Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


Wenn Eicheln fallen - (2013)    

Bertram Kottmann, after a text of Alfred Austin

for medium voice and piano


Wenn Eicheln fallen, Schwalben südwärts zieh'n,
lange gehegtes Hoffen traurig sinkt,
und wenn der Winter Herbstes Schuld erzwingt
und Blatt für Blatt ihn treibt in den Ruin -

Sollt' dann der Sichelmond ohn' Eigennutz mithin
den Himmel schimmern lassen, wenn die Sonn' versinkt?
Sein heller Blick, obwohl die Nacht den Tag verschlingt,
ihr Einhalt tut und hemmt des Lichtes Flieh'n!

So, junge Schönheit, neu in mir erblüht,
da doch auch meine Herrlichkeit vergeht
und mancher süße Traum verblasst, verweht,

nehm' ich von dir, was in dir glüht,
auf dass, wenn dann mein Tag im Abend steht
dein Morgen mich vor schneller Nacht behüt'.

Copyright © 2013  Bertram Kottmann

4 pages, circa 3' 45"


Original text by Alfred Austin (1835-1913)


When acorns fall and swallows troop for flight,
And hope matured slow mellows to regret,
And Autumn, pressed by Winter for his debt,
Drops leaf on leaf till she be beggared quite;

Should then the crescent moon's unselfish light
Gleam up the sky, just as the sun doth set,
Her brightening gaze, though day and dark have met,
Prolongs the gloaming and retards the night.

So, fair young life, new risen upon mine
Just as it owns the edict of decay
And Fancy's fires should pale and pass away,

My menaced glory takes a glow from thine,
And, in the deepening sundown of my day,
Thou with thy dawn delayest my decline.



The setting is a gentle 2-against-3 gesture with slow, measures-long harmonic motion beginning on the seventh of the tonic major. The first two stanzas of four lines are treated identically, and then a harmonic shift into the lowered mediant sets the three-line extensions of the text. A return to the opening line ends the setting. For other settings of Kottmann's texts in both German and English, click here.



The score for Wenn Eicheln fallen 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.


Wenn Eicheln fallen