barely wait for this,
As now bright shoots are swelled;
In a garden an gnarled apple tree,
Though reluctant, is so compelled.

Hesitates too the hoary heart
When breath is struggling play;
It fears and rues: »'Tis only March,
And March is not yet in May.«

O shake off that dreary dream,
And old winter's frigid sleep,
Spring urges on the old apple tree,
Heart, you've spring's quest to keep!


rhymed paraphrase by the composer

Copyright ©  Gary Bachlund


Theodor Fontane (1819-1898) was a German novelist and poet, regarded as among the most important 19th-century German-language realist writer thanks to his classic tale of Effi Briest. He worked in both Germany and Britain, and died and is buried in Berlin.



A lightly polytonal coloring stressing a slowly shifting major and minor harmonic palette is a lyrical background for the vocal line. The text is painted in quiet dynamics and rubato is suggested.



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.