Hinz und Kunz


Hinz und Kunz - (2008)    

Matthias Claudius

for medium high voice and piano


H.    Was meinst du, Kunz, wie groß die Sonne sei?


K.    Wie groß, Hinz? -- als 'n Straußenei.


H.    Du weißt es schön, bei meiner Treu'!

        Die Sonne als 'n Straußenei!


K.    Was meinst denn du, wie groß sie sei?


H.    So groß, hör' -- als 'n Fuder Heu.


K.    Man dächt' kaum, daß es möglich sei;

        Potz tausend, als 'n Fuder Heu!

[ 2 pages, circa 1' 25" ]

Matthias Claudius


Hinz: What do you think, Kunz, how big is the sun?

Kunz: How big, Hinz? Big as an ostrich egg.

Hinz: You know that for sure! The sun like an ostrich egg!

Kunz: What do you think then, how big is it?

Hinz: So big, listen, as a cart filled with hay.

Kunz: One can hardly believe that this is possible; damn it all, as a cart filled with hay!



Such conversations have gone on throughout the ages, uninformed guesswork after guesswork sounding quite authoritative to some, and silly to others. For this reason Claudius set his little tale into a poetic conversation. The setting contrasts the two speakers with differing though short harmonic regions, the major tonic-dominant for Hinz, and the parallel minor's mirror for Kunz. The pick-up beat for Hinz should be stressed and a portamento to the following note overdone.



The third "strophe" modulates to D for a moment, but the setting recovers to its underlying C major through the unresolved chromaticism above a simple tonic and dominant "waltz." A notated accelerando as the conversation progresses moves on towards the final cadence.



The score for Hinz und Kunz 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.


Hinz und Kunz