Im Park


Im Park - (2010)    

Joachim Ringelnatz

for medium voice and piano


Ein ganz kleines Reh stand am ganz kleinen Baum
still und verklärt wie im Traum.
Das war des Nachts elf Uhr zwei.
Und dann kam ich um vier
Morgens wieder vorbei.
Und da träumte noch immer das Tier.
Nun schlich im mich leise - ich atmete kaum -
gegen den Wind an den Baum
und gab dem Reh einen ganz kleinen Stips.
Und da war es aus Gips.


[ 3 pages, circa 2' 10" ]

Joachim Ringelnatz


The text is from the collection, Reisebriefe eines Artisten (1927). Ringelnatz died seven years later in 1934; therefore the text is in the public domain in Europe according to German copyright law, but not in the United States for approximately another ten years.


A little tiny deer stood on a little tiny tree
Still and transfigured as in a dream.
That was at night, two minutes past eleven.
And then about four in the morning
I chanced by again.
And there as in a dream was the deer.
So I quietly crept -- and barely took breath --
Against a stirring of the tree
And then gave the deer a little tiny nudge.
It was masonry.





The 3/8 meter suggests an "in one" feeling to this odd, chromatic waltz, with syncopations drawing away from the three. A static "tonic-dominant" bass underpins falling and rising waves of half steps. Had the speaker too long a day? Too much to drink? Too much carousing? Out at eleven, and still out -- coming home? -- at four in the morning suggests someone perhaps impaired in their observations. A bridge between two verses in this verse form laid over the text has the half step chromaticism wander about as if aimless, though coming to its dominant, before taking up again.



The play off pits white note parallel clusters in the right hand against a mostly black note bass line, as the rhythm mimics the earlier waltz brusquely, before the little last tonic major with its added second.



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.


Im Park