In Winter


In Winter - (2013)    

Bertram Kottmann

for medium voice and piano


For verdant fields my heart does long
in winter times so bleak;
this Winter's hardships last so long,
through snow my way I seek.
The lovely birds both young and old
ceased singing long ago.
Their home lies clasped in Winter's hold,
it makes them leave the forests cold
from ice and frost and snow.

He makes bright coloured flow'rs turn wan
in woodlands and in fields,
the grasses and the leaves have gone
where He his power wields.
Yet now all joy and zest arise
that Summer has at hand.
God make the Summer strong and wise
that southward He can draw the skies
and Winter's sway is banned.

Copyright © 2013  Bertram Kottmann

4 pages, circa 4' 10"

Image - Bertram Kottmann


Nach grüner Farb mein Herz verlangt
in dieser trüben Zeit,
der grimmig Winter währt so lang,
der Weg ist mir verschneit.
Die süßen Vöglein jung und alt,
die hört man lang nit meh.
Das tut des argen Winters Gwalt,
die treibt die Vöglein aus dem Wald
mit Reif und kaltem Schnee.

Er macht die bunten Blümlein fahl
im Wald und auf der Heid,
dem Laub und Gras allüberall,
dem hat er widerseit.
All Freud und Lust wird jetzo feil,
die uns der Sommer bringt.
Gott geb dem Sommer Glück und Heil,
der zieht nach Mittentag am Seil,
dass er den Winter zwingt.


(Text: nach einer Karlsruher Handschrift des 15. Jahrhunderts)



This text in English by the German poet, Bertram Kottmann, is a rhymed, metrical paraphrase of the earlier text, which is set alongside it in a bi-lingual score. The text had been set by Michael Praetorius in his Musae Sioniae, 1610. Some of the decorative turns in the accompaniment are intended to echo that earlier aesthetic style within the additional musical contexts of light bitonality and modern voice leading, slightly dissonant at times. For the changes in sentiment, the form is an ABAC, with a short reprise of the opening gesture as summation to this reverie on summer in winter's time, and prayerful acknowledgement of those invisible hands which bring the changes of season. Outside my window as I composed, there is snow aplenty in a Berlin early springtime.


The score for In Winter 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.


In Winter

8½x11 edition


In Winter

A4 edition