Mistletoe (Mistelzweig)


Mistletoe (Mistelzweig) - (2013)    

Walter de la Mare

and in translation into German by Bertram Kottmann

for medium voice and piano


Sitting under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
One last candle burning low,
All the sleepy dancers gone,
Just one candle burning on,
Shadows lurking everywhere:
Some one came, and kissed me there.

Tired I was; my head would go
Nodding under the mistletoe
(Pale-green, fairy mistletoe),
No footsteps came, no voice, but only,
Just as I sat there, sleepy, lonely,
Stooped in the still and shadowy air
Lips unseen—and kissed me there.

in Peacock Pie: A Book of Rhymes, published 1913

4 pages, circa 3' 40"

Walter de la Mare



Sitze unter dem Mistelzweig
(magisch grünem Mistelzweig),
letzter Kerze Fingerzeig,
müde Tänzer gingen heim,
letzter Kerze Flackerschein,
Schatten lauern immerfort:
Jemand kam und küsst’ mich dort.

Müd’ war ich, mein Kopf sich neigt
her und hin unterm Mistelzweig
(magisch grünem Mistelzweig),
hör’ keine Schritt' und Stimme weit und breit,
doch als ich saß in matter Einsamkeit,
kamen am stillen, verschatteten Ort
unbemerkt Lippen und küssten mich dort.

Copyright © 2013 Bertram Kottmann



The setting is a simple verse form, with introduction and short coda. Voices ring soft minor seconds and major sevenths within the basic harmonies as the voice enunciates the text. One line is repeated between the verses -- "just one candle burning on" / "letzter Kerze Flackerschein" -- to paint the scene across both stanzas. The scansion for the texts in English as in German is in parallel, one to the other, courtesy of Kottmann's fine work.





The score for Mistletoe 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.


Mistletoe (Mistelzweig)

A4 format