Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


Wankelmut - (2011)    

Wilhelm Busch

for bass or baritone and piano


Was bin ich alter Bösewicht
So wankelig von Sinne.
Ein leeres Glas gefällt mir nicht,
Ich will, das was darinne.

Das ist mir so ein dürr Geklirr;
He, Kellnerin, erscheine!
Laß dieses öde Trinkgeschirr
Befeuchtet sein von Weine!

Nun will mir aber dieses auch
Nur kurze Zeit gefallen;
Hinunter muß es durch den Schlauch
Zur dunklen Tiefe wallen. -

So schwank ich ohne Unterlaß
Hinwieder zwischen beiden.
Ein volles Glas, ein leeres Glas
Mag ich nicht lange leiden.

Ich bin gerade so als wie
Der Erzbischof von Köllen,
Er leert sein Gläslein wuppheidi
Und läßt es wieder völlen.

2 pages, circa 2' 10"

Wilhelm Busch



What an old rascal I do appear,
Unsteadiness being the culprit.
An empty glass brings me no cheer
Till good things splash wet within it.

I make a fuss, pure and well distilled;
"Hey, barmaid, hurry back!
Let my empty draught be filled,
Moistened more with wine than lack!"

Let my wait fly quickly past,
Suffered without much yearning;
"Down the hatch," I'll cheer, "at last,"
Swirling in dark depths, churning.

Incessantly teetering o'er a crevasse
Between one round and the next --
The brimming glass, the empty glass?
I tolerate neither, being vexed.

I measure myself by a fine example,
Bavaria's archbishop, so well known,
Who empties -- hurrah! -- a draught so ample,
Most men could not drink it alone.


rhymed paraphrase by the composer



The five stanzas of the poem are set in an ABCAB form, with a single measure as ending punctuation. The middle section is marked quasi recit. as reminder in the repeated notes that the performer should enunciate well the text throughout. The vocal line of the A section becomes the top line of the B section, while that section's melody line relates to the simple introduction in its shape. Not too fast, it should be performed with a certain musical "inebriation."



The score for Wankelmut 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.