Schneidercourage - (2009)    

Johann Wolfgang Goethe

for medium voice and piano

»Es ist ein Schuß gefallen,
Mein! sagt, wer schoß da drauß?«
Es ist der junge Jäger,
Der schieß im Hinterhaus.

Die Spatzen in dem Garten
Die machen viel Verdruß.
Zwei Spatzen und ein Schneider
Die fielen von dem Schuß;

Die Spatzen von den Schroten,
Der Schneider von dem Schreck;
Die Spatzen in die Schoten,
Der Schneider in den _____.

[ 2 pages, circa 1' 15" ]

Johann Wolfgang Goethe


From what is often called Goethe's Epigrammatisch comes this comic verse, representative of Goethe's outlook on the world and its foibles.  Goethe leaves the last rhyme empty, though we of course fill it in in our expectations. The rhymed paraphrase below is something different, for this era and place, though not as rude a paraphrase as I imagine Goethe may himself have made in envisioning in word the tailor soiling himself with fright.


"Just now I heard a gunshot!
What could it be? Oh, my!"
It was a thoughtless hunter,
Whose gun went off nearby.

The sparrows in the garden
Were quite the hunter's prey.
Two sparrows and a tailor
Dropped over then, that day.

The sparrows fell from buckshot,
The tailor dropped with fright;
The birds fell in the laundry,
The tailor? A schmutzig sight!





This very short setting is in sections, and opening to capture the event in musical terms, a quasi recitativo and then a song from in Volkslied style which moves from C to E flat minor and then back to C.



The score for Schneidercourage 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.