Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


Was? - (2008)    

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

for medium voice and piano


ich bin

ich war

ich wär

ich bin gewesen

ich war gewesen

ich wär gewesen


o wenn ich wäre

o daß ich wäre

wollte gott ich wäre

ich wurde seyn


ich werde seyn

wenn ich seyn würde

o das ich seyn würde

ich würde gewesen


ich werde gewesen seyn

o wenn ich gewesen wäre

o daß ich gewesen wäre

wollte gott ich wäre gewesen


was? --


ein stockfisch

[ 3 pages, circa 1' 05" ]

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Drawn from his various letters, the humorous and sometimes bawdy prose and poetry of Mozart is less known than it should be -- of only to round out a more complete picture of the man. I will leave it to reader to play through the various conjugations of "to be" with the only note about this text being that a "stockfish" was also the vernacular term for a boring individual, which Mozart most assuredly was not.



The setting is relatively simple, Mozartean in texture and the use of the lower neighbor resolutions which were signature of that time and style. The four-measure phrase repeats often throughout with small bridge materials leaning on the dominant to return us to the tonic is this unapologetically G major setting.



The question "what?" repeats several times for rhetorical as well as musical emphasis in the longest lingering on the dominant, before the answer in the tonic and swift completion of the setting.




The score for Was? 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.