The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #161887   Message #3850901
Posted By: keberoxu
17-Apr-17 - 07:46 PM
Thread Name: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
Subject: RE: English Trans. Req: Fruhlingsmusikanten
Grishka, I bow to you. What you say is right and just. I stand cheerfully rebuked.

Hoo, good golly Miss Molly.
This "Turkish Music" satire appears, even with my lazy ill-informed German,
dangerously sharp, sharp enough to cut myself!

There are a number of levels at play in this poem / lyric.

Turkish Music had an association with the military forces of the Ottoman Empire, with which Austria in particular was familiar. Mozart, years before, had put "turkish music" sound effects into piano music and symphonic music alike, to say nothing
of Mozart's "Abduction from the Seraglio." The popular clichéd effect was made at least with cymbals and drums; add a triangle and a flute or piccolo, and the Turkish military sound was complete to the Austrian ear.

As the Musikanten play for the Kaiser and his courtiers around the throne, there is more than dancing going on. Coins are appearing out of nowhere on the floor. I mean to say, people are digging in their pockets for coins and throwing them towards the least that is what seems, to me, to be happening. And each of the three Musikanten are scooping up the silver and the gold, and fetching the money to the Kaiser.

Whoa, this is a metaphor for....what? It's a loaded one in any case!

What are the "gefüllte Beutel" anyway?
Are they "sacks of booty," or are they more like people with deep pockets? Or both?

The trio in Förster's satire are actually a cymbal-smasher, a fiddler, and a drummer. I think the fiddler is there for a verbal reason. To repeat from the previous, that high melody would more conventionally be a wind instrument from the military band, such as a flute or piccolo. But a violin is substituted for it, and I think the advantage to the poet, is that there is a figure of speech involving "nach mit Geigen laßen" which is new to me.

In the final stanza, the Kaiser is so pleased, particularly with the money the Musikanten rake in, that he appoints them to his Cabinet!
He names the fiddler to the judiciary branch somewhere.
He makes the cymbal-smasher the Minister of Finance, as in, "KA-CHING!"
While the drummer gets the military. Or something like that.