Music and Texts of Gary Bachlund


Woher,wohin? - (2012)    

Wilhelm Busch

for baritone and piano

 Rolf Raabe gewidmet

Wo sich Ewigkeiten dehnen,
Hören die Gedanken auf,
Nur der Herzen frommes Sehnen
Ahnt, was ohne Zeitenlauf.

Wo wir waren, wo wir bleiben,
Sagt kein kluges Menschenwort;
Doch die Grübelgeister schreiben:
Bist du weg, so bleibe fort.

Lass dich nicht aufs neu gelüsten.
Was geschah, es wird geschehn.
Ewig an des Lebens Küsten
Wirst du scheiternd untergehn.

3 pages, circa 2' 15"

Sketch by the poet


Eternity stretches out unending,
Where logical thought can never go,
Heartfelt piety apprehending
What lies where, beyond time's flow.

Where we once were, where we are,
Clever words cannot essay.
Such a pondering strays too far:
Life dissolves into yesterday.

Do not long in vain for answers.
What once was, always is, will be.
You and other like romancers
Must perish on life's surging seas.


rhymed paraphrase by the composer

Copyright  2012 Gary Bachlund     All international rights reserved.



The three strophes are set apart from an initial musical verse in triple meter which sets only the title of Busch's poem and an answering, closed-mouth hum. In a music hall style, this setting unfolds seemingly unserious in tone.



The three quatrains are then set in duple meter, in rhythmic modulation, the first two together before the reprise of the refrain. A last strophe separates two statements of the refrain, and the setting ends with that last "Woher, wohin?" Wer weiss?



The score for Woher, wohin? 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.