Teufelswurst - (2013)   

Wilhelm Busch

for baritone and piano


Das Pfäfflein saß beim Frühstückschmaus.
Er schaut und zieht die Stirne kraus.
Wer, fragt er, hat die Wurst gebracht?
Die Köchin sprach: Es war die Liese,

Die Alte von der Gänsewiese.
Drum, rief er, sah ich in letzter Nacht,
Wie durch die Luft in frurigem Bogen
Der Böse in ihren Schlot geflogen.

Verdammte Hex,
Ich riech, ich schmeck's,
Der Teufel hat die Wurst gemacht.
Spitz, da geh her? - Der Hund, nicht faul,
Verzehrt die Wurst und leckt das Maul.
Er nimmt das Gute, ohne zu fragen,
Ob's Beelzebub unter dem Schwanz getragen.

4 Pages, circa 2' 10"


Wilhelm Busch


Devil sausage

The little reverend breakfasted.
The menu flabbergasted.
Who, he asked, made that sausage there?
The cook said: Messy Jessie did,

It's the wild geese she lives amid.
Gads, he cried, it's her! Last night I spied,
In circles, she furiously flew,
And flew into her chimney too.

A damnéd witch,
Smells, tastes of pitch!
It's devil-made sausage putrefied!
Spitz, good dog, come? -- Eager, he comes
To gobble it up, licking up the crumbs.
He knows what's good, without question,
No Beelzebub harms his digestion.


rhymed paraphrase by the composer


The text is found in the collection, Zu guter Letzt.



An introduction rises from the tonic to the diabolus in musica tritone, and cadence on the dominant. The melodic line as the preacher tells of his demon-filled view stresses the alternation between harmonic minor and continued reference to the tritone, while the simple innocence of the dog turns the minor key into its major. The rhyme scheme Busch chose --  aabc cbdd eebffgg -- suggests more the storytelling of the poem than the clever use of rhyme, and yet the strophes are shown with separations. For this the song setting is also in strophes which do not observe the formal text's strophes and breaks.



The score for Teufelswurst 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.